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English Language Writing Apprehension of University English Major Students – A survey carried out in Kunming University of Science and Technology . 昆明理工大学 费 红 Abstract

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English Language Writing Apprehension of University English Major Students – A survey carried out in Kunming Unive


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slide1
English Language Writing Apprehension of University English Major Students
  • – A survey carried out in Kunming University of Science and Technology.

昆明理工大学

费 红

slide2
Abstract
  • In this study the English as a Second Language Writing Apprehension Test Adapted from the Daly –Miller Writing Apprehension Scale (Daly & Miller, 1975b) is applied to investigate the level of English language writing apprehension experienced by a randomly selected sample of university English major students at different grades from the freshmen to the senior in Kunming University of Science and Technology.
slide3
Abstract
  • The results indicate that high level of writing apprehension is present in freshmen students and does not decrease with increased experience and proficiency of English language in the higher grades. The implication of the findings and reduction approach are also discussed in this paper.
slide4
Outline
  • - Introduction
  • - Review of the Literature
  • - Method
  • - Results and Discussion
  • - Conclusion and Implications
slide5
Introduction
  • The purpose of this study is to ascertain and sensitize English teachers to levels of writing apprehension experienced by English major students in a regular university setting, to find if apprehension diminishes as students progress in the learning of English and give some suggestions for teaching.
slide6
Review of the Literature

Identification of language anxiety

  • What is language anxiety?

- Anxiety is a complex psychological construct consisting of many variables. Three of these variables are trait anxiety, state anxiety and situation-specific anxiety ( Spielberger 1983; Maclntyre & Gardner 1989, 1991a; Maclntyre 1999 ).

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- Language anxiety is described as a form of situation-specific anxiety (Horwitz et al. 1986).

- Horwitz and Young (1991) note that there are two approaches to identifying language anxiety: a. language anxiety is simply a transfer of anxiety from another domain; b. something about language learning makes language anxiety a unique experience.

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The first approach:

Language anxiety is considered as the transfer of other forms of anxiety into the second language domain.

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The second approach :

Language learning produces a unique type of anxiety. Language anxiety is as a distinctive complex self-perceptions, belief, feelings, and behaviors related to classroom language learning arising from the uniqueness of the language learning process.(Horwitz et al.,1986)

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Bridging the two perspectives , Horwitz and associates (1986)contend that language anxiety stems from three primary sources: communication apprehension, fear of negative evaluation by others, and test anxiety.
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Gardner and MacIntyre (1993) see language anxiety as a stable personality trait referring to the propensity for an individual to react in a nervous manner when speaking in the second language.
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Instruments to measure foreign language anxiety :Horwitz (1983), the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS)
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Identification of Writing Apprehension

- “Writing apprehension” (WA) was first used by Daly and Miller (1975b) to describe the phenomenon which people experience when they are confronted by a writing task.

- Began as a subset of research on communication apprehension.

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Daly-Miller Writing Apprehension Test (DM-WAT).
  • Taylor, Johnson and Gungle (1989) adapted Daly-Miller WAT
  • Cheng and Horwitz (1999): second language classroom anxiety and second language writing anxiety may be two relatively independent constructs.
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Cheng (2002) : perceived L2 writing competence predicts L2 writing anxiety better than L2 writing achievement does; L2 writing anxiety is distinct from L1 writing anxiety; female students experience significantly higher levels of L2 writing anxiety than male students; anxiety level among freshmen, sophomores, and juniors is of no significant difference.  
  • Lee & krashen (2002), greater writing apprehension is associated with lower grades.
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Method

Participants

84 undergraduate English major students from the English department of Kunming University of Science and Technology.

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Method

Instrument and Procedure

- The English as a Second Language Writing Apprehension Test (WAT), a questionnaire adapted by Taylor, Johnson and Gungle (1989) fromthe Daly-Miller Writing Apprehension Test (Daly & Miller, 1975b)

a 26-item, 5-point Likert-format instrument

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- the fear of evaluation

a fear of writing itself

enjoyment of writing

the satisfaction in completing writing

the satisfaction in sharing writing with others

the writing’s ease in writing

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strongly agree : 1 point

strongly disagree: 5 point

agree: 2 point

uncertain: 3 point

disagree: 4 point

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Formula for scoring :

Writing apprehension = 78 + positive statement scores – negative statement scores.

The Scores for the total scale range from a low of 26(an extremely apprehensive) to a high of 130 (a very confident writer).

results and discussion
Results and Discussion

Table One

Participant No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 MeanS.D.

Group 1 Fresh. 34 51 52 51 63 46 61 51 71 48 48 51 49 50 47 50 51 48 50 52 51 51.246.91

Group 2 Soph. 53 51 50 52 48 61 51 53 47 70 52 51 52 56 46 51 49 54 35 50 52 51.626.21

Group 3 Juniors 49 73 52 53 58 53 39 52 51 52 55 51 52 49 55 63 46 54 52 53 51 53.006.28

Group 4 Seniors 48 53 50 51 73 51 50 47 52 48 52 39 51 47 50 45 49 64 48 50 52 50.95 6.57

S.D. = Standard Deviation Scores

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Conclusion and Implications

- Extremely high level of English writing apprehension are experienced by English majors.

- apprehension does not significantly decline as students progress from the lower grade to higher grade

- Process writing approach to reduce the level of writing apprehension .