The Learners’ Educational and Cultural Background Effect on Their Proficiency in Learning English. The Case of First Year English Students at Biskra University

Betka née Rezig, Nadia (2015) The Learners’ Educational and Cultural Background Effect on Their Proficiency in Learning English. The Case of First Year English Students at Biskra University. ["eprint_fieldopt_thesis_type_phd" not defined] thesis, Universite Mohamed Khider.

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Abstract

present research investigates the factors behind the intercultural competence deficit among EFL learners at Biskra University through their inability to analyze and evaluate cultural values, noted in their oral and written performances and their negative attitude towards the English communities culture; namely when the target language cultural concepts prove to excessively different from their own. Despite learners’ high motivation to learn English, they are unable to analyze and judge the target language cultural differences which may create a distance between the foreign language learning objectives the efforts they make to acquire it. It is hypothesized in this study that EFL intercultural incompetence is the consequence of either, learners’ weak linguistic proficiency, their de-motivation, or because of the cultural content type presented in middle and high school textbooks which does not promote their intercultural competence. Three research tools were used to collect data: a questionnaire was administered to First year students at the English department, University of Biskra, to probe their overall motivation and depict any cultural obstacles that may create a resistance to learn that foreign language, a proficiency test to find out the areas where learners’ deficiencies lie, and an analysis of English textbooks designed for middle and high school levels to check the approach used in presenting the English speaking communities culture in the former phases of education; the analysis investigates the efficiency of developing learners’ intercultural competence and the presence of analysis/critical thinking training tasks in former educational phases. The qualitative analysis shows that the EFL learners are highly motivated to learn English and that there are two sources of learning flaws; the one hand, middle and high school textbooks do not provide enough opportunities to discuss or explain the cultural concepts and, on the other hand, they present the target language culture through an interpretive perspective that enriches learners’ view of culture but, the activity type and the absence of speculative texts do not develop pupils’ critical skills making them unable to interpret and relate the target language cultural concepts with their own culture and automatically entailing a handicap in raising and evaluating cultural issues properly.

Item Type: Thesis (["eprint_fieldopt_thesis_type_phd" not defined])
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Faculté des Lettres et des Langues > Département d'anglais
Depositing User: Mr. M.W KH
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2015 09:15
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2015 09:15
URI: http://thesis.univ-biskra.dz/id/eprint/1816

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