Digitization and English. A study of the role of formal and informal ICT practices in students’ development of digital skills through the English subject
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It is a fact that computer technology has become an important part of our daily lives. Consequently, these technologies are incorporated in all the subjects in Norwegian schools. In the matter of the English subject, the incorporation of ICT is particularly important, seeing as most aspects of our society communicate in English to a certain degree. This includes workplaces, higher education, politics, economics, and in popular culture. That is way it is important that schools provide the necessary digital skills the students need to communicate and interact in contemporary society. According to the Knowledge Promotion (LK06/13), the English subject will ensure that students can communicate orally and in writing through the use of different tools and aids. What the Knowledge Promotion does not state in detail is how digital tools can be used in language learning. Traditionally, digital tools have been associated with formal educational purposes such as finding, interpreting, evaluating, and presenting information. The students' personal experiences with ICT are rarely seen as useful to teaching and learning in EFL. For that reason, this thesis will examine to what extent the digital world of the English subject curriculum corresponds to the digital world of our society. In relation to this, the research will examine how informal ICT practices in the English subject can promote the development of the digital skills needed to participate in a digitized global society. The results of this research show that although the subject curriculum offers opportunities to incorporate informal practices with ICT in formal education, the curricular practices of ICT in the English subject prove that teachers tend to favor the formal educational aspects of ICT.