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Title: Social and psychological factors in learning English as a foreign language in Lebanon
Author: Yazigy, Rula Jamil
ISNI:       0000 0001 3574 8412
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 1991
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This research is an investigation of some social and psychological factors in the learning of English as a foreign language in two universities in Lebanon. Some of the factors studied are: students' educational and social background, parental influence, attitudes towards foreign languages in general and English in particular, attitudes towards English speaking people, effect of first language, attitudes towards the English language course and the English course teacher, attitudes towards self and native people, and the effect of the political situation. Chapter one offers a definition and function of a language, and discusses the value and spread of learning English as the international language of the world. Definitions of certain words or terms are presented to clarify their usage in this research. A review of the literature of attitudes and motivation in second language learning is presented in chapter two. Research studying the attitudinal factors influencing second language learning launched in Canada- a bilingual country. Similar studies have been carried out in other countries on students learning second or foreign languages, mainly English. A brief presentation of the few similar studies in the Arab world is given. Chapter three gives a general view of education in the Arab countries, with emphasis on the value of Arabic as the native language and the teaching of foreign languages. A closer look at the history of foreign languages in Lebanon, the educational ladder in schools, and the English curriculum at schools and universities are given in chapter four. It ends with an attempt to answer the question of where the teaching of English in Lebanon is in relation to the world development. The fifth chapter is concerned with the empirical work of the study. It describes the research design: i.e. subjects, variables, materials and procedure. Subjects were 164 university level students and twenty two English language university teachers. Measures employed to investigate the relationship between different variables hypothesized to affect achievement in learning English as a foreign language in Lebanon comprise a students' questionnaire and proficiency test and a teachers' questionnaire. Various measures were employed to investigate relatonships between variables. Chapter six deals with the analysis of the data. The initial results of each of the questionnaires and the proficiency test are presented with the aid of tables of frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations. In general, students' had high concept of their level of proficiency in English, possessed positive attitudes towards learning English, and surprisingly, had both types of motivational orientation: integrative and instrumental. Their performance on the proficiency test was acceptable except for the writing part. Teachers were generally satisfied with their profession, but did not have a clear idea about the national goals of teaching/learning of English in Lebanon. Their ratings of the students' performance in English was actually lower than that of the students themselves. Further analysis is carried on and presented in chapter seven. Relationships among the different variables are closely examined through applying some statistical tests such as Kendall's tau and Spearman's correlation coefficient. It was interesting to find out that the higher subjects rated their proficiency in English, the stronger desire they had for the teaching/learning of English to start in schools. The variable 'attitudes towards learning English' was found to be central; it was found to relate to the use of foreign languages at home, university branch, students' class level, motivational intensity, and attitudes towards English speaking people. However, no strong relationship was found between performance and attitudes; proficiency was found to be mainly related to the subjects' view of Arabic. The last chapter draws conclusions on the basis of the findings and suggests implications for the teaching of English at University level in Lebanon. The first suggested step towards improving the teaching/learning of English was Needs Analysis leading to syllabus/curriculum development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available