• Pernille Plætner Seibæk
  • Julie Overgaard Jensen
4. term, English, Master (Master Programme)
This master’s thesis revolves around embodied learning in second language acquisition classrooms in the context of Danish upper secondary education (the Danish gymnasium - STX). Throughout the past decade, the relationship between physical activity and learning has spawned extensive interest. Several studies have been conducted, and it has been concluded that physical activity promotes learning. This is apparent both through cognitive changes in the brain, improved social skills, motivation and concentration. Due to the reform from 2014, the Danish lower secondary education (the Folkeskole) has already implemented physical activity to the extent of 45 minutes per day, but the upper secondary education has not yet followed this initiative. The aim of this thesis is to establish whether embodied learning has its propriety in second language acquisition classrooms in the Danish upper secondary education system, or not, Based on the assumption that embodied learning is more advantageous than sedentary learning. The thesis examines the following questions: “Which significance does the implementation of embodied learning have on students’ learning process in English language teaching?” “Which significance does the implementation of embodied learning have on the practice of English language teaching?” The thesis employed a mixed methodological approach, scientifically based on a hermeneutic epistemology and an experimental realist ontology. An intervention study, carried out at Nørresundby Gymnasium & HF in the fall 2015, formed the foundation for the investigation of the significance of embodied learning on both the learning process of the students and the practice of English language teaching. The study followed a comparative structure and therefore involved two first year (1.g) classes, 1.x and 1.u, where the former took part in a lesson plan based on embodied learning and the latter took part in a lesson plan based on sedentary teaching. The theory of experiential learning by David A. Kolb constituted the theoretical framework for a conceptualization of learning and the learning process that unfold throughout the investigation. The empirical data was collected using journals, grammatical tests in a cloze test format, participating, unstructured observation as well as a semi-structured interview with the teacher, who conducted the embodied lessons. The data was processed using categorization, statistics (descriptive statistics, Pearson’s χ2-test and Pearson’s correlation test) as well as hermeneutic interpretation of meaning. The thesis concludes that the implementation of embodied learning has significance for the learning process of the students as well as the practice of English language teaching. The descriptive statistics presented an overall improvement for both the embodied and the sedentary courses, where 1.x (embodied) exceeded 1.u (sedentary) in all aspects. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was strong and significant for the two tests that 1.x conducted (r=.645, p=.002), whereas it was weak and not significant for the conducted tests in 1.u (r=.296, p=.134). However, the applied χ2-test did not show a significant difference between the two teaching methods (χ2 (1, n=47) = 1.68, p > 0.05. N.S.). Concerning the learning process, embodied learning has caused a more evenly distributed learning process, which has yielded more ideal learning than the sedentary learning. Concerning embodied learning and the practice of English teaching, this method was slightly difficult to employ. Embodied learning affected the framework of the course, it caused unplanned competition and momentarily chaos, which were replaced with a highly focused learning environment. In conclusion, embodied learning has congeniality in English language teaching in the upper secondary education system (1.g STX) and the initial assumption about embodied learning being more advantageous than sedentary learning is thus verified.
Publication date4 Jan 2016
Number of pages104
External collaboratorNørresundby Gymnasium & HF
Ole Mølgaard OMO@nghf.dk
Information group
ID: 224780749