Language is the primary tool human beings use for thinking, communicating and learning. Having a knowledge of several languages can provide new perspectives on the surrounding world, enhanced opportunities to create contacts and greater understanding of different ways of living. The English language surrounds us in our daily lives and is used in such diverse areas as politics, education and economics. Knowledge of English thus increases the individual’s opportunities to participate in different social and cultural contexts, as well as in international studies and working life.
Teaching of English should aim at helping the pupils to develop knowledge of the English language and of the areas and contexts where English is used, and also pupils’ confidence in their ability to use the language in different situations and for different purposes.
Through teaching, pupils should be given the opportunity to develop all-round communicative skills. These skills involve understanding spoken and written English, being able to formulate one’s thinking and interact with others in the spoken and written language, and the ability to adapt use of language to different situations, purposes and recipients. Communication skills also cover confidence in using the language and the ability to use different strategies to support communication and solve problems when language skills by themselves are not sufficient.
Teaching should help pupils to develop their skills in searching for, evaluating, choosing and assimilating the content of spoken language and texts from different sources. They should also be equipped to be able to use different tools for learning, understanding, being creative and communicating. Teaching should encourage pupils to develop an interest in languages and culture, and convey the benefits of language skills and knowledge.
Teaching in English should essentially give pupils the opportunities to develop their ability to:
• understand and interpret the content of spoken English and in different types of texts,
• express themselves and communicate in speech and writing,
• use language strategies to understand and make themselves understood,
• adapt language for different purposes, recipients and contexts, and
• reflect over living conditions, social and cultural phenomena in different contexts and parts of the world where English is used.
Core content, In years 4–6
Content of communication
• Subject areas that are familiar to the pupils.
• Daily situations, interests, people, places, events and activities.
• Views, feelings and experiences.
• Daily life, ways of living and social relations in different contexts and areas where English is used.
Listening and reading – reception
• Different types of conversations, dialogues and interviews.• Films and dramatised narratives for children and youth.
• Songs, sagas and poems.
• Strategies to understand key words and context in spoken language and texts, for example, by adapting listening and reading to the form and content of communications.• Different ways of searching for and choosing texts and spoken English from the Internet and other media.
• Language phenomena such as pronunciation, intonation, grammatical structures, spelling and also fixed language expressions in the language pupils encounter.
• How words and fixed language expressions, such as politeness phrases and forms of address, are used in texts and spoken language in different situations.
• How different expressions are used to initiate and complete different types of communications and conversations.
Speaking, writing and discussing – production and interaction
• Presentations, instructions, messages, narratives and descriptions in connected speech and writing.
• Language strategies to understand and make oneself understood when language skills are lacking, such as through reformulations.
• Language strategies to participate in and contribute to discussions, such as questions, and phrases and expressions to confirm understanding.
• Language phenomena to clarify and enrich communication such as pronunciation and intonation, spelling and punctuation, polite phrases,
and other fixed language expressions and grammatical structures.