“Too much grammar will kill you!” Teaching Spanish as a foreign language in Norway: What teachers say about grammar teaching

Sigrunn Askland


Exam results show that many Norwegian students lack communicative competence in their second foreign language. This study investigates Spanish language instruction in Norway, in particular Spanish teachers’ opinions about grammar teaching, and why and how grammar is taught in lower and upper secondary school. Furthermore, the study explores whether common grammar teaching approaches are primarily explicit (rules provided) or implicit (rules not provided), inductive (language first) or deductive (rules first), and whether the language of instruction is primarily Norwegian or Spanish. The data comprise interviews with teachers and classroom observations, as well as teaching plans and other material. The analyses of the interviews and the observations show that the teachers think that grammar instruction is an important part of foreign language instruction, and they seem to prefer an explicit, deductive approach. The language of grammar instruction is predominantly Norwegian, independent of the teacher’s native language. Based on the findings, I conclude that teachers may consider introducing more inductive approaches to grammar instruction, as well as providing students with more target language (TL) input and opportunities for communication in the TL.



grammar teaching, foreign language acquisition, teacher cognition, Spanish, secondary school in Norway

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Department of Foreign Languages and Translation, University of Agder


ISSN: 1894-2245  Bookmark and Share