A study in some aspects of foreign language learning at Kuwait University with special reference to computer assisted language learning
This thesis is concerned with foreign language learning and teaching. The initial aim of the thesis is to examine Gardner's (1985) model to find out whether this model is applicable to English foreign language learning (EFL) in Kuwait. The purpose is to determine the extent to which previous research findings can be generalised to a sample of University students in EFL courses in Kuwait. The thesis comprises three integrated background literature reviews: approaches to foreign language teaching and their implication for TEFL in Kuwait; 'CALL': (Computer Assisted Language Learning); and the role of the attitude, motivation and anxiety in foreign language learning. Two pieces of research are reported with two contrasting methodologies: a survey questionnaire, and an ethnographic approach examining the effectiveness of CALL. The research was conducted on Kuwait University undergraduates enrolled in English courses offered by the English Language Centre at Kuwait University during the 1992-1993 academic year. First, the research focuses on the inter-relationships between attitude, motivation, anxiety and achievement in the English language. Second, the research identifies the methods of teaching, instructional materials, class activities and appropriate teacher roles that students most prefer. Third, the research introduces new instructional materials via the use of computer programs in an EFL class. The effect of Computer Assisted Language Learning on students' motivation toward learning English as a foreign language, students' feeling of anxiety in the English class and their achievement in the foreign language are each examined by classroom observation and interviews. The results of the research show that: (1) in general, students appear to have a strong motivation to learn English; express a definite degree of preference toward English and native speakers of English, and lack feelings of anxiety. (2) The more a student is exposed to the English language through being in an English medium College, visiting and staying in an English speaking country and watching English programmes on T.V., the more a student needs the English language either for present studies or for future career, the more motivated to learning English and more positive attitudes towards the language are apparent. (3) Students' ability in English has a significant relationship with a variety of factors investigated: the higher the student's ability in English, the greater the motivation to learn English, the more favourable is the student's attitudes toward the English language and the less anxiety the student's experiences in the English class. (4) 'CALL' enhances students' motivation to learn the foreign language, lowers their anxieties and improves their achievement in the English language. The thesis concludes with an integration of theory and research, and makes a series of recommendations about developments in EFL in Kuwait University.