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Title: The perceptions of specific needs among a discourse community of ESP learners : whether these relate to their achievement, attitudes and motivation
Author: Al-Sudais, Omar A.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3409 1009
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2004
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This study investigates the issues of motivation and attitudes in ESP. It attempts to examine the theoretical assumption that ESP is motivating for its learners. The attempt is to see what relevance the ESP situation could have on its learners' attitudes and motivation. Particularly it looks at a circle of possible significant relations of ESP learners. It examines the possible relevance among the perceptions of specific needs of learners, ESP, achievement, attitudes and motivation. The aim is to see if there is a relationship between ESP, perceptions of the discourse community's specific needs and achievement and motivation. The study uses a military institute as an example of an ESP teaching situation. The sample of the study is 502 cadets, 486 in the questionnaire and 16 in the interview, in King Khalid Military Academy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. They represent the three levels (years) in the Academy. Two research methods are used to collect the data: semistructured interviews as a qualitative method and a questionnaire as a quantitative method. The interviews are analysed qualitatively, and questionnaire responses are analysed quantitatively, both in percentages using SPSS correlational analysis. The results of the study show that there is a positive perception and preference among learners of their specific needs. They also suggest that attitudes towards learning the language were significantly correlated with achievement; but this was not the case with attitudes towards the people and culture of the language. In addition, the results reveal that there is a significant relationship between the perception of specific needs, ESP, high achievement and positive attitudes towards learning the language. The study also suggests that these learners have an integrative type of motivation of learning English, related to their discourse community. In the light of the results, the study concludes that the positive attitudes towards learning ESP are related to learners' positive attitudes towards learning and better achievement and motivation, which could suggest that ESP can work to engender learning. The study also concludes that the ESP learning situation could work as a counter to learners' negative attitudes towards the people and culture of the target language; and these were seen as not influential on these learners' achievement. It is suggested that the issues of different attitudes towards the people and culture of the target language and attitudes towards learning it, as well as the integrative motivation towards the sub-culture of the ESP discourse, are worthy of more investigation in different settings, as these are under researched conceptions within ESP.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available