Needs, attitudes and motivation in foreign language learning : a case study of Kuwait university students studying ESP.
The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the role of
needs, attitudes and motivation in developing achievement in
English as a foreign language for specific purposes. In order to
set the stage, however, it is first necessary to review the
research literature concerned with the influence of language
aptitude and intelligence in the second/foreign language process.
This introduction. is necessary because language aptitude and
intelligence are the two learner variables which have been
considered of prime importance for Language learning other than
attitude and motivation The first chapter,which is an introduction, states the need
for the study, reviews the literature on intelligence and aptitude
as predictors of success in foreign language learning and presents
the purpose for the study.
The second chapter considers affective variables. It is
divided into two parts. Part One focuses attention on affective
factors, their importance to second language acquisition, their
definition and their classification. Attention is directed mainly
to two major classes of attitudes, external attitudes which are
either educationally or socially relevant and internal attitudes
which are idiosyncratic and result in self-esteem and anxiety.
This classification leads to consideration of the specific role of
attitudes and their importance as a source of motivation. In Part
Two attention is directed to attitudes as they relate to linguistic
achievement in second language learning and to other aspects of
behaviour such as the drop-out phenomenon, class participation and
inter-ethnic contact. The last section of this chapter is
concerned with three representative and current models of second
language acquisition which have incorporated a wide range of
attitudes in their account of the language process.
The third chapter is a review of empirical studies which
investigate attitude/motivational variables and second language
proficiency or achievement. It considers studies which deal with
the impact of integrative and instrumental orientation on language proficiency or achievement and studies which show how a composite
of the two orientations contributes to achievement in second
language learning. Also, attention is directed to factors which
might have led to these conflicting results and to findings which
suggest, contrary to previous studies, that achievement variables
are more powerful determinants of attitudes than attitudinal
variables are of achievement. In the light of the literature
reviewed in this chapter and in the preceding chapter the model
suggested for the present study, reported in chapter 5, and the
research hypotheses are presented.
The fourth chapter reports a pilot run of a questionnaire
constructed to be used in the main study. The data obtained
through the questionnaire is presented, discussed and tabulated.
Then recommendations regarding the main study were made and the
five hypotheses addressed in Chapter 3 were restated with the
expected outcomes of each.
The fifth chapter is concerned with the Kuwait University
Study. It first deals with the subjects and the data gathering
instruments: the student questionnaire, the professor questionnaire
and achievement measures. Each instrument is discussed as to
content, form and administration and the procedures for data
collection are given. Second, the results of the structured
interview administered to the subjects' professors and the
students' questionnaire are analysed and discussed. Thirdly, means and standard deviations of the dependent and independent variables
according to college, course level, nationality and sex for each
college separately and for the entire population are tabulated,
presented and discussed. Fourthly, the correlation between each
mean scale and subscale raw scores and GPA and final grade mean
scores and multiple regression and a factor analysis run and
rotated to a varimax solution are presented, tabulated and
discussed. Finally, the five hypotheses addressed in Chapter 3 are
listed with a description of each in a form of summary.
The sixth chapter is devoted to summary, conclusions,
implications and recommendations. It is divided into three
sections. The first section summarizes the steps of the study and
presents the conclusions that can be drawn from the results of the
study. The second section is concerned with the implications of
the results of the study for both future research and language
instruction at Kuwait University. The third section concludes
chapter six by making some recommendations.