Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Perceptions and Attitudes Impeding the Learning of English as a Second Language by Young Adults and Adults of Foreign Origin in America
by Mwanza, Edwin, M.Ed., Minot State University, 2019, 64; 13882459
Abstract (Summary)

In the USA, arguably the most diverse country in the world, the English language is one of the most important tools that any new immigrant can possess. A mastery of it or lack thereof can make assimilation or integration into the American society a positive or an extremely negative experience. The preference of all is to experience the positive and not the negative. In recognition of that fact, I undertook this study to better understand the attitudes and perceptions that impede the learning and teaching of English as a Second Language (ESL), from the perspective of young adults and adults of non-English speaking foreign origins who have immigrated to the USA. A better understanding of those impediments could help ESL teachers modify the teaching and learning environment to better facilitate the learning of the language by ESL learners, thereby helping them integrate or assimilate better into the mainstream American society. I interviewed 34 young adults and adults of various foreign origins, seeking to hear from them what they considered to be the biggest challenges to their learning ESL. The overarching conclusion that I reached was that there is an organic relationship between the environment in which the language is taught and learned, and the level of motivation of the ESL learners in that environment. Perceptions and attitudes are simultaneously a creation and a result of the environment. Understanding them is critical to adjusting the teaching and learning environment for the benefit of both the teachers and learners of ESL.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jensen, Debra
Commitee: Fischer, Ronald, Mondon, Jean F.
School: Minot State University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- North Dakota
Source: MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: English as a Second Language
Keywords: ESL, English, English as a second language, Non-native speakers, Pragmatics
Publication Number: 13882459
ISBN: 978-1-392-15790-9
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