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An Investigation of Arab Students’ Motivation for Learning English

Omar, Abdul Rahman (2019) An Investigation of Arab Students’ Motivation for Learning English. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Abstract

This study investigated what factors motivate L1 Arab learners of English at the University of Huddersfield, whether Arab students‘ motivation changes during their university course, and, if there is any change, how it influences students‘ second language proficiency level. In particular, this study aimed to examine the relationship between students‘ level of motivation and their proficiency level in English. In order to investigate these factors, I adopted the mixed method represented by the quantitative and qualitative research techniques which have been applied sequentially at two points (1) at the start of their English language course (2) and at the end of the course. The data were collected from Arab students enrolled on the ESUS Course, English Skills for University Study, at the International Study Centre at University of Huddersfield (N=42). The findings showed that of the multiple factors which motivate L1 Arab students to learn English, the first among them are an interest in foreign languages and instrumental motivation to find a job and pass exams. This research introduced a new definition of Integrativeness. The traditional concept of integrativeness states that the L2 student learns English because they have a positive attitude towards the native speakers or want to be a part of the native community. This was not reflected in the research as the students were learning English to become a part of the international community (whose members speak English). Students in this research were learning English to become a part of the international community whose members speak English. The data collected in this research showed that there was no correlation between students‘ L2 motivation and their proficiency level. Students‘ motivation scores at the beginning and the end of their English course were compared to their entry and final exam results and no statistically significant correlation was found. In addition, students‘ change in motivation was compared with their entry, final and change in exam performance and no statistically significant correlation was found here either. This suggests that the traditional role of L2 motivation in learning a target language has changed over the last few decades. The traditional role played by motivation in learning a second language has been minimized during the last few decades. The considerations of more important factors such as the personal differences, teaching style in schools and universities and the openness of some closed regions to the English civilization and lifestyle have limited the influence of motivation on the L2 learning process.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
Depositing User: Andrew Strike
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2020 14:40
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2020 14:45
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/35180

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