Efl Students’ Attitudes Towards Learning English Language: the Case of Libyan Secondary School Students Dr. Mohamad Jafre Zainol Abidin School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia E-

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Asian Social Science

Vol. 8, No. 2; February 2012

EFL Students’ Attitudes towards Learning English Language: The Case of Libyan Secondary School Students Dr. Mohamad Jafre Zainol Abidin School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia E-mail: Jafre@usm.my Majid Pour-Mohammadi (Corresponding author) Department of English Translation, Islamic Azad University, Rasht, Iran Tel: 60-17-605-4350 E-mail: majid.pourmohammadi@gmail.com Hanan Alzwari School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia E-mail: tataeek@gmail.com Received: July 25, 2011 doi:10.5539/ass.v8n2p119 Accepted: August 12, 2011 Published: February 1, 2012

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ass.v8n2p119

The research has partly been financed by the Fellowship Scheme of University of Science Malaysia. Abstract This study investigated Libyan secondary school students’ attitudes towards learning English in terms of the behavioral, cognitive and emotional aspects. It also explored whether there is any significant difference in the students’ attitudes towards English language based on their demographic profiles i.e., gender, field and year of study. A total of 180 participants in the three study years from three specializations of Basic Sciences, Life Sciences, and Social Sciences took a questionnaire as a measuring instrument. Regarding the three aspects of attitude i.e., cognitive, behavioral, and emotional, the participants showed negative attitudes towards learning English. On the demographic profile, there were statistically significant attitudinal differences regarding gender and field of study but not year of study. Based on the research findings, some recommendations are finally presented. Keywords: EFL learner, Attitude, Language learning, Gender, Field of study, Year of study 1. Introduction It is argued that language learning is regarded as the cornerstone of human existence. Knowing the language can help us to express our opinions, hopes, and even our dreams (Tavil, 2009). In foreign Language learning context, there are various factors that influence the learning process such as motivation, attitudes, anxiety, learning achievements, aptitudes, intelligence, age, personalities, etc. (Gardner, 1960; Lehmann, 2006, cited in Shams, 2008). The matter of learner’s attitude is acknowledged as one of the most important factors that impact on learning language (Fakeye, 2010). This study looks into the concept of attitude as one of the major affective factors for success in learning a foreign language. More specifically, it investigates Libyan secondary school students’ attitudes towards learning English language, taking into consideration the three aspects of attitude i.e., emotional, cognitive, and behavioral. Additionally, it attempts to determine the influence of students’ demographic profile i.e., gender, year and field of study on their attitudes towards learning English. 1.1 Background of study Kara (2009) stated that attitudes towards learning besides opinions and beliefs have an obvious influence on students’ behaviors and consequently on their performance. It is argued that those students who possess positive beliefs about language learning have a tendency to increase more positive attitudes towards language learning. Published by Canadian Center of Science and Education 119

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Asian Social Science

Vol. 8, No. 2; February 2012

Conversely, negative beliefs may lead to class anxiety, low cognitive achievement, and negative attitudes (Victori & Lockhart, 1995). According to Alhmali (2007), the purpose of education in Libya is to obtain high grades and pass the exams. Creativity and understanding the nature of students and their needs are not taken into account. The EFL teachers’ role is basically to transmit information to their students effectively. There exists little knowledge about the best strategies to develop the students not just...
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