Do we have to speak English? : a longitudinal perspective on the impact of early English input on the development of English comprehension skills in Norwegian pupils
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This study is a continuation of previous research done on a group of Norwegian pupils. When this group started first grade they partook in a project by Dahl and Vulchanova (2014) which studied how input based teaching, and some use of English outside of English lessons, affected the early acquisition of English as a second language. They found that the pupils exposed to naturalistic input outperformed the control group after just eight months in both receptive vocabulary size and listening comprehension skills. However, Sivertzen (2013) found that two years after the discontinuation of the input based teaching programme the pupils no longer outperformed their peers in receptive vocabulary size. The same participants were the focus of this study; at the time of testing they were halfway through fifth grade. Two tests were used, one listening comprehension test and one reading comprehension test. Subsequently, the results of these tests were analysed in SPSS, showing significant difference in performance between the extra input group and the control group. Results from existing research indicate that receptive vocabulary can be used as a good predictor of language comprehension skills, which the findings of this study are in conflict with. It is hypothesized that the significant difference in performance has to do with the quality of input they received during first and second grade, and that this has facilitated language comprehension skills that cannot necessarily be detected by vocabulary size testing.