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Title: Exploring foreign language anxiety in Saudi Arabia : a study of female English as foreign language college students
Author: Al-Saraj, Taghreed Mohammed
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 4406
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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The goal of the research presented in this thesis is to increase understanding of the experiences (e.g., affective experience, challenges) of female Saudi Arabian students learning a foreign language. To better understand why some language learners have more difficulty acquiring a target language, there has been an increase in research into relationships between foreign language acquisition and affective variables (see Gardner, 1997). However, the vast majority of previous research has been conducted in the West, leaving a gap in understanding other perspectives. The present research uses a case study design, drawing on multiple sources of information to inform an understanding of female students' experience in a private college's English as a Foreign Language (EFL) program. A combination of factors — the importance of learning English, changes in the educational system, and conservative culture — create a unique environment for researching anxiety related to studying EFL. To gain insight into the learners' perspectives, questionnaires, individual and group interviews, and informal classroom observations were used. Ten participants, five from the beginning level (Level 1) and five from a more advanced level (Level 3) of the college English program, were examined. Each participant's experiences are discussed individually, then compared and analysed in the context of existing research literature. All case study participants indicated that they experienced anxiety through responses to a questionnaire, discussion in interviews, and observed behaviours (e.g., avoiding in-class participation). Although some factors, such as teacher-student interactions and teacher behaviour, appeared nearly universally anxiety-provoking among all participants, others factors varied between participants in Levels 1 and 3. These differences and similarities are examined. Finally, implications and limitations, along with suggested recommendations for EFL teachers and policy makers in Saudi Arabia, are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available