Environmental factors influencing students' achievement in English as a foreign language : a case study of third year secondary school students in Bahrain.
The main objective of this study was to investigate the
relationship between a number of environmental variables and achievement
measures in English language of third year Bahraini secondary
school students. Fifteen null hypotheses were formulated and tested
against students' achievement results.
The first set of research instruments included students'
first term English Language Achievement Tests while the second was a
questionnaire completed by the selected students. The questionnaire
was administered entirely in Arabic. The third set of materials
involved conducting a total of thirty-two interviews. Responses to
the interviews complemented the findings of those of the student and
teacher questionnaires. The fourth and final set of materials was a
teacher questionnaire which was basically intended as an additional
step towards the study of variables existing within the teaching
The sample needed for the study was comprised of a total
number of 327 randomly selected students, 161 of whom were males and 166
were females. Thus differences in sex were fully taken into account.
Ages ranged from 16 to 23 with a mean of 17. Subjects averaged 12 years
of education and had studied English as a foreign language for a
minimum period of 9 years.The conclusion drawn from this research implied that
Bahraini students need to show a considerable degree of commitment
and also strive to make use of the language in its various contextual
settings. Female students need to modify their present attitudes-held
toward English language learning and its culture. Students need to
be on the alert as to the degree of availability and teachers'
frequency and skill in using a fully incorporated teaching aid. Home
conditions, in terms of educational support and encouragement should
work in favour of acquiring the language.