Abstract: The results of the Slovenian National Assessment of Knowledge in English i.e. NAK (Nacionalno preverjanje znanja iz angleščine za 6. in 9. razred - NPZ) in the sixth class and the ninth class show different results among schools in Slovenia. The data suggest that there are several factors that help pupils achieve good results in the NAK, especially practice and early English language learning and early language exposure.
The purpose of the study was to determine the English language skills of the pupils in Slovenian schools who had organized, systematic English language learning in the first triad of the primary school in comparison to the English language skills of the pupils who did not have organized, systematic English language learning in the first triad of the primary school. The purpose was also to determine the impact of systematic English language teaching in the first triad of primary school on language knowledge of the fourth class pupils. A study was designed which was based on testing the English language skills on a sample of fourth class pupils, selected according to the form of English language learning in the first triad of primary school in Slovenia. The study was conducted in the 2015/2016 school year on a sample of 110 fourth class pupils divided into three groups. The experimental group consisted of 42 pupils who had organized, systematic early learning of English during the first triad. The first control group consisted of 17 pupils who did not have any kind of organized, systematic early learning of English in the first triad. The second control group consisted of 51 pupils who learned English as an extracurricular activity or took English language courses. All groups of pupils completed a questionnaire and took part in the language skills testing on different linguistic levels: lexical, grammatical and discourse levels. A language test was designed for this purpose. The results showed that the three groups were homogenous. Test results were compared within the three groups of pupils. The obtained data was also compared to the general, publicly available data of national sixth class testing (NAK).
The analysis showed statistically significant differences in the test results of the three groups of pupils. Pupils who had organized, systematic early learning of English in the first triad achieved better results overall. A more detailed analysis showed that the pupils who had early learning of English in the first triad were more successful in tasks focusing on grammar and discourse. Surprisingly, the pupils who did not experience the organized, systematic early learning of English in the first triad were more successful in lexical tasks.Keywords: foreign language, early English language learning, research, language test, primary schoolPublished: 05.10.2016; Views: 625; Downloads: 61 Full text (1,02 MB)