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Title: Individual differences among Saudi learners of English as a foreign language : an exploratory correlational study of learning styles, affective factors and English proficiency and performance
Author: Aljasir, Noaf
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 2318
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis critically examines two distinct differences among learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) in Saudi Arabia: their learning styles (specifically, perceptual learning styles, peer collaboration and tolerance of ambiguity (TA)) and the affective factors (namely, anxiety, motivation and self-efficacy) that influence their learning. This mixed-methods study builds systematically and methodically on the little that is known about these variables among Arab learners of EFL. Its originality lies in it being the first study to explore the interrelationships between six major learning styles and affective factors in an EFL learning context. To achieve this, three self-developed questionnaires were distributed to 334 freshman students at a public university in Saudi Arabia. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with 20 learners. Findings revealed that the participants were multimodal, exhibited a moderate preference for peer collaboration and were moderately tolerant of ambiguity. They also showed moderate levels of anxiety, motivation and self-efficacy. Importantly, all six variables were significantly related to English proficiency and/or performance. Furthermore, all correlations between learning styles and affective factors were significant, except those between peer collaboration and self-efficacy and between TA and motivation. The thesis concludes with a discussion of theoretical, practical and research implications of the findings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB Theory and practice of education ; PE English