Date of Award

2002

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Second Advisor

Ray Ostrander

Third Advisor

Judy Anderson

Abstract

Purpose of the study. The purpose of this study was to determine the attitudes, motivation, and anxiety levels of first-year university students toward the learning and use of English as a second language. The study also examined the nature of the relationships between attitudes, motivation and anxiety, and English proficiency asmeasured by the College Entrance Examination Board.

Method. A Spanish version of The Attitudes/Motivation Test Battery (Gardner, 1985a), "Espejo de Actitudes: Aprendizaje del Inglés como Segundo Idioma en Puerto Rico," was administered to first-year college students at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. These students came from various regions of the island of Puerto Rico. The effective sample size for this study was 2,008. The survey was administered to teachers during regular classes.

Responses were coded and analyzed using various descriptive and inferential statistical techniques including means, standard deviation, Pearson r , multiple regression analysis, and canonical correlation analysis.

Results. Generally the following results were found: (a) students have moderate levels of motivation to learn and use English, (b) low attitudes toward English teachers and classes, (c) low parental encouragement, (d) moderate levels of integration and instrumental orientation, (e) moderate levels of anxiety towards using English, and (f) anxiety in using English was the best predictor of proficiency in English as a second language.

Subject Area

English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers

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