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Title The effect of attitude toward the target language and culture, and of input on English second language proficiency in a study-abroad immersion setting
Publication Date
Date Available
Degree MA
Discipline/Department General Linguistics
Degree Level masters
University/Publisher Stellenbosch University

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: As the number of Asian students studying English abroad continues to increase, there is a growing need for language learning programs that help students to increase their English proficiency in the most effective way possible. Studies have shown that exposure alone is not sufficient for improving proficiency. The question is: “Can a second language (L2) learner truly learn the target language if they do not like the people who speak it?” Schumman’s (1978) acculturation theory proposes that the degree to which a learner integrates into the target culture through decreasing their social and psychological distance from it will determine the degree to which they learn the target language. Central to this process is the learner’s attitude toward the target language and the target culture. By fostering positive attitudes toward the target language and culture, can we aid L2 students in transforming the L2 input that they receive while studying abroad into meaningful intake through which they can, in turn, achieve greater proficiency in the L2? This thesis explores the above questions through a research study investigating the relationship between attitude toward the target language and target culture, and L2 proficiency; amount of L2 input and L2 proficiency; and amount of L2 input and attitude toward the target language and target culture. A small-scale study was conducted with Korean L2 English students studying abroad in the USA. Ten participants completed a language background questionnaire, an attitude questionnaire, and an English proficiency test. The data collected via these instruments were analysed to determine if any correlations exist between the above-mentioned three sets of variables. Results showed no correlations between attitude and L2 proficiency. However, descriptive analysis showed a clear positive correlation to exist between several L2 input variables and L2 proficiency, and between L2 input and attitudes toward the target language.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Namate die aantal Asiese studente wat Engels oorsee studeer toeneem, styg die behoefte aan taalonderrig-programme wat studente help om hulle Engelse vaardigheid op die mees effektiewe wyse moontlik te ontwikkel. Studies toon dat blootstelling op sigself nie voldoende is vir die bevordering van taalvaardigheid nie. Die vraag is: “Kan tweedetaal- (T2-) leerders werklik ’n teikentaal aanleer indien hulle nie hou van die sprekers van daardie taal nie?” Schumman (1978) se akkulturasie-teorie stel voor dat die mate waartoe leerders hulself in die teikenkultuur integreer deur hulle sosiale en psigologiese afstand daarvan te verminder, bepalend is van die mate waartoe hulle die teikentaal sal aanleer. Sentraal tot hierdie proses is die leerders se houding teenoor die teikentaal en die teikenkultuur. Deur positiewe houdings teenoor die teikentaal en -kultuur onder T2-studente te bevorder, kan ons hulle help om die T2-toevoer wat hulle tydens oorsese studies ontvang te omskep in sinvolle T2-inname wat…

Subjects/Keywords English language  – Study and teaching  – Foreign speakers; English second language acquisition; UCTD
Contributors Potgieter, Anneke Perold; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.
Language en
Rights Stellenbosch University
Country of Publication za
Format 105 pages : illustrations
Record ID handle:10019.1/98089
Repository stellenbosch
Date Indexed 2018-01-05

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Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za List of Tables Table 1. Individual participants’ responses to the LBQ 46 Table 2. Results of the attitude questionnaire 48 Table 3. Results of the proficiency test (including scores on the…

…questions that received varying responses, compared to relevant response group’s average attitude questionnaire scores (out of 5) ! 64 Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za List of Figures Figure 1. The Socio-educational Model of…

…overall proficiency and overall attitude ! 57 56 Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za CHAPTER 1 Introduction This chapter introduces, against the background of prior research, the problem that will be explored in the study reported on in…

…learning and ! 1! Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za attitudes toward the language community (Gardner 1985:39). Gardner (2001:1) asked this fundamental question: “Can someone truly learn a language if they do not like…

…English proficiency (Kim 2010:216). ! 2! Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za Schmidt (1983) conducted a case study to determine the impact of Schumann’s (1978) proposed social and psychological factors on…

…2007:79). Apart from the study by Karahan (2007), few studies have investigated the relationship between amount of L2 input and attitude toward the target language and target culture. ! 3! Stellenbosch University https…

…focus on Korean-speaking students in this study. ! 4! Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za amount of L2 input and proficiency in the L2; and (iii) amount of L2 input on the one hand and attitude toward the target language and…

…variables. ! 5! Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za 1.5 Thesis layout This first chapter served as an introduction to and overview of this thesis. Chapter 2 provides a contextualization of the study and a review of past research done on…