Classroom vs. Extramural English: Teachers Dealing with Demotivation


Correspondence address: Pia Sundqvist, Faculty of Arts and Education, Karlstad University, SE-65188 Karlstad, Sweden. E-mail:


The present article explores challenges facing EFL classrooms in Sweden due to new informal out-of-school language learning settings created by the current media landscape. A recent Swedish national evaluation identifies that a problematic situation in secondary school EFL classrooms has emerged. EFL teachers find it difficult to bridge the gap (cf. Olsson 2011) between the English used in school and the English used outside of school, extramural English (Sundqvist 2009). As a consequence, the pupils (aged 13–16) become discouraged and demotivated. Based on experiences from language teaching methodology in-service training programs and a small-scale survey, the article discusses the problem with demotivation, the empowerment of EFL teachers, and the development of teaching practices in order to meet the new challenges. The article argues that the challenges that Swedish EFL teachers currently meet can be viewed as an early indication that similar challenges are likely to emerge also in EFL classrooms elsewhere.