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Extramural English, media influence, and identity: Focus on Swedish L2 English learners and changed self-perceptions

  • 27 Sep, 2022 | 3:00pm - 04:30pm
  • Online (via ZOOM)
  • Seminar
  • English
  • Dr Pia Sundqvist
  • Department of English Language Education
Dr Pia Sundqvist 
(University of Oslo, Norway)


In my presentation, I will draw on research on extramural English and what it has taught us about the informal learning of English in out-of-school settings on the one hand, and the crucial role of media in the lifeworlds of young people on the other.

Extramural English (EE) refers to 'English outside the walls of the classroom' in activities such as listening to music, watching streamed media content, reading books, and online gaming. EE activities are always initiated by the learners themselves, generally for the purpose of entertainment. However, both incidental and intentional (and online and offline) learning of L2 English is covered by the concept. Based on survey and interview data collected over a decade, I have had the opportunity to examine learners' EE habits from middle school until the end of lower secondary school. In my presentation, I will present some preliminary findings and let learner voices speak to the audience. It will become clear how former learners of English have turned into daily users of English who, contrary to popular belief, demonstrate advanced English knowledge - according to themselves, not least thanks to their consumption of English media. 


About the Speaker:


Pia Sundqvist (PhD) is Associate Professor of English Language Education at the University of Oslo, Norway. Her research interests are in the field of applied linguistics and include informal language learning, in particular the relation between Extramural English and gaming, English language teaching, and the assessment of L2 oral proficiency. She is the Primary Investigator of STAGE (STarting AGe and Extramural English: Learning English in and outside of school in Norway and Flanders). Sundqyist is the author of Extramural English in Teaching and Learning (with Syven, 2016) and of Motivationa/Practice (with Henry and Thorsen, 2019). Her most recent edited book is The Routledge Handbook of Language Learning and Teaching Beyond the Classroom (with Reinders and Lai,2022). Dr Sundqvist, who is from Sweden, is the current president of the Swedish Association of Applied Linguistics (ASLA) and Editor-in-Chief of its journal.