Saudi Female Students Learning English: Motivation, Effort, and Anxiety

By Rasha Al Shaye, Alexander S. Yeung and Rosemary Suliman.

Published by The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 1, 2014 $US5.00

Female students in Saudi Arabia who learn English as a foreign language (EFL) are increasing, and they may learn English for various purposes. These purposes may be broadly defined as integrative (focusing on understanding and affiliating with English-speakers) and instrumental (focusing on gaining pragmatic rewards, such as being accepted for university or getting a better job). Targeting 3rd year Intermediate (9th grade) and 3rd year Secondary (12th grade) female students, this study examined the relationship between these motivational constructs and effort, EFL anxiety, and differences between grades. Survey data from female students from two schools in Riyadh (N=200) were analysed using 2 (grade: 9th, 12th) x 2 (school) ANOVA. Results indicated that 12th graders were higher than 9th graders in instrumental motivation and effort, but lower in integrative motivation and anxiety. Differences between schools were small. Effort was positively correlated with integrative but not instrumental motivation for 9th graders, and was positively correlated with instrumental but negatively correlated with integrative motivation for 12th graders. Educators and curriculum designers should consider students’ developmental needs to capitalize on their motivations in learning EFL.

Keywords: Saudi Arabia, Female, English as a Foreign Language, Motivation, Intermediate, Secondary

The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities, Volume 20, Issue 4, August 2014, pp.1-13. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 1, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 493.413KB)).

Rasha Al Shaye

PhD Candidate, School of Humanities and Languages, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Rasha Al Shaye is a PhD candidate in the School of Humanities and Languages in the University of Western Sydney. Her research focuses on teaching and learning English as a foreign language.

Prof. Alexander S. Yeung

Associate Professor, Educational Excellence and Equity Research Program, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Alexander S. Yeung is an associate professor in the Educational Excellence and Equity (E3) Research Program of the Centre for Educational Research, University of Western Sydney. He is a registered teacher, psychologist, professional translator, linguist, and an educational researcher. He has taught in various educational settings from preschool to tertiary levels, and has been a teacher educator for 40 years. His major research area is educational psychology and his expertise includes self-concept, achievement motivation, measurement and evaluation, cognition and instruction, and research methodology in longitudinal studies. His recent focus is on equity issues and excellence in education.

Dr. Rosemary Suliman

Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Languages, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Dr. Rosemary Suliman is a senior lecturer in Arabic and linguistics in the School of Humanities and Languages. She is from an Arabic-speaking background, born and brought up in the Sudan. Her research focuses on overcoming the disadvantages that hinder students' academic achievement. Although her work has encompassed migrant students and parents from a wide range of backgrounds, her main concern has been the Arabic-speaking migrant community. This is due to the fact that she herself comes from an Arabic-speaking background and she is a migrant too, and hence she has the understanding and cultural sensitivity to work with both parents and students to overcome educational disadvantage.