Embedding language-development tasks in lessons based on the magic finger in the primary classroom

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This article reports on a research project which investigated the impact of working with authentic children’s literature on the vocabulary development of two classes of 10–11- year-olds in Sweden. The English classes were based on Roald Dahl’s The Magic Finger. For five weeks and three lessons per week, the teacher read the book to the children and the children read some parts of the book themselves. During this time, the children worked on a range of language-focused writing tasks to support their understanding and facilitate incidental acquisition of vocabulary. The children’s performance on these tasks also provided insight into control of grammatical structures, which the learners had already been taught, and emerging features, which they had not yet encountered explicitly in their lessons. Furthermore, many children thought that they had spoken more English through engaging with the project, a view supported by their teachers. While almost all of the children liked The Magic Finger, and most enjoyed the experience of working with it, some were ambivalent about working with another authentic book in future. This would depend on the topic and the level of difficulty of the text.

Sidor (från-till)65-86
Antal sidor21
TidskriftChildren's Literature in English Language Education
StatusPublicerad - 2020

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