Exploring the Impact of Language Exposure Outside the Classroom on Student’s Writing

Conference: The European Conference on Education (ECE2022)
Title: Exploring the Impact of Language Exposure Outside the Classroom on Student’s Writing
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Irene Guzman Alcon, Jaume I University, Spain


It is widely accepted that intensity of language exposure plays a significant role in language learning (Pujadas, Muñoz & Pattermore 2021; Muñoz & Cardierio, 2021). However, there seems to be very little empirical work that considers the intensity of language exposure on third language writing (Ekpe et al. ,2019). To address this research gap, the present study explores the relationship between English exposure outside the classroom on students’ writing. A total of 40 participants (20 learners with a B2 level of English and 20 with a C2 level) from an Official Language School took part in the study. The study follows a mixed methods research approach and data were collected, on the one hand, by means of a questionnaire adapted from Lasagabaster and Huguet (2007) and a written composition that was analyzed using Jacobs et al.'s (1981) taxonomy. On the other hand, semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten of the participants. Findings from the study show that exposure to the English language outside school does not seem to play a role in students' writing scores. However, there is a positive correlation between participants’ level of engagement in out of school activities, measured by the number of different activities participants enjoy and engage in outside the school, and their writing scores. Additionally, the semi-structured interviews revealed individual differences that may explain learners’ level of engagement in out of school activities, which, in turn, justify individuals’ scores in writing. Finally, the results of the study suggest some pedagogical implications, pointing out the importance of combining language exposure in the classroom with learners’ engagement in out of school activities, taking into account learners’ preferences towards out of school activities.

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