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Interplay among Anxiety, Motivation, and Autonomy in Second Language Learners of French: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study

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INTERPLAY AMONG ANXIETY, MOTIVATI ON, AND AUTONOMY IN SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNERS OF FRENCH: A QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE STUDY By MANJULA SHINGE A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2005

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ii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Theresa Antes, Dr. Gillian Lord, Dr. Candace Harper and Dr. Virginia LoCast ro for having served on my committee, and for providing me with invaluable guida nce, feedback and encouragement. My heartfelt thanks go to the instructors and students of the two French classes observed. It would have been difficult to conduct this study without their willingness and cooperation throughout the da ta collection process. The encouragement and patience extended to me by my dear family and friends were much appreciated. I wish so much that my mother had lived just a year longer to witness the completion of this dissertation.

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iii TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS..................................................................................................ii LIST OF TABLES.............................................................................................................vi ABSTRACT......................................................................................................................v ii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Purpose of the Study.....................................................................................................3 Research Questions.......................................................................................................3 Quantitative...........................................................................................................3 Qualitative.............................................................................................................3 Significance of the Study..............................................................................................4 Organization of the Study.............................................................................................4 Definitions of Terms Used............................................................................................5 Affective Factors...................................................................................................5 Anxiety..................................................................................................................5 Motivation.............................................................................................................5 Autonomy..............................................................................................................5 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................6 Individual Differences..................................................................................................6 Anxiety........................................................................................................................ .8 Motivation...................................................................................................................17 The Anxiety-Motivation Interface..............................................................................25 Autonomy...................................................................................................................26 The Motivation-Autonomy Interface..........................................................................29 The Anxiety-Motivation-Autonomy Interface...........................................................32 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................35 Participants.................................................................................................................35 Procedures...................................................................................................................39

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iv Instruments.................................................................................................................42 In-house French Test...........................................................................................42 The Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS)...............................42 The Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB)..................................................44 The Questionnaire on Autonomy........................................................................44 Class Observations..............................................................................................45 Journals................................................................................................................46 Student Interviews...............................................................................................47 Teacher Interviews..............................................................................................47 Quantitative Data.................................................................................................48 Qualitative Data...................................................................................................50 Notes.......................................................................................................................... .51 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION.................................................................................52 Type of Anxiety..........................................................................................................52 Research Question 1...................................................................................................54 Research Question 2...................................................................................................58 Correlation between Anxiety and Motivation.....................................................59 Correlation between Anxiety and Autonomy......................................................60 Correlation between Motiv ation and Autonomy.................................................63 Research Question 3...................................................................................................65 Research Question 4...................................................................................................70 Research Question 5...................................................................................................74 Research Question 6...................................................................................................76 Research Question 7...................................................................................................85 Test Anxiety........................................................................................................88 Extensive Material...............................................................................................88 Fast Pace of Class................................................................................................89 Language Requirement........................................................................................89 Communication with Instructor...........................................................................89 Dissatisfaction with Class....................................................................................90 5 CONCLUSION...........................................................................................................93 Summary.....................................................................................................................93 Pedagogical Implications............................................................................................94 Anxiety and Motivation.......................................................................................94 Anxiety and Autonomy.......................................................................................95 Motivation and Autonomy..................................................................................95 Anxiety, Motivation and Class Grades................................................................96 Teacher Effect.....................................................................................................97 Possible Reasons for Lack of Motivation............................................................97 Limitations of the Study......................................................................................97 Future research....................................................................................................98

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v APPENDIX A PARTICIPANT BACKGROUND QUESTIONNAIRE..........................................100 B IN-HOUSE FRENCH TEST....................................................................................102 C QUESTIONNAIRE ON ANXIETY.........................................................................106 D QUESTIONNAIRE ON MOTIVATION.................................................................109 E QUESTIONNAIRE ON AUTONOMY...................................................................113 F TOPICS FOR JOURNAL.........................................................................................117 G QUESTIONS FOR STUDENT INTERVIEWS.......................................................119 H QUESTIONS FOR TEACHER INTERVIEWS......................................................120 I OVERVIEW OF PARTICIPANTS WHO EXPERIENCED HIGH LEVELS OF ANXIETY, MOTIVATION, AND AUTONOMY..................................................121 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................129

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vi LIST OF TABLES Table page 3.1 Relevant demography of students (total N=32).......................................................38 3.2 The range of points for the three categories on each measure.................................42 4.1 Student classification based on scores received on questionnaires (n=32)..............55 4.3 The correlations among participants’ levels of the three variables..........................59 4.4 Students who were highly anxious and/or highly autonomous ...............................61 4.5 Paired samples t-test results showing change only in motivation levels..................66 4.6 Group differences in motivation scores...................................................................67 4.7 Correlation of changes from test to retest................................................................69 4.8 Changes in one factor showi ng corresponding changes in others............................70 4.9 Summary of correlations between the French test scores/class grades and affective factors........................................................................................................71 4.10 Correlation between anxiety scores of m oderately anxious participants and their French test scores.....................................................................................................73 4.11 Correlation between anxiety scores of m oderately anxious participants and their final class grades......................................................................................................74 4.12 Group-wise mean scores on the th ree questionnaires during Week 5......................75 4.13 Group-wise mean scores on each questionnaire during Week 13............................75 4.14 Students who are highly motivated a nd highly autonomous during Test 1 and/or Test 2.............................................................................................................76

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vii Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy INTERPLAY AMONG ANXIETY, MOTIVATI ON, AND AUTONOMY IN SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNERS OF FRENCH: A QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE STUDY By Manjula Shinge December 2005 Chair: Theresa A. Antes Major Department: Linguistics Research in second langua ge learning has shown a close connection between anxiety and motivation as well as between motivation and autonomy. This study goes one step further in examining the interact ions among these three affective factors, namely, anxiety, motivation and autonomy, a nd their influence on class performance. Both quantitative and qualitative data were co llected over the course of the semester. The 32 participants, who were first-year Fren ch students at the Univ ersity of Florida, completed four instruments during Weeks 5 and 13 of the semester. The instruments used were an in-house French test, the Fo reign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale, the Attitude/Motivation Test Battery, and The Role s of Learners and Teachers, which is a questionnaire on autonomy. The students were observed in their Fren ch classes at least once a week. Eleven students wrote journal entr ies and six participated in an interview. The results showed that, in general, approxi mately 22-25% of the participants in this study were highly anxious, 53-59% were high ly motivated, while 13-16% were highly

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viii autonomous. Of the three affective factor s, there was a correlation only between motivation and autonomy. Further, the particip ants’ levels of anxiety and autonomy were stable from test to re-test, but there was a st atistically significant de crease in their levels of motivation. This change in the participants ’ levels of motivation did not correlate with a corresponding significant change in the other two factors, but results show that there are possibilities of changes occurring in both anxiety and autonomy. Only anxiety had a negative correlation with student s’ class performance. Result s also showed that students who are autonomous are also motivated, but students who are motivated are not always autonomous.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Research in the field of second la nguage acquisition acknowledges that both cognitive and affective factors within a langua ge learner affect the level of success that will be achieved in learning a second language (L2). Earlier research concentrated on discovering the effect of cognitive factor s on language learning, but since the 1960s, there have been more investigations on determin ing the effect of affec tive factors, such as anxiety and motivation (Gardner, 1985; Skeha n, 1989). Affective fact ors are defined as “those that deal with the emo tional reactions and motivations of the learner” (Scovel, 1978:131). Most studies have found an inverse rela tionship between anxiety and language achievement of L2 learners, but in some cases it has been observed that anxiety encourages a student to work harder, resulting in better class performance (Horwitz, Horwitz & Cope, 1986; Phillips, 1992; Tryl ong, 1987). With regards to motivation, evidence shows that motivated students perf orm better in the classroom than those who are unmotivated. MacIntyre and Gardner (1991) are of the opinion th at both anxiety and motivation influence language learning and are good predictors of su ccess. Their data suggest that the two variables have an invers e relationship, such that the higher the levels of anxiety experienced by the le arners, the less motivated they tend to be. Consequently, these students put less effort into their learni ng process, which often results in lower class grades. The same studies show, however, that moderate levels of anxiety can act as an incentive and motivate the learners to work ha rder, potentially resulting in higher grades.

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2 More recently, researchers have examined the relationship between motivation and autonomy. Dickinson (1995) posits that when learners are actively and independently involved in their own learning, their motiva tion levels increase and they learn more effectively. Spratt, Humphreys and Chan (2002) speculate on whether autonomy precedes motivation or motivation precedes auto nomy in a language learner. In other words, they question whether students should first be motivat ed in order to develop and show signs of being actively and independent ly involved in their learning, or whether they should first be autonom ous, which will then influence their motivation levels to increase. While most investigations reveal that motivation and autonomy are distinct factors, views differ on whether students need to first be motivated or autonomous in order to be successful language learners. Recognizing that second la nguage research has found a close relationship between motivation and anxiety, and also between motivation and autonomy, one wonders how these three affective factors inte ract together and what effect they would have together on students’ class grades. Anxiety and motivati on are considered to be good predictors of success, and learners’ levels of motivation ar e said to rise when they are actively and independently involved in their own learning. Does this mean that teachers will have to concentrate on encouraging students to be autonomous in order to increase their motivation to learn more effectively, rather than trying to motivate them to follow the established curriculum? What relationship do anxiety and autonomy have? Can anxious students be autonomous? What happens to th e correlation with other factors when there is a change in one of them? These are the qu estions the present study seeks to answer.

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3 Purpose of the Study This study seeks to observe the levels of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy in beginning French students, and to determine if these affective factors are stable over an eight-week period. Correlation tests are run to examine how these three affective factors interact with each other and what effect they have on particip ants’ class performance. An attempt is also made to ascertain the de gree to which motivation and autonomy are distinct factors. Finally, a comparison is ma de between the quantitative results obtained from two intact classes taught by different in structors in order to investigate possible differences and, if any, reasons for these. Research Questions This study employs both quantitative and qualitative data. Accordingly, the research questions are divided into two sections: Quantitative 1. To what extent, if any, are the particip ants anxious, motivated, and autonomous? 2. To what extent, if any, is there a correla tion among the participants’ stated levels of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy? 3. To what extent, if any, are the particip ants’ levels of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy stable over time? 4. What is the correlation between the th ree affective factors and students’ performance, as measured by the Fren ch test and the final class grade? 5. In what ways, if any, do the results obtained from the participants in the two intact classes, taught by different instructors, differ? Qualitative 6. Are motivation and autonomy distinct factors? 7. What are some possible reasons for a cha nge, if any, in the levels of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy experienced by the participants from test to retest?

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4 Significance of the Study Earlier studies have explored the relations hip between the two affective factors of anxiety and motivation and thei r effect on class performance. Other studies have also investigated the role of autonomy in language learning, but no known study thus far has investigated the combined interactions and influence of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy on class performance or language achievement. Furthermore, unlike most previous studies, which relied on one type of data, this study used data collection procedures that were both quantitative and qua litative in nature in the hope that a more complete picture of the interaction among the three affective variab les can be obtained. The participants completed questionnaires on anxiety, motivation, and autonomy towards the beginning as well as the end of the semester, and were obse rved in class at least once a week throughout the semester. They also submitted four journal entries on specific topics given to them at intervals, and at th e end of the semester were interviewed about their experiences in the French course. Organization of the Study This dissertation is divided into five ch apters. After this introductory chapter, Chapter 2, provides an overview of the resear ch carried out in the area of individual differences of second language learners, and focuses on the three affective factors under consideration in this study. Chapter 3 de scribes the methodology used in this study. A detailed account of the instruments used a nd both the quantitative and qualitative data collection procedures are de scribed. The Results and Di scussion chapter, Chapter 4, gives the results of the test s run on the quantitative data collected and discusses these results, along with describing the qualitative data collected. Finally, Chapter 5 brings the

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5 dissertation to a close by summarizing re sults, suggesting pedagogical implications, discussing the limitations of the study, and out lining avenues for possible future research. Definitions of Terms Used Affective Factors Affective factors are defined as “those th at deal with the emotional reactions and motivations of the lear ner” (Scovel, 1978:131). Anxiety Anxiety is defined as “the feeling of tension and apprehension specifically associated with second language contexts, including speaking, lis tening, and learning” (MacIntyre & Gardner, 1994:284). Motivation “Motivation refers to the choices people ma ke as to what experiences or goals they will approach or avoid, and the degree of effort they will exert in that respect” (Keller, 1983:389). Autonomy Autonomy is “the ability to take charge of one’s learni ng . To take charge of one’s learning is to have, and to hold, the re sponsibility for all th e decisions concerning all aspects of this learning” (Holec, 1981:3).

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6 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Individual Differences A substantial amount of research done in second or foreign language learning has revealed that the individual differences found in learners are caused by both cognitive and affective factors. As early as the 1920s, researchers (e.g., Henmon, 1929) first began to investigate cognitive factors such as langua ge learning aptitude, lear ning strategies and intelligence; however, in the la st four decades, second language acquisition researchers (e.g., Gardner et al., 1976; Horwitz et al., 1986) have become more aware of the fact that researching individual differe nces that are affective in nature, like motivation, anxiety and self-confidence, is just as important as researching the cognitive variables like language learning aptitude, learning strategies, a nd intelligence. They have realized that these two sets of factors work together to influence both th e process and the outcome of language acquisition. Believing that each langu age learner is unique and works with a distinct combination of cognitive and affective variables that determine the process of second language acquisition, Gardner, Day a nd MacIntyre (1992) hypothe size that “there are probably as many factors that might account for individua l differences in achievement in a second language as there are individua ls” (p. 212). This is probably why much second language research has focused on individu al differences in recent years. Schumann (1994) strives to shed some li ght on the connection between these two sets of variables, the affective and cognitive, by citing Mishkin and Appenzeller (1987), who explain that the amygdale, a part of th e temporal lobe in the brain, “assesses the

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7 emotional significance and motivational rele vance of stimuli; this appraisal then influences attention and memory” (p. 233). We thus learn that linguistic input, which is a form of stimulus, is first evaluated for its emotional significance and motivational relevance to the learner before it can be processed by the brain. This evaluation determines whether or not the linguistic input is attended to and stored in memory. Considerable research in th e area of second language learni ng reveals that emotions play an important role in language ac quisition (e.g., Horwitz, 2001). Tomkins (1970) states that human beings ar e always experiencing some sort of emotion in varying degrees, and strong emotion can disrupt cogni tive and physiological processes. This could account for the fact that some langua ge learners perform better when they experience positive emotions such as motiva tion and enthusiasm, or perform poorly when they have negative emotions such as anxiety or low self esteem. MacIntyre and Gardner (1994b) concur when they claim, “Some of the strongest correlations between affective variables and achievement measures involve anxiety” (p. 284). Several studies have shown that anxiety causes cognitive inte rference, resulting in significant negative correlations between language anxiety and c ourse grades (e.g., Ga rdner, Moorcroft, & MacIntyre, 1987; Phillips, 1992; Trylong, 1987). As a result of the growing awareness th at emotions play an important role in language learning, researchers, since th e 1970s, have increasingly focused on the affective variables of a language learner, su ch as anxiety (e.g., Ho rwitz, Horwitz & Cope, 1986; Onwuegbuzie, Bailey & Daley, 2000; Sa ito & Samimy, 1996) and motivation (e.g., Dornyei & Schmidt, 2001; Gardner, Tremblay & Masgoret, 1997). In the last two decades researchers have also turned their attention to th e variable of autonomy (e.g.,

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8 Benson, 2001; Little, 1991; Littlewood, 1996). They have found that both anxiety and motivation are good predictors of success in la nguage learning, and that motivation and autonomy share a relationship. For these reasons, this study strives to investigate and shed some light on the interplay among the th ree affective factors of anxiety, motivation and autonomy in college students le arning French as a foreign language. Anxiety In 1978, Scovel examined the relationship between anxiety and second language achievement and concluded that anxiety is one of the most predominant variables identified in language learning ta sks. He observed that differe nt studies used a variety of instruments to measure anxiety and came up with different results. He believed that their results would be less conflicting if the researchers specified th e type of anxiety (e.g., state anxiety, trait anxiety, and test anxiety) they were measur ing which would have made it easier to compare the results Much later, Young (1994) provided a comprehensive overview of the major research carried out on language anxiety since the 1970s, and tabulated the findings of various resear chers, although the results were often contradictory and a consensus had yet to be reached. Some studies showed a negative correlation between language anxiety and la nguage performance (Aida, 1994; Coulombe, 2000; Saito & Samimy, 1996), while other studies showed no effect or a positive correlation between the two (Chastain, 1975; Kleinmann, 1977). In one study, some of the least proficient students scored the highest on an anxiety scale, whereas others scored the lowest (Backman, 1976). One of the reasons Young (1994) offers for these inconsistent results is that “many of th e studies had different goals, objectives, definitions, and conceptual schemata, rendering comparisons difficult” (p. 4). The

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9 second reason she offers is the lack of a reliable and valid instrument for measuring foreign language anxiety. Observing that researchers had “neith er adequately defined foreign language anxiety nor described its speci fic effects on foreign language learning,” Horwitz et al. (1986:125) attempted to fill this gap by con ceptualizing foreign language anxiety as a distinct variable, so that bot h language students and teachers would be able to recognize the symptoms and consequences. They developed the FLCAS as a standard measure to determine levels of foreign language anxi ety. Young (1994) explains that with the introduction of a valid and reliable m easuring instrument, the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) (Horwitz et al., 1986), research on language anxiety began to consistently show a moderate negative correlation between anxiety and language achievement. This observation support ed Scovel’s view that researchers were getting conflicting results in their studie s because they were using a variety of instruments to measure differe nt types of anxiety. Early researchers did not try to define foreign language anxiety because of its complex, and multidimensional nature (Young, 1991). But later, MacIntyre and Gardner (1994b) defined language anxiety as “the feeling of tension and apprehension specifically associated with second language contexts, including speaking, liste ning, and learning” (p. 284). Some researchers have found that language learners who experi enced a higher level of anxiety were more likely to be motivated to perform better in cl ass and receive higher grades than students with a lower level of a nxiety. Alpert and Habe r (1960) called this type of language anxiety “facilitating.” Other research (e.g., Tr ylong, 1987) found that

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10 anxiety has the opposite effect on a language learner, where higher levels of anxiety result in lower grades and is termed “debilitating.” Scovel (1978) explores the likelihood that both faces of anxiety, are at work toge ther whenever a person performs any activity. One part within an individual stimulates a nd stirs, while the other quells and balances, resulting in an optimal mental state that motivat es the learner to perform the task well. It seems that having the right amount of anxiety, ra ther than none at all, might be beneficial to language learning. The anxiety one feels at the possibility of failure may serve to motivate a language learner to strive harder and achieve success. This not-so-unusual phenomenon is elucidated by Eysenck (1979) who posits that “the extent to which anxiety either facilitates or impairs performance is determined by the extent to which high-anxiety subjects compensate for reduc ed processing effectiveness by enhanced effort” (p. 365). Thus, it is widely accepte d that anxiety can infl uence both the amount of effort a language learner invests in a task and the quality of performance. Other distinctions that researchers have ma de in their quest to discover the different types of anxiety are “trait a nxiety” and “state anxiety.” Spielberger (1983) defines trait anxiety as an individual’s lik elihood of becoming anxious in any situation, whereas state anxiety is apprehension which is experien ced only in some specific situations, for example, in a language classroom. MacIntyre and Gardner (1989) define trait anxiety as a stable propensity to be anxi ous in a number of different situations, while referring to state anxiety as an unpleasant emotiona l condition or temporary state which one experiences at a particular moment in time. In other words, trait anxiety is considered to be a permanent personality feature, while state anxiety depends on the manner in which an individual reacts to the circ umstances she or he is in.

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11 Yet another type of anxiety that researchers have inve stigated is the situationspecific anxiety in which the “respondents are tested for their anxiety reactions in a welldefined situation such as public speaking, wr iting examinations” (M acIntyre & Gardner, 1991:90). In these studies, the “respondents are required to make attributions of anxiety to particular sources…. By testing more detailed hypotheses, the process by which a given situation generates a nxiety can be examined” (p. 91) and the anxiety-creating sources are identified. Researchers have not only identified diffe rent kinds of anxieties, but they have also documented the observable changes th at occur in individuals who experience anxiety. Physiological signs of anxiety include perspirati on, sweaty palms, dry mouth, muscle contractions and tension, and an increas e in heart rate (Chast ain 1975; Gardner et al.1985; Steinberg and Horwitz 1986). Behavi oral signs of anxiety in an academic setting include avoiding class, not completi ng assignments, and a preoccupation with the performance of other students in class (B ailey 1983; Horwitz et al. 1986; Young 1992). It is possible that language teachers may cons ider such behavior as disruptive and thus miss an opportunity to identify and help thei r anxious students. Language anxiety even results in learners experiencing a “distorti on of sounds, inability to produce the intonation and rhythm of the language, ‘freezing up’ when called on to perform, and forgetting words or phrases just learned or simply re fusing to speak and remaining silent” (Young 1991:430). Teachers in most classrooms have obser ved students who have exhibited one or more of the signs of anxiety while engaged in different language task s, and at different levels of instruction. They have also pr obably wondered what exactly happens when a

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12 student is anxious in the la nguage classroom that makes it impossible for her/him to benefit from instruction. In order to find answers, research ers have examined the effect of language anxiety on different tasks. As expected, a negative relationship was found between foreign language anxiety and course grades of students in high school (Gardner et al., 1987) as well as in college (Tryl ong, 1987). Language anxi ety has a negative impact on performance in oral examinati ons (Phillips, 1992), and on production of vocabulary (Gardner et al., 1987). It was also found that stude nts with the highest levels of foreign language anxiety tended to report that (1) they spend too much time on some subjects and not enough time on others, (2) they frequently do not get enough sleep and feel sluggish in class or wh en studying, (3) they do not take breaks to avoid becoming too tired while studying, and (4) they have trouble settling down to work and do not begin to study as soon as they sit down (Bailey, On wuegbuzie & Daley, 2000). Horwitz et al. (1986) observed that anxious st udents studied harder to comp ensate for their lack of confidence, had difficulty retrieving items from memory during exams, and had a fear of making mistakes, leading to silence instead of participation. Clearly, anxiety has a negative effect on language lear ners and it is not surprising that researchers claim that anxiety is one of the best pr edictors of second language achievement (Ehrman & Oxford, 1995; MacIntyre & Gardner, 1994a, 1994b) beca use of the negative correlation between anxiety and performance. Teachers work very hard to ensure that language learners are successful in their classes. If teachers are ab le to identify their anxious students, they might be able to modify their teaching styles and strategies to he lp the anxious students feel more comfortable in class and thus have the oppor tunity to learn better.

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13 One wonders what it is that happens to an anxious student’s cognitive ability, to cause poor class performance. As early as 1979, Eysenck hypothesized that an anxious person’s cognitive abilities are used not only to complete a task but also to deal with the emotional aspects of accomplishi ng the task, doing neither full justice, thus resulting in poor performance. He further postulated that an anxious student studies much harder than a less anxious student to compensate for th e cognitive interference. When the task is simple, the anxiety experienced by a learner is fa cilitative. But when the task is difficult, the anxiety experienced interferes with the cognitive abilities and is debilitative. MacIntyre (1995) elaborat es on this hypothesis: … a demand to answer a question in a s econd language class may cause a student to become anxious; anxiety leads to worry and rumination. Cognitive performance is diminished because of the divided attention and therefore performance suffers, leading to negative self-evaluations and more self-d eprecating cognition which further impairs performance. (p. 92) He further claims that this relation betw een anxiety and performance is relatively strong evidence in favor of considering anxiet y as one of the major factors that creates individual differences am ong second language learners. One of the first studies that sought to observe and anal yze anxiety in students at different levels of proficiency was by Saito and Samimy (1996). Their study comprised 257 students in the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of Japanese courses at the University of Texas at Austin. The goals of their study were (1) to find the relationship between language anxiety and la nguage performance at the three different instructional levels, and (2) to find the variables that significantly correlated with Japanese class anxiety at each of these thre e levels. The variables included in their analyses were gender, year in college, length of time in Japan, time spent studying for the

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14 class, language class anxiet y, language class ri sk-taking, language class sociability, strength of motivation, attitude toward the Ja panese class, concern for grade, and final course grade. The researchers found that “year in colleg e” was the best predictor of students’ final grades only at the begi nning level. “In other words, for college students in the beginning Japanese classes, those who began (s tudying Japanese) at an upper level, such as seniors or graduate studen ts, were predicted by the m odel to receive higher grades, while those who had just star ted college, such as freshmen, were predicted to receive lower grades” (Saito & Samimy, 1996:245). An explanation provided by the authors for this occurrence is that the students with high achievement scores are the most determined to protect their grade point av erage. It is possible that the senior students had already mastered some learning strategies in college a nd were better able to cope with tests and assignments, resulting in better gr ades than the freshmen and j uniors. It is also possible that the seniors were more concerned about th eir grades than the freshmen, and so were more determined to protect their grade point average. On comparing the mean scores for la nguage anxiety of the students at the beginning, intermediate and advanced leve ls, the researchers discovered that the advanced students scored the highest, the inte rmediate students scored the lowest and the beginners scored in between th e other two levels. These re sults contrasted with those obtained by Gardner et al. (1977), who discovered that language beginners had the highest mean scores for anxiety and the adva nced students had the lowest mean scores, indicating that foreign language anxiety “decreases as prof iciency and training increase” (p. 251). Similar results were obtained by MacIntyre and Gardner (1991), who claimed

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15 that experience and proficiency are inversely pr oportionate to anxiety levels in a language learner. Differing from both these stances, Bail ey et al. (1998) investigated the anxiety reported by 253 college students fr om a variety of disciplinary backgrounds enrolled in either Spanish, French, or German classes. Their analysis indicated no difference in anxiety about foreign languages among students in these three classes. Saito and Samimy provide us with a ra tionale for the conflicting results they obtained in their study in comparison with the results of Gardner et al. (1977). They claim that foreign language anxiety is hi gh in beginners of more commonly taught languages, such as Spanish and French, because the learners are still in the process of developing successful learning st rategies. However, foreign language anxiety is high in the advanced students in less commonly taugh t languages, such as Japanese, because at this level more emphasis is placed on r eading and writing rather than speaking and listening, which is a challenge to the students. As a result, they do not have as much time to practice their conversationa l skills and lack the conf idence to speak the language, which in turn, raises their anxiety levels. Th ese findings suggest that the levels of anxiety that language learners experien ce at the beginning, intermedia te, and advanced stages of language learning, depend on the lan guage being learnt. Onwuegbuzie et al. (1999) conducted a study with 210 university students in the United States to investigate which factors ou t of 26 possible, correlated with language anxiety. They included: direct measures of self-perception (e.g., perceived intellectual ability, perceived scholastic competence, perceive d self-worth, and expected final course average for current language course) as well as measures of constructs that are ma nifestations of selfperceptions (i.e. social interdepe ndence and study habits) (p. 221)

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16 The participants represented 43 different degree programs offered at a mid-southern university, and were enrolled in French, Span ish, German and Japanese classes at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels of instruction. The majority of the students had never traveled outside the United States; however, they took this language course as a requirement toward their degree. Most of the participants had previously studied a foreign language, either in high school or college and the final grades they expected ranged from 68 to 100, with a mean of 87.1. The researchers found seven variables that accounted for 40% of the total variance in foreign language anxiety. Those were: a student’s expecta tion of her or his achievement in a foreign language course (1 8% of variance); the number of foreign countries visited (5%); perceived scholast ic competence (5%); perceived self-worth (5%); age (4% of variance); number of high school foreign language courses taken (1-2%) and academic achievement (1-2%). Th e researchers did not find any significant differences in the levels of foreign la nguage anxiety between students enrolled in beginning, intermediate or advanced classes, but they did find a signi ficant difference in anxiety levels with “y ear of study” as an independent va riable. Foreign language anxiety appeared to increase linearly, which m eans that in the same language classroom, freshmen reported the lowest levels of fore ign language anxiety and seniors reported the highest levels. The researchers do not give any information about the students’ final grades in that language classroom, but they do suggest some reasons for the high anxiety level in the senior students. A higher pr oportion of seniors had already taken at least one collegelevel foreign language course, which was not the case with the freshmen or sophomores.

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17 It may be possible that many of the seniors had formed negative attitudes about language classes through previous experi ence with learning languages in high school or college, which resulted in their higher levels of anxiet y or probably led to their decision to delay taking a language course until it could not be put off any longer The fact that the seniors in this study reported higher levels of fore ign language anxiety is consistent with the results obtained by Crook (1979) and Hunt ( 1989) in their research. Finally, the advanced level students in th is study had a higher grade poin t average than the beginning or intermediate level students, which might also account for higher an xiety levels in the language classroom. Karabenick and Kna pp (1988) found that students with high academic achievement avoided asking for help because they perceived it as a sign of failure, which in turn, increased their anxiet y levels. High achievers were also anxious about taking foreign language courses because they felt their grade point average would be adversely affected and were most determined to protect their grad e point average. All these studies on language anxiet y reveal that anxiety is a complex factor which is manifested in many different forms. Motivation The term “motivation” is used and is easily understood in everyday conversations, yet, like anxiety, it has been difficult for res earchers to agree on a de finition or model for motivation as it relates to langua ge learning. Motivation is co nsidered to be one of the most important factors determining success in second or foreign la nguage acquisition and language teachers are constantly striving to find ways to motivate their students. Its role in language learning has been examined in rela tion with other affec tive factors, such as language anxiety and language aptitude. In 1959, Gardner and Lambert demonstrated that motivation and language aptitude we re both related to achievement in second

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18 language learning. This study was then repl icated in many different contexts and languages and it is now generally believed that individual di fferences in motivation are independent of individual differe nces in language aptitude. Until recently, Gardner’s (1985, 1988, 1997) so cio-educational model of SLA, which has undergone many changes and re formulations, dominated research in motivation. Gardner (1996) refe rs to motivation as the drivin g force in any situation and distinguishes between two distin ct perspectives. One is that motivation is an internal attribute of an individual and th e other is that it is an extern al attribute, which means that a person can be motivated by an external trig ger or force, for example, when a teacher attempts to motivate a student. Gardner (1996) says, “you can’t motivate a rock” (p. 25), which suggests that a student must already have the potential to be motivated by an external force, for example, a teacher, and th at motivation cannot be created out of thin air. A great deal of emphasis has been placed on the learner’s aim or motive in learning a second language. If the learner’s goal in l earning a target language is to become a part of the target group, then the learner is said to have integrative motivation, which involves positive attitudes toward the L2 community and a desire to integrate into the community. But, if the learner’s aim is to learn a sec ond or foreign language for financial or other benefits, for example, to get a job, then th e learner is said to have instrumental motivation. Gardner’s model introduces th e notion of “integrative motiv e,” and shows that it is comprised of three variables: (1) integrativene ss, which is the person’s desire to interact with members of the target language; (2) atti tudes toward the learni ng situation; and (3)

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19 motivation, which comprises the person’s attitu de toward learning, desire to learn, and the effort invested. Of these three, Gardner posits that it is “motivation” that influences second language achievement, while the othe r two variables support motivation: Motivation to learn the sec ond language is viewed as comprising three elements. First, the motivated individual expends e ffort to learn the language.…there is a persistent and consistent attempt to le arn the material…. Second, the motivated individual wants to achieve the goal. Such an individual will express a strong desire to learn the language, … Third, the motivated individual will enjoy the task of learning the language. Such an individua l will say that it is fun, a challenge, and enjoyable, even though at times enthusia sm may be less than at other times (Gardner, 2001:6) Gardner drives home the point that a tr uly motivated language learner will posses all three of these elements: an effort to lear n, a desire to learn the language, and positive feelings while engaged in learning tasks. “Thus, Gardner’s concept of motivation provides for behavioural, cogni tive, and affective compone nts” (MacIntyre, et al., 2001:463). In addition to integrative and instrumental motivation, Ely (1986) adds a third type: the need to fulfill a language requirement. Iden tifying this type of motivation is practical as more and more students are learning a foreign language to fulfill a language requirement at their university these days. Their motivation levels could be measured by the amount of effort they put into their learning because, according to Keller (1983), “motivation refers to the choices people make as to what experiences or goals they will approach or avoid, and the degree of effort they will exert in that re spect” (p. 389). This definition is one that language teachers might easily relate to as they work to motivate their students in the classroom. Gardne r and Smythe (1975, 1981) developed the Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) to as sess the motivation levels within language

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20 learners. This proved to be a very reliable instrument and has been widely used for many decades by various researchers. Gardner’s socio-educational theory was widely accepted until the mid-1990s, when researchers began to feel that the fr amework provided by the model was too limited and needed to be studied from different pers pectives. They believed that the distinction between integrative and instrumental motiva tion in Gardner’s model was emphasized too much, without any reference to other variables that played an importa nt role in language acquisition, for example, self-efficacy, expectan cy, attributions, and locus of control (Drnyei, 1990, 1994; Oxford & Shearin, 1994) Crookes and Schmidt (1991) felt that researchers investigating motivation shoul d focus less on the reasons for learning language and more on defining motivation as teachers and educators would, namely, noting that a motivated student is one w ho “becomes productively engaged in learning tasks, and sustains that engagement, without the need for conti nual encouragement or direction” (p. 480). They believed that not on ly the concept, but also the definition of motivation needed to be developed so that a ll teachers and educator s could relate to and accept the ideas proposed by the researchers. Since then, several models and constructs have been proposed by researchers to define and describe the role of motivati on in second language acquisition, each of them trying to add dimensions that reflect the attitudes and beha vior patterns of motivated students in a language classroom and to expand the socio-educational model. MacIntyre et al. (2001) believed that it would be unproducti ve to develop new models or constructs that covered the same basic con cepts as did the socio-educational model. Therefore, they decided to examine the level of empirical similarity between the variables

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21 addressed in four different models of motiva tion: (1) Gardner’s soci o-educational model, which was designed for language learning situ ations, (2) Pintrich ’s (1991) Motivated Strategies for Learning Ques tionnaire (MSLQ), whose variab les were taken from the social-learning literature on motivation as a pplied to academic learning contexts, (3) Kuhl’s (1994b) Action Contro l Scale (ASC-90), which was used in psycho-physiological studies of motivation; and (4) McCroske y’s (1992) Willingness to Communicate (WTC) scale from the literature on native language communication. We observe that Gardner’s socio-educational model was designed for langua ge learning situations, whereas the other three models were designed to be used in other contexts but coul d also be applied to language learning. In the second model, Pintrich et al. (1991) examine general academic motivation from an expectancy-value perspective, in which “expectancy” refers to the behavioral outcomes one would expect, and “value” refers to the desirability of those outcomes. The authors believe that the higher the value placed on a particular task, the more motivated a person will be to complete the task. Th is reasoning is also extended to learning languages. Pintrich et al. claim that the two-part pro cess of learning involves the assimilation of new information and the rest ructuring of interna lized knowledge, called accommodation. They believe that the proce ss of restructuring in ternalized knowledge requires much more effort than assim ilating new knowledge, and whether a language learner would take on the ta sk of accommodation or not would depend on how motivated the learner is. The authors developed the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) to measure motivati on levels in language learners. These

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22 motivation levels or scores will indicate th e likelihood of a language learner exerting the effort to restructure their internalized knowledge which is a part of the learning process. Kuhl (1994a), on the other hand, does not be lieve that learners will automatically be more motivated in a high value task because there are many learners who continue to engage in tasks that are not very productiv e or rewarding even though they have a choice of tackling more rewarding tasks. Kuhl’s model of motivation focuses on a theory of action-versus-state orientation. He claims that action-oriented people prefer to be active and are unwilling to be passive. State-oriented people, on the other hand, are more likely to let things happen without any effort or intervention on thei r part, and tend to contemplate on past and present feelings without taking any action to change their affective state. This model, called the Action Control Scale (ACS-90) evaluates a person’s ability to initiate and maintain levels of behavior. It was initially developed to assess differences in personality which affected a person’s ability to maintain the drive to start or complete a task (M acIntyre et al., 2001), and was then extended to include the affective variable of motivation in language le arning (Kuhl, 1994b). The fourth model MacIntyre et al. examined was the Willingness to Communicate (WTC) scale by McCroskey (1992), which cons ists of four communication contexts: public speaking, talking in m eetings, talking in small gr oups, and talking in dyads. McCroskey explains that there are differences in the way individua ls are motivated or willing to initiate communication when they ar e free to do so. He believes that the two most important factors that influence w illingness to communi cate are communication competence and communication apprehension. Communication competence is the ability to convey verbal or written information, wh ereas communication apprehension is defined

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23 as the level of fear one experiences when thinking of how one’s communication with others will turn out (MacIntyre et al., 2001). Communication apprehension can have a substantial, negative impact on communi cation competence (Rubin, 1990) and the WTC scale would reflect a learner’s level of motivation. This situation seems to parallel the impact anxiety has on student performance. As stated above, MacIntyre et al. (2001) ex amined these four models to test for the degree of overlap among the cons tructs and found that there is considerable overlap among the various concepts addressed by thes e constructs. For example, Gardner’s instrumental orientation and integrative mo tive significantly correlated with Pintrich’s extrinsic goal orienta tion and expectancy-value, respectiv ely. MacIntyre et al. (2001) observe “It might be surprising that there is such a high degr ee of overlap, but it should be noted that the Gardner model has always covered a great deal of conceptual ground” (p. 483). Even though Drnyei (1994) agreed that researchers would find it difficult to surpass the work done by Gardner and his associ ates, who “established scientific research procedures and introduced st andardized assessment techni ques and instruments, thus setting high research standard s and bringing L2 motivation re search to maturity” (p. 273), he believed that Gardner’s social psychologi cal approach was too influential and also limited. Drnyei (1998) sought to expand on this approach by developing “a more pragmatic, education-centred approach to motiv ation research, which would be consistent with the perceptions of pract icing teachers and, thus, be mo re directly relevant to classroom application” (p. 204). He identified three dimensions of motivation in order to outline a comprehensive and general framework of motivation that he feels would be

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24 more relevant to the L2 classroom setting. Th e first level of his construct of motivation is the “Language Level,” where the focus is on or ientations and motives related to the L2. This level includes different aspects of the second language such as the culture it conveys, the community it is spoken in, and the potential usefulness of being proficient in the language. This part of the framewor k is similar to Gardner’s integrative and instrumental motivational subsystem. The s econd level of Drnyei’s framework is the “Learner Level,” which involves both the aff ective and cognitive abil ities of a language learner. Individual differences, such as se lf-confidence and the need for achievement, are considered in this level. In talking about se lf-confidence, other fact ors, such as language anxiety and perceived L2 competence, are also included. The third level of the construct is the “Learning Situation Level,” which is ma de up of intrinsic and extrinsic motives and three different motivational conditions: c ourse-specific, teacher-specific and groupspecific motivational components. Drnyei’s model of L2 motivation does seem to be more education-centered and thus more cons istent with the per ceptions of practicing teachers than Gardner’s socio-educational mode l. Teachers are aware of the three levels Drnyei introduces, understand the demands they ha ve to meet in each of these areas, and are prepared to put in efforts to motivate their students. This model seems to focus directly on the most importan t aspects of second language learning: the language, the learner, and the learning environment; but it s effectiveness in e xplaining and measuring motivation in language learners needs to be researched and established. Second language research has shown that motivation is multi-faceted. Some of the new themes and approaches Drnyei (2001) presents are: social motivation, task motivation, a neurobiological explanation of motivation, and motivation from a process-

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25 oriented perspective. Further, Oxford a nd Shearin (1994) explore whether motivations differ among learners of second versus fo reign languages and believe that there are chances that these two motivations work differently because in a second language learning situation, the learners are exposed to the L2 insi de as well as outside the classroom, which is not the case in a foreign language learning situ ation. Integrative motivation is an important part of the soci o-educational model, but it may not have as much meaning in foreign language situations, where the students may not come in direct contact with the L2 community. The social psychological approach to motivation in second language learning emphasizes integrative motivation because this approach is concerne d with the individual in the context of a group. Undoubtedly, there is an urgent need to expand the theory of motivation beyond Gardner’s widely accepted model and to try to formulate a more education-centered construct which teachers will be able to relate to and implement successfully in their classrooms, particular ly in foreign languag e classrooms. The Anxiety-Motivation Interface As has been stated, each language learne r works with a unique combination of cognitive and affective variables, which influences the process of second language acquisition. Among the affective factors researched, anxiety and motivation, by themselves or together, have received the most attention. Schumann (1994) interprets Krashen’s (1981) “affective filt er” hypothesis as relating to these two factors as well: “when motivation is lacking, anxiety is high, an d self-esteem is low, the filter is up and input will not become intake (i.e., input will not be processed so as to produce learning)” (p. 233). He makes a very clear connection between these two aff ective variables. Gardner et al. (1992) posit that “anxiety and mo tivation are two separate dimensions with

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26 overlapping behavioral consequences . (tha t are) correlated ye t distinguishable” (p. 212). The causal sequence ca nnot be established and probab ly differs from learner to learner. It may be that a highly motivated language learner experiences low or no anxiety levels and an unmotivated learner is very anxious. Researchers who have investigated affectiv e variables in language learners believe that both anxiety and motivation can pred ict language proficie ncy. MacIntyre and Gardner (1991) are of the opi nion that “at the earliest stages of language learning, motivation and language aptitude are the dominant factors in determining success … (and) anxiety plays a negligible role in proficiency” (p. 110) but at the later stages of language learning, anxiety plays a more crucia l role in determining success. They believe that if a language learner’s experi ences are negative, then foreign language anxiety may become a regular occurrence and influence student performance. Autonomy The third affective variable being investigated in this study is autonomy. The most frequently cited definition of autonomy in the context of foreign language learning is that autonomy is “the ability to ta ke charge of one’s learning” (Holec, 1981:3). Holec further explains: To take charge of one’s learning is to have, and to hold, the responsibility for all the decisions concerning a ll aspects of this learning, i.e.:--determining the objectives; -defining the contents and progressions; -selecting methods and techniques to be used; -monitoring the procedure of acquisition properly speaking (rhythm, time, play, etc.); -evaluating what has been acquired (p. 3) Holec focuses here on the learning process, a nd the factors a language learner would need to control, for effective learning to take place.

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27 Little (1991), on the other hand, does not be lieve that autonomy is essentially a matter of having control of and organizing one’s learning process. He feels that autonomy is a capacity – for detachment critical reflection, decision-making, and independent action.… The capacity for autonomy will be displayed both in the way the learner learns and in the way he or she transfers what has been learned to wider contexts (p. 4). Little believes that autonomous learning occu rs not only in the conf ines of a classroom but spills over into every other area of life. This view of autonomy encompasses the capacity and the ability to be in control of one’s cognitive faculties, and also to be able to use this capacity for language learning and beyond. Little (1991) strives to dispel some of the misconceptions people have about autonomy in language learning. He states th at some people think an autonomous person makes the decision to learn without a teacher or requires a teacher to give up all control over the student’s learning. Litt le believes that this is not true because “we are social beings (and) our independence is always ba lanced by dependence …our capacity for selfinstruction probably develops out of our experience of learning in interaction with others” (p. 5). Another misconception some people have is that “autonomy is something teachers do to their learners” (p. 3). Little believes that autonomy cannot be developed in learners through any set curriculum. This is probabl y why researchers are of the opinion that autonomy is a “capacity” that learners have. Little reminds us that autonomy is not a single behavior that can easily be described but that it ta kes different forms depending on individual factors such as age and perceptions of learning needs. Finally, he states that it is possible for learners to be highly aut onomous in some areas and non-autonomous in others, so autonomy is not “a steady state achieved by certain learners” (p. 4).

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28 According to Littlewood (1996), an au tonomous person is “one who has an independent capacity to make and carry out th e choices which govern his or her actions. This capacity depends on two main compone nts: ability and willingness” (p. 428). Littlewood believes that an autonomous learner would need to have both characteristics, ability and willingness, in order to be autonom ous, since it is possible for a person to be willing and not have the ability to make info rmed decisions, or vice versa. He further explains the terms “ability” and “willingness.” Littlewood claims that in order to have the ability to become autonomous, a person should have both the “knowledge” of all the options available to choose from and the nece ssary “skills” to make appropriate choices. He also believes that the willingness of a person to become autonomous depends on having both the “motivation” and th e “confidence” to be responsibl e for the choices. When discussing autonomy in second la nguage learning, researchers focus on the ability or the capacity of an individual to make choices independently, and furthermore, to assume responsibility for those choices It is believed that possessing this characteristic will help not only in making informed decisions leading to success in the language classroom, but that this trait will help the individual in all walks of life, even outside the classroom. Not many studies conducted thus far ha ve focused on collecting both qualitative and quantitative data on autonomy. Rivers (2001) analyzes self-directed language learning behaviors of adult third-language le arners based on qualitative data gathered from 11 learners of Georgian and Kazakh at the University of Maryland and concludes: The accurate use of metacognitive, affective, and social strategies to control the language learning process a nd the learning environment is the hallmark of selfdirected language learning. In order for su ch learning to occur, learners must be able to determine accurately what their ne eds are, and they must have the freedom

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29 to take action to meet those needs. In the absence of eith er accurate selfassessment or genuine autonomy, self-direc ted language learning will not occur. (p. 287) With the limited amount of research that has been carried out on autonomy, it is difficult to understand whether the capacity to be autonomous language learners and control learning comes naturally or if it need s to be acquired through training. There is also a need to understand what conditions can help students develop autonomy in language learning and what factor s will hinder its development. Teachers may be able to observe the behaviors of students in the cl assroom and gauge if a student is becoming more autonomous or not, but it would be benefi cial to have a global system of measuring autonomy (Benson, 2001). The Motivation-Autonomy Interface While researchers generally argue that motivation and autonomy are separate constructs, there is a definite interface be tween them. Keller ( 1983) believes that a motivated person can choose to attempt a part icular task and decide on the degree of effort that will be exerted, but if the learne r does not have the knowledge or the skills to accomplish the task, no amount of motivation is going to result in the successful accomplishment of the task. Additionally, th ere is research (e.g., Wang and Palincsar, 1989) that shows that when learners take re sponsibility for their own learning and make independent choices to facilita te their goals, their motivation increases and they are better able to achieve their goals. Deci and Ryan’s (1985) self-d etermination theory is based on a distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and we can see here a relationship with autonomy as well. They state that people who are intrinsi cally motivated engage in activities because they are interested in the activity for its ow n sake, and find it enjoyable or satisfying to

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30 engage in it. People who are extrinsically motivated expect rewards which are unrelated to the activity itself or engage in a task to avoid punishment. The authors believe that these types of motivations are not categorically different, but lie on a continuum of selfdetermination. They believe that learners who are intrinsically motivated will become more effective learners and that this lear ning will become even more productive when the learner is self-determined and has some control over the learning process. Their attribution theory of motivati on is concerned with learners’ perceptions of the reasons for success and failure in learning. Learners who believe they are responsible for their own success or failure will take greater responsibil ity for their learning. Hence, these selfdetermination and attributi on theories provide a very strong association between motivation and autonomy. Assuming that there is a distinct conn ection between motivation and autonomy, the question that language teachers may be confr onted with is how their students can be motivated and become autonomous learners Should teachers focus on motivating students so that they can ultimately become autonomous learners? Or should they train students to become autonomous learners so th at they will be motivated to be successful language learners? In other words, does motivation precede autonomy, or does autonomy precede motivation? Spratt, Humphreys, and Chan (2002) resear ch the question of whether autonomy or motivation comes first and find that some re search supports the view that motivation precedes autonomy while other research poi nts to autonomy being a precondition for motivation to occur. In their own study, the authors found that “motivation is a key factor that influences the extent to which learners are ready to learn autonomously” (p.

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31 245). Other researchers who hold similar vi ews are Spolsky (1989), who claims that learners will be willing to i nvest the required time in learni ng a language only if they are motivated, and Skehan (1989), who feels that there is more evidence supporting the fact that motivation causes successful learning, ra ther than the other way round. These studies suggest that motiva tion generates autonomy. Further, Spratt et al. (2002) posit that mo tivation may play an inhibiting or enabling role in relation to autonomy and could opera te in different direc tions. Borrowing the terminology from the literature on anxiety, can we then state that autonomy is either facilitative or debilitative depending on the other factors within the language learning situation? The present study seeks to fi nd the correlations between motivation and autonomy. It is possible that further research with different populat ions in a variety of learning situations may provide some answers to this question. One of the aims of this study is to determine if there is a correl ation between motivati on and autonomy and to examine if they are distinct factors. Research also provides evidence to support the view that auto nomy needs to be present to trigger motivation in language learne rs. Deci and Ryan’s (1985) theories show that learners are intrinsically motivated if they are self-determined and have control over their language learning process. Dickinson (1995) asserts that for learners to be successful and to be motivated, they need to take responsibility for their own learning. Drnyei and Csizer (1998) advise teachers to motivat e their students by promoting learner autonomy. These studies imply that autonomy precedes motiv ation in a language learner.

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32 Motivation is not a stable factor and can undergo changes moment by moment in terms of type and intensity, depending on the learner’s experiences. It is possible for a learner to be motivated in some areas of study and not in others, or at some times and not at others. Motivation has been regarded a nd researched as an affective variable for decades. If there is such a strong conn ection between motivation and autonomy, is autonomy an affective factor too? Or is it a stable, cognitive factor? Different researchers present different viewpoints about autonomy. Nu nan (1996) claims that there are degrees of autonomy and that it is not an absolute concept. Little (1990) believes that autonomy is not a steady state achieved by lear ners, but a process. Thanasoulas (2000) posits that one does not become autonom ous, but rather one only works towards autonomy. The underlying belief seems to be that autonomy is a construct that is continually changing. It is possible for la nguage learners to be taught how to be autonomous learners, but the degree to which they will succeed differs. Many factors, such as the personality traits of the learner, her/his goa l for language learning, and the cultural context in which learning occurs, will determine the extent to which a learner will become autonomous. Both motivation and autonomy are dynamic, multifaceted variables and it is very likely that we see a different facet each time there is a change in the balance of factors, such as individual va riables and learning situations. It will be worthwhile to investigate the interactions between different combinations of factors in a variety of learning situations with different populations, to examine if any patterns can be observed that will provide insights into these affective factors. The Anxiety-Motivation-Autonomy Interface While trying to understand the interp lay between anxiety, motivation, and autonomy, one wonders what role anxiety pl ays with regards to both motivation and

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33 autonomy. The relationship between anxiety and motivation has been well documented. Gardner and MacIntyre (1993) suggest that anxiety and mo tivation have a reciprocal relationship and that each vari able influences the other. They investigated whether anxiety caused poor performance or if poor performance caused anxiety and found that anxiety leads to poor performance (MacIntyre & Gardner, 1994b). In describing the role played by affective factors in second la nguage acquisition, Schu mann (1994) states, “When motivation is lacking, anxiety is high … the filter is up and input will not become intake … When motivation and self-confidence are high and anxiety is low, the filter will be down and the relevant input will be acquired” (pp. 232, 233). An explanation for this negative correlation is offered by M acIntyre and Gardner (1989), who say that performance levels in the second language drop because anxiety uses up the cognitive resources and attention that could have b een used to perform better in the second language. Research on learning strategies provides some evidence that successful language learners do take measures to control their language anxiety (e.g., Naiman, Frohlich, Stern, & Todesco, 1978). We are reminded by Oxford (1990) that “good la nguage learners are often those who know how to control their emotions and attitudes about learning” (p. 140), which suggests that successful langua ge learners control such emotions as anxiety. In light of the fact that autonomous learners take charge of their learning and control their emotions by using anxiety loweri ng strategies, encouraging themselves and staying focused on the task at hand, there also seems to be a connection between anxiety and autonomy.

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34 Researchers have also found a relation be tween motivation and autonomy. They are in mutual agreement that both motivation and autonomy are distinct factors but have a definite interface between them Some researchers feel that students need to be motivated before they can be autonomous, while others feel that autonomy has to precede motivation in a student for more successful language learning. There is a need for researchers to inve stigate all three of these individual differences using qualitative data (e.g., inte rviews and journals) to complement the quantitative data collected, in order to provide a more co mplete picture and deeper insights into the roles played by these factor s, individually and co llectively, in language learning. In this study, both quantitative and qualitative data have be en collected and the three affective factors of anxiety, motiv ation, and autonomy have been examined.

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35 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY The present study seeks to observe the extent to which the participants are anxious, motivated, and/or autonomy, th e correlation, if any, among thes e factors, the extent to which these factors are stable over an eight-week period, and to ascertain whether there is any correlation between these factors and st udents’ class performance. The results obtained through quantitative analysis are then corroborated with the qualitative data collected through journals, in terviews and class observations. This study further investigates the correlation between mo tivation and autonomy to examine whether motivation and autonomy are distinct factors. Participants The participants in this study were enroll ed in two second semester French classes (FRE 1131) at the University of Florida. Ou t of a total of 32 part icipants, 23 (72%) were native speakers of English while 9 (28%) were bilingua ls and had a native-like proficiency of English. Six of these nine bi linguals were fluent in Spanish, one student was fluent in Chinese, another student spoke an Indian language, and the last one spoke Haitian Creole. Participation was voluntar y and data were collected throughout the semester from these 32 students from two inta ct classes: 15 student s from one class and 17 students from the other. These classes were selected because they had a higher enrollment than some of the other classes. Students at the University of Florida are placed in specific French classes depending on their prior experi ence with foreign languages, if any. If the students have

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36 not taken foreign language classes in high school, they are placed in FRE 1130, which is the first semester French class. After thei r first semester, studen ts are enrolled in FRE 1131, the second semester French class. If th e students have taken any previous French classes, however, they take the SAT II standa rdized test to determine their placement in either FRE 1130 or FRE 1115. Both are first se mester French classes and they follow the same syllabus, but FRE 1130 meets five tim es a week and FRE 1115 meets only three times a week. The students in this study had already comp leted their first semester of French and were in the second semester of their langua ge study. Each of these classes had an enrollment of about 20 to 25, so the students fr om two classes were recruited in order to obtain an adequate sample size. At the begi nning of the semester a total of 44 students were enrolled in these two cla sses, but during the course of the semester, eight students dropped the class, and two students were dr opped from the study because they did not complete all the required components of th e study. Finally, anot her two students were eliminated from the study because it was determ ined that they were trait anxious rather than state anxious, which could potentially impact the anxiety results and skew the findings1. All the participants were undergraduat e students ranging in age from 18 to 22 years. From one intact class 13 females and two males participated, while 14 females and three males participated from the other class. The participants completed a background questionnaire (see Appendix A) in which they were asked for information such as their age, their native language, their year in school, and the length of time, if any, they had spent in French-speaking count ries. Research done by Saito and Samimy

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37 (1996) and Onwuegbuzie et al. ( 1999) clearly supports the view that th ere is a correlation between the “year of study” and language anxiety experi enced by language learners. Onwuegbuzie, Bailey, and Christine (2000) f ound that students with high levels of foreign language anxiety tended to be older, “had never visited a fo reign country, had not taken any high school foreign language course s, (and) had low expectations of their overall average for their current language course” (pp. 88, 89). Aida (1994), observed that first-year students who had been to a country where the target language was spoken showed significantly lower a nxiety in the language class than students who had never visited or lived in countries where the target language was spoken. The adverse effect of anxiety on performance in language class has been well documented. In their study, Onwuegbuzie et al. (1999) discovered that students’ expectations of their overall achievement in foreign language courses was the biggest predictor of foreign language anxiety. This finding is in harmony with M acIntyre and Gardner’s (1991) claim that the negative expectations students have about their language c ourses result in “worry and emotionality.” (p. 110). Since research show s that these factors influence or predict success in language learning, the participants in this study were asked to share that information with the researcher2. All of the 32 participants in this study had had some experience of learning French in high school. Some of them had also taken Spanish classes. However, only 20 had visited foreign countries, which included Engl and, Germany, France, Spain, India, China, Portugal, Hong Kong, Chile and Venezuela. Of these 20 participants, only 10 had visited French-speaking countries for varying lengths of time ranging from a day to about three weeks on vacation. None of the students had spent any time studying in these countries.

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38 A summary of the relevant demographic inform ation of the participants in this study is provided in Table 1. Table 3.1: Relevant demogra phy of students (total N=32) Number of students Percentage Gender Female students 27 84% Male students 5 16% Age between 18-22 32 100 % Year in school Freshman 7 22 % Sophomore 10 31 % Junior 7 22 % Senior 8 25 % Foreign countries visited Yes 19 59 % No 13 41 % French-speaking countries 10 31 % Previous foreign language experience Yes 32 100 % No 0 0 % Expected letter grade in class A 10 31 % B 19 59 % C 3 10 % Among the participants, seven student s were freshmen, 10 were sophomores, seven were juniors and eight we re seniors. As far as grad e expectations were concerned, 10 participants expected to get an ‘A’ in their French class, 19 students expected a ‘B,’ and 3 students expected a ‘C.’ These stude nts pursued a diversified range of majors: English, Public Relations, Political Science, Education, Finance, Psychology, Journalism, Telecommunications, Music, Microbio logy, Agriculture, History, Anthropology, Mathematics, Quantitative Science, Business, Plant Pathology, PreMed, Advertising and Economics.

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39 Procedures Permission was obtained from the University of Florida Institutional Review Board to conduct this study. Permission was al so obtained from the instructors of the two second-semester French course to visit their classes to collect the data. The researcher explained the entire project and the time fram e for data collection to the instructors, and asked for time in class to administer the Fr ench test and three que stionnaires on anxiety, motivation, and autonomy. Then, the research er met the classes two days before the administration of the first instrument to introduce the semeste r-long project to the students and enlist their help. They were not told that the affective factors of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy were being research ed. The participants were assured that their identity would not be revealed and that their decision to part icipate (or not) would not affect their class grade, and were then asked to sign a consent form. This precaution was taken not only because the law requires it but also with the in tention of making the students feel comfortable with the entire pr ocedure, to give them a chance to ask any questions, and to reduce any anxiety that co uld be caused by having to deal with the unexpected. During Week 5 of the semester, the four in struments: an in-house French test and questionnaires on anxiety, motivation, and autono my, were administered to the students. Data were collected during Week 5, and not ea rlier in the semester, because it was hoped that by this time the students would have ha d a chance to overcome any initial discomfort and anxiety they might have experienced due to being in a new class with new classmates and instructor. It was hoped that any anxiety they felt during Week 5 would be directly related to their language lear ning experiences in general, as opposed to specific newsemester factors.

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40 During Week 13 of the semester the same four instruments were administered to the students a second time. Final and oral ex aminations were to be held during Week 18 of the semester, so this administration was scheduled to occur before any final exam anxiety might appear. The in-house French test and the three questionnaires were completed at the beginning of the class period so that the students would not be tempted to rush through the questionnaires in order to leave class early. Add itional data were also collected out of class. The students were give n specific journal topics and were invited to submit journal entries. They were also invi ted to participate in one-on-one interviews on a volunteer basis. These additiona l data will be discussed in mo re detail below. In order to decrease the tendency of over-relying on the results obtained from the quantitative data that were co llected, and to increase the reliability and validity of the results, qualitative data that were obtained from the journal entries and the interviews with students and instructors was examined for corroboration w ith the questionnaire results. Inconsistencies in the different data sets were identified to gain a better understanding of the interplay between a nxiety, motivation, and autonomy among the participants in th is study. The participants were first grouped into four categories on the basis of the scores they received on each of the three questionnaires. These four categories were labeled ‘low,’ ‘fairly low,’ ‘fairly hi gh’ and ‘high,’ which meant that the participants experienced low, fairly low, fairly high or high levels of anxiety, motivation, or autonomy. This method of grouping students proved to be prob lematic because the number of participants who fell into the “high” category was too low to investigate or describe. One way to get a larger group would have been to combine the number of students who were included in

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41 the “high” as well as the “fairly high” categor ies. But, if that were done, the range of emotions experienced by this group would have been very broad, ranging from the center to the highest point on the scale, in whic h case this group would not have represented students who had high levels of anxiety, motivat ion, or autonomy. The participants were then grouped into three equal categories of ‘high,’ ‘moderate,’ and low’ based on their scores on each of the three questionnaires. For example, the tota l possible score on the anxiety scale was 165. All the participants who obtained scores be tween 1 and 55 were considered to have little or no language anxi ety and were placed in the “low” category. Students who scored between 56 and 110 were c onsidered to experien ce moderate levels of anxiety and placed in the “moderate” ca tegory, while those who scored between 111 and 165 were considered to be highly anxious. The participants were divided into thr ee categories on the other scales as well. The total possible score on th e Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) was 375. The participants who obtained scor es between 1 and 125 were belie ved to have little or no motivation; the students who scored betw een 126 and 250 were considered to be moderately motivated while those who scor ed between 251 and 375 were considered to be highly motivated. The total possible score on the questionnaire measuring autonomy was 300. The participants who obtained a score betw een 1 and 100 were believed to have low levels of autonomy. The students who scor ed between 101 and 200 were considered to be moderately autonomous while those who scored between 201 and 300 were considered to be highly autonomous. Having these three groups for each measure made

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42 it possible to identify students who were hi ghly anxious, motivated and/or autonomous. Table 3.2 gives the range of points for the three categories on each measure. Table 3.2: The range of points for the th ree categories on each measure. Low Moderate High Anxiety 1 – 55 56 – 110 111 – 165 Motivation 1 – 125 126 – 250 251 – 375 Autonomy 1 – 100 101 – 200 201 – 300 Trait Anxiety 1 – 12 13 – 24 25 – 35 Instruments In-house French Test An in-house French grammar and vo cabulary test (see Appendix B) was developed by the Assistant Director of the French program for this study to measure the performance of the students in their French cl ass. The test includes some material that the students covered during the previous semester in French and other material that the students were expected to cover during the semest er they were currently enrolled in. This meant that during the first administration of th e test, the students we re not expected to know all the answers. The test was constructed in this way to control for any potential ceiling effect among more advanced students. The Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) The questionnaire used to measure the le vels of anxiety in foreign language learners is the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) (see Appendix C), developed by Horwitz, Horwitz, and Cope in 1986. The FLCAS is a 33-item instrument that determines the degree to which stude nts feel anxious during language classes by assessing their communication apprehension, test anxiety, and fear of negative evaluation in the foreign language classroom. Each it em is a statement followed by a five-point

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43 Likert response scale, with which the particip ants indicate the degree to which they agree or disagree with each of the items. Items on this scale are both positively and negatively worded; for example, one item might be, “I st art to panic when I have to speak without preparation in French class,” and another item may be, “I feel confident when I speak in French class”. When the negatively worded ite ms are scored, the scale is reversed. The total possible score ranges from 33 to 165, with the higher scores indicating higher levels of foreign language anxiety. Validity and reliab ility studies have shown that the scale is both valid and reliable (Horw itz et al., 1986, Horwitz, 1991) with an alpha coefficient of .93 and an eight-week test-retest coefficien t of .83. Also, Aida’s (1994) study of 96 students in a second-year Japa nese course used the same instrument and reported a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of .94. Alpha coe fficient ranges in value from 0 to 1 and shows how well a set of items measure a single unidimensiona l construct. The higher the score, the more reliable the generated scale is. A reliability coefficient of .70 is considered as “acceptable” in the literature. To determine if the anxiety experienced by the participants in this study was state anxiety rather than trait anxi ety, seven extra Likert response questions were added to the 33-item FLCAS, making it a 40 -item questionnaire. These items were adapted from the General Anxiety Scale Items by Spielberger (1972), and comprise numbers 34 to 40 on the questionnaire. The validity and reliabil ity scores of the FLCAS were not altered because the scores obtained on the seven addi tional questions were computed separately. As was noted above, the data from these addi tional items resulted in the elimination of two students from the study.

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44 The Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) The questionnaire used to measure le vels of motivation was the modified Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB), or iginally developed by Gardner (1985) and revised by Gardner, Tremblay and Masgoret in 1997 (see Appendix D). This instrument investigates such factors as attitude toward learning French, desire to learn French, and motivational intensity in learning French. Li ke the FLCAS, each item here is also followed by a five-point Likert response scale for partic ipants to indicate the degree to which they agree or disagree with the statemen ts. Again, some of the items on this scale are also both positively and negatively worded. For example, one item might be, “When I have a problem understanding something we are learning in my French class, I always ask the instructor for help,” and anothe r item may be, “I don’t bother checking my corrected assignments in my French course s.” Validity and reliability studies have shown that the scale is both valid and reliable, with coefficients of .91 and .89 respectively, and a six-week test-retest coefficient of .79. The Questionnaire on Autonomy The students’ levels of autonomy in lear ning French were determined by using the questionnaire formulated by Spratt, Humphr eys and Chan (2002) (Appendix E.) This questionnaire was strongly influenced by Ho lec’s (1981) definition of autonomy, and the researchers attempted to incorporate the noti ons of “ability” and “r esponsibility” in the five areas of their questionnaire, which aims to: assess students’ readiness for l earner autonomy in language learning by examining their views of their responsibi lities and those of their teachers, their confidence in their ability to operate autonomously …. It also investigated their actual practice of autonom ous learning in the form of both outside and inside class activities. (p. 245)

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45 Some of the questions required the students to tabulate two answers: to what extent they thought it was the teacher’s responsibility or their own re sponsibility “to make sure I make progress outside class” or “to decide the objectives of my French course.” The terms “Not at all”, “A little”, “Some”, “Mai nly” or “Completely” were used on the fivepoint Likert response scale in this questionnaire. This questionnaire on autonomy was compiled, piloted, amended and then admini stered to 508 participants by Spratt, Humphreys and Chan at the Hong Kong Polytec hnic University in 2002. No information on the reliability and validity of this questionn aire was included in the report. Class Observations In an effort to get a complete picture of the participants’ apprehensions, motivations, initiative, and the confiden ce they had throughout the semester, the researcher observed both the French classes each week. The researcher chose to observe the classes in person rather than to videot ape the sessions in light of the findings by MacIntyre and Gardner (1994a), which indica te that the increased anxiety caused by a video camera in the classroom can im pair students’ performance. All the participants were observed in th eir French classes at least once a week throughout the semester. The class observati ons provided insights in to the participants’ levels of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy thr ough their behavior and a ttitudes in class. Anxiety is exhibited in differe nt ways, for example, through physiological and behavioral signs discussed by researcher s (Chastain, 1975; Horwitz et al., 1986). Students who are enthusiastic or confident in class, or those who take the initiative to enhance their learning in class, reflect thei r levels of motivation and aut onomy. When n ecessary, at the end of class, the instructor wa s consulted about certain situati ons or occurrences in class.

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46 At other times, and throughout the semester, th e students were asked for their views and opinions about their French class. These conversations took place outside of class and normal class activities were ne ver interrupted. These class observations were excellent opportunities for the participants and the researcher to establish a rapport, which was of utmost importance during the end-of-term interviews with the students. The research er was also able to observe the classroom behavior of the participants which helped, to some extent, in understanding the thoughts expressed by the students in the questionnair es, journals and interv iews. Also, having interacted with the researcher during the administration of the questionnaires, engaging in small talk before class began, and observing that the instructor had no access to their responses, either written or verbal, the pa rticipants seemed to be comfortable, forthcoming, and honest while volunteeri ng information during the journal writing exercise and interviews. Journals The participants were asked to submit four journal entr ies of at least one typed page in length in which they answered sp ecific questions, in English, regarding their experiences learning French. These journal entr ies were written outside of class. About ten students (29%) volunteered to write all f our journal entries and were each given an honorarium of $10 for their efforts. Specifi c dates were set to submit these journal entries directly to the research er and were spaced at least ten days apart. All the students who volunteered to write journal entries complete d all four entries. Each of the topics (see Appendix F) given to the students target ed information about one of the variables or constructs being investigated in this study. The first journal topic aimed at getting the

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47 students to reflect on their fo reign language learning experi ence in its entirety. The second journal topic focused on anxiety, the third on motivation, and the fourth topic targeted information on autonomy. Student Interviews All the students who submitted journal entrie s were invited to participate in an interview with the researcher. From the te n students who submitted journal entries, seven students agreed to be interviewed, represen ting 22% of the total participant population. Each participant was given an additional honorarium of $10 for pa rticipating in the interview. The students were interviewed, in English, out of class. The primary purpose of the interview was to explore the pa rticipants’ points of view, feelings, and perspectives about learning French in general and their classr oom experiences in particular. Some openended questions were prepared to ask duri ng the interview (see A ppendix G), if needed, but mostly the students were allowed to talk freely about their experiences and their opinions about how anxious, motivated, or autonomous they were throughout the semester. Some of the questions that were asked in the interview were, “What thoughts go through your mind as you enter your French classroom?” and “If you needed to, how would you go about designing a syllabus for your French class?” These semi-structured interviews were conducted to compleme nt the information obtained from the questionnaires and to gain a better understa nding of what the pa rticipants’ numerical responses mean. Teacher Interviews The instructors of the two classes were also interviewed after the end of the semester and submission of grades. Some open-ended questions to ask during the

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48 interview were planned out, but mostly the inst ructors were allowed to freely talk about their perspectives on their teaching and thei r students. Some of the questions (see Appendix H) that were asked in the intervie w were, “What are your expectations of the students, in terms of how they can learn best?” and “What are some ways in which you will recognize that a student is anxious in your class?” These semi-structured interviews helped to understand the teachers’ perspectiv es of the importance of particular class activities as opposed to the students’ perspe ctive of what should be done in class to enhance language learning. The teachers’ opinions about the levels of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy in thei r students also served to subs tantiate the results obtained through other data collection procedures. Data Analysis Some of the research questions are answer ed quantitatively by us ing statistical tests to evaluate the significance of the data collected, while others are assessed through observation of the data collected. In this first section, questions that are answered quantitatively are discussed. Quantitative Data Research Question 1 strives to identify th e participants who are anxious, motivated, and autonomous. This was done by categorizing the students into three groups of “high,” “moderate,” and “low,” based on their scores on each measure. The participants whose scores fell into the “high” category were considered to be anxious, motivated, and/or autonomous. Research Question 2 aimed at finding out th e correlations between the participants’ levels of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy. A Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient test was run on the scores the participants obtained on the three

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49 questionnaires measuring anxiety, motivation, and autonomy to determine if there were any correlations among them both at the time of the first administration of the questionnaires and at the sec ond administration. The questio nnaires measuring the three affective variables were administered twice to the participants, duri ng Weeks 5 and 13 of the semester. Research Question 3 investigated whet her the affective factors within the participants had undergone any changes from Time 1 to Time 2 or if they remained stable. This was done by running a Paired-Sam ples T-Test on the difference in scores obtained on each of those variables (e.g., a nxiety score during second administration minus anxiety score during first administra tion). The mean scores obtained by the participants on different vari ables during each administration were also examined to observe if there were an y significant changes. In order to answer Research Question 4, which sought to find the correlation between the three affective factors and student s’ performance, a Li near Regression test was run with the scores on anxiety, motiv ation, and autonomy as the independent variables and class performance as measured by both the in-house French test and students’ final class grades, as the dependent variable. The in-hous e French grammar and vocabulary test was administered two times dur ing the semester, but th e final class grades represented the grades the students obtained ov er the duration of the semester in a wide variety of areas: written ho mework, workbook activities, compositions, chapter exams, oral proficiency tests, attendance, prep aration, and participation. As mentioned earlier, the participants in th is study were from two different French classes. Until this point the participants ha ve been analyzed as a whole unit, but with

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50 Research Question 5 the focus turns to the two classes as separate data sets. Here, an attempt is made to identify any differences in the results obtained from the participants in the classes taught by different instructors. An Independent Samples T Test was run to compare the overall performance of the 2 sets of participants. In order to answer Research Question 5, bot h the quantitative data from the scores on the questionnaires and qualita tive data collected through jo urnals and interviews were examined to determine if motivation and autonomy were distinct factors. If the results of Research Question 3 showed that the part icipants’ emotions had changed from Time 1 to Time 2, Research Question 7 sought to exam ine some possible reasons for the change. Qualitative Data The qualitative data in this study were collected through different modes: class observations, journal entries, and intervie ws with students and instructors. Research Question 6 aimed at determini ng whether motivation and autonomy are distinct factors. Students who were hi ghly motivated and highly autonomous were identified and an attempt was made to see if any patterns emerged. Research Question 7 discusses some possibl e reasons for a change in the affective factors experienced by the participants from te st to retest. This information was obtained from the journal entries submitted by the students and the interviews. The qualitative measures reveal much information about the three affective variable s under investigation, for example, the areas of language learning which cause anxiety, ac tivities that motivate students to work harder in a nd out of class, and students’ thoughts about the instructors’ responsibility to teach them effectively as opposed to their own responsibility. The next chapter presents the results of the statistical tests that were run and discusses both the quantitative and qualitative findings.

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51 Notes 1. According to Hatch and Lazaraton (1991) the minimum number of students required to get a normal distribution is 30, so even with these eliminations, this study meets that basic requirement, w ith a final number of 32. 2. The reason for obtaining these details from th e students was to have more complete information about the language learner ev en though it goes far beyond the scope of this study.

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52 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Quantitative data were collected during weeks 5 and 13 of the semester and the participant scores from the three questionna ires on anxiety, motivation, and autonomy, along with the scores from the in-house French preand posttests were recorded. Research questions 1 through 5, which are quant itative in nature, are answered in this chapter by running a number of stat istical tests to ascertain if the results were statistically significant and if they were indicative of a trend within the sample. Qualitative data were collected throughout the semester in the form of journal entries, individual interviews with both students and instructors, and classroom observations. Research ques tions 6 and 7, which are qualit ative in nature, are also discussed in this chapter by providing info rmation obtained from the participants through their journals and interviews. In all, 34 participants completed all the te sts and questionnaires, which were part of the data collection procedures in this study. The scores obtained by the participants on each questionnaire indicated the degree to whic h the participants were anxious, motivated and/or autonomous. Recall th at the procedure used to id entify students who experienced higher than average levels of anxiety, motiv ation, and autonomy, has been described in chapter 3. Type of Anxiety In order to increase the ch ances that research on anxi ety and language achievement obtained comparable results, Scovel (1978) s uggested that language researchers should

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53 be specific about the type of anxiety they were measuring. Accordingly, it is noted that the present study focused on students who e xperienced foreign language anxiety or anxiety that is felt only in specific situati ons, also called ‘state anxiety,’ and not trait anxiety, which is a non-situation-sp ecific personality trait. So, to determine the degree of foreign language anxiety, it was important to ascertain that the students did indeed experience state anxiety rather than trait anxiety. This was done by adding seven extra questions measuring trait anxiety to the FL CAS. These seven questions were adapted from Spielberger’s (1983) State-Trait A nxiety Inventory which, according to Horwitz (1986), has a low but significant correlation with the FLCAS at a correlation coefficient of .29 (p=.002). Each item is a statement follo wed by a five-point Like rt response scale. The added questions are: 1. I get just as nervous in my other cl asses as I do in my French class. 2. I am usually calm and not easily upset. 3. I am a high-strung person. 4. I avoid meeting new people even though they are English speakers. 5. I am satisfied with the progress I am ma king in all my classes, except French. 6. I go through periods in whic h I lose sleep over worry. 7. It doesn’t bother me when I am not in control of a situation. The total possible score on these seven que stions is 35. Students who obtained a score between 1 and 12 were considered to have low levels of trait anxiety, while students who scored between 13 and 24 were cons idered to be moderately trait anxious. To qualify as being highly trait anxious, a participant had to score between 25 and 35 points on the trait anxiety scale. These three categories of ‘low,’ ‘m oderate,’ and ‘high,’ were devised the same way as for the other measures used in this study. The scores obtained by the participants on th e trait anxiety part of the questionnaire were closely examined to identify students w ho were highly trait anxious. Out of a total

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54 of 34 participants, two were id entified as being highly trait an xious. The first highly trait anxious participant, A15, scored 30 points dur ing both administrations of the trait anxiety scale, whereas the second highly trait anxious participant, B04, had a score of 27 during the first administration of the test and a score of 25 during the second administration. An interesting observation to be made is that the scores A15 received on the state anxiety part of the questionna ire identified her as also be ing highly state anxious. Her scores for the two administrations were 131 and 137, respectively. However, such was not the case with B04, who scored 89 point s during both administrations of the state anxiety scale. These scores indicate that A15 experienced both trait and state anxiety, while B04 experienced only tra it anxiety. Understa nding that trait a nd state anxieties could have a different influen ce on a language learner and that the interplay between trait anxiety, motivation, and autonomy could possibly be different from the interplay between state anxiety, motivation, a nd autonomy, a decision was ma de to eliminate both these participants from the study. As a result, a total of 32 participan ts were left in this study. The above-mentioned scores indicate that it is possible for a language learner to be trait anxious yet not state anxious, so it is advisable for research ers to take note of Scovel’s suggestion and ensure that they measure the appropriate variab les in their studies. The results obtained for each of the research questions are discussed in turn below, and the type of anxiety measured is state anxiety. Research Question 1 To what extent, if any, are the pa rticipants anxious, motivated, and autonomous? In order to determine to what degree th e participants were anxious, motivated and autonomous, the following sub-questions of Research Question 1 were considered:

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55 a. To what extent, if a ny, are the partic ipants anxious? b. To what extent, if any, are the participants motivated? c. To what extent, if any, are the participants autonomous? The scores received by the participants at Time 1 and Time 2 on each of the three questionnaires were examined. Table 4.1 provi des information on the number of students who were categorized as having high, modera te, or low levels of anxiety, motivation, and/or autonomy, and Appendix I gives an overview of all th e participants who experienced high levels of a nxiety, motivation, and antonomy. Table 4.1: Student classification based on scores received on questionnaires (n=32) High Number of students Moderate Number of students Low Number of students First administration 8 (25%) 23 (72%) 1 (3%) Anxiety Second administration 7 (22%) 23 (72%) 2 (6%) First administration 19 (59%) 13 (41%) 0 Motivation Second administration 17 (53%) 15 (47%) 0 First administration 5 (16%) 27 (84%) 0 Autonomy Second administration 4 (13%) 28 (87%) 0 The results are discussed below. Anxiety Students were identified as being anxious if their scores fell into the ‘high’ category, which meant their scores ranged from 111 to 165 on the anxiety scale. Emphasis was placed on this category because research has consiste ntly shown that high levels of anxiety have a negative effect on the performance of language learners, whereas moderate levels of anxiety can either be f acilitative or debilitative, either motivating students to work harder to reach their goals or impeding their progress in their language study program. MacIntyre (1995) calls this an inverted “U” relationship between anxiety and performance. The topmost segment of the inverted “U” divides the range between

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56 low and moderate anxiety, which may be faci litating, from the range between moderate and high anxiety, which may be debili tating to a language learner. As shown in Table 4.1, during Week 5 of th e semester, eight stude nts (25%), out of a total of 32 participants, expe rienced high levels of anxiet y with scores ranging from 111 to 134, and during Week 13 of the semester, seven participants ( 22%) experienced high levels of anxiety, with scores ranging from 112 to 126. Table 4.2 gives the details of the students who were anxious at some point in the semester. Table 4.2: Students who were anxi ous during Time 1 and Time 2 Student Time 1 Points Time 2 Points Increase in Points Decrease in Points A11 116 120 4 (2.4%) Anxious Time 1 and 2 A20 116 117 1 (0.6%) Anxious Time 1 and 2 B18 134 126 8 (4.8%) Anxious Time 1 and 2 B22 127 124 3 (1.8%) Anxious Time 1 and 2 A08 119 99 20 (12%) Anxious Time 1 B12 122 102 20 (12%) Anxious Time 1 B14 112 107 5 (3%) Anxious Time 1 B17 111 110 1 (0.6%)Anxious Time 1 A03 110 123 13 (7.9%) Anxious Time 2 A18 97 113 16 (9.7%) Anxious Time 2 B15 107 112 5 (3%) Anxious Time 2 Only four participants (A11, A20, B18 and B22) out of eight, were highly anxious during both administrations of the questionn aire on anxiety with a maximum of 4.8% change in their scores. Ot her four students (A08, B12, B 14, and B17), who were anxious at the beginning of the semester were not anxious at the end of the semester. Their decrease in scores ranged from 0.6-12%. Ye t another three students (A03, A18, and B15) who were not anxious at the be ginning of the semester were anxious at the end of the semester, and their anxiety scores increased by a maximum of 9.7%. These results show that a total of 11 students in th is study were highly anxious at some point in their French

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57 class during the course of the semester, wh ich is about 34% of the participants. Motivation In order to find out if the pa rticipants in this study were motivated, their scores on the AMTB were examined. Students who scored between 251 and 375 were considered highly motivated. The results showed that 19 students (59%) were highly motivated during the first administration of the questi onnaire, with scores ranging from 257 to 305, and 17 (53%) of those participants rema ined highly motivated during the second administration, with scores ranging from 259 to 299. It is encourag ing to observe that more than half the participants started off th eir studies motivated a nd continued this trend until the end of the semester. Thirteen (41%) participants were moderately motivated during the first administration, but du ring the second admi nistration, 15 (47%) participants were moderately motivated. In other words, approximately the same subset of students were moderately motivated during both the first and second administrations of the motivation questionnaire. However, two students, A17 and A20, who were highly motivated during Week 5 were only modera tely motivated during Week 13 of the semester. None of the participants had “low ” levels of motivation at any time during the semester. Autonomy Students who scored between 201 and 300 on the autonomy scale were considered to be highly autonomous. With regards to the number of participants who were autonomous, the data show that only five ( 16%) of the participants, A03, A11, B10, B13, and B17, were highly autonomous during the first administration of the questionnaire, with scores ranging from 201 to 249, and only four (13%) particip ants, A03, A08, B10,

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58 and B17, were highly autonomous during the second administration, with scores ranging from 203 to 222. Three of the participan ts were highly autonomous during both administrations. Two of the students who were highly autonomous during Week 5 were only moderately autonomous during Week 13 of the semester, whereas one student who was moderately autonomous during Week 5 wa s highly autonomous during Week 13. In comparison with the number of students who we re highly motivated, fewer in this group were highly autonomous. Most of the st udents were moderately autonomous, with twenty-seven (84%) students falling into this category during the first administration, and twenty-eight (87%) during the second administration. None of the students fell into the category of “low” autonomy. Overall, the results show that about 34% of the participants in this study were highly anxious at some point during the seme ster, 59% of them were highly motivated, but only 19% of them were highly autonomous. Research Question 2 To what extent, if any, is there a correl ation among the participants’ stated levels of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy? In order to determine if there was a co rrelation among the three affective factors under consideration in this study, a Pearson’ s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient test was run. Correlation coefficients tell us how well two or more variables are related to each other. They can also be used to de termine how much variability in one factor is explainable by variation in the other factors. The correlations were examined for both administrations of the three questionnaires. The results showed that th ere were no correlations between anxiety and motivation, or between anxiety and autonomy, but there was a stat istically significant

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59 moderate correlation between motivation and autonomy with a coefficient of .623 (p=<.001) at Time 1 and .624 (p=<.001) at Ti me 2. Table 4.3 summarizes these results. Table 4.3: The correlations among participants’ le vels of the three variables First administration Second administration Correlation between anxiety and motivation (correlation coefficient) .052 .148 Sig .776 .417 Correlation between anxiety and autonomy (correlation coefficient) .111 .030 Sig .545 .871 Correlation between motivation and autonomy (correlation coefficient) .623 .624 Sig .000* .000* Correlation between Anxiety and Motivation In considering the participant scores in th is study, the results s how that there is no correlation between anxiety and motivation. These results are contrary to those of Gardner, Day & MacIntyre (1992), who exam ined the effects of both motivation and anxiety on computerized vo cabulary acquisition and pr oposed that anxiety and motivation “are two separate dimensions with overlapping behavioral consequences . correlated yet distinguishabl e” (p. 212). Gardner’s (1985) Attitude/M otivation Test Battery included some questions on French class anxiety and French use anxiety. These questions were identified and the scores of each participant on the extracted anxiety questions were correlated with the scores on the FLCAS to ensure that the anxiety questions, from both scales, were consistent and measured the same affective f actor. The results show that the correlation between the anxiety scale and the anxiety questions from the motivation scale was high,

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60 at .801 and .849 during Test 1 and Test 2, respectively and p=<.001 at both times, suggesting that the type of anxi ety measured was the same. In an effort to observe the true motiva tion scores of the participants, the AMTB questions on anxiety and aut onomy were disregarded. It wa s interesting to note that when a correlation test was run between the anxiety and new motivation scores, a statistically significant m oderate inverse correlation was found with a correlation coefficient of -.482 (p=.005) during the second administration of the instruments. These results are now similar to those obtaine d by Gardner, Day & MacIntyre (1992) who believe that there is a correla tion between anxiety and motivati on. This change in results suggests that the AMTB questions on anxi ety and autonomy have an impact on the motivation scores. As mentioned before, eight students were highly anxious during Test 1; of these eight, two were freshmen, two were sophomores, two were juniors, and two were seniors. During Test 2, out of the se ven students who were highly anxious, two were sophomores, three were juniors, and two were seniors. Interestingly, none of the freshmen were anxious at the end of the semester, which is in keeping with the results reported by Onwuegbuzie et al. (1999), who posited that foreign language anxiet y increased linearly, meaning that the freshmen reported the lowe st levels of anxiet y while the seniors reported the highest levels. As noted earlier, more than half of the students were motivated during both Test 1 and Test 2. Correlation between Anxiety and Autonomy With regards to the relationship between anxi ety and autonomy, again the data show that there is little or no correl ation between the two, with a correlation coefficient of .111

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61 (p=.545) during Test 1, and a correlation co efficient of .030 (p=.871) during Test 2. Table 4.4 gives a summary of all the student s who were highly anxious and/or highly autonomous during both administrati ons of the questionnaires. Table 4.4: Students who were highly anxious and/or highly au tonomous (represented by ‘X’)during Test 1 and Test 2 Participant Highly Anxious Students Week 5 Week 13 Highly Autonomous Students Week 5 Week 13 A03 X X X A08 X X A11 X X X A18 X A20 X X B10 X X B12 X B13 X B14 X B15 X B17 X X X B18 X X B22 X X There is no apparent pattern in the levels of anxiety and autonomy experienced by the participants. Two students, B10 and B13, who were highly autonomous, did not experience high anxiety levels in their French class, whereas two other students, A03 and B17, were highly autonomous during both Te st 1 and Test 2, and were also highly anxious during one of the administrations of the anxiety scale. B18 and B22, were not highly autonomous but were hi ghly anxious. Thus, in this sample, students were highly autonomous but not anxious; highly anxious but not autonomous, and also both highly autonomous and highly anxious at the same time. These results suggest that experiencing high levels of anxiety in a la nguage classroom does not indicate whether a student will or will not take charge of his or her learning. Neither can it be said that a highly autonomous student will not experience any la nguage anxiety in the classroom.

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62 A closer look at Table 4.4 shows that f our students who were highly anxious during Test 1 were not as anxious during Test 2, and three other students who were not highly anxious at Test 1 were a nxious at Test 2. Also, tw o students who were highly autonomous at Test 1 changed categories and we re not as autonomous at Test 2. Finally, A08, who was not highly autonomous at Test 1 wa s so at Test 2. These results show that the participants’ levels of anxiety and aut onomy changed within the eight-week period. Participants A03, A18, and B15 were not highly anxious during week 5 but they were anxious during Week 13. Class observa tions reveal that bot h A03 and A18 would come early to class, sit at the back and not engage in any conversations with their classmates. They would attempt to answer any questions the teacher asked them. Their class grades for the first half of the semester were lower than they we re toward the end of the semester. It is possible that these stude nts became anxious about their grades and put in greater efforts, resulting in improved gr ades at the end of the semester. This information is corroborated from the qualitative data collected from A18. She said that she was not highly anxious at the beginning of the semester because she was familiar with the course material and had heard that the instructor was good. During the course of the semester, she said that she was frustra ted with the tediousness of the workbook and did not do her daily assignments. She was a nxious in class whenev er she had not done the reading for that day and felt tense at the thought of the instruct or calling on her to answer a question. Though she had no inten tions of continuing her language study, she wanted to get a good grade in class, so she put in extra efforts to reach her goal. B15’s behavior in class was very different from the previous two participants. She would usually come late to class, sit next to one of her friends, and chat and play

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63 throughout the French class. Her grade half way through the semester bottomed out to an overall average of 42%. She was not anxious at Time 1 but was anxious at Time 2, suggesting that it was possible that she began to be anxious about her grade and put in efforts to improve her grade; this is corr oborated by her final cla ss grade, which came up to 64%. These results show that there is no corre lation between anxiety and autonomy, and that the degree to which the participants ar e anxious or autonomous can change over the course of a semester. Correlation between Motivation and Autonomy In examining if there is a relationship between motivation and autonomy, the data show that there is a reasonabl y high correlation between these two affective factors, with a coefficient of .623 during the first administration and .629 during the second administration. Both these correlations ar e statistically signifi cant at p=<.001. Language learning research has establis hed that there is a strong connection between motivation and autonomy. Describing motivated behavior is a challenging task because it inevitably includes some characterist ics of autonomous behavior. Neither is it easy to describe autonomous behavior and claim that it cannot also be labeled as motivated behavior. Hence, it is not surprisi ng to find that some questions in the AMTB seemed to overlap with autonomy. The fo llowing questions focused on the efforts the students put into their language learning, suggesting that th ey were taking charge of their learning and showing some autonomous behavior. 1. I keep up to date with French by working on it almost every day. 2. If it were up to me, I would sp end all my time learning French.

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64 3. When I have a problem understanding some thing we are learning in my French class, I always ask th e instructor to help. 4. I really work hard to learn French. 5. When I am studying French, I ignore distr actions and stick to the job at hand. Again, these questions were identified and the scores of each participant on the extracted questions were corre lated with the instrument on autonomy. This time, it was found that the correlation between the aut onomy scale and the autonomy questions from the motivation scale had a moderately high correlation at .633 and .689 during the first and second administrations, respectively a nd p=<.001. This process ensured that the autonomy questions, from both scales, were c onsistent and measured the same affective factor. These moderately high correlations betw een the autonomy questions on both the scales, and also the anxiety questions on the AMTB and FLCAS, reinforce what researchers have said about motivation a nd anxiety, and motivation and autonomy being factors that are closely conn ected, yet are distinct and di stinguishable as different affective factors in a language learner. The relationship between motivation and autonomy will be further examined while discussing Research Question 6. To further examine the correlation between motivation and autonomy, a correlation test between the scores on motivation and autonomy was run a second time; this time with the new motivation scores. The results were similar to those obtained the first time showing statistically significant moderate co rrelations between mo tivation and autonomy with correlation coefficients of .603 (p=< .000) and .534 (p=.002) during the first and second administrations, respectively.

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65 An investigation into the correlations among the levels of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy observed in the participants of this study show that there is a moderately high correlation between motivation and autonomy. When a correlation test was run between anxiety and motivation using the AMTB in its entirety, there was no correlation between the two factors, but when the questions on anxiety and autonomy in the AMTB were disregarded, a negative correlation was f ound between anxiety and motivation. These results support those of Gardner, Day & MacIntyre (1992) who found a correlation between anxiety and motivation. Research Question 3 To what extent, if any, are the particip ants’ levels of anxiety, motivation and autonomy stable over time? The sub-questions that were considered to discover if there were any changes in the participants’ stated levels of anxi ety, motivation, and autonomy were: a. To what extent, if any, does the participan ts’ anxiety change from test to retest? b. To what extent, if any, does the participants ’ motivation change from test to retest? c. To what extent, if any, does the particip ants’ autonomy change from test to retest? d. If a change has occurred in one of th e affective factors, is there a corresponding change in the other two factors? The questionnaires measuring anxiety, motiv ation and autonomy were administered twice to the participants, during Weeks 5 and 13 of the semester. A series of paired samples t-tests were run to investigate the stab ility of the levels of emotions experienced by the participants. The results in Table 4.5 show that there was no change in the participants’ levels of anxiet y and autonomy from test to retest, but that there was a significant decrease (p=.038) in their motivation levels.

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66 Table 4.5: Paired samples t-test results s howing change only in motivation levels Mean t Sig. (2-tailed) Correlation coefficient Sig. Pair 1 First Anxiety Questionnaire 93.44 .770 .447 .789 .000* Second Anxiety Questionnaire 91.63 Pair 2 First Motivation Questionnaire 253.75 2.165 .038* .905 .000* Second Motivation Questionnaire 248.88 Pair 3 First Autonomy Questionnaire 177.84 -.429 .671 .718 .000* Second Autonomy Questionnaire 179.19 There was a high correlation between the first and second administrations of the instruments measuring the three variables, sugge sting that the instrume nts were reliable. With regards to the possible changes in the levels of anxiety fe lt by the participants, the mean anxiety score was 93.44 during Week 5 and 91.63 during Week 13, a negligible decrease of 1.81 points, which was statistically non-significant at p= .447. In other words, there was no significant overall change in the participants’ stated levels of anxiety from test to retest. When the participant scores on the motivation scale were examined, it was found that during the first administration, the m ean score for the par ticipants’ level of motivation was 253.75 while during the sec ond administration, the mean score for motivation was 248.88, a decrease of 4.87 point s. This change was statistically significant with p=.038, so an overall decrease in particip ants’ motivation levels is observed from Week 5 to Week 13 of the semester.

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67 These results were puzzling because the decrease in motivation levels seemed to contradict earlier results wh ich showed a high correlation between the first and second administrations of the motivation scale, with a correlation coeffici ent of .905 (p=<.001). Therefore, each class was then examined se parately to better unde rstand the changes in the levels of motivation. An independent sa mples t-test was run to compare the scores obtained by the participants in each of the two groups. On the first administration, the mean motivation score of the first gr oup was 242.27 points, while the second group scored 263.88 points, a difference of 21.61 points, which was statistica lly significant at p=.032. This meant that the second group was significantly more motivated than the first group during Week 5 of the semester. Table 4.6 gives the mean motivation scores of the participants during both administrations. Table 4.6: Group differences in motivation scores Group Mean Sig 1 242.27 First administration 2 263.88 .032* 1 239.00 Second administration 2 257.59 .074 During the second administration of the motivation scale, the mean motivation scores of the second group remained higher th an the scores of the first group, but this time the difference of 18.59 points was not stat istically significant (p=.074), which meant that there was no difference in the motivation levels of the two groups during Week 13 of the semester. Looking at the mean scores of each group separately, we observe that the motivation levels of group 1 decreased by 3.27 points while the motivation levels of group 2 decreased by 6.29 points, which is al most twice the decreas e experienced by the first group. A paired samples t-test showed that the decrease in motivation in group 1

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68 was not statistically significant (p=.461), but th e decrease in motivation levels in group 2 was statistically significant (p=.006). It is only when we look at th e motivation levels of both the classes separately that we understa nd that the overall decrease in motivation levels as a group come mainly from the scores of one class alone. Thus far, the results show that there was no statistically significant ch ange in the participan ts’ stated levels of anxiety, but that there was a st atistically significant decrease in their levels of motivation from Time 1 to Time 2. The possible reasons for this decrease in motivation levels will be discussed in the section c oncerning research question 7. Looking at the participant scores on the autonomy scale, it was observed that the highest individual score at Ti me 1 was 249 points, which dropped to 222 points at Time 2, but the lowest individual sc ore was not very different dur ing the two administrations. This could have suggested a possible decrease in levels of autonomy, but interestingly, the mean score rose from 177.84 during th e first administration to 179.19 during the second administration. However, this increas e was statistically non -significant (p=.671), so again we understand that as a whole there was no change in the participants’ stated levels of autonomy fr om test to retest. The next question to explore is whether a change in one of the affective factors experienced by the participants, corresponds to a change in the other two factors. It was observed that the motivation levels within the participants, as a whole group, had decreased from Time 1 to Time 2. To determ ine if there were a ny corresponding changes in the other two factors, the difference betw een the two scores obt ained during the first and second administrations was computed for each variable, and a Pearson’s Product

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69 Moment Correlations Coefficient test was r un to find the correlation among these three differences. Table 4.7 shows the correlati on of changes from Test 1 to Test 2. Table 4.7: Correlation of change s from test to retest Correlation Coefficient Sig Correlation between anxiety and motivation -.330 .065 Correlation between anxiety and autonomy .065 .726 Correlation between motivation and autonomy .335 .061 The results showed a low negative correla tion between motivation and anxiety at -.330 (p=.065), which though statis tically insignificant was s uggestive of a trend. There was a low positive correlation between motivation and autonomy at .335 (p=.061), but again, this change was merely suggestive and no t statistically significant. In other words, when there is a significant change in the motiv ation levels in the participants from Time 1 to Time 2, there is no statis tically significant corresponding change in the levels of anxiety and autonomy. These were the results when motivation levels were considered in the whole sample. But when the motivati on levels of each group were considered separately to identify if a change in motiv ation showed a correspondi ng change in anxiety and autonomy, a moderate negative corre lation of -.613 (p=.015) was found between anxiety and motivation in Group 1. This s uggests that a decrease in motivation was accompanied by an increase in anxiety w ithin this group. Table 4.8 shows the corresponding changes that occur when one of the factors changes.

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70 Table 4.8: Changes in one factor show ing corresponding changes in others Correlation Coefficient Sig. Anxiety – Motivation -.613 .015* Anxiety – Autonomy .142 .612 Group 1 Motivation Autonomy .376 .167 Anxiety – Motivation .011 .967 Anxiety – Autonomy -.171 .513 Group 2 Motivation Autonomy .206 .427 Earlier results indicated that the anxiety experienced by the participants is more likely debilitative rather than facilitative, he nce it is not very surprising to observe the trend towards an inverse relationshi p between anxiety and motivation. Research Question 4 What is the correlation between the three affective factors and students’ performance, as measured by the Fren ch test and the final class grade? In order to determine if there is a correla tion between the French test scores and the scores obtained by the participants on th e questionnaires measuring anxiety, motivation and autonomy, correlation tests were run between the scores of the participants on each of the measures and the French test scores. Multiple Linear Regression tests were r un on different data sets using SPSS 12.0. The first time, correlations between the first administrations of the in-house French test scores and the scores on the questionnai res on anxiety, motivation, and autonomy were measured. The second time, correlations be tween the second administrations of the French test scores and scores on the a nxiety, motivation, and autonomy questionnaires were measured. In order to find if there is a correlation between the final class grades and the scores obtained by the participants on the questionnaires measuring anxiety,

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71 motivation, and autonomy, the same procedur e was followed as with the French test scores. Table 4.9 tabulates the results obtained. Table 4.9: Summary of correlations between the French test scores/class grades and affective factors Anxiety Motivation Autonomy First administration of the three questionnaires & proficiency test Correlation coefficient -.625 .224 -.145 Sig .000* .232 .437 Second administration of the three questionnaires & proficiency test Correlation coefficient -.399 .107 -.007 Sig .031* .637 .975 First administration of the three questionnaires & final class grade Correlation coefficient -.402 .271 ,207 Sig .016* .186 .311 Second administration of the three questionnaires & final class grade Correlation coefficient -.415 .088 .312 Sig .015* .671 .136 The results show that there were sta tistically significant moderate negative correlations between the French test scores and first anxiety scores at -.625 (p=<.001), and a low negative correlation between the French test scor es and second anxiety scores at -.399 (p=.031), but that there were no correlations between th e first French test scores and the scores on motivation or autonom y, either during the first or second administrations. Linear regression tests were also run betw een the final class grades and the scores on both administrations of the questionnair es on anxiety, motivation and autonomy. Results show that moderate negative corr elations were found between the final class grade and the first anxiety score at -.402 (p= .016), and between the final class grade and the second anxiety score at -.415 (p=.015), but again, there were no correlations between

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72 the final class grades and the scores on either the first or second administrations of the questionnaires on motivation or autonomy. The results of all four linear regression tests consistently show that there is a statistically significant negative correlation be tween anxiety and student performance as measured by the French test and final class gr ade, but no significant correlations between motivation and autonomy, and student performan ce. These findings s uggest that in this sample the higher the levels of anxiety expe rienced by a participan t, the lower his/her performance in class. It does not seem however, that the students’ performance improves with higher levels of either motiva tion or autonomy because the students’ levels of motivation and autonomy did not have a st atistically significant effect on either their French test scores or th eir final class grade. Earlier studies conducted with university st udents had similar results. Horwitz’s (1986) study had a significant moderate ne gative correlation between foreign language anxiety and the final class grad es. MacIntyre and Gardner (1 989) also found significant negative correlations between French Cla ss Anxiety and performance on a vocabulary learning task. Aida (1994) found a signi ficant negative correlation between FLCAS scores and final grades among American sec ond-year Japanese students, and Coulombe (2000) found a small but significant correlation between FLCAS scores and final grades in eleven French classes ranging from beginni ng to advanced. Thus it is observed that regardless of the foreign language being studied or the level the student s are in university, the negative correlation between foreign la nguage anxiety and class performance is consistent.

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73 Thus far, the anxiety levels of all the pa rticipants was discussed as a whole, but since moderate levels of anxiet y can either be facilitative or debilitative, a decision was made to examine a subset of the participants An attempt was made to determine whether the anxiety experienced by the m oderately anxious students in this study was facilitative. 23 students were moderately anxious during each of the two administrations of the anxiety questionnaire. 18 of these 23 participants were moderately anxious during both Test 1 and Test 2. The scores of the twenty-three (72%) m oderately anxious participants were correlated with their overall class performance as measured by the French test scores. The results showed that during the first admini stration of the anxiety scale, there was an inverse relationship between anxiety and pr oficiency scores which was statistically significant at p=.043. This meant that during the first administrati on the anxiety felt by the participants had a negative impact on their French test scores. However, the results were no longer statistically significant during the second administration, even though a negative correlation between moderate levels of anxiet y and class performance was observed. These results suggest that the mode rately anxious students in this study also experienced debilitative, rather than facil itative anxiety. Table 4.10 shows the correlation between the anxiety scores of the moderately anxious participants a nd their French test scores. Table 4.10: Correlation between an xiety scores of moderately anxious participants and their French test scores Correlation Coefficient Sig First administration .426 .043* Second administration .361 .090

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74 Since the inverse relationship between anxiety and the French test scores during the second administration was not significant at p=.090, a correlation test was run between the scores obtained by the moderately anxious participants during bot h administrations of the anxiety scale and their final class grade, in place of the in -house French test scores, to see if the results would differ in any way. The scores from the second administration of the anxiety scale and the final class grades were obtained at the end of the semester, whereas the in-house French test was given at the beginning and the end of semester. This time, the inverse relationship between anxiety scores and class grades was statistically significant at p=.027. Thes e results are show n in Table 4.11. Table 4.11: Correlation between an xiety scores of moderately anxious participants and their final class grades Correlation Coefficient Sig First administration -.609 .007* Second administration -.461 .027* It is interesting to note that there is an inverse correlation even between the first anxiety scores and the final class grades, which is statistically significant at p=.007. These results may indicate that the final grades of the students were more reliable and valid than the scores obtained from the in -house French test that was created for the purpose of this study. Despite these limitations, it is observed that when the results are statistically significant, the anxiety experienced by the mode rately anxious students is debilitative rather than facilitative. Research Question 5 In what ways, if any, do the results obta ined from the participants in the two intact classes, taught by di fferent instructors, differ?

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75 An independent samples t-test was run to compare the overall performance of the participants in the two classe s. The scores obtained during the first administration of the questionnaires on anxiety, motivation and auto nomy were first computed. As noted earlier, it was found that Group 1 had a mean score of 242.27 on the motivation scale, while Group 2 had a mean score of 263.88 (a difference of 21.61 poi nts), a significant difference with p=.032, meaning that the sec ond group was more motivated than the first group during Week 5 of the semester. As far as the levels of anxi ety and autonomy were concerned, it was found that there were no significant differences between the two groups. These results are summarized in Table 4.12. Table 4.12: Group-wise mean scores on the three ques tionnaires during Week 5 Group 1 Group 2 Sig Anxiety mean score 92.20 94.53 .751 Motivation mean score 242.27 263.88 .032* Autonomy mean score 171.33 183.59 .178 A second independent samples t-test was r un to compare the overall performance of the two groups during the second administrati on of the instruments. Table 4.13 provides the participant mean scores on the three questionnaire s during Week 13. Table 4.13: Group-wise mean scores on each questionnaire during Week 13 Group 1 Group 2 Sig Anxiety mean score 94.33 89.24 .496 Motivation mean score 239.00 257.59 .074 Autonomy mean score 176.80 181.29 .504 This time, the higher levels of motivati on in Group 2 were no longer statistically significant during Week 13 of the semester, but may be suggestive of a trend. In other words, it is possible that Group 2 experienced marginal levels of motivation and that a

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76 small difference in levels would indicate that these high levels were statistically significant. Group 2 had higher levels of motivation dur ing week 5 than during Week 13 of the semester. Although they were not as motivated at the end of the semester as they were toward the beginning, they were still margin ally, but not significantly more motivated than the participants in Group 1. These resu lts show that the motiv ation levels within each group did not change a great deal. Some possible reasons for the marginal decrease in motivation levels within the sample w ill be discussed later in this chapter. Research Question 6 Are motivation and autonomy distinct factors? A correlation test showed that there is a moderate correlation between participant scores on motivation and autonomy. Test 1 had a correlation coefficient of .623 (p=<.001), while Test 2 had a coefficient of .624 (p=<.001). In order to find out if motivation and autonomy are distin ct factors, it may be helpful to examine the scores of participants who are both mo tivated and autonomous duri ng Test 1 and Test 2 and observe if any pattern emerges from the da ta. Table 4.14 summarizes this information. Table 4.14: Students who are highly motivated and highly autonomous during Test 1 and/or Test 2 Participant TEST 1 Motivated Autonomous TEST 2 Motivated Autonomous A03 X X X X A05 X X A08 X X X A11 X X X A12 X X A17 X A20 X B01 X X B02 X X B06 X X

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77 Table 4-14: Continued Participant TEST 1 Motivated Autonomous TEST 2 Motivated Autonomous B08 X X B10 X X X X B11 X X B12 X X B13 X X X B17 X X X X B18 X X B19 X X B21 X X As mentioned in the discussion of research question 2, during the first administration of the instruments in this st udy, 19 students (59%) were highly motivated but only 5 of them (16%) were also highly autonomous, meaning 14 students (74%) were motivated but not autonomous. During th e second administration, 17 students (53%) were highly motivated and only 4 (13%) were highly autonomous. In other words, 13 students (76%) were motivated but not autonomous The data indicates that it is possible for the students in this sample to be highl y motivated, but not highl y autonomous. None of the students who were highly autonomous lacked high motivation, which implies that to be highly autonomous a student needs to be highly motivated. Three students (50%) were highly motivated during both administrations of the motivation scale, but were highly autonomous during only the first or second administrations of the autonomy scale. More students are motivated than autonomous in this sample, which implies that there are greater chances of students being motivated than autonomous in a given classroom. The three students who were both highly motivated and highly autonomous during both tests are A03, B10, and B17. Two student s, A11 and B13, were autonomous during Test 1 but not Test 2. Interestingly, A08 was not autonomous at the beginning of the semester, but was so toward the end of the semester. Results shows that two students,

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78 A17 and A20, were highly motivated during Te st 1 but were only moderately motivated during Test 2, which implies that they lost some of their motivation. This is always assuming that the participants answered the questionnaires honestly and reliably. Their responses on the AMTB show that they had lost some confidence in using French both inside and outside the classroom. They even began to think that most foreign languages sounded crude and harsh, and that they would prefer to spend more time on courses other than French. It seems that their attitude toward learning French was not as positive as it was during Test 1. A17 did not write any journa l entries, nor was she inte rviewed, hence her responses on the questionnaires cannot be corroborated. A20, however, expressed her feelings in the journal entries she submitted. Mid-way through the semester, she said that the French class was getting progressively harder as th ey were learning more every day, and earlier concepts were being built upon. She felt that most of the material was “foreign” to her and that she was easily confused with the many concepts that were presented in class. Her main reason for taking the French class wa s to fulfill the language requirement. Her overall feelings about learning French do not seem very positive at this point in the semester because she says, “I honestly do not fe el that motivated to learn French because of all the tedious work that is involved in it. Five days of foreign language class per week is a lot for a college student with ma ny other classes to handle.” She wished the instructor would “slow down the pace of the class as much as possible in order not to confuse or discourage students.” These results indicate that participants who are motivated and/ or autonomous at one point in the semester may or may not remain this way at another point in the

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79 semester. They may either gain or lose that characteristic at any stage of their language learning experience indicating that the state of being motivated or autonomous is not a constant. These results concur with the vi ews of researchers (e .g. Holec, 1981; Little, 1991) who posit that autonomy is not a steady st ate that learners achie ve once and for all, and that it can fluctuate at different stages of the langua ge learning experience. It should be noted that while trying to formulate questions that target motivation, it is possible for some facets of autonomy to be included in those questions, because of the high correlation between thes e two affective factors. The AMTB included some questions on autonomy, for example, and the st udents had to indicate whether they kept up to date with French by working on it almo st every day, whether they wanted to learn French so well that it would become second nature to them, whether they ignored the feedback they received in French class, and whether they ignored distractions when studying French. The responses of the stude nts who were only motivated, and those who were both motivated and autonomous were examined. The results did not show any significant difference in the way that these two groups of students responded to those questions on autonomy, which indicates, onc e again, that there is a strong interface between motivation and autonomy. In examining the questionna ire on autonomy, however, th ere was a difference in the way that students who were motivated but not autonomous answered questions from those who were both motivated and aut onomous. The autonomous students were confident that they would be good at choos ing learning objectives and materials, evaluating their own learning, identifying th eir weaknesses, and deciding what they should learn next in the French class. Such was not the case with those who were only

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80 motivated. So, how do we distinguish motivatio n and autonomy? It is observed that the autonomous students have the ability to take charge of their learning and to make responsible decisions about all aspects of their learning. Characteristics such as working hard on French almost every day, wanting to le arn as much French as possible, asking the instructor for help, and sticking to the job at hand while ignoring distractions, overlap and are found in motivated as well as autonomous students, but the previously mentioned characteristics can be found only in autonomous students. The responses of the students, described below, show that both motivation and autonomy are highly correlated, but they are not one and the same factor with different names or labe ls. As was mentioned earlier, clearly identifying and distinguishing between the affective factors of motivation and autonomy is a challenging task. It seems that in assessing students’ levels of motivation, the focus is on the degree of effort the st udents put into their la nguage learning, whereas in assessing students’ levels of autonomy, the focus is on their ability to determine language learning objectives, to select methods and techniques that will help meet their objectives, and to be able to evaluate wh at they have learnt (Holec, 1981). The information obtained from students’ jo urnals and interviews was examined to better understand how motivation an d autonomy are correlated, yet distinct. Fi rst of all, two students who are both highly motivated a nd highly autonomous, but have different perspectives of their language learning experiences, are discussed. Next, other participants who are motivate d, but not autonomous are discussed to ascertain whether the qualitative data corroborat es the results from the que stionnaires, showing that motivation and autonomy are distinct factors.

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81 B10 and B17 were both highly motivated and highly autonomous during both administrations of the test. B10 enjoyed th e class, liked her instructor and thought he sincerely wanted them to understand the langu age. She appreciated the fact that her instructor would talk in French “all the time. ” Outside of class sh e reported that she practiced speaking French with her friends and enjoyed watching French movies. B10 was also an independent lear ner and showed signs of be ing responsible for her own learning. In one of her jo urnal entries, she writes: I keep up with the listeni ng manual and workbook. I read before each lesson and I show up to every class. I study for the te sts and do all the review exercises and I think I am doing really well in class. …I follow all the instructions and have top marks in the class. I feel that in this class I am in control of my own learning but by following the guidelines set for me. These remarks show that this participan t is both highly motivated and highly autonomous. She confidently states that sh e is in control of her own learning, yet behaves differently from what one would expe ct from an autonom ous student. She has full faith in the instructor, the syllabus and th e structure of the class and feels she controls her own learning, not by creating a new or di fferent plan of study, but by following the guidelines set for her because they produced the desired results in her learning and the curriculum was working for her. One might a ssume that being as highly motivated as she was, if the curriculum had not worked for her, she might have actively found ways to modify it so that here learning would be e ffective. We observe this participant’s motivation in the effort she exerts to achieve her goals, and her autonomy in her identification of the course of action that will give her the desired results. Both the qualitative and quantitative data on this par ticipant show that B10 was highly motivated and highly autonomous in her French class.

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82 According to the scores on the questionna ires, B17 was also highly motivated and highly autonomous during both admi nistrations of the test, but the data from the journals and interview give a preliminary impre ssion that B17 was neither motivated nor autonomous in class. Though B17 had the sa me instructor as B10, she had a very different perspective of him. In her journal, she states that she lost her motivation to study French because her instructor is “very bad at teaching . . This makes me very frustrated and unmotivated to study.” Yet her scores on the motivation scale indicate that she was highly motivated during both Weeks 5 a nd 13 of the semester. It is possible that B17 was unmotivated to study, but that she wa s still motivated to learn French, as is observed in the efforts she puts in, according to her journal entry, while studying with her sister. In another journal en try she writes, “Sometimes I get a little disheartened because of class but lately I feel more motivated. Especially now that I have more time.” This remark shows that the participant is more mo tivated at this point in the semester, not because the instructor has made any cha nges in his teaching style but because she reportedly has more time. This student’s levels of motivation depend more on factors within her control, in this case, her time, rather than th e quality of instruction in her French class. She also writes: I made an easy A in French last semester and I don’t feel like it will be that way this semester. Luckily, though, when I do study the course material is really helpful. The book is easy to understand that [sic] the oral section online is very useful. I also like that the syllabus sh ows us everything that will be going on …I hate the fact that it is just random things what [sic] we spend our class time on. This subject could be really in teresting but it isn’t right now. It seems as if B17 is unable to recognize the reasons for her apathy in class. During the interview, she stated that her lack of motiv ation was due to the fact that her instructor spoke in French for long periods of time and sh e tended to switch off, that he went “on

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83 and on about things that are irrelevant” and also because he “grades rather harsh for a beginning class,” yet when she has a little more time for her studies she feels motivated, finds the textbook easy to understand when she takes the time to read through it, finds the course material helpful, and the online oral s ection useful. Not only does this student feel motivated when she does her part, puts some effort into her studies, and takes responsibility for her learning by studying fo r her language course, but at home, she usually goes over the entire book, making st udy guides on grammar and vocabulary. The first impression we get about B17’s lack of motivation and autonomy from her qualitative data, is not substantiated by her behavior dur ing the semester. Even though B17 thinks she is unmotivated and apathetic in class, sh e does take responsibi lity for her learning, determines what will help her learn, and se ts out to accomplish her goals. We observe, yet again, that the qualitative data do corrobor ate the quantitative data and show that B17 is highly motivated as well as highly au tonomous, even though she reported being dissatisfied with her class and thinks the instructor is ineffective. We notice that B10 was very positive in he r assessment of the class and had a final class grade of 97%, whereas B17 was not as pos itive, and had a final class grade of 87%. It is possible that the attitude of a language learner plays a role in the class performance, or even that class performa nce plays a role in motivati on. Motivation and autonomy tap different emotions in different language learners, and from the quantitative and qualitative data provided, we observe that va rying degrees of interactions between these two affective factors may produce varying degr ees of success in different students, or varying degrees of success at different times within the same student. Success, in this case, is evidenced by class gr ades. Research (e.g. Wang a nd Palincsar, 1989) shows that

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84 when learners take responsibility for their own learning and make independent choices to facilitate their goals, their motivation increase s and they are better ab le to achieve their goals. It is obvious that both B10 and B17 ha ve taken responsibility for their learning, and are also motivated to work hard and succeed in their French class. In an attempt to observe differences be tween students who are both autonomous and motivated, and those who are only mo tivated, six students, A18, B01, B02, B06, B18, and B21, who were highly motivated durin g both administrations of the AMTB, but were not also highly autonomous, were examin ed. Some of the comments they made in their journals and interviews were that: they did not make any specific plans as to how to improve their language skills, they did not try to improve their skills outside class, they did not think about how to best study for the cl ass, and they never pa id attention to the objectives of the class. These comments suggest that these participants were not aware of what they could do to improve their language skills and how they could control their learning. They did not come up with any goals and objectives of their own, nor did they evaluate what they had learnt, which is char acteristic of autonomous behavior. However, the participants were definitely motivated to le arn French, as is seen from their interest in purchasing French materials such as casse tte tapes and short story books, writing short paragraphs in French, singing French songs reading French newspapers and making flashcards to learn vocabulary. They were enthusiastic to learn the language and made the effort to do better in class. In other words, these partic ipants were motivated, but not autonomous. Hence we observe from both the quantitative and qualitative data that although motivation and autonomy are closely re lated these two cons tructs are indeed distinct and manifest themselves in differe nt ways in second language learners.

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85 Research Question 7 What are some possible reasons for a chan ge, if any, in the levels of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy experienced by the participants from test to retest? In the discussion of Research Question 3, it was noted that there were no significant changes in the levels of anxiety and autonom y experienced by the pa rticipants, but that there was a statistically signifi cant decrease in motivation in the sample from Week 5 to Week 13 of the semester. It was also stated that the motivation levels of Group 2 were higher than those of Group 1 at the beginning of the semester. Both groups experienced a decrease in their levels of motivation dur ing Week 13 of the semester, but only the decrease in Group 2 was statis tically significant. In the discussion of this question, however, the two groups are not considered se parately because there was a decrease in motivation levels in both groups. Also, most of the qualitati ve data has been collected from Group 2. Eight of the eleven students who wrote journals were from Group 2, and five of the six interviews conducted we re with students from Group 2. In order to understand what some possibl e reasons may be for this decline in motivation levels, we examine some backgr ound information about the two classes that was obtained through classroom observations. The two instructors who taught the two int act classes in this study had different teaching styles. Instructor 1 used a deductiv e method of teaching in class, stating the language rule he wanted to teach that day and then giving the students many examples to help them understand the concept. The teacher would speak in French most of the time, but did not require his students to answer him in French. As a result, the students mostly answered comprehension questions or questi ons concerning the presentation in English. When the instructor asked students to read a few sentences from the textbook or was

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86 teaching vocabulary and asked for the French equivalents, the students would make an effort to speak in French, usually utteri ng words or phrases rather than complete sentences. The teacher would call on the st udents at random to answer questions, making sure that each one had a chance to answer at least one question. In a 50-minute class of about 20 students, the students got an opportunity to answer a question in French twice, on an average. The teacher occasionally aske d the students to read a few lines from the textbook out loud, which gave them some practic e in reading the language. The teacher mostly focused on teaching grammar and vocabul ary in this class, and stated, during the interview, that the students were more interest ed in learning about culture than grammar. This French class was observed at least on ce a week. During these times, the students were never engaged in any pair work or group work. This was probably one of the reasons why the students would come to th e classroom and wait fo r the class to begin without engaging in any small talk or having any interactions amongst themselves and were “just there,” as the instructor put it during the interview. When the teacher came in early, he would usually greet the students and then read something or keep himself occupied until it was time to begin the class. No efforts were made to walk around the class and interact with the students, which, in turn, might have developed a sense of rapport between the students a nd the instructor and also am ong the students. When the students asked the instructor any qu estions he would always spend time answering them. Instructor 2, on the other hand, used an inductive method of teaching, writing a few sentences or examples on the chalkboard, and asking the students to examine the structure and come up with the language rule to be studied that day, based on the given examples. The teacher would speak in Fren ch most of the time and also required his

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87 students to answer him in French. The st udents would try their best to answer in complete sentences. This instructor would not call on individual students as much as the previous instructor for answer s, but would explain a concep t for a few minutes then ask the students to practice the concept or grammar item in pairs or in groups of three, depending on the seating arrangements in cla ss. In this way, the students got a fair amount of practice in using th e language regardless of whethe r or not they always used grammatically correct structures with each ot her. This teacher also occasionally asked the students to read aloud some dialogue s from the textbook, which gave them some practice in reading the language. Instructor 2 believed that grammar should be taught in the cultural context and remarked, during th e interview, that his students asked many questions on vocabulary and grammar, espe cially conjugations. This was probably because the focus of teaching in this class was not always on grammar and vocabulary, as it was in the previous class, and the teaching style was inducti ve rather than deductive. The dissatisfaction of the students in each of these classes indicates that neither the inductive nor the deductive teaching style met th e needs of all the students in the class. This class was also different from the firs t with regards to student interaction. The students would come to the classroom and intera ct, in English, with the others sitting in their general vicinity while waiting for the class to begin. This was probably because most of the time the instructor would requi re the students to pract ice or complete an exercise in pairs or small groups, which invol ved interactions on a regular basis. The students may have formed a bond which made it easier for them to interact with one another even when they were not required to.

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88 The decrease in the overall levels of motiv ation within the participants could have occurred for a variety of reasons examined below. These comments were extracted from the journal entries and interviews that were conducted with the students and instructors, and support the possible reasons given for a decrease in motivation in their language classes. It must be noted that the following comments are made by students whose motivation levels decreased from test to retest. Test Anxiety The participants who were highly motivated in this study said th at they experienced test anxiety. B02 was anxious ju st before tests because that is when she realized that she did not know as much as she should. She said that the teacher did not require them to complete the assignments, and as a result, she had fallen behind and was very worried about the final exam. B 06, B17 and B18 felt that being nervous was a waste of time because classes and tests are within the student’s control, so either they knew the answers or they did not. B17 added that when a person is apathetic, ther e is no anxiety. B18 reported being frustrated with her test grad es because she knew more French than what her test reflected. Extensive Material None of the students said that the material was very difficult to grasp, but they felt that they might have been more inclined to do the daily assignments if there had not been so much to do every day that it became very tedious. Even if they did the assignments, they were not motivated to bother about quality because the instructors did not read what was written, but only checked to see if the work was done. A18, who was highly motivated only during Test 1, said “I am not sure that I’m retaining much of what I am learning because I have to concentrate so hard on learning each new lesson and chapter

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89 that I forget what we’ve studied previously.” Also, the students we re not very motivated to do the writing exercises in the workbook becau se it did not prepare them for the tests, which included multiple choice answers or word banks from which to choose answers. Fast Pace of Class It was also felt that the p ace of instruction was too fast and because new material was being taught every day, the students did not have time to assimilate or practice what was taught, so they were not learning as much as they could. A17, who was highly motivated only during Test 1, felt that if the p ace of class was slower, she would not be as confused or discouraged while learning French. This aspect of cla ss was probably one of the factors that lead to a decrease in her motivation level. Language Requirement Some students disliked the fact that they had to take the French class because of a language requirement policy of the university. In connection with this policy, B18 said that she hated people telling her what to do. A18 said that she was taking the class as a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option so that she di dn’t have to work very hard, and came to class only for the attendance. This aspect and the fact that there was so much to learn in class probably were the reasons for A18’ s decrease in motivation. Communication with Instructor In one of the classes, the students felt that the teacher coul d not understand the questions they asked him in English, so th ey gave up asking questions after a while. They also felt that he could not explain some concepts well because of his lack of fluency in English, and wished that he could give th em examples of the concepts taught and their English equivalents. Two other students sa id that when they got an answer wrong, the instructor just said “it’s wr ong” without giving them any hint as to how to get the right

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90 answer. Their disappointment with the method of instruction in class probably dampened their enthusiasm to learn French. Dissatisfaction with Class The students were also dissatisfied with the way the class was taught. One of the instructors focused a great deal on teachi ng grammar and vocabulary, and called on the students to answer questions. The students in th is class felt that they needed to learn how to communicate in French in full sentences, ra ther than to learn a lot of grammar and vocabulary. The second instruct or frequently asked the stude nts to do some activities in pairs or small groups, and the students in th is class thought there wa s not much point in interacting with their classmat es because they did not know the right answers, anyway. These students said they would have preferred to be called upon to answer questions and did not think that it would be an anxiety-pr ovoking experience. This may be so because this group usually interacted with each other in class. These were some possible reasons for the decrease in motivation observed within the participants, especially within Group 2. The comments made by the students give an insight into their frustrations. It is quite clear that the st udents were more motivated at the beginning of the semester, but that as the semester pr ogressed, some of them lost interest and their motivati on levels decreased. There is no doubt that the students were frus trated in their French class, but the interviews with the instructors revealed that they also had their sh are of frustrations. There were times when they felt that they c ould not do much to improve the situation in the classroom because it was beyond their control. They were very frustrated when the students complained about the tests and said that the gr ading was harsh because the students did not put much effort into their st udies, were fine with a grade of ‘B,’ and

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91 came to the tests unprepared. It was also fr ustrating when the students would walk into class very late and even read the college paper during composition days instead of spending that time in their writing. Teach ing the students grammar was a challenge because they were unfamiliar with the grammar terms even in English so they were not really interested in grammar. The students al so complained that th ey were not prepared in class for the final oral exams, but the instru ctors believed that doing an oral exercise in class was preparation for that exam. This mismatch of student-ins tructor perception of the final oral exam might have been preven ted if the students were reminded throughout the semester that any oral communication they engage in during class is practice for the final oral exam. Some of the concerns the in structors had about the cla ss were regarding the amount of grading that needed to be done. Since it was not possible to grade all the work that was done, they mainly checked for comple tion, hoping that the students had learnt something from actually doing the exercises. Another area of concern the instructors had was about the SAT II placement tests that we re conducted only during the first two days of the semester. When a student decided to join the French class on the third or fourth day, they had to decide which class s/he should attend. This was a challenging task because if a mistake was made in assigning the student to the appropriate class, they were ‘stuck’ with that student for the rest of the semester. These remarks made by students and instru ctors alike give an insight into the frustrations experienced on both sides and could serve as possible reasons why the motivation levels within the participants decr eased over the course of the semester. This was only one side of the story, however, b ecause there were some students who were

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92 very happy with their instructors. At the same time, the instructors had some very positive comments to make about some of the st udents. Nevertheless, because the results show that there was an overall statistically significant decrease in motivation levels in this group of students, some possible r easons for this change was explored. In this study, out of a total of 32 participants, during Test 1 eight participants (25%) experienced high levels of anxi ety, 19 participants (59%) we re highly motivated, and five participants (16%) were autonomous. Du ring Test 2, seven participants (22%) experienced high levels of anxiety, 17 participants (53%) reported being highly motivated, and four participants (13%) were autonomous. No correlations were found between anxiety and motivation or between anxiety and autonomy, but there were statistically significant modera te correlations between motiv ation and autonomy. Results shows that the participants’ motivation levels decreased from Time 1 to Time 2. As far as correlations between the affective f actors and class performance was concerned, anxiety had a statistically significant moderate nega tive correlation with class performance.

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93 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION This chapter summarizes the results obtain ed in this study, suggests pedagogical implications, discusses the limitations of th is study, and outlines avenues for possible future research. Summary An attempt was made to discover how the affective factors of anxiety, motivation and autonomy correlate with one another, and to observe their effect on participants’ class grades. The results indicated that there were correlations only between the levels of motivation and autonomy in the participants, but that there were no correlations between anxiety and motivation, or between anxiety and autonomy. Both the qualitative and qualitative data provided in this study supports earlier re search, which shows a strong relationship between motivation and autonomy. As far as the stability of these factors over an eight-week period was concerned, there was a statistically signifi cant decrease in the participants’ levels of motivation from the first administration of the motivation sc ale to the second, which was toward the end of the semester. A change in the participants’ levels of motivation did not correlate with a significant change in the other two fact ors, but there are trends toward changes occurring in both anxiety and autonomy at ‘p’ values of .065 and .061, respectively. As to the effect of these affective factors on class performance, the results of this study corroborated earlier research, which shows that anxiety has a negativ e effect on students’

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94 class performance. However, it was found th at neither motivation nor autonomy seemed to have any effect on the class performance of this sample. The participants in this study were fro m two intact classes taught by different instructors, yet the results of both classe s were not very different. There were no differences in the levels of anxiety and aut onomy in the two classes during either the first or second administration of th e instruments. With rega rds to motivation, Group 2 was more motivated than Group 1 during the first administration of the motivation scale, but not during the second administ ration. However, the result s showed a likelihood of Group 2 still being marginally more motivated than Group 1 at a ‘p’ value of .074. Hence, we can safely assume that there was minimal teacher effect on these two classes. Pedagogical Implications Anxiety and Motivation The results showed that there was no corre lation between the levels of anxiety and motivation experienced by the participants in this study, which meant that anxious students were not necessarily unmotivated, as suggested by earlier research. Students in any classroom have different personalities and react to situations in different ways, and instructors may benefit from understanding that even though students show signs of being anxious in a language classroom, which may or may not adversely affect their grades, those students can still be motivated to lear n effectively. Therefore, teachers should not give up on their anxious students assuming th at anxious students ar e likely to be less motivated to learn. Given this knowledge, instructors can channel their efforts in motivating students and also reducing their a nxiety. An insight into these results may lessen the perplexity teache rs feel about active and mo tivated students who show unanticipated signs of being anxious in class. When instructors recognize that a student

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95 who is enthusiastic and motivated in completi ng class work or engaging in class activities can also experience language anxiety, which c ould manifest itself in any form, such as feelings of discomfort or inadequacy, they may use anxiety-reduci ng techniques to teach those students. Anxiety and Autonomy No correlations were found between the anxiety and autonomy levels in the participants. These results suggest that inst ructors should not assume that their anxietyridden students cannot take charge of their lear ning and show signs of being autonomous. By the same token, teachers need to be aw are that autonomous students who seem to have taken charge of their own learning ma y still feel anxious about their foreign language learning experiences, which in tur n, could affect their class grades. For example, students may be anxious about whet her the objectives and plans they have set up for their own study will be effective or not. A teacher will definitely need to lend a helping hand and be supportive of even thos e students who seem to need no help from them. Motivation and Autonomy In this sample, motivation and autonomy were highly correlated, which means that the more motivated a student is, the more chan ces there are that this student may also be autonomous. Similarly, the more autonomous a student is, the grea ter the likelihood that this student will be motivated in the language classroom. But since the results showed that neither motivation nor autonomy has an eff ect on class grades, it cannot be said that the more motivated or the more autonomous th e students are, the greater are their chances of getting better grades. Als o, in this sample, there were far more students who were motivated than who were autonomous. If such is the case in most classrooms, teachers

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96 might benefit from understanding this phenomenon in their classrooms. It will help them understand the behavior of the students in th eir classrooms, decide the instructional strategies they would prefer to employ, and pos sibly adapt their teaching style to one that targets motivated, rather than autonomous students. Over a period of eight weeks, there were no changes in the levels of anxiety or autonomy in the participants, but there were ch anges in their levels of motivation. These results should not be very surprising, because intuitively one would imagine that it might take longer than eight weeks to significantl y reduce or dispel stude nts’ foreign language anxiety. Conversely, autonomy seems to be mo re an ability or capacity that a language learner has, rather than a tr ansient feeling or a “mood”. Results do show, however, that there was a change in the le vels of motivation. If teach ers understand that there are higher chances of the motivation levels in students changing, they can plan their instructional strategies to enhance motivation in the language classroom. Anxiety, Motivation and Class Grades Classroom anxiety levels of the partic ipants had a consistent strong negative influence on the in-house French test scores as well as the final class grades during both the first and second administrations of the anxiety scale. Teachers are sometimes confused or even frustrated with the low grades that some of their students earn in class, despite the fact that the students seem activ e and motivated, and put in a great deal of effort in their work. According to the result s of this study, we have seen that levels of motivation have little or no effect on class gr ades, but anxiety levels are highly correlated with class grades. Hence, it may be advisable for teachers to focus on reducing the anxiety that students feel in the classroom, which may then improve class performance.

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97 Teacher Effect The participants in this st udy belonged to two differen t classes taught by different instructors with very different teaching styl es and personalities, yet we see that there wasn’t much difference in their students’ le vels of anxiety, motivation or autonomy when comparing the two classes to each other. This observation indicates that there was little or no teacher effect on the participants in this study, which is an encouraging thought to instructors. Every class has students whose learning styles may not match perfectly with the teaching style adopted by th e teacher, so there will always be some students whose needs are not fully met. Possible Reasons for Lack of Motivation The quantitative data in this study sh ow that there was a decrease in the participants’ levels of motivation towards the end of the semester. The qualitative data obtained from journal entries and interviews indicates that some of the possible reasons for the decrease in motivation could be b ecause the students were unhappy with the way the class was taught, because their needs were not met in the class, or because there was too much homework. If teachers are aware of these possible reasons for a decline in students’ motivation levels, they can make every effort to avoi d some of these situations. In this way, the students could remain motivated during the entire language learning experience. Limitations of the Study This study involved adult students who were learning French. Much of the classroom instruction, the in-house French test, and the class activities were in French. It is very unfortunate that I di d not know the language. As a result, I had to ask teachers and students to explain certain situations th at occurred in the classroom, and about the

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98 topic that was taught in cla ss that day. I could not understand the teacher-student interactions in French. As a result, it is very possible that I missed some valuable information and insights that could have enriched the data collected in this study. Not knowing the French language, I had to de pend on the Assistant Director of the language program to devise the in-house French Test. There were a few typos in the test, which I was unable to spot or correct before it was administered to the students. Also, I wanted to have at least 30 partic ipants in my study, but since none of the sections had 30 students enrolled in them, I ha d to enlist the help of students from two different intact classes. It would have been much better if all the participants were from the same class to control for variable s that might influence results. It would have been interesting to observ e a three-way interaction between the three variables, instead of two-way correlations between them. It was difficult to identify a statistical test that would achieve a three-way interacti on, hence the researcher was limited to discussing two-way interactions. Future research It would be interesting to replicate this study with not only a different group of students learning French but al so with students learning ot her languages to observe if similar results are obtained where there ar e correlations only between motivation and autonomy, and none between anxiety and motiva tion, or between anxiety and autonomy. The data in this study were collected ove r a period of eight weeks and results showed that there was a change only in th e motivation levels of the participants. Investigations could be made with shorter and longer time periods in between the two administrations of the instruments to exam ine if the time in between administrations determined changes in the variables under consideration.

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99 The French language program in this study had a very detailed daily syllabus set out for all the instructors to follow. It might be worth our while to obs erve if there is any teacher effect in programs that do not ha ve such a detailed syllabus, and where the instructors are more independent in planning their own courses. The two classes that were observed met at about the same time of day, from 10:40 a.m. until 12:35 p.m. If the two classes had met during different times, for example, one class in the morning and another in the late afternoon, would the results obtained have been different, in terms of changes in affectiv e factors and the teacher effect? It would be interesting to find out if the time a langua ge class is conducted makes a difference. The results of this study show that mo tivation may be a necessary condition for autonomy to be present in a language learner. It would be interesting to observe if similar results are obta ined in other settings, such as with a different language group or with a different age group. It might also be worthwhile to investigate if motivation would be sufficient to ensure autonomy or if some other individual differences are necessary too. This is the first known study that has looked at the inte rplay between these three variables, anxiety, motivation and autonomy, and their influe nce on class performance. Further, the quantitative results were compared and corroborated with the qualitative data that were collected. Further research also needs to be done to examine the effect of motivation and autonomy on class performan ce of students and to determine which variable, if any, the teachers can try to enhance in their students.

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100 APPENDIX A PARTICIPANT BACKGROUND QUESTIONNAIRE Participant Information Form The contents of this form are absolutely confidential. Information identifying the respondent will not be disclosed under any circumstances. Name: _________________________ Code: ________ Email address: ____________________________ Phone number: ____________________________ Gender : Female _____ Male ______ (please put an ‘X’) Age: _______ years Major / Department : ___________________________ Year in school : Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior Master Doctoral (circle) Expected month and year of graduation : ____________________________________ Foreign countries visited : _________________________________________________ Length of time spent in French-speaking countries : ___________________________ Foreign languages studied in high school (with length of time): __________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Native (First) Language: ______________________________ Languages spoken at home (other than English): _____________________________ Approximate number of hours you speak French out of class every week: _________ Approximate number of hours you spend studying French every week: ___________

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101 Expected grade for this language course : A B+ B C+ C D+ D F (circle) ~ Thank you for your participation ~

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102 APPENDIX B IN-HOUSE FRENCH TEST French Test Nom___________________ 1131/1116 I. Choisissez le pronom appropri pour remplacer la phrase souligne. 1. Je voudrais un kilo de prommes de terres. Je __________ voudrais un kilo. a) y b) en c) le d) les 2. Elle est toujours en France. Elle ______est toujours. a) y b) en c) le d) la 3. Marie telephone souvent ses parents. Marie ________ telephone souvent. a) y b) les c) leur d) leurs 4. Ses enfants n’aiment pa s du tout les legumes. Ses enfants ne______aiment pas du tout. a) en b)les c) leur d) leurs 5. Le professeur a rpondu la question. Le professeur ________ a rpondu. a) y b) lui c) la d) leur B. Choisissez la forme approprie du verbe. 1. S’il pleut, je ____________mon parapluie. a) prendrai b) prendrais c) prenais d) ai pris 2. Cet aprs-midi nous _____________ au restaurant. a) mangeons b) allons manger c) mangerons d) mangerions 3. Quand ils taient jeunes, ils __________ ch ez leur grand-mre aprs I’cole. a) vont b) iraient c) allaient d) sont alls 4. Voulez-vous que je ____________ au tlphone? a) reponds b) rpondrai c) rpondrais d) rponde

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103 5. Si j’avais su, je vous __________ un gateau. a) fais b) ai fait c) aurais fait d) avais fait C. Lisez le passage puis rpondez aux questions. Le Muse d’Orsay Renseignements utiles: 62, rue de Lille, 75005 Paris. Entre princi pale: 1, rue de la Lgion-d’Honneur 01-45-49-11-11 Mt. Solfrino ou RER C: Muse d’Orsay Internet: www.muse-orsay.fr Ouvert les Mardi, Mercredi, Vendredi et Samedi de 10h 18 h: le Jeudi jusqu’ 21h45; le Dimanche, ouvert de 9h 18h. Entre le 20 juin et le 20 septemre, ouverture 9h. Ferm le Lundi. Attention: la vente des billets s’arrte une demiheure avant la fermeture. Tarifs: 40F pour les adultes, grat uity jusqu’ 18 ans, 30F le Dimanche pour les adultes. Possibilit de visites gnrales ou thmatiques (par artiste, par genre, etc.) guides (dure: 1h30) Petit Historique: Le Muse d’Orsay est une ancienne gare fe rroviaire. Utilise commegare pendant une quarantaine d’annes (1889-1939), elle a t la iss l’abandon aprs la deuxime guerre mondiale. En 1970 la ville de Paris a accord un permis de demolition pour cette immense structure mtallique. l’ide de voir disparatre ce bel edifice, exemple tmoin des techniques de construction utilizes la fin du XIXe sicle, les Parisiens se sont emus. Ils ont fait inscrire le btiment l’inventaire des Monuments historiques, et ils ont fait appel l’architecte italienne Gai Aulenti pour le transformer en muse. Aujour d’hui il runit les oeuvr es des peintres, des scultpteurs, et des artistes graphiques des annes 1848-1905. 1. On which day of the week is it not possible to visit this museum? ________________ 2. If you would like to visit the museum ar ound 7 pm, on which day should you go? _______________ 3. On which day can adults get in at a reduced price? _______________

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104 4. The building, which houses the Muse d’Orsay, was not always a museum. (a) What was its former function? _______________________________ (b) For how long did it serve this function? _______________________ D. Vocabulaire Select th e one best answer. 1. Chaque fois que tu vas __________ Charlo tte, tu la trouves plus jolie. (a) visiter (b) regarder (c) voir (d) entendre 2. Aprs un repas dans un restaurant, il faut payer ___________. (a) l’addition (b) la note (c) le billet (d) le prix 3. Je vais __________ une Toyota l’anne pr ochaine si j’ai assez d’argent. (a) prendre (b) vendre (c) acheter (d) venir 4. Vronique, ce __________desire voir quelque chose dans les impermables pour femmes, de haute qualit. (a) homme (b) monsieur (c) personne (d) type 5. L’informatique est moins connue en France qu’a ux Etats-Unis et tout le monde n’a pas l’ordinateur __________ lui. (a) (b) pour (c) comme (d) chez

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105 6. Monique et Daniel so nt toujours les derniers __________ mes soires. (a) partir (b) sortir (c) quitter (d) laisser 7. Paris est divise en vingt __________, numrotes de I XX. (a) provinces (b) centers (c) arrondissements (d) departments

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106 APPENDIX C QUESTIONNAIRE ON ANXIETY CODE: __ ____ Role of Emotions in Language Learning Following are a number of statements with which some people agree and others disagree. Please indi cate your opinion after each statement by putting an ‘ X ’ in the box that best indica tes the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement. Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree or Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 1. I never feel quite sure of myself when I am speaking in my French class. 2. I don’t worry about making mistakes in French class. 3. I tremble when I know that I’m going to be called on in French class. 4. It frightens me when I don’t understand what the teacher is saying in French. 5. It wouldn’t bother me at all to take more foreig n language classes. 6. During French class, I find myself thinking about things that have nothing to do with the course. 7. I keep thinking that the other students are better at languages than I am. 8. I am usually at ease during tests in my French class. 9. I start to panic when I have to speak without preparation in French class. 10. I worry about the consequenc es of failing my French class. 11. I don’t understand why some people get so upset over French classes. 12. In French class, I can get so nervous I forget things I know. 13. It embarrasses me to volunteer answers in my French class.

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107 S D D N A S A 14. I would not be nervous speaking in French with native speakers. 15. I get upset when I don’t understand what the teacher is correcting. 16. Even if I am well prepared for French class, I feel anxious about it. 17. I often feel like not going to my French class. 18. I feel confident when I speak in French class. 19. I am afraid my French teacher is ready to correct every mistake I make. 20. I can feel my heart pounding when I’m going to be called on in French class. 21. The more I study for a French test, the more confused I get. 22. I don’t feel pressure to p repare very well for French class. 23. I always feel that the other students speak French better than I do. 24. I feel very self-conscious about speaking French in front of other students. 25. French class moves so quickly I worry about getting left behind. 26. I feel more tense and nervous in my French class than in my other classes. 27. I get nervous and confused when I am speaking in my French class. 28. When I’m on my way to French class, I feel very sure and relaxed. 29. I get nervous when I don’t underst and every word the French teacher says. 30. I feel overwhelmed by the number of rules you have to learn to speak a foreign language. 31. I am afraid that the other students will laugh at me when I speak in French. 32. I would probably feel comfortable around native speakers of French. 33. I get nervous when the French teacher asks questions which I haven’t prepared in advance. 34. I get just as nervous in my oth er classes as I do in my French class. 35. I am usually calm and not easily upset. 36. I am a high-strung person.

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108 37. I avoid meeting new people even though they are English speakers. S D D N A S A 38. I am satisfied with the progress I am making in all my classes, except French. 39. I go through periods in which I lose sleep over worry. 40. It doesn’t bother me when I am not in control of a situation. ~ Thank you for your participation ~

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109 APPENDIX D QUESTIONNAIRE ON MOTIVATION CODE: _____ Learning a Foreign Language Following are a number of statements with which some people agree and others disagree. Please indicate your opinion after each statement by putting an ‘ X ’ in the box that best indi cates the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement. Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree or Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 1. Studying French is important because it will make me appear more cultured. 2. When called upon to use my French, I feel very much at ease. 3. I would really like to learn many foreign languages. 4. I may not be completely fluent in French, but I feel confident speaking it. 5. I hate French. 6. I make a point of trying to u nderstand all the French I see and hear. 7. I wish I could speak another language perfectly. 8. I am more confident in my ability to speak French than others who know as much French as I do. 9. I often wish I could read newspa pers and magazines in another language. 10. Knowing French isn’t really an important goal in my life. 11. Studying a fore ign language is not a pleasant experience. 12. I have less confidence in my French skills than others who know as much French as I do. 13. It doesn’t bother me at all to speak French.

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110 S D D N A S A 14. Despite the fact that I may not be completely proficient in French, I am self-assured conducting myself in French. 15. I would get nervous if I had to speak French to someone in a store. 16. I’m not as confident in my ability to use French as other people who know as much French as I do. 17. I never feel quite sure of myself when I am speaking in our French class. 18. French is really great. 19. I sometimes daydream about dropping French. 20. Speaking French bothers me. 21. I really enjoy learning French. 22. I wish I had begun studying French at an early age. 23. I love learning French. 24. I would feel quite relaxed if I had to ask street directions in French. 25. I really have no interest in foreign languages. 26. I keep up to date with French by working on it almost every day. 27. If it were up to me, I would spend all my time learning French. 28. It embarrasses me to volunteer answers in our French class. 29. I want to learn French so well that it will become second nature to me. 30. Studying French can be important fo r me because it will allow me to meet and converse with more and varied people. 31. I would rather spend my time on courses other than French. 32. I would like to learn as much French as possible. 33. I plan to learn as much French as possible. 34. I don’t usually get anxious when I have to respond to a question in my French class. 35. I find the study of French very boring. 36. I don’t pay too much attention to the feedback I receive in my French class. 37. I feel confident when asked to participate in my French class.

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111 S D D N A S A 38. It would bother me if I had to speak French on the telephone. 39. I’m not as self-assured using French as other people at my level of ability. 40. I do not get anxious when I am asked for information in my French class. 41. Even when I make mistakes speaking French, I still feel sure of myself while trying to communicate. 42. Most foreign languages sound crude and harsh. 43. Learning French is a waste of time. 44. I don’t bother checking my corrected assignments in my French courses. 45. I’m as self-assured conducting myself in French as anybody else who knows as much French as I do. 46. When I have a problem understanding something we are learning in my French class, I always ask the instructor for help. 47. I am as confident using French as other people who know as much French as I do. 48. I find I’m losing any desire I ever had to know French. 49. It worries me that other students in my class seem to speak French better than I do. 50. Studying French is important because it will give me an edge in competing with others. 51. I wish I were fluent in French. 52. I am confident when having conversations with French-speaking people despite any errors I may make. 53. Studying French can be important to me because I think it will someday be useful in getting a good job. 54. I would feel uncomfortable speaking French under any circumstances. 55. I would feel comfortable speaking Fren ch in an informal gathering where both English and French speaking persons were present. 56. I tend to approach my French homework in a random and unplanned manner. 57. I get nervous and confused when I am speaking in my French class. 58. Regardless of how much French I know, I feel confident about using it. 59. Studying French is important for me because it will increase my ability to influence others. 60. I really work hard to learn French. 61. I have a tendency to give up when our French instructor goes off on a tangent.

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112 S D D N A S A 62. I would feel calm and sure of mysel f if I had to order a meal in French. 63. If I planned to stay in another country, I would make a great effort to learn the language even though I could get along in English. 64. To be honest, I really have little desire to learn French. 65. I don’t understand why other students feel nervous about using French in class. 66. When I am studying French, I ignore distractions and stick to the job at hand. 67. When I finish this course, I shall give up the study of French entirely because I am not interested in it. 68. I feel confident using French regardless of my ability. 69. I am sometimes afraid the other students will laugh at me when I speak French. 70. I can’t be bothered trying to unders tand the more complex aspects of French. 71. I haven’t any great wish to learn more than the basics of French. 72. I feel anxious if someone asks me something in French. 73. Students who claim they get nervous in French class are just making excuses. 74. I enjoy meeting and listening to people who speak other languages. 75. I would rather see a foreign film dubbed in English than see the film in its original language with English sub-titles. ~ Thank you for your participation ~

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113 APPENDIX E QUESTIONNAIRE ON AUTONOMY CODE: ______ The Roles of Learners and Teachers Section 1 Responsibilities In your French class, indicate to what extent it should be “your ” or “your teacher’s ” responsibility to accomplish the following: Please indicate your opinion after each question by putting an ‘X’ in the appropriate box beside both “Yours ” and “Your teacher’s ” boxes. Not at all A little Some Mainly Completely Yours 1. make sure you make progress during lessons. Your teacher’s Yours 2. make sure you make progress outside class Your teacher’s Yours 3. stimulate your interest in learning French. Your teacher’s Yours 4. identify your weaknesses in French. Your teacher’s Yours 5. make you work harder. Your teacher’s Yours 6. decide the objectives of your French course. Your teacher’s Yours 7. decide what you should learn next in your French lessons. Your teacher’s Yours 8. choose what activities to use to learn French in your French lessons. Your teacher’s Yours 9. decide how long to spend on each activity. Your teacher’s Yours 10. choose what materials to use to learn French in your French lessons. Your teacher’s 11. evaluate your learning. Yours

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114 Your teacher’s Yours 12. evaluate your course. Your teacher’s Yours 13. decide what you learn outside class. Your teacher’s Section 2 Abilities If you have the opportunity how g ood do you think you would be at: Please indicate your opinion after each question by putting an ‘X’ in the box that best indicates your view. Very Poor Poor OK Good Very Good 14. choosing learning activities in class. 15. choosing learning activities outside class. 16. choosing learning objectives in class. 17. choosing learning objectives outside class. 18. choosing learning materials in class. 19. choosing learning materials outside class. 20. evaluating your learning. 21. evaluating your course. 22. identifying your we aknesses in French. 23. deciding what you should learn next in your French lessons. 24. deciding how long to spend on each activity. Section 3 Motivation Please put an ‘ X ’ in the appropriate space. 25. How would you describe yourself? _____ Highly motivated to learn French. _____ Well motivated to learn French. _____ Motivated to learn French. _____ Slightly motivated to learn French.

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115 _____ Not at all motivated to learn French. Section 4 Activities During the last semester, indicate how o ften you have done the following OUTSIDE class: Please indicate your opinion after each question by putting an ‘X’ in the box that best indicates your view. Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always 26. read grammar books on your own. 27. done assignments which are not compulsory. 28. noted down new words and their meanings. 29. written French letters to pen pals. 30. sent emails in French. 31. read books or magazines in French 32. listened to French songs. 33. talked to foreigners in French. 34. practiced using French with friends. 35. had French study groups. 36. done grammar exercises. 37. watched French language movies. 38. written a diary in French. 39. used the internet in French. 40. done revision not required by the teacher. 41. collected texts in French (e.g. articles, brochures, labels, etc.). 42. gone to see your teacher about your work.

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116 During the last semester, indicate how often you have done the following INSIDE class: Please indicate your opinion after each question by putting an ‘X’ in the box that best indicates your view. Never Rarely Sometimes Often Always 43. asked the teacher questions when you didn’t understand. 44. noted down new information. 45. made suggestions to the teacher. 46. taken opportunities to speak in French. 47. discussed learning problems with classmates. ~ Thank you for your participation ~

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117 APPENDIX F TOPICS FOR JOURNAL Journal Entry 1 Week 8 You have been in this language class (FRE 1131) for the last few weeks. What were your thoughts, feelings and impression s about the syllabus, course materials, classroom atmosphere, instructor, etc. when you first began this course? Have those initial thoughts and feelings changed in any way? Why? At the beginning of this semester, did you make any specific plan s on how you would improve your language skills throughout the semester? Have you been able to achieve what you had planned to do? After writing one page on the information asked, you can include further information on any aspect of your French class that you feel strongly about. Journal Entry 2 Week 10 How do you feel about your French class? Describe some classroom situations when you are confident and relaxed in class. Describe other situations when you are nervous, tense and worried in class. Are your reactions and feelings the same regardless of whether you are in French class or in any of the other classes you are taking this semester? Please explain. After writing one page on the information asked, you can include further information on any aspect of your French class that you feel strongly about.

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118 Journal Entry 3 Week 12 What are your reasons for taking this Fren ch class? What do you hope to achieve after completing this course this semester? How do you plan to make use of the language skills you have learnt in this course? What are some of the ways in which you try to improve your language skills outside of class even though they are not assigned to you by your teacher? How excited and motivated do you feel while l earning this foreign language? After writing one page on the information asked, you can include further information on any aspect of your French class that you feel strongly about. Journal Entry 4 Week 14 How do you think your French class is going ? Do the syllabus, course materials, class activities and the pace of instruction m eet your needs as a learner? If you were the instructor, what changes would you make to th e different aspects of the course? Are the objectives for this class clea r, and do you think they are being met? Have you come up with your own plan of study in this course knowing that it will work better for you than the plan set up by your instructor? How do you think you learn best? How do you study at home when you are in contro l of your own learning? After writing one page on the information asked, you can include further information on any aspect of your French class that you feel strongly about.

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119 APPENDIX G QUESTIONS FOR STUDENT INTERVIEWS The interviews are semi-structured. The resear cher encourages the participants to express themselves without much interruption. When necessary, and in order to initiate the conversation, the researcher will use the questions given below: 1. What were your reasons for taking this French class? What are the minimum requirements for this course? Are these requirements reasonable? Do you think having a language requi rement helps a student in the long run? How are you planning to use the language skills you have learnt in this class? 2. How do you feel as you walk towa rds your French class every day? What thoughts go through your mind? Have those thoughts changed in any way in the last two months? 3. Do you feel comfortable in French class at some times / most of the time? What are some of the activities that you dread? Do you avoid interacting with the in structor for any reason? If so, in what situations? Do you think you are an anxious person? 4. At the beginning of the semester, did you make any plans on how you were going to get an “A” in this class? Did you do all that the instructor required of you? Was that a reas onable amount of work? Did you do anything beyond what you were asked to do as part of the course? Do you think you were very motiva ted in this class? Why? Why not? Were you enthusiastic when involved in class activities most / some of the time? 5. What are some of the learning st rategies you use to study for this class? Did your instructor’s teaching style help / hinder you? Do you think you would have learnt better if he had done some things differently? If you could, what are some aspect s of this class that you would change? How would you make this class more effective?

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120 APPENDIX H QUESTIONS FOR TEACHER INTERVIEWS The interviews are semi-structured. The resear cher encourages the instructors to express themselves without much interruption. When necessary, and in order to initiate the conversation, the researcher will use the questions given below: 1. Students have daily work book / lab ma nual assignments. Do you think the students complete their work everyday? How do you monitor that? What are your thoughts about grading that work? Do the students who complete the assignments get better grades on their tests? 2. What kinds of questions do students ask in class? How do you deal with questions that are not related to the topic of the day? 3. What are some of the class activities the students enjoy – reading out loud from the text – practicing pronunciation – watc hing videos – playing language games – learning grammar – learning vocabul ary – pair / group work – writing compositions. 4. Do you have any ground rules in the class? Do you have any expectations of your students – in any area? Do you think the students ha ve any expectations of you? 5. What are some ways you would recognize th at students are anxious in class? Can you identify any students who you think might be anxious? What do you think makes them anxious? 6. How would you describe students wh o are motivated in your class? Describe their behavi or. Can you identify any motivated students? 7. Are there any students in your class who you think ar e independent learners? Have you seen any indication of studen ts devising their own plans to learn French better. 8. How is the oral proficiency test conduc ted? Do you prepare students for it? How many tests and exams do you have throughout the semester? How is the final grade of the student computed?

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121 APPENDIX I OVERVIEW OF PARTICIPANTS WHO EXPERIENCED HIGH LEVELS OF ANXIETY, MOTIVATION, AND AUTONOMY Participant Highly Anxious Highly Motivated Highly Autonomous Test 1 Test 2 Test 1 Test 2 Test 1 Test 2 A01 A02 A03 X X X X X A05 X X A06 A08 X X X X A11 X X X X X A12 X X A13 A14 A17 X A18 X A20 X X X A21 A22 B01 X X B02 X X B03 B06 X X B08 X X B09 B10 X X X X B11 X X B12 X X X B13 X X X B14 X B15 X B17 X X X X X B18 X X X X B19 X X B21 X X B22 X X Total No. 8 7 19 17 5 4

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126 MacIntyre, P. D., MacMaster, K., & Baker, S. C. (2001). The convergence of multiple models of motivation for second language learning: Gardner, Pintrich, Kuhl, and McCroskey. In Z. Dornyei & R. Schmidt (Eds.), Motivation and Second Language Acquisition (pp. 461-492). Honolulu: Univers ity of Hawaii, Second Language Teaching & Curriculum Center. McCroskey, J. C. (1992). Reliability a nd validity of the willingness to communicate scale. Communication Quarterly, 40 16-25. Mishkin, M., & Appenzeller, T. (1987). The anatomy of memory. Scientific American, 256 80-89. Naiman, N., Frohlich, M., Stern, H. H., & Todesco, A. (1978). The good language learner. In N. Research in Education Seri es (Ed.): Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Nunan, D. (1996). Towards autonomous lear ning: Some theoretical, empirical and practical issues. In R. Pemberton, E. S. L. Li, W. W. F. Or & H. D. Pierson (Eds.), Taking Control: Autonomy in Language Learning : Hong Kong University Press. Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Bailey, P., & Christine, D. E. (2000). The validation of three scales measuring anxiety at different stages of the foreign language learning process: The input anxiety scale, the pr ocessing anxiety scale, and the output anxiety scale. Language Learning, 50 (1), 87-117. Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Bailey, P., & Daley, C. E. (1999). Factors Asso ciated with Foreign Language Anxiety. Applied Psycholinguistics, 20 (2), 217-239. Oxford, R., & Shearin, J. (1994). Language learning motivation: Expanding the theoretical framework. Modern Language Journal, 78 (1), 12-28. Oxford, R. L. (1990). Language learning strategies: W hat every teacher should know Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House. Phillips, E. M. (1992). The effects of language anxiety on students' or al test performance and attitudes. Modern Language Journal, 76 (1), 14-26. Pintrich, P. R., Smith, D. A., Garcia, T., & McKeachie, W. J. (1991). A manual for the use of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) Ann Arbor, MI: The Regents of the University of Michigan. Rivers, W. P. (2001). Autonomy at all co sts: An ethnography of metacognitive selfassessment and self-management among experienced language learners. Modern Language Journal, 85 (2), 279-290.

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127 Rubin, R. B. (1990). Communication competen ce. In G. M. Phillips & J. T. Woods (Eds.), Speech communication: Essays to comme morate the 75th anniversary of the Speech Communication Association (pp. 94-129). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. Saito, Y., & Samimy, K. K. (1996). Foreign language anxiety and language performance: A study of learner anxiety in beginning, in termediate, and advanced-level college students of Japanese. Foreign Language Annals, 29 (2), 239-251. Schumann, J. H. (1994). Where is cognition? Emotion and cognition in second language acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 16 231-242. Scovel, T. (1978). The effect of affect on foreign language learni ng: A review of the anxiety research. Language Learning, 28 (1), 129-142. Sellers, V. D. (2000). Anxiety and reading comprehension in Spanish as a foreign language. Foreign Language Annals, 33 (5), 512-521. Skehan, P. (1989). Individual differences in second language learning London: Edward Arnold. Spielberger, C. D. (1972). Anxi ety: Current trends in theory and research: I. New York, N.Y.: Academic Press. Spielberger, C. D. (1983). Manual for the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory PaloAlto, California: Consulting Psychologists Press. Spolsky, B. (1989). Conditions for second language learning Oxford: Oxford University Press. Spratt, M., Humphreys, G., & Chan, V. ( 2002). Autonomy and motivation: Which comes first? Language Teaching Research, 6 (3), 245-266. Steinberg, F. S., & Horwitz, E. K. (1986). The effect of induced anxiety on the denotative and interpretive content of second language speech. TESOL Quarterly, 20 131136. Thanasoulas, D. (2000). What is learner autonomy and how can it be fostered? The Internet TESL Journal, VI (11). Tomkins, S., S. (1970). Affect as the primary motivational system New York: Academic Press. Trylong, V. L. (1987). Aptitude, attitudes, and an xiety: A study of their relationships to achievement in the foreign language classroom. Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 48 (10), 2564-A.

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128 Wang, M. C., & Palincsar, A. S. (1989). Teachin g students to assume an active role in their learning. In M. C. Reynolds (Ed.), Knowledge base for the beginning teacher : Oxford: Pergamon Press. Young, D. J. (1991). Creating a low-anxiety classroom enviro nment: What does language anxiety research suggest? Modern Language Journal, 75 (4), 426-439. Young, D. J. (1992). Language anxiety from the foreign language specialist's perspective: Interviews with Krashen, Omaggi o Hadley, Terrell, and Rardin. Foreign Language Annals, 25 (2), 157-172. Young, D. J. (1994). New directions in langua ge anxiety research. In C. Klee (Ed.), Faces in a Crowd: The Individual Learner in Multisection Courses Boston, MA.: Heinle and Heinle Publishers.

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129 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Manjula Shinge completed her first bachel or’s and master’s degrees in English literature and enjoyed the time she spent teach ing poetry and drama to students in India for six years. After completing a teacher tr aining course, Bachel or in Education, she relocated to Hong Kong where she taught EFL classes for 11 years. While she was in Hong Kong, she served as the head of the English department and also completed the Postgraduate Course in Education Certificat e, an in-service diploma for teachers. Manjula felt the need to sp ecialize in teaching English as a second/foreign language and enrolled at the University of Florida, USA, and completed a master’s degree in linguistics in 2001. She was also awarded the Teaching En glish as a Second Language Certificate at this time. She continued her studies at th e University of Florida and was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 2005. Her intere sts lie in the areas of teaching English as a foreign language and second language acquisition.


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Title: Interplay among Anxiety, Motivation, and Autonomy in Second Language Learners of French: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Copyright Date: 2008

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Source Institution: University of Florida
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INTERPLAY AMONG ANXIETY, MOTIVATION, AND AUTONOMY IN SECOND
LANGUAGE LEARNERS OF FRENCH: A QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE
STUDY















By

MANJULA SHINGE


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2005















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Theresa Antes, Dr. Gillian Lord,

Dr. Candace Harper and Dr. Virginia LoCastro for having served on my committee, and

for providing me with invaluable guidance, feedback and encouragement.

My heartfelt thanks go to the instructors and students of the two French classes

observed. It would have been difficult to conduct this study without their willingness and

cooperation throughout the data collection process.

The encouragement and patience extended to me by my dear family and friends

were much appreciated. I wish so much that my mother had lived just a year longer to

witness the completion of this dissertation.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S .................................................................................................. ii

LIST OF TABLES ................ ......... ....................... ....... vi

ABSTRACT .............. ............................................. vii

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION ............................................... .. ......................... ..

Purpose of the Study ............... ..................................................3
R research Q u estion s........... .............................................................. .. ...... ..... ..3
Q u antitativ e ............................................... .......................... 3
Q u alitativ e ................................................. ......................... 3
Significance of the Study .............................................................................. ...... .4
O organization of the Study .......................................................... ..............4
D efinitions of T erm s U sed.......................................... ....................................... 5
Affective Factors ................... ......... ................. .................5
A n x iety ....................................................... 5
M motivation ................................................................. 5
A u to n o m y .................................................................. .............................. . 5

2 LITERATURE REVIEW ...........................................................6

Individual D differences ....................................................... 6
A anxiety ............................................................. .8
M otiv atio n ...........................................................17
The A nxiety-M motivation Interface .............................................................................. 25
A utonom y ................................................................26
The Motivation-Autonomy Interface ................................................................ 29
The Anxiety-Motivation-Autonomy Interface ........................................... 32

3 M ETH OD OLO G Y .............................................................35

P a rtic ip a n ts ..................................................................................................... 3 5
P rocedu res ......................................................................................................... 39









In strum ents ....................................................... 42
In-house F rench T est ........4....... ...... ........................................ .............. ..42
The Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS)..............................42
The Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) ...............................................44
The Questionnaire on Autonom y ............................................. ............... 44
Class O observations ...................................... ................... ..... .... 45
Journals ...................................................................................................... 46
Student Interview s .............................................. .. ...... .. ............ 47
Teacher Interview s ........................................ ................. ..... .... 47
Quantitative Data............... ... .. ...................... .........48
Q u alitativ e D ata .......................................................50
N o te s ..................................................................................................................... 5 1

4 RESULTS AND DISCU SSION .......................................... ........................... 52

T y p e o f A n x iety .................................................................. ................................5 2
Research Question 1 ..................................................... ............ 54
R research Question 2 ................. ............... ............ .. .... .. .......... 58
Correlation between Anxiety and Motivation................. ............................59
Correlation between Anxiety and Autonomy.....................................................60
Correlation between Motivation and Autonomy ..............................................63
Research Question 3 ..................................................... ............ 65
Research Question 4 ..................................................... ............ 70
Research Question 5 ..................................................... ............ 74
Research Question 6 ..................................................... ............ 76
Research Question 7 ..................................................... ............ 85
T est A n x iety ................................................................8 8
Extensive M material ............................................................ .... ......... 88
Fast Pace of Class .................. ..................................... ................. 89
L language R equirem ent............................................... ............................. 89
Communication with Instructor..................... ..... ........................... 89
D dissatisfaction w ith C lass......................................................... ............... 90

5 C O N C L U SIO N ......... ......................................................................... ........ .. ..... .. 93

S u m m a ry ..................................................................................................9 3
Pedagogical Im plications ............................................................................ .94
A nxiety and M otiv ation ............................................................ .....................94
A nxiety and A utonom y ............................................... ............................ 95
M otivation and A utonom y ........................................... ........................... 95
Anxiety, Motivation and Class Grades.....................................................96
Teacher Effect ............................................ ................ ............ 97
Possible Reasons for Lack of Motivation.........................................................97
Lim stations of the Study ......................................................... .............. 97
F utu re research ..............................................................9 8





iv









APPENDIX

A PARTICIPANT BACKGROUND QUESTIONNAIRE ..........................................100

B IN-HOUSE FRENCH TEST ........................................................ ............. 102

C QUESTIONNAIRE ON ANXIETY.................................... ......................... 106

D QUESTIONNAIRE ON MOTIVATION..............................................................109

E QUESTIONNAIRE ON AUTONOMY ............... ...........................................113

F T O PIC S FO R JO U R N A L .......................................................................... .... .... 117

G QUESTIONS FOR STUDENT INTERVIEWS......................................................119

H QUESTIONS FOR TEACHER INTERVIEWS ............... ................... ...........120

I OVERVIEW OF PARTICIPANTS WHO EXPERIENCED HIGH LEVELS OF
ANXIETY, MOTIVATION, AND AUTONOMY...............................................121

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK ETCH ................................................................ .....................129
















LIST OF TABLES


Table pge

3.1 Relevant demography of students (total N=32) ....................................... .......... 38

3.2 The range of points for the three categories on each measure...............................42

4.1 Student classification based on scores received on questionnaires (n=32) .............55

4.3 The correlations among participants' levels of the three variables..........................59

4.4 Students who were highly anxious and/or highly autonomous ............................61

4.5 Paired samples t-test results showing change only in motivation levels..................66

4.6 Group differences in motivation scores ....................................... ............... 67

4.7 Correlation of changes from test to retest ........................................ ............... 69

4.8 Changes in one factor showing corresponding changes in others............................70

4.9 Summary of correlations between the French test scores/class grades and
affective factors ............. ..... ....... ................. ................ 71

4.10 Correlation between anxiety scores of moderately anxious participants and their
F ren ch test scores ................................................... ................ 7 3

4.11 Correlation between anxiety scores of moderately anxious participants and their
final class grades ......................... ......... .. .. ..... .. ............. 74

4.12 Group-wise mean scores on the three questionnaires during Week 5......................75

4.13 Group-wise mean scores on each questionnaire during Week 13..........................75

4.14 Students who are highly motivated and highly autonomous during Test 1
a n d /o r T e st 2 .............................................................................................................7 6















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

INTERPLAY AMONG ANXIETY, MOTIVATION, AND AUTONOMY IN SECOND
LANGUAGE LEARNERS OF FRENCH: A QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE
STUDY

By

Manjula Shinge

December 2005

Chair: Theresa A. Antes
Major Department: Linguistics

Research in second language learning has shown a close connection between

anxiety and motivation as well as between motivation and autonomy. This study goes

one step further in examining the interactions among these three affective factors,

namely, anxiety, motivation and autonomy, and their influence on class performance.

Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected over the course of the semester.

The 32 participants, who were first-year French students at the University of Florida,

completed four instruments during Weeks 5 and 13 of the semester. The instruments

used were an in-house French test, the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale, the

Attitude/Motivation Test Battery, and The Roles of Learners and Teachers, which is a

questionnaire on autonomy. The students were observed in their French classes at least

once a week. Eleven students wrote journal entries and six participated in an interview.

The results showed that, in general, approximately 22-25% of the participants in this

study were highly anxious, 53-59% were highly motivated, while 13-16% were highly









autonomous. Of the three affective factors, there was a correlation only between

motivation and autonomy. Further, the participants' levels of anxiety and autonomy were

stable from test to re-test, but there was a statistically significant decrease in their levels

of motivation. This change in the participants' levels of motivation did not correlate with

a corresponding significant change in the other two factors, but results show that there are

possibilities of changes occurring in both anxiety and autonomy. Only anxiety had a

negative correlation with students' class performance. Results also showed that students

who are autonomous are also motivated, but students who are motivated are not always

autonomous.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Research in the field of second language acquisition acknowledges that both

cognitive and affective factors within a language learner affect the level of success that

will be achieved in learning a second language (L2). Earlier research concentrated on

discovering the effect of cognitive factors on language learning, but since the 1960s,

there have been more investigations on determining the effect of affective factors, such as

anxiety and motivation (Gardner, 1985; Skehan, 1989). Affective factors are defined as

"those that deal with the emotional reactions and motivations of the learner" (Scovel,

1978:131).

Most studies have found an inverse relationship between anxiety and language

achievement of L2 learners, but in some cases it has been observed that anxiety

encourages a student to work harder, resulting in better class performance (Horwitz,

Horwitz & Cope, 1986; Phillips, 1992; Trylong, 1987). With regards to motivation,

evidence shows that motivated students perform better in the classroom than those who

are unmotivated. MacIntyre and Gardner (1991) are of the opinion that both anxiety and

motivation influence language learning and are good predictors of success. Their data

suggest that the two variables have an inverse relationship, such that the higher the levels

of anxiety experienced by the learners, the less motivated they tend to be. Consequently,

these students put less effort into their learning process, which often results in lower class

grades. The same studies show, however, that moderate levels of anxiety can act as an

incentive and motivate the learners to work harder, potentially resulting in higher grades.









More recently, researchers have examined the relationship between motivation and

autonomy. Dickinson (1995) posits that when learners are actively and independently

involved in their own learning, their motivation levels increase and they learn more

effectively. Spratt, Humphreys and Chan (2002) speculate on whether autonomy

precedes motivation or motivation precedes autonomy in a language learner. In other

words, they question whether students should first be motivated in order to develop and

show signs of being actively and independently involved in their learning, or whether

they should first be autonomous, which will then influence their motivation levels to

increase. While most investigations reveal that motivation and autonomy are distinct

factors, views differ on whether students need to first be motivated or autonomous in

order to be successful language learners.

Recognizing that second language research has found a close relationship between

motivation and anxiety, and also between motivation and autonomy, one wonders how

these three affective factors interact together and what effect they would have together on

students' class grades. Anxiety and motivation are considered to be good predictors of

success, and learners' levels of motivation are said to rise when they are actively and

independently involved in their own learning. Does this mean that teachers will have to

concentrate on encouraging students to be autonomous in order to increase their

motivation to learn more effectively, rather than trying to motivate them to follow the

established curriculum? What relationship do anxiety and autonomy have? Can anxious

students be autonomous? What happens to the correlation with other factors when there

is a change in one of them? These are the questions the present study seeks to answer.









Purpose of the Study

This study seeks to observe the levels of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy in

beginning French students, and to determine if these affective factors are stable over an

eight-week period. Correlation tests are run to examine how these three affective factors

interact with each other and what effect they have on participants' class performance. An

attempt is also made to ascertain the degree to which motivation and autonomy are

distinct factors. Finally, a comparison is made between the quantitative results obtained

from two intact classes taught by different instructors in order to investigate possible

differences and, if any, reasons for these.

Research Questions

This study employs both quantitative and qualitative data. Accordingly, the

research questions are divided into two sections:

Quantitative

1. To what extent, if any, are the participants anxious, motivated, and autonomous?

2. To what extent, if any, is there a correlation among the participants' stated levels of
anxiety, motivation, and autonomy?

3. To what extent, if any, are the participants' levels of anxiety, motivation, and
autonomy stable over time?

4. What is the correlation between the three affective factors and students'
performance, as measured by the French test and the final class grade?

5. In what ways, if any, do the results obtained from the participants in the two intact
classes, taught by different instructors, differ?

Qualitative

6. Are motivation and autonomy distinct factors?

7. What are some possible reasons for a change, if any, in the levels of anxiety,
motivation, and autonomy experienced by the participants from test to retest?









Significance of the Study

Earlier studies have explored the relationship between the two affective factors of

anxiety and motivation and their effect on class performance. Other studies have also

investigated the role of autonomy in language learning, but no known study thus far has

investigated the combined interactions and influence of anxiety, motivation, and

autonomy on class performance or language achievement. Furthermore, unlike most

previous studies, which relied on one type of data, this study used data collection

procedures that were both quantitative and qualitative in nature in the hope that a more

complete picture of the interaction among the three affective variables can be obtained.

The participants completed questionnaires on anxiety, motivation, and autonomy towards

the beginning as well as the end of the semester, and were observed in class at least once

a week throughout the semester. They also submitted fourjournal entries on specific

topics given to them at intervals, and at the end of the semester were interviewed about

their experiences in the French course.

Organization of the Study

This dissertation is divided into five chapters. After this introductory chapter,

Chapter 2, provides an overview of the research carried out in the area of individual

differences of second language learners, and focuses on the three affective factors under

consideration in this study. Chapter 3 describes the methodology used in this study. A

detailed account of the instruments used and both the quantitative and qualitative data

collection procedures are described. The Results and Discussion chapter, Chapter 4,

gives the results of the tests run on the quantitative data collected and discusses these

results, along with describing the qualitative data collected. Finally, Chapter 5 brings the









dissertation to a close by summarizing results, suggesting pedagogical implications,

discussing the limitations of the study, and outlining avenues for possible future research.

Definitions of Terms Used

Affective Factors

Affective factors are defined as "those that deal with the emotional reactions and

motivations of the learner" (Scovel, 1978:131).

Anxiety

Anxiety is defined as "the feeling of tension and apprehension specifically

associated with second language contexts, including speaking, listening, and learning"

(MacIntyre & Gardner, 1994:284).

Motivation

"Motivation refers to the choices people make as to what experiences or goals they

will approach or avoid, and the degree of effort they will exert in that respect" (Keller,

1983:389).

Autonomy

Autonomy is "the ability to take charge of one's learning ... To take charge of

one's learning is to have, and to hold, the responsibility for all the decisions concerning

all aspects of this learning" (Holec, 1981:3).














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Individual Differences

A substantial amount of research done in second or foreign language learning has

revealed that the individual differences found in learners are caused by both cognitive

and affective factors. As early as the 1920s, researchers (e.g., Henmon, 1929) first began

to investigate cognitive factors such as language learning aptitude, learning strategies and

intelligence; however, in the last four decades, second language acquisition researchers

(e.g., Gardner et al., 1976; Horwitz et al., 1986) have become more aware of the fact that

researching individual differences that are affective in nature, like motivation, anxiety

and self-confidence, is just as important as researching the cognitive variables like

language learning aptitude, learning strategies, and intelligence. They have realized that

these two sets of factors work together to influence both the process and the outcome of

language acquisition. Believing that each language learner is unique and works with a

distinct combination of cognitive and affective variables that determine the process of

second language acquisition, Gardner, Day and MacIntyre (1992) hypothesize that "there

are probably as many factors that might account for individual differences in achievement

in a second language as there are individuals" (p. 212). This is probably why much

second language research has focused on individual differences in recent years.

Schumann (1994) strives to shed some light on the connection between these two

sets of variables, the affective and cognitive, by citing Mishkin and Appenzeller (1987),

who explain that the amygdale, a part of the temporal lobe in the brain, "assesses the









emotional significance and motivational relevance of stimuli; this appraisal then

influences attention and memory" (p. 233). We thus learn that linguistic input, which is a

form of stimulus, is first evaluated for its emotional significance and motivational

relevance to the learner before it can be processed by the brain. This evaluation

determines whether or not the linguistic input is attended to and stored in memory.

Considerable research in the area of second language learning reveals that emotions

play an important role in language acquisition (e.g., Horwitz, 2001). Tomkins (1970)

states that human beings are always experiencing some sort of emotion in varying

degrees, and strong emotion can disrupt cognitive and physiological processes. This

could account for the fact that some language learners perform better when they

experience positive emotions such as motivation and enthusiasm, or perform poorly when

they have negative emotions such as anxiety or low self esteem. MacIntyre and Gardner

(1994b) concur when they claim, "Some of the strongest correlations between affective

variables and achievement measures involve anxiety" (p. 284). Several studies have

shown that anxiety causes cognitive interference, resulting in significant negative

correlations between language anxiety and course grades (e.g., Gardner, Moorcroft, &

MacIntyre, 1987; Phillips, 1992; Trylong, 1987).

As a result of the growing awareness that emotions play an important role in

language learning, researchers, since the 1970s, have increasingly focused on the

affective variables of a language learner, such as anxiety (e.g., Horwitz, Horwitz & Cope,

1986; Onwuegbuzie, Bailey & Daley, 2000; Saito & Samimy, 1996) and motivation (e.g.,

Dornyei & Schmidt, 2001; Gardner, Tremblay & Masgoret, 1997). In the last two

decades researchers have also turned their attention to the variable of autonomy (e.g.,









Benson, 2001; Little, 1991; Littlewood, 1996). They have found that both anxiety and

motivation are good predictors of success in language learning, and that motivation and

autonomy share a relationship. For these reasons, this study strives to investigate and

shed some light on the interplay among the three affective factors of anxiety, motivation

and autonomy in college students learning French as a foreign language.

Anxiety

In 1978, Scovel examined the relationship between anxiety and second language

achievement and concluded that anxiety is one of the most predominant variables

identified in language learning tasks. He observed that different studies used a variety of

instruments to measure anxiety and came up with different results. He believed that their

results would be less conflicting if the researchers specified the type of anxiety (e.g., state

anxiety, trait anxiety, and test anxiety) they were measuring which would have made it

easier to compare the results. Much later, Young (1994) provided a comprehensive

overview of the major research carried out on language anxiety since the 1970s, and

tabulated the findings of various researchers, although the results were often

contradictory and a consensus had yet to be reached. Some studies showed a negative

correlation between language anxiety and language performance (Aida, 1994; Coulombe,

2000; Saito & Samimy, 1996), while other studies showed no effect or a positive

correlation between the two (Chastain, 1975; Kleinmann, 1977). In one study, some of

the least proficient students scored the highest on an anxiety scale, whereas others scored

the lowest (Backman, 1976). One of the reasons Young (1994) offers for these

inconsistent results is that "many of the studies had different goals, objectives,

definitions, and conceptual schemata, rendering comparisons difficult" (p. 4). The









second reason she offers is the lack of a reliable and valid instrument for measuring

foreign language anxiety.

Observing that researchers had "neither adequately defined foreign language

anxiety nor described its specific effects on foreign language learning," Horwitz et al.

(1986:125) attempted to fill this gap by conceptualizing foreign language anxiety as a

distinct variable, so that both language students and teachers would be able to recognize

the symptoms and consequences. They developed the FLCAS as a standard measure to

determine levels of foreign language anxiety. Young (1994) explains that with the

introduction of a valid and reliable measuring instrument, the Foreign Language

Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) (Horwitz et al., 1986), research on language anxiety

began to consistently show a moderate negative correlation between anxiety and

language achievement. This observation supported Scovel's view that researchers were

getting conflicting results in their studies because they were using a variety of

instruments to measure different types of anxiety.

Early researchers did not try to define foreign language anxiety because of its

complex, and multidimensional nature (Young, 1991). But later, MacIntyre and Gardner

(1994b) defined language anxiety as "the feeling of tension and apprehension specifically

associated with second language contexts, including speaking, listening, and learning"

(p. 284).

Some researchers have found that language learners who experienced a higher level

of anxiety were more likely to be motivated to perform better in class and receive higher

grades than students with a lower level of anxiety. Alpert and Haber (1960) called this

type of language anxiety "facilitating." Other research (e.g., Trylong, 1987) found that









anxiety has the opposite effect on a language learner, where higher levels of anxiety

result in lower grades and is termed "debilitating." Scovel (1978) explores the likelihood

that both faces of anxiety, are at work together whenever a person performs any activity.

One part within an individual stimulates and stirs, while the other quells and balances,

resulting in an optimal mental state that motivates the learner to perform the task well. It

seems that having the right amount of anxiety, rather than none at all, might be beneficial

to language learning. The anxiety one feels at the possibility of failure may serve to

motivate a language learner to strive harder and achieve success. This not-so-unusual

phenomenon is elucidated by Eysenck (1979) who posits that "the extent to which

anxiety either facilitates or impairs performance is determined by the extent to which

high-anxiety subjects compensate for reduced processing effectiveness by enhanced

effort" (p. 365). Thus, it is widely accepted that anxiety can influence both the amount of

effort a language learner invests in a task and the quality of performance.

Other distinctions that researchers have made in their quest to discover the different

types of anxiety are "trait anxiety" and "state anxiety." Spielberger (1983) defines trait

anxiety as an individual's likelihood of becoming anxious in any situation, whereas state

anxiety is apprehension which is experienced only in some specific situations, for

example, in a language classroom. MacIntyre and Gardner (1989) define trait anxiety as

a stable propensity to be anxious in a number of different situations, while referring to

state anxiety as an unpleasant emotional condition or temporary state which one

experiences at a particular moment in time. In other words, trait anxiety is considered to

be a permanent personality feature, while state anxiety depends on the manner in which

an individual reacts to the circumstances she or he is in.









Yet another type of anxiety that researchers have investigated is the situation-

specific anxiety in which the "respondents are tested for their anxiety reactions in a well-

defined situation such as public speaking, writing examinations" (Maclntyre & Gardner,

1991:90). In these studies, the "respondents are required to make attributions of anxiety

to particular sources.... By testing more detailed hypotheses, the process by which a

given situation generates anxiety can be examined" (p. 91) and the anxiety-creating

sources are identified.

Researchers have not only identified different kinds of anxieties, but they have

also documented the observable changes that occur in individuals who experience

anxiety. Physiological signs of anxiety include perspiration, sweaty palms, dry mouth,

muscle contractions and tension, and an increase in heart rate (Chastain 1975; Gardner et

al.1985; Steinberg and Horwitz 1986). Behavioral signs of anxiety in an academic

setting include avoiding class, not completing assignments, and a preoccupation with the

performance of other students in class (Bailey 1983; Horwitz et al. 1986; Young 1992).

It is possible that language teachers may consider such behavior as disruptive and thus

miss an opportunity to identify and help their anxious students. Language anxiety even

results in learners experiencing a "distortion of sounds, inability to produce the intonation

and rhythm of the language, 'freezing up' when called on to perform, and forgetting

words or phrases just learned or simply refusing to speak and remaining silent" (Young

1991:430).

Teachers in most classrooms have observed students who have exhibited one or

more of the signs of anxiety while engaged in different language tasks, and at different

levels of instruction. They have also probably wondered what exactly happens when a









student is anxious in the language classroom that makes it impossible for her/him to

benefit from instruction. In order to find answers, researchers have examined the effect

of language anxiety on different tasks. As expected, a negative relationship was found

between foreign language anxiety and course grades of students in high school (Gardner

et al., 1987) as well as in college (Trylong, 1987). Language anxiety has a negative

impact on performance in oral examinations (Phillips, 1992), and on production of

vocabulary (Gardner et al., 1987). It was also found that students with the highest levels

of foreign language anxiety tended to report that (1) they spend too much time on some

subjects and not enough time on others, (2) they frequently do not get enough sleep and

feel sluggish in class or when studying, (3) they do not take breaks to avoid becoming too

tired while studying, and (4) they have trouble settling down to work and do not begin to

study as soon as they sit down (Bailey, Onwuegbuzie & Daley, 2000). Horwitz et al.

(1986) observed that anxious students studied harder to compensate for their lack of

confidence, had difficulty retrieving items from memory during exams, and had a fear of

making mistakes, leading to silence instead of participation. Clearly, anxiety has a

negative effect on language learners and it is not surprising that researchers claim that

anxiety is one of the best predictors of second language achievement (Ehrman & Oxford,

1995; MacIntyre & Gardner, 1994a, 1994b) because of the negative correlation between

anxiety and performance. Teachers work very hard to ensure that language learners are

successful in their classes. If teachers are able to identify their anxious students, they

might be able to modify their teaching styles and strategies to help the anxious students

feel more comfortable in class and thus have the opportunity to learn better.









One wonders what it is that happens to an anxious student's cognitive ability, to

cause poor class performance. As early as 1979, Eysenck hypothesized that an anxious

person's cognitive abilities are used not only to complete a task but also to deal with the

emotional aspects of accomplishing the task, doing neither full justice, thus resulting in

poor performance. He further postulated that an anxious student studies much harder

than a less anxious student to compensate for the cognitive interference. When the task is

simple, the anxiety experienced by a learner is facilitative. But when the task is difficult,

the anxiety experienced interferes with the cognitive abilities and is debilitative.

Maclntyre (1995) elaborates on this hypothesis:

... a demand to answer a question in a second language class may cause a student
to become anxious; anxiety leads to worry and rumination. Cognitive performance is
diminished because of the divided attention and therefore performance suffers, leading to
negative self-evaluations and more self-deprecating cognition which further impairs
performance. (p. 92)

He further claims that this relation between anxiety and performance is relatively

strong evidence in favor of considering anxiety as one of the major factors that creates

individual differences among second language learners.

One of the first studies that sought to observe and analyze anxiety in students at

different levels of proficiency was by Saito and Samimy (1996). Their study comprised

257 students in the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of Japanese courses at

the University of Texas at Austin. The goals of their study were (1) to find the

relationship between language anxiety and language performance at the three different

instructional levels, and (2) to find the variables that significantly correlated with

Japanese class anxiety at each of these three levels. The variables included in their

analyses were gender, year in college, length of time in Japan, time spent studying for the









class, language class anxiety, language class risk-taking, language class sociability,

strength of motivation, attitude toward the Japanese class, concern for grade, and final

course grade.

The researchers found that "year in college" was the best predictor of students'

final grades only at the beginning level. "In other words, for college students in the

beginning Japanese classes, those who began (studying Japanese) at an upper level, such

as seniors or graduate students, were predicted by the model to receive higher grades,

while those who had just started college, such as freshmen, were predicted to receive

lower grades" (Saito & Samimy, 1996:245). An explanation provided by the authors for

this occurrence is that the students with high achievement scores are the most determined

to protect their grade point average. It is possible that the senior students had already

mastered some learning strategies in college and were better able to cope with tests and

assignments, resulting in better grades than the freshmen and juniors. It is also possible

that the seniors were more concerned about their grades than the freshmen, and so were

more determined to protect their grade point average.

On comparing the mean scores for language anxiety of the students at the

beginning, intermediate and advanced levels, the researchers discovered that the

advanced students scored the highest, the intermediate students scored the lowest and the

beginners scored in between the other two levels. These results contrasted with those

obtained by Gardner et al. (1977), who discovered that language beginners had the

highest mean scores for anxiety and the advanced students had the lowest mean scores,

indicating that foreign language anxiety "decreases as proficiency and training increase"

(p. 251). Similar results were obtained by MacIntyre and Gardner (1991), who claimed









that experience and proficiency are inversely proportionate to anxiety levels in a language

learner. Differing from both these stances, Bailey et al. (1998) investigated the anxiety

reported by 253 college students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds enrolled in

either Spanish, French, or German classes. Their analysis indicated no difference in

anxiety about foreign languages among students in these three classes.

Saito and Samimy provide us with a rationale for the conflicting results they

obtained in their study in comparison with the results of Gardner et al. (1977). They

claim that foreign language anxiety is high in beginners of more commonly taught

languages, such as Spanish and French, because the learners are still in the process of

developing successful learning strategies. However, foreign language anxiety is high in

the advanced students in less commonly taught languages, such as Japanese, because at

this level more emphasis is placed on reading and writing rather than speaking and

listening, which is a challenge to the students. As a result, they do not have as much time

to practice their conversational skills and lack the confidence to speak the language,

which in turn, raises their anxiety levels. These findings suggest that the levels of anxiety

that language learners experience at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced stages of

language learning, depend on the language being learnt.

Onwuegbuzie et al. (1999) conducted a study with 210 university students in the

United States to investigate which factors out of 26 possible, correlated with language

anxiety. They included:

direct measures of self-perception (e.g., perceived intellectual ability, perceived
scholastic competence, perceived self-worth, and expected final course average for
current language course) as well as measures of constructs that are manifestations of self-
perceptions (i.e. social interdependence and study habits) (p. 221)









The participants represented 43 different degree programs offered at a mid-southern

university, and were enrolled in French, Spanish, German and Japanese classes at the

beginning, intermediate and advanced levels of instruction. The majority of the students

had never traveled outside the United States; however, they took this language course as

a requirement toward their degree. Most of the participants had previously studied a

foreign language, either in high school or college and the final grades they expected

ranged from 68 to 100, with a mean of 87.1.

The researchers found seven variables that accounted for 40% of the total variance

in foreign language anxiety. Those were: a student's expectation of her or his

achievement in a foreign language course (18% of variance); the number of foreign

countries visited (5%); perceived scholastic competence (5%); perceived self-worth

(5%); age (4% of variance); number of high school foreign language courses taken

(1-2%) and academic achievement (1-2%). The researchers did not find any significant

differences in the levels of foreign language anxiety between students enrolled in

beginning, intermediate or advanced classes, but they did find a significant difference in

anxiety levels with "year of study" as an independent variable. Foreign language anxiety

appeared to increase linearly, which means that in the same language classroom,

freshmen reported the lowest levels of foreign language anxiety and seniors reported the

highest levels.

The researchers do not give any information about the students' final grades in that

language classroom, but they do suggest some reasons for the high anxiety level in the

senior students. A higher proportion of seniors had already taken at least one college-

level foreign language course, which was not the case with the freshmen or sophomores.









It may be possible that many of the seniors had formed negative attitudes about language

classes through previous experience with learning languages in high school or college,

which resulted in their higher levels of anxiety or probably led to their decision to delay

taking a language course until it could not be put off any longer. The fact that the seniors

in this study reported higher levels of foreign language anxiety is consistent with the

results obtained by Crook (1979) and Hunt (1989) in their research. Finally, the

advanced level students in this study had a higher grade point average than the beginning

or intermediate level students, which might also account for higher anxiety levels in the

language classroom. Karabenick and Knapp (1988) found that students with high

academic achievement avoided asking for help because they perceived it as a sign of

failure, which in turn, increased their anxiety levels. High achievers were also anxious

about taking foreign language courses because they felt their grade point average would

be adversely affected and were most determined to protect their grade point average. All

these studies on language anxiety reveal that anxiety is a complex factor which is

manifested in many different forms.

Motivation

The term "motivation" is used and is easily understood in everyday conversations,

yet, like anxiety, it has been difficult for researchers to agree on a definition or model for

motivation as it relates to language learning. Motivation is considered to be one of the

most important factors determining success in second or foreign language acquisition and

language teachers are constantly striving to find ways to motivate their students. Its role

in language learning has been examined in relation with other affective factors, such as

language anxiety and language aptitude. In 1959, Gardner and Lambert demonstrated

that motivation and language aptitude were both related to achievement in second









language learning. This study was then replicated in many different contexts and

languages and it is now generally believed that individual differences in motivation are

independent of individual differences in language aptitude.

Until recently, Gardner's (1985, 1988, 1997) socio-educational model of SLA,

which has undergone many changes and reformulations, dominated research in

motivation. Gardner (1996) refers to motivation as the driving force in any situation and

distinguishes between two distinct perspectives. One is that motivation is an internal

attribute of an individual and the other is that it is an external attribute, which means that

a person can be motivated by an external trigger or force, for example, when a teacher

attempts to motivate a student. Gardner (1996) says, "you can't motivate a rock" (p. 25),

which suggests that a student must already have the potential to be motivated by an

external force, for example, a teacher, and that motivation cannot be created out of thin

air.

A great deal of emphasis has been placed on the learner's aim or motive in learning

a second language. If the learner's goal in learning a target language is to become a part

of the target group, then the learner is said to have integrative motivation, which involves

positive attitudes toward the L2 community and a desire to integrate into the community.

But, if the learner's aim is to learn a second or foreign language for financial or other

benefits, for example, to get ajob, then the learner is said to have instrumental

motivation.

Gardner's model introduces the notion of "integrative motive," and shows that it is

comprised of three variables: (1) integrativeness, which is the person's desire to interact

with members of the target language; (2) attitudes toward the learning situation; and (3)









motivation, which comprises the person's attitude toward learning, desire to learn, and

the effort invested. Of these three, Gardner posits that it is "motivation" that influences

second language achievement, while the other two variables support motivation:

Motivation to learn the second language is viewed as comprising three elements.
First, the motivated individual expends effort to learn the language....there is a
persistent and consistent attempt to learn the material.... Second, the motivated
individual wants to achieve the goal. Such an individual will express a strong
desire to learn the language, ... Third, the motivated individual will enjoy the task
of learning the language. Such an individual will say that it is fun, a challenge, and
enjoyable, even though at times enthusiasm may be less than at other times
(Gardner, 2001:6)

Gardner drives home the point that a truly motivated language learner will posses

all three of these elements: an effort to learn, a desire to learn the language, and positive

feelings while engaged in learning tasks. "Thus, Gardner's concept of motivation

provides for behavioral, cognitive, and affective components" (MacIntyre, et al.,

2001:463).

In addition to integrative and instrumental motivation, Ely (1986) adds a third type:

the need to fulfill a language requirement. Identifying this type of motivation is practical

as more and more students are learning a foreign language to fulfill a language

requirement at their university these days. Their motivation levels could be measured by

the amount of effort they put into their learning because, according to Keller (1983),

"motivation refers to the choices people make as to what experiences or goals they will

approach or avoid, and the degree of effort they will exert in that respect" (p. 389). This

definition is one that language teachers might easily relate to as they work to motivate

their students in the classroom. Gardner and Smythe (1975, 1981) developed the

Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) to assess the motivation levels within language









learners. This proved to be a very reliable instrument and has been widely used for many

decades by various researchers.

Gardner's socio-educational theory was widely accepted until the mid-1990s,

when researchers began to feel that the framework provided by the model was too limited

and needed to be studied from different perspectives. They believed that the distinction

between integrative and instrumental motivation in Gardner's model was emphasized too

much, without any reference to other variables that played an important role in language

acquisition, for example, self-efficacy, expectancy, attributions, and locus of control

(Domyei, 1990, 1994; Oxford & Shearin, 1994). Crookes and Schmidt (1991) felt that

researchers investigating motivation should focus less on the reasons for learning

language and more on defining motivation as teachers and educators would, namely,

noting that a motivated student is one who "becomes productively engaged in learning

tasks, and sustains that engagement, without the need for continual encouragement or

direction" (p. 480). They believed that not only the concept, but also the definition of

motivation needed to be developed so that all teachers and educators could relate to and

accept the ideas proposed by the researchers.

Since then, several models and constructs have been proposed by researchers to

define and describe the role of motivation in second language acquisition, each of them

trying to add dimensions that reflect the attitudes and behavior patterns of motivated

students in a language classroom and to expand the socio-educational model.

MacIntyre et al. (2001) believed that it would be unproductive to develop new models or

constructs that covered the same basic concepts as did the socio-educational model.

Therefore, they decided to examine the level of empirical similarity between the variables









addressed in four different models of motivation: (1) Gardner's socio-educational model,

which was designed for language learning situations, (2) Pintrich's (1991) Motivated

Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ), whose variables were taken from the

social-learning literature on motivation as applied to academic learning contexts, (3)

Kuhl's (1994b) Action Control Scale (ASC-90), which was used in psycho-physiological

studies of motivation; and (4) McCroskey's (1992) Willingness to Communicate (WTC)

scale from the literature on native language communication. We observe that Gardner's

socio-educational model was designed for language learning situations, whereas the other

three models were designed to be used in other contexts but could also be applied to

language learning.

In the second model, Pintrich et al. (1991) examine general academic motivation

from an expectancy-value perspective, in which "expectancy" refers to the behavioral

outcomes one would expect, and "value" refers to the desirability of those outcomes. The

authors believe that the higher the value placed on a particular task, the more motivated a

person will be to complete the task. This reasoning is also extended to learning

languages. Pintrich et al. claim that the two-part process of learning involves the

assimilation of new information and the restructuring of internalized knowledge, called

accommodation. They believe that the process of restructuring internalized knowledge

requires much more effort than assimilating new knowledge, and whether a language

learner would take on the task of accommodation or not would depend on how motivated

the learner is. The authors developed the Motivated Strategies for Learning

Questionnaire (MSLQ) to measure motivation levels in language learners. These









motivation levels or scores will indicate the likelihood of a language learner exerting the

effort to restructure their internalized knowledge, which is a part of the learning process.

Kuhl (1994a), on the other hand, does not believe that learners will automatically

be more motivated in a high value task because there are many learners who continue to

engage in tasks that are not very productive or rewarding even though they have a choice

of tackling more rewarding tasks. Kuhl's model of motivation focuses on a theory of

action-versus-state orientation. He claims that action-oriented people prefer to be active

and are unwilling to be passive. State-oriented people, on the other hand, are more likely

to let things happen without any effort or intervention on their part, and tend to

contemplate on past and present feelings without taking any action to change their

affective state. This model, called the Action Control Scale (ACS-90) evaluates a

person's ability to initiate and maintain levels of behavior. It was initially developed to

assess differences in personality which affected a person's ability to maintain the drive to

start or complete a task (MacIntyre et al., 2001), and was then extended to include the

affective variable of motivation in language learning (Kuhl, 1994b).

The fourth model MacIntyre et al. examined was the Willingness to Communicate

(WTC) scale by McCroskey (1992), which consists of four communication contexts:

public speaking, talking in meetings, talking in small groups, and talking in dyads.

McCroskey explains that there are differences in the way individuals are motivated or

willing to initiate communication when they are free to do so. He believes that the two

most important factors that influence willingness to communicate are communication

competence and communication apprehension. Communication competence is the ability

to convey verbal or written information, whereas communication apprehension is defined









as the level of fear one experiences when thinking of how one's communication with

others will turn out (MacIntyre et al., 2001). Communication apprehension can have a

substantial, negative impact on communication competence (Rubin, 1990) and the WTC

scale would reflect a learner's level of motivation. This situation seems to parallel the

impact anxiety has on student performance.

As stated above, MacIntyre et al. (2001) examined these four models to test for the

degree of overlap among the constructs and found that there is considerable overlap

among the various concepts addressed by these constructs. For example, Gardner's

instrumental orientation and integrative motive significantly correlated with Pintrich's

extrinsic goal orientation and expectancy-value, respectively. MacIntyre et al. (2001)

observe "It might be surprising that there is such a high degree of overlap, but it should

be noted that the Gardner model has always covered a great deal of conceptual ground"

(p. 483).

Even though Dornyei (1994) agreed that researchers would find it difficult to

surpass the work done by Gardner and his associates, who "established scientific research

procedures and introduced standardized assessment techniques and instruments, thus

setting high research standards and bringing L2 motivation research to maturity" (p. 273),

he believed that Gardner's social psychological approach was too influential and also

limited. Dornyei (1998) sought to expand on this approach by developing "a more

pragmatic, education-centred approach to motivation research, which would be consistent

with the perceptions of practicing teachers and, thus, be more directly relevant to

classroom application" (p. 204). He identified three dimensions of motivation in order to

outline a comprehensive and general framework of motivation that he feels would be









more relevant to the L2 classroom setting. The first level of his construct of motivation is

the "Language Level," where the focus is on orientations and motives related to the L2.

This level includes different aspects of the second language such as the culture it

conveys, the community it is spoken in, and the potential usefulness of being proficient in

the language. This part of the framework is similar to Gardner's integrative and

instrumental motivational subsystem. The second level of Dornyei's framework is the

"Learner Level," which involves both the affective and cognitive abilities of a language

learner. Individual differences, such as self-confidence and the need for achievement, are

considered in this level. In talking about self-confidence, other factors, such as language

anxiety and perceived L2 competence, are also included. The third level of the construct

is the "Learning Situation Level," which is made up of intrinsic and extrinsic motives and

three different motivational conditions: course-specific, teacher-specific and group-

specific motivational components. Dornyei's model of L2 motivation does seem to be

more education-centered and thus more consistent with the perceptions of practicing

teachers than Gardner's socio-educational model. Teachers are aware of the three levels

Dirnyei introduces, understand the demands they have to meet in each of these areas, and

are prepared to put in efforts to motivate their students. This model seems to focus

directly on the most important aspects of second language learning: the language, the

learner, and the learning environment; but its effectiveness in explaining and measuring

motivation in language learners needs to be researched and established.

Second language research has shown that motivation is multi-faceted. Some of the

new themes and approaches Dornyei (2001) presents are: social motivation, task

motivation, a neurobiological explanation of motivation, and motivation from a process-









oriented perspective. Further, Oxford and Shearin (1994) explore whether motivations

differ among learners of second versus foreign languages and believe that there are

chances that these two motivations work differently because in a second language

learning situation, the learners are exposed to the L2 inside as well as outside the

classroom, which is not the case in a foreign language learning situation. Integrative

motivation is an important part of the socio-educational model, but it may not have as

much meaning in foreign language situations, where the students may not come in direct

contact with the L2 community.

The social psychological approach to motivation in second language learning

emphasizes integrative motivation because this approach is concerned with the individual

in the context of a group. Undoubtedly, there is an urgent need to expand the theory of

motivation beyond Gardner's widely accepted model and to try to formulate a more

education-centered construct which teachers will be able to relate to and implement

successfully in their classrooms, particularly in foreign language classrooms.

The Anxiety-Motivation Interface

As has been stated, each language learner works with a unique combination of

cognitive and affective variables, which influences the process of second language

acquisition. Among the affective factors researched, anxiety and motivation, by

themselves or together, have received the most attention. Schumann (1994) interprets

Krashen's (1981) "affective filter" hypothesis as relating to these two factors as well:

"when motivation is lacking, anxiety is high, and self-esteem is low, the filter is up and

input will not become intake (i.e., input will not be processed so as to produce learning)"

(p. 233). He makes a very clear connection between these two affective variables.

Gardner et al. (1992) posit that "anxiety and motivation are two separate dimensions with









overlapping behavioral consequences (that are) correlated yet distinguishable"

(p. 212). The causal sequence cannot be established and probably differs from learner to

learner. It may be that a highly motivated language learner experiences low or no anxiety

levels and an unmotivated learner is very anxious.

Researchers who have investigated affective variables in language learners believe

that both anxiety and motivation can predict language proficiency. Maclntyre and

Gardner (1991) are of the opinion that "at the earliest stages of language learning,

motivation and language aptitude are the dominant factors in determining success ...

(and) anxiety plays a negligible role in proficiency" (p. 110), but at the later stages of

language learning, anxiety plays a more crucial role in determining success. They

believe that if a language learner's experiences are negative, then foreign language

anxiety may become a regular occurrence and influence student performance.

Autonomy

The third affective variable being investigated in this study is autonomy. The most

frequently cited definition of autonomy in the context of foreign language learning is that

autonomy is "the ability to take charge of one's learning" (Holec, 1981:3). Holec further

explains:

To take charge of one 's learning is to have, and to hold, the responsibility for all
the decisions concerning all aspects of this learning,

i.e.:--determining the objectives;
-- defining the contents and progressions;
-- selecting methods and techniques to be used;
-- monitoring the procedure of acquisition properly speaking (rhythm, time,
play, etc.);
-- evaluating what has been acquired (p. 3)

Holec focuses here on the learning process, and the factors a language learner would need

to control, for effective learning to take place.









Little (1991), on the other hand, does not believe that autonomy is essentially a

matter of having control of and organizing one's learning process. He feels that
autonomy is a capacity for detachment, critical reflection, decision-making,
and independent action.... The capacity for autonomy will be displayed both in
the way the learner learns and in the way he or she transfers what has been
learned to wider contexts (p. 4).

Little believes that autonomous learning occurs not only in the confines of a classroom

but spills over into every other area of life. This view of autonomy encompasses the

capacity and the ability to be in control of one's cognitive faculties, and also to be able to

use this capacity for language learning and beyond.

Little (1991) strives to dispel some of the misconceptions people have about

autonomy in language learning. He states that some people think an autonomous person

makes the decision to learn without a teacher or requires a teacher to give up all control

over the student's learning. Little believes that this is not true because "we are social

beings (and) our independence is always balanced by dependence ... our capacity for self-

instruction probably develops out of our experience of learning in interaction with others"

(p. 5).

Another misconception some people have is that "autonomy is something teachers

do to their learners" (p. 3). Little believes that autonomy cannot be developed in learners

through any set curriculum. This is probably why researchers are of the opinion that

autonomy is a "capacity" that learners have. Little reminds us that autonomy is not a

single behavior that can easily be described but that it takes different forms depending on

individual factors such as age and perceptions of learning needs. Finally, he states that it

is possible for learners to be highly autonomous in some areas and non-autonomous in

others, so autonomy is not "a steady state achieved by certain learners" (p. 4).









According to Littlewood (1996), an autonomous person is "one who has an

independent capacity to make and carry out the choices which govern his or her actions.

This capacity depends on two main components: ability and willingness" (p. 428).

Littlewood believes that an autonomous learner would need to have both characteristics,

ability and willingness, in order to be autonomous, since it is possible for a person to be

willing and not have the ability to make informed decisions, or vice versa. He further

explains the terms "ability" and "willingness." Littlewood claims that in order to have

the ability to become autonomous, a person should have both the "knowledge" of all the

options available to choose from and the necessary "skills" to make appropriate choices.

He also believes that the willingness of a person to become autonomous depends on

having both the "motivation" and the "confidence" to be responsible for the choices.

When discussing autonomy in second language learning, researchers focus on the

ability or the capacity of an individual to make choices independently, and furthermore,

to assume responsibility for those choices. It is believed that possessing this

characteristic will help not only in making informed decisions leading to success in the

language classroom, but that this trait will help the individual in all walks of life, even

outside the classroom.

Not many studies conducted thus far have focused on collecting both qualitative

and quantitative data on autonomy. Rivers (2001) analyzes self-directed language

learning behaviors of adult third-language learners based on qualitative data gathered

from 11 learners of Georgian and Kazakh at the University of Maryland and concludes:

The accurate use of metacognitive, affective, and social strategies to control the
language learning process and the learning environment is the hallmark of self-
directed language learning. In order for such learning to occur, learners must be
able to determine accurately what their needs are, and they must have the freedom









to take action to meet those needs. In the absence of either accurate self-
assessment or genuine autonomy, self-directed language learning will not occur. (p.
287)

With the limited amount of research that has been carried out on autonomy, it is

difficult to understand whether the capacity to be autonomous language learners and

control learning comes naturally or if it needs to be acquired through training. There is

also a need to understand what conditions can help students develop autonomy in

language learning and what factors will hinder its development. Teachers may be able to

observe the behaviors of students in the classroom and gauge if a student is becoming

more autonomous or not, but it would be beneficial to have a global system of measuring

autonomy (Benson, 2001).

The Motivation-Autonomy Interface

While researchers generally argue that motivation and autonomy are separate

constructs, there is a definite interface between them. Keller (1983) believes that a

motivated person can choose to attempt a particular task and decide on the degree of

effort that will be exerted, but if the learner does not have the knowledge or the skills to

accomplish the task, no amount of motivation is going to result in the successful

accomplishment of the task. Additionally, there is research (e.g., Wang and Palincsar,

1989) that shows that when learners take responsibility for their own learning and make

independent choices to facilitate their goals, their motivation increases and they are better

able to achieve their goals.

Deci and Ryan's (1985) self-determination theory is based on a distinction between

intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and we can see here a relationship with autonomy as

well. They state that people who are intrinsically motivated engage in activities because

they are interested in the activity for its own sake, and find it enjoyable or satisfying to









engage in it. People who are extrinsically motivated expect rewards which are unrelated

to the activity itself or engage in a task to avoid punishment. The authors believe that

these types of motivations are not categorically different, but lie on a continuum of self-

determination. They believe that learners who are intrinsically motivated will become

more effective learners and that this learning will become even more productive when the

learner is self-determined and has some control over the learning process. Their

attribution theory of motivation is concerned with learners' perceptions of the reasons for

success and failure in learning. Learners who believe they are responsible for their own

success or failure will take greater responsibility for their learning. Hence, these self-

determination and attribution theories provide a very strong association between

motivation and autonomy.

Assuming that there is a distinct connection between motivation and autonomy, the

question that language teachers may be confronted with is how their students can be

motivated and become autonomous learners. Should teachers focus on motivating

students so that they can ultimately become autonomous learners? Or should they train

students to become autonomous learners so that they will be motivated to be successful

language learners? In other words, does motivation precede autonomy, or does autonomy

precede motivation?

Spratt, Humphreys, and Chan (2002) research the question of whether autonomy or

motivation comes first and find that some research supports the view that motivation

precedes autonomy while other research points to autonomy being a precondition for

motivation to occur. In their own study, the authors found that "motivation is a key

factor that influences the extent to which learners are ready to learn autonomously" (p.









245). Other researchers who hold similar views are Spolsky (1989), who claims that

learners will be willing to invest the required time in learning a language only if they are

motivated, and Skehan (1989), who feels that there is more evidence supporting the fact

that motivation causes successful learning, rather than the other way round. These

studies suggest that motivation generates autonomy.

Further, Spratt et al. (2002) posit that motivation may play an inhibiting or enabling

role in relation to autonomy and could operate in different directions. Borrowing the

terminology from the literature on anxiety, can we then state that autonomy is either

facilitative or debilitative depending on the other factors within the language learning

situation? The present study seeks to find the correlations between motivation and

autonomy. It is possible that further research with different populations in a variety of

learning situations may provide some answers to this question. One of the aims of this

study is to determine if there is a correlation between motivation and autonomy and to

examine if they are distinct factors.

Research also provides evidence to support the view that autonomy needs to be

present to trigger motivation in language learners. Deci and Ryan's (1985) theories show

that learners are intrinsically motivated if they are self-determined and have control over

their language learning process. Dickinson (1995) asserts that for learners to be

successful and to be motivated, they need to take responsibility for their own learning.

Dornyei and Csizer (1998) advise teachers to motivate their students by promoting

learner autonomy. These studies imply that autonomy precedes motivation in a language

learner.









Motivation is not a stable factor and can undergo changes moment by moment in

terms of type and intensity, depending on the learner's experiences. It is possible for a

learner to be motivated in some areas of study and not in others, or at some times and not

at others. Motivation has been regarded and researched as an affective variable for

decades. If there is such a strong connection between motivation and autonomy, is

autonomy an affective factor too? Or is it a stable, cognitive factor? Different

researchers present different viewpoints about autonomy. Nunan (1996) claims that there

are degrees of autonomy and that it is not an absolute concept. Little (1990) believes that

autonomy is not a steady state achieved by learners, but a process. Thanasoulas (2000)

posits that one does not become autonomous, but rather one only works towards

autonomy. The underlying belief seems to be that autonomy is a construct that is

continually changing. It is possible for language learners to be taught how to be

autonomous learners, but the degree to which they will succeed differs. Many factors,

such as the personality traits of the learner, her/his goal for language learning, and the

cultural context in which learning occurs, will determine the extent to which a learner

will become autonomous. Both motivation and autonomy are dynamic, multifaceted

variables and it is very likely that we see a different facet each time there is a change in

the balance of factors, such as individual variables and learning situations. It will be

worthwhile to investigate the interactions between different combinations of factors in a

variety of learning situations with different populations, to examine if any patterns can be

observed that will provide insights into these affective factors.

The Anxiety-Motivation-Autonomy Interface

While trying to understand the interplay between anxiety, motivation, and

autonomy, one wonders what role anxiety plays with regards to both motivation and









autonomy. The relationship between anxiety and motivation has been well documented.

Gardner and MacIntyre (1993) suggest that anxiety and motivation have a reciprocal

relationship and that each variable influences the other. They investigated whether

anxiety caused poor performance or if poor performance caused anxiety and found that

anxiety leads to poor performance (MacIntyre & Gardner, 1994b). In describing the role

played by affective factors in second language acquisition, Schumann (1994) states,

"When motivation is lacking, anxiety is high ... the filter is up and input will not become

intake ... When motivation and self-confidence are high and anxiety is low, the filter

will be down and the relevant input will be acquired" (pp. 232, 233). An explanation for

this negative correlation is offered by MacIntyre and Gardner (1989), who say that

performance levels in the second language drop because anxiety uses up the cognitive

resources and attention that could have been used to perform better in the second

language.

Research on learning strategies provides some evidence that successful language

learners do take measures to control their language anxiety (e.g., Naiman, Frohlich, Stern,

& Todesco, 1978). We are reminded by Oxford (1990) that "good language learners are

often those who know how to control their emotions and attitudes about learning"

(p. 140), which suggests that successful language learners control such emotions as

anxiety. In light of the fact that autonomous learners take charge of their learning and

control their emotions by using anxiety lowering strategies, encouraging themselves and

staying focused on the task at hand, there also seems to be a connection between anxiety

and autonomy.









Researchers have also found a relation between motivation and autonomy. They

are in mutual agreement that both motivation and autonomy are distinct factors but have a

definite interface between them. Some researchers feel that students need to be

motivated before they can be autonomous, while others feel that autonomy has to precede

motivation in a student for more successful language learning.

There is a need for researchers to investigate all three of these individual

differences using qualitative data (e.g., interviews and journals) to complement the

quantitative data collected, in order to provide a more complete picture and deeper

insights into the roles played by these factors, individually and collectively, in language

learning. In this study, both quantitative and qualitative data have been collected and the

three affective factors of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy have been examined.














CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

The present study seeks to observe the extent to which the participants are anxious,

motivated, and/or autonomy, the correlation, if any, among these factors, the extent to

which these factors are stable over an eight-week period, and to ascertain whether there is

any correlation between these factors and students' class performance. The results

obtained through quantitative analysis are then corroborated with the qualitative data

collected through journals, interviews and class observations. This study further

investigates the correlation between motivation and autonomy to examine whether

motivation and autonomy are distinct factors.

Participants

The participants in this study were enrolled in two second semester French classes

(FRE 1131) at the University of Florida. Out of a total of 32 participants, 23 (72%) were

native speakers of English while 9 (28%) were bilinguals and had a native-like

proficiency of English. Six of these nine bilinguals were fluent in Spanish, one student

was fluent in Chinese, another student spoke an Indian language, and the last one spoke

Haitian Creole. Participation was voluntary and data were collected throughout the

semester from these 32 students from two intact classes: 15 students from one class and

17 students from the other. These classes were selected because they had a higher

enrollment than some of the other classes.

Students at the University of Florida are placed in specific French classes

depending on their prior experience with foreign languages, if any. If the students have









not taken foreign language classes in high school, they are placed in FRE 1130, which is

the first semester French class. After their first semester, students are enrolled in FRE

1131, the second semester French class. If the students have taken any previous French

classes, however, they take the SAT II standardized test to determine their placement in

either FRE 1130 or FRE 1115. Both are first semester French classes and they follow the

same syllabus, but FRE 1130 meets five times a week and FRE 1115 meets only three

times a week.

The students in this study had already completed their first semester of French and

were in the second semester of their language study. Each of these classes had an

enrollment of about 20 to 25, so the students from two classes were recruited in order to

obtain an adequate sample size. At the beginning of the semester a total of 44 students

were enrolled in these two classes, but during the course of the semester, eight students

dropped the class, and two students were dropped from the study because they did not

complete all the required components of the study. Finally, another two students were

eliminated from the study because it was determined that they were trait anxious rather

than state anxious, which could potentially impact the anxiety results and skew the

findings1.

All the participants were undergraduate students ranging in age from 18 to 22

years. From one intact class 13 females and two males participated, while 14 females

and three males participated from the other class. The participants completed a

background questionnaire (see Appendix A) in which they were asked for information

such as their age, their native language, their year in school, and the length of time, if

any, they had spent in French-speaking countries. Research done by Saito and Samimy









(1996) and Onwuegbuzie et al. (1999) clearly supports the view that there is a correlation

between the "year of study" and language anxiety experienced by language learners.

Onwuegbuzie, Bailey, and Christine (2000) found that students with high levels of

foreign language anxiety tended to be older, "had never visited a foreign country, had not

taken any high school foreign language courses, (and) had low expectations of their

overall average for their current language course" (pp. 88, 89). Aida (1994), observed

that first-year students who had been to a country where the target language was spoken

showed significantly lower anxiety in the language class than students who had never

visited or lived in countries where the target language was spoken. The adverse effect of

anxiety on performance in language class has been well documented. In their study,

Onwuegbuzie et al. (1999) discovered that students' expectations of their overall

achievement in foreign language courses was the biggest predictor of foreign language

anxiety. This finding is in harmony with MacIntyre and Gardner's (1991) claim that the

negative expectations students have about their language courses result in "worry and

emotionality." (p. 110). Since research shows that these factors influence or predict

success in language learning, the participants in this study were asked to share that

information with the researcher2.

All of the 32 participants in this study had had some experience of learning French

in high school. Some of them had also taken Spanish classes. However, only 20 had

visited foreign countries, which included England, Germany, France, Spain, India, China,

Portugal, Hong Kong, Chile and Venezuela. Of these 20 participants, only 10 had visited

French-speaking countries for varying lengths of time ranging from a day to about three

weeks on vacation. None of the students had spent any time studying in these countries.









A summary of the relevant demographic information of the participants in this study is

provided in Table 1.

Table 3.1: Relevant demography of students (total N=32)
Number of students Percentage
Gender
Female students 27 84%
Male students 5 16%
Age
between 18-22 32 100 %
Year in school
Freshman 7 22 %
Sophomore 10 31 %
Junior 7 22 %
Senior 8 25 %
Foreign countries visited
Yes 19 59 %
No 13 41%
French-speaking countries 10 31 %
Previous foreign language experience
Yes 32 100 %
No 0 0 %
Expected letter grade in class
A 10 31 %
B 19 59 %
C 3 10%


Among the participants, seven students were freshmen, 10 were sophomores,

seven were juniors and eight were seniors. As far as grade expectations were concerned,

10 participants expected to get an 'A' in their French class, 19 students expected a 'B,'

and 3 students expected a 'C.' These students pursued a diversified range of majors:

English, Public Relations, Political Science, Education, Finance, Psychology, Journalism,

Telecommunications, Music, Microbiology, Agriculture, History, Anthropology,

Mathematics, Quantitative Science, Business, Plant Pathology, Pre-Med, Advertising and

Economics.









Procedures

Permission was obtained from the University of Florida Institutional Review

Board to conduct this study. Permission was also obtained from the instructors of the two

second-semester French course to visit their classes to collect the data. The researcher

explained the entire project and the time frame for data collection to the instructors, and

asked for time in class to administer the French test and three questionnaires on anxiety,

motivation, and autonomy. Then, the researcher met the classes two days before the

administration of the first instrument to introduce the semester-long project to the

students and enlist their help. They were not told that the affective factors of anxiety,

motivation, and autonomy were being researched. The participants were assured that

their identity would not be revealed and that their decision to participate (or not) would

not affect their class grade, and were then asked to sign a consent form. This precaution

was taken not only because the law requires it but also with the intention of making the

students feel comfortable with the entire procedure, to give them a chance to ask any

questions, and to reduce any anxiety that could be caused by having to deal with the

unexpected.

During Week 5 of the semester, the four instruments: an in-house French test and

questionnaires on anxiety, motivation, and autonomy, were administered to the students.

Data were collected during Week 5, and not earlier in the semester, because it was hoped

that by this time the students would have had a chance to overcome any initial discomfort

and anxiety they might have experienced due to being in a new class with new classmates

and instructor. It was hoped that any anxiety they felt during Week 5 would be directly

related to their language learning experiences in general, as opposed to specific new-

semester factors.









During Week 13 of the semester the same four instruments were administered to

the students a second time. Final and oral examinations were to be held during Week 18

of the semester, so this administration was scheduled to occur before any final exam

anxiety might appear. The in-house French test and the three questionnaires were

completed at the beginning of the class period so that the students would not be tempted

to rush through the questionnaires in order to leave class early. Additional data were also

collected out of class. The students were given specific journal topics and were invited to

submit journal entries. They were also invited to participate in one-on-one interviews on

a volunteer basis. These additional data will be discussed in more detail below.

In order to decrease the tendency of over-relying on the results obtained from the

quantitative data that were collected, and to increase the reliability and validity of the

results, qualitative data that were obtained from the journal entries and the interviews

with students and instructors was examined for corroboration with the questionnaire

results. Inconsistencies in the different data sets were identified to gain a better

understanding of the interplay between anxiety, motivation, and autonomy among the

participants in this study.

The participants were first grouped into four categories on the basis of the scores

they received on each of the three questionnaires. These four categories were labeled

'low,' 'fairly low,' 'fairly high' and 'high,' which meant that the participants experienced

low, fairly low, fairly high or high levels of anxiety, motivation, or autonomy. This

method of grouping students proved to be problematic because the number of participants

who fell into the "high" category was too low to investigate or describe. One way to get

a larger group would have been to combine the number of students who were included in









the "high" as well as the "fairly high" categories. But, if that were done, the range of

emotions experienced by this group would have been very broad, ranging from the center

to the highest point on the scale, in which case this group would not have represented

students who had high levels of anxiety, motivation, or autonomy. The participants were

then grouped into three equal categories of 'high,' 'moderate,' and low' based on their

scores on each of the three questionnaires. For example, the total possible score on the

anxiety scale was 165. All the participants who obtained scores between 1 and 55 were

considered to have little or no language anxiety and were placed in the "low" category.

Students who scored between 56 and 110 were considered to experience moderate levels

of anxiety and placed in the "moderate" category, while those who scored between 111

and 165 were considered to be highly anxious.

The participants were divided into three categories on the other scales as well.

The total possible score on the Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) was 375. The

participants who obtained scores between 1 and 125 were believed to have little or no

motivation; the students who scored between 126 and 250 were considered to be

moderately motivated while those who scored between 251 and 375 were considered to

be highly motivated.

The total possible score on the questionnaire measuring autonomy was 300.

The participants who obtained a score between 1 and 100 were believed to have low

levels of autonomy. The students who scored between 101 and 200 were considered to

be moderately autonomous while those who scored between 201 and 300 were

considered to be highly autonomous. Having these three groups for each measure made









it possible to identify students who were highly anxious, motivated and/or autonomous.

Table 3.2 gives the range of points for the three categories on each measure.

Table 3.2: The range of points for the three categories on each measure.
Low Moderate High
Anxiety 1 55 56 110 111 -165
Motivation 1 125 126 250 251 -375
Autonomy 1 100 101 -200 201 -300
Trait Anxiety 1 12 13 24 25 35


Instruments


In-house French Test

An in-house French grammar and vocabulary test (see Appendix B) was

developed by the Assistant Director of the French program for this study to measure the

performance of the students in their French class. The test includes some material that

the students covered during the previous semester in French and other material that the

students were expected to cover during the semester they were currently enrolled in. This

meant that during the first administration of the test, the students were not expected to

know all the answers. The test was constructed in this way to control for any potential

ceiling effect among more advanced students.

The Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS)


The questionnaire used to measure the levels of anxiety in foreign language

learners is the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) (see Appendix C),

developed by Horwitz, Horwitz, and Cope in 1986. The FLCAS is a 33-item instrument

that determines the degree to which students feel anxious during language classes by

assessing their communication apprehension, test anxiety, and fear of negative evaluation

in the foreign language classroom. Each item is a statement followed by a five-point









Likert response scale, with which the participants indicate the degree to which they agree

or disagree with each of the items. Items on this scale are both positively and negatively

worded; for example, one item might be, "I start to panic when I have to speak without

preparation in French class," and another item may be, "I feel confident when I speak in

French class". When the negatively worded items are scored, the scale is reversed. The

total possible score ranges from 33 to 165, with the higher scores indicating higher levels

of foreign language anxiety. Validity and reliability studies have shown that the scale is

both valid and reliable (Horwitz et al., 1986, Horwitz, 1991) with an alpha coefficient of

.93 and an eight-week test-retest coefficient of .83. Also, Aida's (1994) study of 96

students in a second-year Japanese course used the same instrument and reported a

Cronbach's alpha coefficient of .94. Alpha coefficient ranges in value from 0 to 1 and

shows how well a set of items measure a single unidimensional construct. The higher the

score, the more reliable the generated scale is. A reliability coefficient of .70 is

considered as "acceptable" in the literature.

To determine if the anxiety experienced by the participants in this study was state

anxiety rather than trait anxiety, seven extra Likert response questions were added to the

33-item FLCAS, making it a 40-item questionnaire. These items were adapted from the

General Anxiety Scale Items by Spielberger (1972), and comprise numbers 34 to 40 on

the questionnaire. The validity and reliability scores of the FLCAS were not altered

because the scores obtained on the seven additional questions were computed separately.

As was noted above, the data from these additional items resulted in the elimination of

two students from the study.









The Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB)

The questionnaire used to measure levels of motivation was the modified

Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB), originally developed by Gardner (1985) and

revised by Gardner, Tremblay and Masgoret in 1997 (see Appendix D). This instrument

investigates such factors as attitude toward learning French, desire to learn French, and

motivational intensity in learning French. Like the FLCAS, each item here is also

followed by a five-point Likert response scale for participants to indicate the degree to

which they agree or disagree with the statements. Again, some of the items on this scale

are also both positively and negatively worded. For example, one item might be, "When I

have a problem understanding something we are learning in my French class, I always

ask the instructor for help," and another item may be, "I don't bother checking my

corrected assignments in my French courses." Validity and reliability studies have

shown that the scale is both valid and reliable, with coefficients of .91 and .89

respectively, and a six-week test-retest coefficient of .79.

The Questionnaire on Autonomy

The students' levels of autonomy in learning French were determined by using the

questionnaire formulated by Spratt, Humphreys and Chan (2002) (Appendix E.) This

questionnaire was strongly influenced by Holec's (1981) definition of autonomy, and the

researchers attempted to incorporate the notions of "ability" and "responsibility" in the

five areas of their questionnaire, which aims to:

assess students' readiness for learner autonomy in language learning by
examining their views of their responsibilities and those of their teachers, their
confidence in their ability to operate autonomously .... It also investigated their
actual practice of autonomous learning in the form of both outside and inside
class activities. (p. 245)









Some of the questions required the students to tabulate two answers: to what extent

they thought it was the teacher's responsibility or their own responsibility "to make sure I

make progress outside class" or "to decide the objectives of my French course." The

terms "Not at all", "A little", "Some", "Mainly" or "Completely" were used on the five-

point Likert response scale in this questionnaire. This questionnaire on autonomy was

compiled, piloted, amended and then administered to 508 participants by Spratt,

Humphreys and Chan at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2002. No information

on the reliability and validity of this questionnaire was included in the report.

Class Observations


In an effort to get a complete picture of the participants' apprehensions,

motivations, initiative, and the confidence they had throughout the semester, the

researcher observed both the French classes each week. The researcher chose to observe

the classes in person rather than to videotape the sessions in light of the findings by

Maclntyre and Gardner (1994a), which indicate that the increased anxiety caused by a

video camera in the classroom can impair students' performance.

All the participants were observed in their French classes at least once a week

throughout the semester. The class observations provided insights into the participants'

levels of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy through their behavior and attitudes in class.

Anxiety is exhibited in different ways, for example, through physiological and behavioral

signs discussed by researchers (Chastain, 1975; Horwitz et al., 1986). Students who are

enthusiastic or confident in class, or those who take the initiative to enhance their

learning in class, reflect their levels of motivation and autonomy. When necessary, at the

end of class, the instructor was consulted about certain situations or occurrences in class.









At other times, and throughout the semester, the students were asked for their views and

opinions about their French class. These conversations took place outside of class and

normal class activities were never interrupted.

These class observations were excellent opportunities for the participants and the

researcher to establish a rapport, which was of utmost importance during the end-of-term

interviews with the students. The researcher was also able to observe the classroom

behavior of the participants which helped, to some extent, in understanding the thoughts

expressed by the students in the questionnaires, journals and interviews. Also, having

interacted with the researcher during the administration of the questionnaires, engaging in

small talk before class began, and observing that the instructor had no access to their

responses, either written or verbal, the participants seemed to be comfortable,

forthcoming, and honest while volunteering information during the journal writing

exercise and interviews.

Journals


The participants were asked to submit four journal entries of at least one typed

page in length in which they answered specific questions, in English, regarding their

experiences learning French. These journal entries were written outside of class. About

ten students (29%) volunteered to write all four journal entries and were each given an

honorarium of $10 for their efforts. Specific dates were set to submit these journal

entries directly to the researcher and were spaced at least ten days apart. All the students

who volunteered to write journal entries completed all four entries. Each of the topics

(see Appendix F) given to the students targeted information about one of the variables or

constructs being investigated in this study. The first journal topic aimed at getting the









students to reflect on their foreign language learning experience in its entirety. The

second journal topic focused on anxiety, the third on motivation, and the fourth topic

targeted information on autonomy.

Student Interviews

All the students who submitted journal entries were invited to participate in an

interview with the researcher. From the ten students who submitted journal entries, seven

students agreed to be interviewed, representing 22% of the total participant population.

Each participant was given an additional honorarium of $10 for participating in the

interview.

The students were interviewed, in English, out of class. The primary purpose of the

interview was to explore the participants' points of view, feelings, and perspectives about

learning French in general and their classroom experiences in particular. Some open-

ended questions were prepared to ask during the interview (see Appendix G), if needed,

but mostly the students were allowed to talk freely about their experiences and their

opinions about how anxious, motivated, or autonomous they were throughout the

semester. Some of the questions that were asked in the interview were, "What thoughts

go through your mind as you enter your French classroom?" and "If you needed to, how

would you go about designing a syllabus for your French class?" These semi-structured

interviews were conducted to complement the information obtained from the

questionnaires and to gain a better understanding of what the participants' numerical

responses mean.

Teacher Interviews

The instructors of the two classes were also interviewed after the end of the

semester and submission of grades. Some open-ended questions to ask during the









interview were planned out, but mostly the instructors were allowed to freely talk about

their perspectives on their teaching and their students. Some of the questions (see

Appendix H) that were asked in the interview were, "What are your expectations of the

students, in terms of how they can learn best?" and "What are some ways in which you

will recognize that a student is anxious in your class?" These semi-structured interviews

helped to understand the teachers' perspectives of the importance of particular class

activities as opposed to the students' perspective of what should be done in class to

enhance language learning. The teachers' opinions about the levels of anxiety,

motivation, and autonomy in their students also served to substantiate the results obtained

through other data collection procedures.

Data Analysis

Some of the research questions are answered quantitatively by using statistical tests

to evaluate the significance of the data collected, while others are assessed through

observation of the data collected. In this first section, questions that are answered

quantitatively are discussed.

Quantitative Data

Research Question 1 strives to identify the participants who are anxious, motivated,

and autonomous. This was done by categorizing the students into three groups of "high,"

"moderate," and "low," based on their scores on each measure. The participants whose

scores fell into the "high" category were considered to be anxious, motivated, and/or

autonomous.

Research Question 2 aimed at finding out the correlations between the participants'

levels of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy. A Pearson's Product Moment Correlation

Coefficient test was run on the scores the participants obtained on the three









questionnaires measuring anxiety, motivation, and autonomy to determine if there were

any correlations among them both at the time of the first administration of the

questionnaires and at the second administration. The questionnaires measuring the three

affective variables were administered twice to the participants, during Weeks 5 and 13 of

the semester.

Research Question 3 investigated whether the affective factors within the

participants had undergone any changes from Time 1 to Time 2 or if they remained

stable. This was done by running a Paired-Samples T-Test on the difference in scores

obtained on each of those variables (e.g., anxiety score during second administration

minus anxiety score during first administration). The mean scores obtained by the

participants on different variables during each administration were also examined to

observe if there were any significant changes.

In order to answer Research Question 4, which sought to find the correlation

between the three affective factors and students' performance, a Linear Regression test

was run with the scores on anxiety, motivation, and autonomy as the independent

variables and class performance as measured by both the in-house French test and

students' final class grades, as the dependent variable. The in-house French grammar and

vocabulary test was administered two times during the semester, but the final class grades

represented the grades the students obtained over the duration of the semester in a wide

variety of areas: written homework, workbook activities, compositions, chapter exams,

oral proficiency tests, attendance, preparation, and participation.

As mentioned earlier, the participants in this study were from two different French

classes. Until this point the participants have been analyzed as a whole unit, but with









Research Question 5 the focus turns to the two classes as separate data sets. Here, an

attempt is made to identify any differences in the results obtained from the participants in

the classes taught by different instructors. An Independent Samples T Test was run to

compare the overall performance of the 2 sets of participants.

In order to answer Research Question 5, both the quantitative data from the scores

on the questionnaires and qualitative data collected through journals and interviews were

examined to determine if motivation and autonomy were distinct factors. If the results

of Research Question 3 showed that the participants' emotions had changed from Time 1

to Time 2, Research Question 7 sought to examine some possible reasons for the change.

Qualitative Data

The qualitative data in this study were collected through different modes: class

observations, journal entries, and interviews with students and instructors.

Research Question 6 aimed at determining whether motivation and autonomy are

distinct factors. Students who were highly motivated and highly autonomous were

identified and an attempt was made to see if any patterns emerged.

Research Question 7 discusses some possible reasons for a change in the affective

factors experienced by the participants from test to retest. This information was obtained

from the journal entries submitted by the students and the interviews. The qualitative

measures reveal much information about the three affective variables under investigation,

for example, the areas of language learning which cause anxiety, activities that motivate

students to work harder in and out of class, and students' thoughts about the instructors'

responsibility to teach them effectively as opposed to their own responsibility.

The next chapter presents the results of the statistical tests that were run and

discusses both the quantitative and qualitative findings.






51


Notes

1. According to Hatch and Lazaraton (1991), the minimum number of students
required to get a normal distribution is 30, so even with these eliminations, this
study meets that basic requirement, with a final number of 32.

2. The reason for obtaining these details from the students was to have more complete
information about the language learner even though it goes far beyond the scope of
this study.














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Quantitative data were collected during weeks 5 and 13 of the semester and the

participant scores from the three questionnaires on anxiety, motivation, and autonomy,

along with the scores from the in-house French pre- and post- tests were recorded.

Research questions 1 through 5, which are quantitative in nature, are answered in this

chapter by running a number of statistical tests to ascertain if the results were statistically

significant and if they were indicative of a trend within the sample.

Qualitative data were collected throughout the semester in the form of journal

entries, individual interviews with both students and instructors, and classroom

observations. Research questions 6 and 7, which are qualitative in nature, are also

discussed in this chapter by providing information obtained from the participants through

their journals and interviews.

In all, 34 participants completed all the tests and questionnaires, which were part of

the data collection procedures in this study. The scores obtained by the participants on

each questionnaire indicated the degree to which the participants were anxious, motivated

and/or autonomous. Recall that the procedure used to identify students who experienced

higher than average levels of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy, has been described in

chapter 3.

Type of Anxiety

In order to increase the chances that research on anxiety and language achievement

obtained comparable results, Scovel (1978) suggested that language researchers should









be specific about the type of anxiety they were measuring. Accordingly, it is noted that

the present study focused on students who experienced foreign language anxiety or

anxiety that is felt only in specific situations, also called 'state anxiety,' and not trait

anxiety, which is a non-situation-specific personality trait. So, to determine the degree of

foreign language anxiety, it was important to ascertain that the students did indeed

experience state anxiety rather than trait anxiety. This was done by adding seven extra

questions measuring trait anxiety to the FLCAS. These seven questions were adapted

from Spielberger's (1983) State-Trait Anxiety Inventory which, according to Horwitz

(1986), has a low but significant correlation with the FLCAS at a correlation coefficient

of .29 (p=.002). Each item is a statement followed by a five-point Likert response scale.

The added questions are:

1. I get just as nervous in my other classes as I do in my French class.
2. I am usually calm and not easily upset.
3. I am a high-strung person.
4. I avoid meeting new people even though they are English speakers.
5. I am satisfied with the progress I am making in all my classes, except French.
6. I go through periods in which I lose sleep over worry.
7. It doesn't bother me when I am not in control of a situation.

The total possible score on these seven questions is 35. Students who obtained a

score between 1 and 12 were considered to have low levels of trait anxiety, while

students who scored between 13 and 24 were considered to be moderately trait anxious.

To qualify as being highly trait anxious, a participant had to score between 25 and 35

points on the trait anxiety scale. These three categories of 'low,' 'moderate,' and 'high,'

were devised the same way as for the other measures used in this study.

The scores obtained by the participants on the trait anxiety part of the questionnaire

were closely examined to identify students who were highly trait anxious. Out of a total









of 34 participants, two were identified as being highly trait anxious. The first highly trait

anxious participant, A15, scored 30 points during both administrations of the trait anxiety

scale, whereas the second highly trait anxious participant, B04, had a score of 27 during

the first administration of the test and a score of 25 during the second administration.

An interesting observation to be made is that the scores A15 received on the state

anxiety part of the questionnaire identified her as also being highly state anxious. Her

scores for the two administrations were 131 and 137, respectively. However, such was

not the case with B04, who scored 89 points during both administrations of the state

anxiety scale. These scores indicate that A15 experienced both trait and state anxiety,

while B04 experienced only trait anxiety. Understanding that trait and state anxieties

could have a different influence on a language learner and that the interplay between trait

anxiety, motivation, and autonomy could possibly be different from the interplay between

state anxiety, motivation, and autonomy, a decision was made to eliminate both these

participants from the study. As a result, a total of 32 participants were left in this study.

The above-mentioned scores indicate that it is possible for a language learner to be trait

anxious yet not state anxious, so it is advisable for researchers to take note of Scovel's

suggestion and ensure that they measure the appropriate variables in their studies.

The results obtained for each of the research questions are discussed in turn below,

and the type of anxiety measured is state anxiety.

Research Question 1

To what extent, if any, are the participants anxious, motivated, and

autonomous?

In order to determine to what degree the participants were anxious, motivated and

autonomous, the following sub-questions of Research Question 1 were considered:









a. To what extent, if any, are the participants anxious?

b. To what extent, if any, are the participants motivated?

c. To what extent, if any, are the participants autonomous?

The scores received by the participants at Time 1 and Time 2 on each of the three

questionnaires were examined. Table 4.1 provides information on the number of students

who were categorized as having high, moderate, or low levels of anxiety, motivation,

and/or autonomy, and Appendix I gives an overview of all the participants who

experienced high levels of anxiety, motivation, and antonomy.

Table 4.1: Student classification based on scores received on questionnaires (n=32)
High Moderate Low
Number of Number of Number of
students students students
First administration 8 (25%) 23 (72%) 1 (3%)
Anxiety Second administration 7 (22%) 23 (72%) 2 (6%)
First administration 19 (59%) 13 (41%) 0
Motivation Second administration 17 (53%) 15 (47%) 0
First administration 5 (16%) 27 (84%) 0
Autonomy Second administration 4 (13%) 28 (87%) 0


The results are discussed below.

Anxiety

Students were identified as being anxious if their scores fell into the 'high'

category, which meant their scores ranged from 111 to 165 on the anxiety scale.

Emphasis was placed on this category because research has consistently shown that high

levels of anxiety have a negative effect on the performance of language learners, whereas

moderate levels of anxiety can either be facilitative or debilitative, either motivating

students to work harder to reach their goals, or impeding their progress in their language

study program. MacIntyre (1995) calls this an inverted "U" relationship between anxiety

and performance. The topmost segment of the inverted "U" divides the range between









low and moderate anxiety, which may be facilitating, from the range between moderate

and high anxiety, which may be debilitating to a language learner.

As shown in Table 4.1, during Week 5 of the semester, eight students (25%), out of

a total of 32 participants, experienced high levels of anxiety with scores ranging from 111

to 134, and during Week 13 of the semester, seven participants (22%) experienced high

levels of anxiety, with scores ranging from 112 to 126. Table 4.2 gives the details of the

students who were anxious at some point in the semester.

Table 4.2: Students who were anxious during Time 1 and Time 2
Student Time 1 Time 2 Increase Decrease
Points Points in Points in Points
All 116 120 4 (2.4%) Anxious Time 1 and 2
A20 116 117 1 (0.6%) Anxious Time 1 and 2
B18 134 126 8 (4.8%) Anxious Time 1 and 2
B22 127 124 3 (1.8%) Anxious Time 1 and 2
A08 119 99 20 (12%) Anxious Time 1
B12 122 102 20 (12%) Anxious Time 1
B14 112 107 5 (3%) Anxious Time 1
B17 111 110 1 (0.6%) Anxious Time 1
A03 110 123 13 (7.9%) Anxious Time 2
A18 97 113 16 (9.7%) Anxious Time 2
B15 107 112 5 (3%) Anxious Time 2


Only four participants (Al A20, B18 and B22) out of eight, were highly anxious

during both administrations of the questionnaire on anxiety with a maximum of 4.8%

change in their scores. Other four students (A08, B12, B14, and B17), who were anxious

at the beginning of the semester were not anxious at the end of the semester. Their

decrease in scores ranged from 0.6-12%. Yet another three students (A03, A18, and B15)

who were not anxious at the beginning of the semester were anxious at the end of the

semester, and their anxiety scores increased by a maximum of 9.7%. These results show

that a total of 11 students in this study were highly anxious at some point in their French









class during the course of the semester, which is about 34% of the participants.

Motivation

In order to find out if the participants in this study were motivated, their scores on

the AMTB were examined. Students who scored between 251 and 375 were considered

highly motivated. The results showed that 19 students (59%) were highly motivated

during the first administration of the questionnaire, with scores ranging from 257 to 305,

and 17 (53%) of those participants remained highly motivated during the second

administration, with scores ranging from 259 to 299. It is encouraging to observe that

more than half the participants started off their studies motivated and continued this trend

until the end of the semester. Thirteen (41%) participants were moderately motivated

during the first administration, but during the second administration, 15 (47%)

participants were moderately motivated. In other words, approximately the same subset

of students were moderately motivated during both the first and second administrations of

the motivation questionnaire. However, two students, A17 and A20, who were highly

motivated during Week 5 were only moderately motivated during Week 13 of the

semester. None of the participants had "low" levels of motivation at any time during the

semester.

Autonomy

Students who scored between 201 and 300 on the autonomy scale were considered

to be highly autonomous. With regards to the number of participants who were

autonomous, the data show that only five (16%) of the participants, A03, Al B10, B13,

and B17, were highly autonomous during the first administration of the questionnaire,

with scores ranging from 201 to 249, and only four (13%) participants, A03, A08, B10,









and B17, were highly autonomous during the second administration, with scores ranging

from 203 to 222. Three of the participants were highly autonomous during both

administrations. Two of the students who were highly autonomous during Week 5 were

only moderately autonomous during Week 13 of the semester, whereas one student who

was moderately autonomous during Week 5 was highly autonomous during Week 13. In

comparison with the number of students who were highly motivated, fewer in this group

were highly autonomous. Most of the students were moderately autonomous, with

twenty-seven (84%) students falling into this category during the first administration, and

twenty-eight (87%) during the second administration. None of the students fell into the

category of "low" autonomy.

Overall, the results show that about 34% of the participants in this study were

highly anxious at some point during the semester, 59% of them were highly motivated,

but only 19% of them were highly autonomous.

Research Question 2

To what extent, if any, is there a correlation among the participants' stated

levels of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy?

In order to determine if there was a correlation among the three affective factors

under consideration in this study, a Pearson's Product Moment Correlation Coefficient

test was run. Correlation coefficients tell us how well two or more variables are related

to each other. They can also be used to determine how much variability in one factor is

explainable by variation in the other factors.

The correlations were examined for both administrations of the three

questionnaires. The results showed that there were no correlations between anxiety and

motivation, or between anxiety and autonomy, but there was a statistically significant









moderate correlation between motivation and autonomy with a coefficient of .623

(p=<.001) at Time 1 and .624 (p=<.001) at Time 2. Table 4.3 summarizes these results.

Table 4.3: The correlations among participants' levels of the three variables

First administration Second administration
Correlation between
anxiety and motivation .052 -.148
(correlation coefficient)
Sig .776 .417
Correlation between
anxiety and autonomy .111 .030
(correlation coefficient)
Sig .545 .871
Correlation between
motivation and autonomy .623 .624
(correlation coefficient)
Sig .000* .000*


Correlation between Anxiety and Motivation

In considering the participant scores in this study, the results show that there is no

correlation between anxiety and motivation. These results are contrary to those of

Gardner, Day & MacIntyre (1992), who examined the effects of both motivation and

anxiety on computerized vocabulary acquisition and proposed that anxiety and

motivation "are two separate dimensions with overlapping behavioral consequences ...

correlated yet distinguishable" (p. 212).

Gardner's (1985) Attitude/Motivation Test Battery included some questions on

French class anxiety and French use anxiety. These questions were identified and the

scores of each participant on the extracted anxiety questions were correlated with the

scores on the FLCAS to ensure that the anxiety questions, from both scales, were

consistent and measured the same affective factor. The results show that the correlation

between the anxiety scale and the anxiety questions from the motivation scale was high,









at .801 and .849 during Test 1 and Test 2, respectively and p=<.001 at both times,

suggesting that the type of anxiety measured was the same.

In an effort to observe the true motivation scores of the participants, the AMTB

questions on anxiety and autonomy were disregarded. It was interesting to note that

when a correlation test was run between the anxiety and new motivation scores, a

statistically significant moderate inverse correlation was found with a correlation

coefficient of -.482 (p=.005) during the second administration of the instruments. These

results are now similar to those obtained by Gardner, Day & MacIntyre (1992) who

believe that there is a correlation between anxiety and motivation. This change in results

suggests that the AMTB questions on anxiety and autonomy have an impact on the

motivation scores.

As mentioned before, eight students were highly anxious during Test 1; of these

eight, two were freshmen, two were sophomores, two were juniors, and two were seniors.

During Test 2, out of the seven students who were highly anxious, two were sophomores,

three were juniors, and two were seniors. Interestingly, none of the freshmen were

anxious at the end of the semester, which is in keeping with the results reported by

Onwuegbuzie et al. (1999), who posited that foreign language anxiety increased linearly,

meaning that the freshmen reported the lowest levels of anxiety while the seniors

reported the highest levels. As noted earlier, more than half of the students were

motivated during both Test 1 and Test 2.

Correlation between Anxiety and Autonomy

With regards to the relationship between anxiety and autonomy, again the data show that

there is little or no correlation between the two, with a correlation coefficient of. 111









(p=.545) during Test 1, and a correlation coefficient of .030 (p=.871) during Test 2.

Table 4.4 gives a summary of all the students who were highly anxious and/or highly

autonomous during both administrations of the questionnaires.

Table 4.4: Students who were highly anxious and/or highly autonomous (represented by
'X')during Test 1 and Test 2
Participant Highly Anxious Students Highly Autonomous Students
Week 5 Week 13 Week 5 Week 13
A03 X X X
A08 X X
All X X X
A18 X
A20 X X
B10 X X
B12 X
B13 X
B14 X
B15 X
B17 X X X
B18 X X
B22 X X


There is no apparent pattern in the levels of anxiety and autonomy experienced by

the participants. Two students, B10 and B13, who were highly autonomous, did not

experience high anxiety levels in their French class, whereas two other students, A03 and

B17, were highly autonomous during both Test 1 and Test 2, and were also highly

anxious during one of the administrations of the anxiety scale. B 18 and B22, were not

highly autonomous but were highly anxious. Thus, in this sample, students were highly

autonomous but not anxious; highly anxious but not autonomous, and also both highly

autonomous and highly anxious at the same time. These results suggest that experiencing

high levels of anxiety in a language classroom does not indicate whether a student will or

will not take charge of his or her learning. Neither can it be said that a highly

autonomous student will not experience any language anxiety in the classroom.









A closer look at Table 4.4 shows that four students who were highly anxious during

Test 1 were not as anxious during Test 2, and three other students who were not highly

anxious at Test 1 were anxious at Test 2. Also, two students who were highly

autonomous at Test 1 changed categories and were not as autonomous at Test 2. Finally,

A08, who was not highly autonomous at Test 1 was so at Test 2. These results show that

the participants' levels of anxiety and autonomy changed within the eight-week period.

Participants A03, A18, and B15 were not highly anxious during week 5 but they

were anxious during Week 13. Class observations reveal that both A03 and A18 would

come early to class, sit at the back and not engage in any conversations with their

classmates. They would attempt to answer any questions the teacher asked them. Their

class grades for the first half of the semester were lower than they were toward the end of

the semester. It is possible that these students became anxious about their grades and put

in greater efforts, resulting in improved grades at the end of the semester. This

information is corroborated from the qualitative data collected from A18. She said that

she was not highly anxious at the beginning of the semester because she was familiar

with the course material and had heard that the instructor was good. During the course of

the semester, she said that she was frustrated with the tediousness of the workbook and

did not do her daily assignments. She was anxious in class whenever she had not done

the reading for that day and felt tense at the thought of the instructor calling on her to

answer a question. Though she had no intentions of continuing her language study, she

wanted to get a good grade in class, so she put in extra efforts to reach her goal.

B 15's behavior in class was very different from the previous two participants. She

would usually come late to class, sit next to one of her friends, and chat and play









throughout the French class. Her grade halfway through the semester bottomed out to an

overall average of 42%. She was not anxious at Time 1 but was anxious at Time 2,

suggesting that it was possible that she began to be anxious about her grade and put in

efforts to improve her grade; this is corroborated by her final class grade, which came up

to 64%.

These results show that there is no correlation between anxiety and autonomy, and

that the degree to which the participants are anxious or autonomous can change over the

course of a semester.

Correlation between Motivation and Autonomy

In examining if there is a relationship between motivation and autonomy, the data

show that there is a reasonably high correlation between these two affective factors, with

a coefficient of .623 during the first administration and .629 during the second

administration. Both these correlations are statistically significant at p=<.001.

Language learning research has established that there is a strong connection

between motivation and autonomy. Describing motivated behavior is a challenging task

because it inevitably includes some characteristics of autonomous behavior. Neither is it

easy to describe autonomous behavior and claim that it cannot also be labeled as

motivated behavior. Hence, it is not surprising to find that some questions in the AMTB

seemed to overlap with autonomy. The following questions focused on the efforts the

students put into their language learning, suggesting that they were taking charge of their

learning and showing some autonomous behavior.

1. I keep up to date with French by working on it almost every day.

2. If it were up to me, I would spend all my time learning French.









3. When I have a problem understanding something we are learning in my French
class, I always ask the instructor to help.

4. I really work hard to learn French.

5. When I am studying French, I ignore distractions and stick to the job at hand.

Again, these questions were identified and the scores of each participant on the

extracted questions were correlated with the instrument on autonomy. This time, it was

found that the correlation between the autonomy scale and the autonomy questions from

the motivation scale had a moderately high correlation at .633 and .689 during the first

and second administrations, respectively and p=<.001. This process ensured that the

autonomy questions, from both scales, were consistent and measured the same affective

factor.

These moderately high correlations between the autonomy questions on both the

scales, and also the anxiety questions on the AMTB and FLCAS, reinforce what

researchers have said about motivation and anxiety, and motivation and autonomy being

factors that are closely connected, yet are distinct and distinguishable as different

affective factors in a language learner. The relationship between motivation and

autonomy will be further examined while discussing Research Question 6.

To further examine the correlation between motivation and autonomy, a correlation

test between the scores on motivation and autonomy was run a second time; this time

with the new motivation scores. The results were similar to those obtained the first time

showing statistically significant moderate correlations between motivation and autonomy

with correlation coefficients of .603 (p=<.000) and .534 (p=.002) during the first and

second administrations, respectively.









An investigation into the correlations among the levels of anxiety, motivation, and

autonomy observed in the participants of this study show that there is a moderately high

correlation between motivation and autonomy. When a correlation test was run between

anxiety and motivation using the AMTB in its entirety, there was no correlation between

the two factors, but when the questions on anxiety and autonomy in the AMTB were

disregarded, a negative correlation was found between anxiety and motivation. These

results support those of Gardner, Day & MacIntyre (1992) who found a correlation

between anxiety and motivation.

Research Question 3

To what extent, if any, are the participants' levels of anxiety, motivation and

autonomy stable over time?

The sub-questions that were considered to discover if there were any changes in the

participants' stated levels of anxiety, motivation, and autonomy were:

a. To what extent, if any, does the participants' anxiety change from test to retest?

b. To what extent, if any, does the participants' motivation change from test to retest?

c. To what extent, if any, does the participants' autonomy change from test to retest?

d. If a change has occurred in one of the affective factors, is there a corresponding

change in the other two factors?

The questionnaires measuring anxiety, motivation and autonomy were administered

twice to the participants, during Weeks 5 and 13 of the semester. A series of paired

samples t-tests were run to investigate the stability of the levels of emotions experienced

by the participants. The results in Table 4.5 show that there was no change in the

participants' levels of anxiety and autonomy from test to retest, but that there was a

significant decrease (p=.038) in their motivation levels.









Table 4.5: Paired samples t-test results showing change only in motivation levels
Sig. Correlation
Mean t (2-tailed) coefficient Sig.
Pair 1
First Anxiety 93.44 .770 .447 .789 .000*
Questionnaire

Second Anxiety 91.63
Questionnaire
Pair 2
First Motivation 253.75 2.165 .038* .905 .000*
Questionnaire

Second Motivation 248.88
Questionnaire
Pair 3
First Autonomy 177.84 -.429 .671 .718 .000*
Questionnaire

Second Autonomy 179.19
Questionnaire


There was a high correlation between the first and second administrations of the

instruments measuring the three variables, suggesting that the instruments were reliable.

With regards to the possible changes in the levels of anxiety felt by the participants,

the mean anxiety score was 93.44 during Week 5 and 91.63 during Week 13, a negligible

decrease of 1.81 points, which was statistically non-significant at p=.447. In other words,

there was no significant overall change in the participants' stated levels of anxiety from

test to retest.

When the participant scores on the motivation scale were examined, it was found

that during the first administration, the mean score for the participants' level of

motivation was 253.75 while during the second administration, the mean score for

motivation was 248.88, a decrease of 4.87 points. This change was statistically

significant with p=.038, so an overall decrease in participants' motivation levels is

observed from Week 5 to Week 13 of the semester.









These results were puzzling because the decrease in motivation levels seemed to

contradict earlier results which showed a high correlation between the first and second

administrations of the motivation scale, with a correlation coefficient of .905 (p=<.001).

Therefore, each class was then examined separately to better understand the changes in

the levels of motivation. An independent samples t-test was run to compare the scores

obtained by the participants in each of the two groups. On the first administration, the

mean motivation score of the first group was 242.27 points, while the second group

scored 263.88 points, a difference of 21.61 points, which was statistically significant at

p=.032. This meant that the second group was significantly more motivated than the first

group during Week 5 of the semester. Table 4.6 gives the mean motivation scores of the

participants during both administrations.

Table 4.6: Group differences in motivation scores
Group Mean Sig
First administration 1 242.27
2 263.88 .032*
Second administration 1 239.00
2 257.59 .074


During the second administration of the motivation scale, the mean motivation

scores of the second group remained higher than the scores of the first group, but this

time the difference of 18.59 points was not statistically significant (p=.074), which meant

that there was no difference in the motivation levels of the two groups during Week 13 of

the semester. Looking at the mean scores of each group separately, we observe that the

motivation levels of group 1 decreased by 3.27 points while the motivation levels of

group 2 decreased by 6.29 points, which is almost twice the decrease experienced by the

first group. A paired samples t-test showed that the decrease in motivation in group 1









was not statistically significant (p=.461), but the decrease in motivation levels in group 2

was statistically significant (p=.006). It is only when we look at the motivation levels of

both the classes separately that we understand that the overall decrease in motivation

levels as a group come mainly from the scores of one class alone. Thus far, the results

show that there was no statistically significant change in the participants' stated levels of

anxiety, but that there was a statistically significant decrease in their levels of motivation

from Time 1 to Time 2. The possible reasons for this decrease in motivation levels will

be discussed in the section concerning research question 7.

Looking at the participant scores on the autonomy scale, it was observed that the

highest individual score at Time 1 was 249 points, which dropped to 222 points at Time

2, but the lowest individual score was not very different during the two administrations.

This could have suggested a possible decrease in levels of autonomy, but interestingly,

the mean score rose from 177.84 during the first administration to 179.19 during the

second administration. However, this increase was statistically non-significant (p=.671),

so again we understand that as a whole there was no change in the participants' stated

levels of autonomy from test to retest.

The next question to explore is whether a change in one of the affective factors

experienced by the participants, corresponds to a change in the other two factors. It was

observed that the motivation levels within the participants, as a whole group, had

decreased from Time 1 to Time 2. To determine if there were any corresponding changes

in the other two factors, the difference between the two scores obtained during the first

and second administrations was computed for each variable, and a Pearson's Product









Moment Correlations Coefficient test was run to find the correlation among these three

differences. Table 4.7 shows the correlation of changes from Test 1 to Test 2.

Table 4.7: Correlation of changes from test to retest
Correlation
Coefficient Sig
Correlation between anxiety and motivation -.330 .065
Correlation between anxiety and autonomy .065 .726
Correlation between motivation and autonomy .335 .061


The results showed a low negative correlation between motivation and anxiety at

-.330 (p=.065), which though statistically insignificant was suggestive of a trend. There

was a low positive correlation between motivation and autonomy at .335 (p=.061), but

again, this change was merely suggestive and not statistically significant. In other words,

when there is a significant change in the motivation levels in the participants from Time 1

to Time 2, there is no statistically significant corresponding change in the levels of

anxiety and autonomy. These were the results when motivation levels were considered in

the whole sample. But when the motivation levels of each group were considered

separately to identify if a change in motivation showed a corresponding change in anxiety

and autonomy, a moderate negative correlation of -.613 (p=.015) was found between

anxiety and motivation in Group 1. This suggests that a decrease in motivation was

accompanied by an increase in anxiety within this group. Table 4.8 shows the

corresponding changes that occur when one of the factors changes.









Table 4.8: Changes in one factor showing corresponding changes in others
Correlation
Coefficient Sig.
Anxiety Motivation -.613 .015*
Group 1 Anxiety Autonomy .142 .612
Motivation Autonomy .376 .167
Anxiety Motivation .011 .967
Group 2 Anxiety Autonomy -.171 .513
Motivation Autonomy .206 .427


Earlier results indicated that the anxiety experienced by the participants is more

likely debilitative rather than facilitative, hence it is not very surprising to observe the

trend towards an inverse relationship between anxiety and motivation.

Research Question 4

What is the correlation between the three affective factors and students'

performance, as measured by the French test and the final class grade?

In order to determine if there is a correlation between the French test scores and the

scores obtained by the participants on the questionnaires measuring anxiety, motivation

and autonomy, correlation tests were run between the scores of the participants on each

of the measures and the French test scores.

Multiple Linear Regression tests were run on different data sets using SPSS 12.0.

The first time, correlations between the first administrations of the in-house French test

scores and the scores on the questionnaires on anxiety, motivation, and autonomy were

measured. The second time, correlations between the second administrations of the

French test scores and scores on the anxiety, motivation, and autonomy questionnaires

were measured. In order to find if there is a correlation between the final class grades

and the scores obtained by the participants on the questionnaires measuring anxiety,









motivation, and autonomy, the same procedure was followed as with the French test

scores. Table 4.9 tabulates the results obtained.

Table 4.9: Summary of correlations between the French test scores/class grades and
affective factors
Anxiety Motivation Autonomy
First administration of the three
questionnaires & proficiency test
Correlation coefficient -.625 .224 -.145
Sig .000* .232 .437
Second administration of the three
questionnaires & proficiency test
Correlation coefficient -.399 .107 -.007
Sig .031* .637 .975
First administration of the three
questionnaires & final class grade
Correlation coefficient -.402 .271 ,207
Sig .016* .186 .311
Second administration of the three
questionnaires & final class grade
Correlation coefficient -.415 .088 .312
Sig .015* .671 .136


The results show that there were statistically significant moderate negative

correlations between the French test scores and first anxiety scores at -.625 (p=<.001),

and a low negative correlation between the French test scores and second anxiety scores

at -.399 (p=.031), but that there were no correlations between the first French test scores

and the scores on motivation or autonomy, either during the first or second

administrations.

Linear regression tests were also run between the final class grades and the scores

on both administrations of the questionnaires on anxiety, motivation and autonomy.

Results show that moderate negative correlations were found between the final class

grade and the first anxiety score at -.402 (p=.016), and between the final class grade and

the second anxiety score at -.415 (p=.015), but again, there were no correlations between









the final class grades and the scores on either the first or second administrations of the

questionnaires on motivation or autonomy.

The results of all four linear regression tests consistently show that there is a

statistically significant negative correlation between anxiety and student performance as

measured by the French test and final class grade, but no significant correlations between

motivation and autonomy, and student performance. These findings suggest that in this

sample the higher the levels of anxiety experienced by a participant, the lower his/her

performance in class. It does not seem, however, that the students' performance

improves with higher levels of either motivation or autonomy because the students' levels

of motivation and autonomy did not have a statistically significant effect on either their

French test scores or their final class grade.

Earlier studies conducted with university students had similar results. Horwitz's

(1986) study had a significant moderate negative correlation between foreign language

anxiety and the final class grades. MacIntyre and Gardner (1989) also found significant

negative correlations between French Class Anxiety and performance on a vocabulary

learning task. Aida (1994) found a significant negative correlation between FLCAS

scores and final grades among American second-year Japanese students, and Coulombe

(2000) found a small but significant correlation between FLCAS scores and final grades

in eleven French classes ranging from beginning to advanced. Thus it is observed that

regardless of the foreign language being studied or the level the students are in university,

the negative correlation between foreign language anxiety and class performance is

consistent.









Thus far, the anxiety levels of all the participants was discussed as a whole, but

since moderate levels of anxiety can either be facilitative or debilitative, a decision was

made to examine a subset of the participants. An attempt was made to determine whether

the anxiety experienced by the moderately anxious students in this study was facilitative.

23 students were moderately anxious during each of the two administrations of the

anxiety questionnaire. 18 of these 23 participants were moderately anxious during both

Test 1 and Test 2.

The scores of the twenty-three (72%) moderately anxious participants were

correlated with their overall class performance as measured by the French test scores.

The results showed that during the first administration of the anxiety scale, there was an

inverse relationship between anxiety and proficiency scores which was statistically

significant at p=.043. This meant that during the first administration the anxiety felt by

the participants had a negative impact on their French test scores. However, the results

were no longer statistically significant during the second administration, even though a

negative correlation between moderate levels of anxiety and class performance was

observed. These results suggest that the moderately anxious students in this study also

experienced debilitative, rather than facilitative anxiety. Table 4.10 shows the correlation

between the anxiety scores of the moderately anxious participants and their French test

scores.

Table 4.10: Correlation between anxiety scores of moderately anxious participants and
their French test scores
Correlation Coefficient Sig
First administration .426 .043*
Second administration .361 .090









Since the inverse relationship between anxiety and the French test scores during the

second administration was not significant at p=.090, a correlation test was run between

the scores obtained by the moderately anxious participants during both administrations of

the anxiety scale and their final class grade, in place of the in-house French test scores, to

see if the results would differ in any way. The scores from the second administration of

the anxiety scale and the final class grades were obtained at the end of the semester,

whereas the in-house French test was given at the beginning and the end of semester.

This time, the inverse relationship between anxiety scores and class grades was

statistically significant at p=.027. These results are shown in Table 4.11.

Table 4.11: Correlation between anxiety scores of moderately anxious participants and
their final class grades
Correlation Coefficient Sig
First administration -.609 .007*
Second administration -.461 .027*


It is interesting to note that there is an inverse correlation even between the first

anxiety scores and the final class grades, which is statistically significant at p=.007.

These results may indicate that the final grades of the students were more reliable and

valid than the scores obtained from the in-house French test that was created for the

purpose of this study. Despite these limitations, it is observed that when the results are

statistically significant, the anxiety experienced by the moderately anxious students is

debilitative rather than facilitative.

Research Question 5

In what ways, if any, do the results obtained from the participants in the two

intact classes, taught by different instructors, differ?









An independent samples t-test was run to compare the overall performance of the

participants in the two classes. The scores obtained during the first administration of the

questionnaires on anxiety, motivation and autonomy were first computed. As noted

earlier, it was found that Group 1 had a mean score of 242.27 on the motivation scale,

while Group 2 had a mean score of 263.88 (a difference of 21.61 points), a significant

difference with p=.032, meaning that the second group was more motivated than the first

group during Week 5 of the semester. As far as the levels of anxiety and autonomy were

concerned, it was found that there were no significant differences between the two

groups. These results are summarized in Table 4.12.

Table 4.12: Group-wise mean scores on the three questionnaires during Week 5
Group 1 Group 2 Sig
Anxiety mean score 92.20 94.53 .751
Motivation mean score 242.27 263.88 .032*
Autonomy mean score 171.33 183.59 .178


A second independent samples t-test was run to compare the overall performance of

the two groups during the second administration of the instruments. Table 4.13 provides

the participant mean scores on the three questionnaires during Week 13.

Table 4.13: Group-wise mean scores on each questionnaire during Week 13
Group 1 Group 2 Sig
Anxiety mean score 94.33 89.24 .496
Motivation mean score 239.00 257.59 .074
Autonomy mean score 176.80 181.29 .504


This time, the higher levels of motivation in Group 2 were no longer statistically

significant during Week 13 of the semester, but may be suggestive of a trend. In other

words, it is possible that Group 2 experienced marginal levels of motivation and that a









small difference in levels would indicate that these high levels were statistically

significant.

Group 2 had higher levels of motivation during week 5 than during Week 13 of the

semester. Although they were not as motivated at the end of the semester as they were

toward the beginning, they were still marginally, but not significantly more motivated

than the participants in Group 1. These results show that the motivation levels within

each group did not change a great deal. Some possible reasons for the marginal decrease

in motivation levels within the sample will be discussed later in this chapter.

Research Question 6

Are motivation and autonomy distinct factors?

A correlation test showed that there is a moderate correlation between participant

scores on motivation and autonomy. Test 1 had a correlation coefficient of .623

(p=<.001), while Test 2 had a coefficient of .624 (p=<.001). In order to find out if

motivation and autonomy are distinct factors, it may be helpful to examine the scores of

participants who are both motivated and autonomous during Test 1 and Test 2 and

observe if any pattern emerges from the data. Table 4.14 summarizes this information.

Table 4.14: Students who are highly motivated and highly autonomous during Test 1
and/or Test 2
Participant TEST 1 TEST 2
Motivated Autonomous Motivated Autonomous
A03 X X X X
A05 X X
A08 X X X
All X X X
A12 X X
A17 X
A20 X
B01 X X
B02 X X
B06 X X









Table 4-14: Continued
Participant TEST 1 TEST 2
Motivated Autonomous Motivated Autonomous
B08 X X
B10 X X X X
B11 X X
B12 X X
B13 X X X
B17 X X X X
B18 X X
B19 X X
B21 X X

As mentioned in the discussion of research question 2, during the first

administration of the instruments in this study, 19 students (59%) were highly motivated

but only 5 of them (16%) were also highly autonomous, meaning 14 students (74%) were

motivated but not autonomous. During the second administration, 17 students (53%)

were highly motivated and only 4 (13%) were highly autonomous. In other words, 13

students (76%) were motivated but not autonomous. The data indicates that it is possible

for the students in this sample to be highly motivated, but not highly autonomous. None

of the students who were highly autonomous lacked high motivation, which implies that

to be highly autonomous a student needs to be highly motivated. Three students (50%)

were highly motivated during both administrations of the motivation scale, but were

highly autonomous during only the first or second administrations of the autonomy scale.

More students are motivated than autonomous in this sample, which implies that there are

greater chances of students being motivated than autonomous in a given classroom.

The three students who were both highly motivated and highly autonomous during

both tests are A03, B10, and B17. Two students, All and B13, were autonomous during

Test 1 but not Test 2. Interestingly, A08 was not autonomous at the beginning of the

semester, but was so toward the end of the semester. Results shows that two students,









A17 and A20, were highly motivated during Test 1 but were only moderately motivated

during Test 2, which implies that they lost some of their motivation. This is always

assuming that the participants answered the questionnaires honestly and reliably. Their

responses on the AMTB show that they had lost some confidence in using French both

inside and outside the classroom. They even began to think that most foreign languages

sounded crude and harsh, and that they would prefer to spend more time on courses other

than French. It seems that their attitude toward learning French was not as positive as it

was during Test 1.

A17 did not write any journal entries, nor was she interviewed, hence her responses

on the questionnaires cannot be corroborated. A20, however, expressed her feelings in

the journal entries she submitted. Mid-way through the semester, she said that the French

class was getting progressively harder as they were learning more every day, and earlier

concepts were being built upon. She felt that most of the material was "foreign" to her

and that she was easily confused with the many concepts that were presented in class.

Her main reason for taking the French class was to fulfill the language requirement.

Her overall feelings about learning French do not seem very positive at this point in the

semester because she says, "I honestly do not feel that motivated to learn French because

of all the tedious work that is involved in it. Five days of foreign language class per

week is a lot for a college student with many other classes to handle." She wished the

instructor would "slow down the pace of the class as much as possible in order not to

confuse or discourage students."

These results indicate that participants who are motivated and/or autonomous at

one point in the semester may or may not remain this way at another point in the









semester. They may either gain or lose that characteristic at any stage of their language

learning experience indicating that the state of being motivated or autonomous is not a

constant. These results concur with the views of researchers (e.g. Holec, 1981; Little,

1991) who posit that autonomy is not a steady state that learners achieve once and for all,

and that it can fluctuate at different stages of the language learning experience.

It should be noted that while trying to formulate questions that target motivation, it

is possible for some facets of autonomy to be included in those questions, because of the

high correlation between these two affective factors. The AMTB included some

questions on autonomy, for example, and the students had to indicate whether they kept

up to date with French by working on it almost every day, whether they wanted to learn

French so well that it would become second nature to them, whether they ignored the

feedback they received in French class, and whether they ignored distractions when

studying French. The responses of the students who were only motivated, and those who

were both motivated and autonomous were examined. The results did not show any

significant difference in the way that these two groups of students responded to those

questions on autonomy, which indicates, once again, that there is a strong interface

between motivation and autonomy.

In examining the questionnaire on autonomy, however, there was a difference in

the way that students who were motivated but not autonomous answered questions from

those who were both motivated and autonomous. The autonomous students were

confident that they would be good at choosing learning objectives and materials,

evaluating their own learning, identifying their weaknesses, and deciding what they

should learn next in the French class. Such was not the case with those who were only









motivated. So, how do we distinguish motivation and autonomy? It is observed that the

autonomous students have the ability to take charge of their learning and to make

responsible decisions about all aspects of their learning. Characteristics such as working

hard on French almost every day, wanting to learn as much French as possible, asking the

instructor for help, and sticking to the job at hand while ignoring distractions, overlap and

are found in motivated as well as autonomous students, but the previously mentioned

characteristics can be found only in autonomous students. The responses of the students,

described below, show that both motivation and autonomy are highly correlated, but they

are not one and the same factor with different names or labels. As was mentioned earlier,

clearly identifying and distinguishing between the affective factors of motivation and

autonomy is a challenging task. It seems that in assessing students' levels of motivation,

the focus is on the degree of effort the students put into their language learning, whereas

in assessing students' levels of autonomy, the focus is on their ability to determine

language learning objectives, to select methods and techniques that will help meet their

objectives, and to be able to evaluate what they have learnt (Holec, 1981).

The information obtained from students' journals and interviews was examined to

better understand how motivation and autonomy are correlated, yet distinct. First of all,

two students who are both highly motivated and highly autonomous, but have different

perspectives of their language learning experiences, are discussed. Next, other

participants who are motivated, but not autonomous are discussed to ascertain whether

the qualitative data corroborates the results from the questionnaires, showing that

motivation and autonomy are distinct factors.









B10 and B17 were both highly motivated and highly autonomous during both

administrations of the test. B10 enjoyed the class, liked her instructor and thought he

sincerely wanted them to understand the language. She appreciated the fact that her

instructor would talk in French "all the time." Outside of class she reported that she

practiced speaking French with her friends and enjoyed watching French movies. B10

was also an independent learner and showed signs of being responsible for her own

learning. In one of her journal entries, she writes:

I keep up with the listening manual and workbook. I read before each lesson and I
show up to every class. I study for the tests and do all the review exercises and I
think I am doing really well in class. ...I follow all the instructions and have top
marks in the class. I feel that in this class I am in control of my own learning but
by following the guidelines set for me.

These remarks show that this participant is both highly motivated and highly

autonomous. She confidently states that she is in control of her own learning, yet

behaves differently from what one would expect from an autonomous student. She has

full faith in the instructor, the syllabus and the structure of the class and feels she controls

her own learning, not by creating a new or different plan of study, but by following the

guidelines set for her because they produced the desired results in her learning and the

curriculum was working for her. One might assume that being as highly motivated as she

was, if the curriculum had not worked for her, she might have actively found ways to

modify it so that here learning would be effective. We observe this participant's

motivation in the effort she exerts to achieve her goals, and her autonomy in her

identification of the course of action that will give her the desired results. Both the

qualitative and quantitative data on this participant show that B10 was highly motivated

and highly autonomous in her French class.









According to the scores on the questionnaires, B17 was also highly motivated and

highly autonomous during both administrations of the test, but the data from the journals

and interview give a preliminary impression that B17 was neither motivated nor

autonomous in class. Though B17 had the same instructor as B10, she had a very

different perspective of him. In her journal, she states that she lost her motivation to

study French because her instructor is "very bad at teaching .... This makes me very

frustrated and unmotivated to study." Yet her scores on the motivation scale indicate that

she was highly motivated during both Weeks 5 and 13 of the semester. It is possible that

B17 was unmotivated to study, but that she was still motivated to learn French, as is

observed in the efforts she puts in, according to her journal entry, while studying with her

sister. In anotherjournal entry she writes, "Sometimes I get a little disheartened because

of class but lately I feel more motivated. Especially now that I have more time." This

remark shows that the participant is more motivated at this point in the semester, not

because the instructor has made any changes in his teaching style but because she

reportedly has more time. This student's levels of motivation depend more on factors

within her control, in this case, her time, rather than the quality of instruction in her

French class. She also writes:

I made an easy A in French last semester and I don't feel like it will be that way
this semester. Luckily, though, when I do study the course material is really
helpful. The book is easy to understand that [sic] the oral section online is very
useful. I also like that the syllabus shows us everything that will be going on ... I
hate the fact that it is just random things what [sic] we spend our class time on.
This subject could be really interesting but it isn't right now.

It seems as if B17 is unable to recognize the reasons for her apathy in class. During

the interview, she stated that her lack of motivation was due to the fact that her instructor

spoke in French for long periods of time and she tended to switch off, that he went "on









and on about things that are irrelevant" and also because he "grades rather harsh for a

beginning class," yet when she has a little more time for her studies, she feels motivated,

finds the textbook easy to understand when she takes the time to read through it, finds the

course material helpful, and the online oral section useful. Not only does this student feel

motivated when she does her part, puts some effort into her studies, and takes

responsibility for her learning by studying for her language course, but at home, she

usually goes over the entire book, making study guides on grammar and vocabulary. The

first impression we get about B 17's lack of motivation and autonomy from her qualitative

data, is not substantiated by her behavior during the semester. Even though B17 thinks

she is unmotivated and apathetic in class, she does take responsibility for her learning,

determines what will help her learn, and sets out to accomplish her goals. We observe,

yet again, that the qualitative data do corroborate the quantitative data and show that B17

is highly motivated as well as highly autonomous, even though she reported being

dissatisfied with her class and thinks the instructor is ineffective.

We notice that B 10 was very positive in her assessment of the class and had a final

class grade of 97%, whereas B17 was not as positive, and had a final class grade of 87%.

It is possible that the attitude of a language learner plays a role in the class performance,

or even that class performance plays a role in motivation. Motivation and autonomy tap

different emotions in different language learners, and from the quantitative and

qualitative data provided, we observe that varying degrees of interactions between these

two affective factors may produce varying degrees of success in different students, or

varying degrees of success at different times within the same student. Success, in this

case, is evidenced by class grades. Research (e.g. Wang and Palincsar, 1989) shows that









when learners take responsibility for their own learning and make independent choices to

facilitate their goals, their motivation increases and they are better able to achieve their

goals. It is obvious that both B10 and B17 have taken responsibility for their learning,

and are also motivated to work hard and succeed in their French class.

In an attempt to observe differences between students who are both autonomous

and motivated, and those who are only motivated, six students, A18, B01, B02, B06,

B18, and B21, who were highly motivated during both administrations of the AMTB, but

were not also highly autonomous, were examined. Some of the comments they made in

their journals and interviews were that: they did not make any specific plans as to how to

improve their language skills, they did not try to improve their skills outside class, they

did not think about how to best study for the class, and they never paid attention to the

objectives of the class. These comments suggest that these participants were not aware of

what they could do to improve their language skills and how they could control their

learning. They did not come up with any goals and objectives of their own, nor did they

evaluate what they had learnt, which is characteristic of autonomous behavior. However,

the participants were definitely motivated to learn French, as is seen from their interest in

purchasing French materials such as cassette tapes and short story books, writing short

paragraphs in French, singing French songs, reading French newspapers and making

flashcards to learn vocabulary. They were enthusiastic to learn the language and made

the effort to do better in class. In other words, these participants were motivated, but not

autonomous. Hence we observe from both the quantitative and qualitative data that

although motivation and autonomy are closely related these two constructs are indeed

distinct and manifest themselves in different ways in second language learners.









Research Question 7

What are some possible reasons for a change, if any, in the levels of anxiety,

motivation, and autonomy experienced by the participants from test to retest?

In the discussion of Research Question 3, it was noted that there were no significant

changes in the levels of anxiety and autonomy experienced by the participants, but that

there was a statistically significant decrease in motivation in the sample from Week 5 to

Week 13 of the semester. It was also stated that the motivation levels of Group 2 were

higher than those of Group 1 at the beginning of the semester. Both groups experienced a

decrease in their levels of motivation during Week 13 of the semester, but only the

decrease in Group 2 was statistically significant. In the discussion of this question,

however, the two groups are not considered separately because there was a decrease in

motivation levels in both groups. Also, most of the qualitative data has been collected

from Group 2. Eight of the eleven students who wrote journals were from Group 2, and

five of the six interviews conducted were with students from Group 2.

In order to understand what some possible reasons may be for this decline in

motivation levels, we examine some background information about the two classes that

was obtained through classroom observations.

The two instructors who taught the two intact classes in this study had different

teaching styles. Instructor 1 used a deductive method of teaching in class, stating the

language rule he wanted to teach that day and then giving the students many examples to

help them understand the concept. The teacher would speak in French most of the time,

but did not require his students to answer him in French. As a result, the students mostly

answered comprehension questions or questions concerning the presentation in English.

When the instructor asked students to read a few sentences from the textbook or was









teaching vocabulary and asked for the French equivalents, the students would make an

effort to speak in French, usually uttering words or phrases rather than complete

sentences. The teacher would call on the students at random to answer questions, making

sure that each one had a chance to answer at least one question. In a 50-minute class of

about 20 students, the students got an opportunity to answer a question in French twice,

on an average. The teacher occasionally asked the students to read a few lines from the

textbook out loud, which gave them some practice in reading the language. The teacher

mostly focused on teaching grammar and vocabulary in this class, and stated, during the

interview, that the students were more interested in learning about culture than grammar.

This French class was observed at least once a week. During these times, the students

were never engaged in any pair work or group work. This was probably one of the

reasons why the students would come to the classroom and wait for the class to begin

without engaging in any small talk or having any interactions amongst themselves and

were "just there," as the instructor put it during the interview. When the teacher came in

early, he would usually greet the students and then read something or keep himself

occupied until it was time to begin the class. No efforts were made to walk around the

class and interact with the students, which, in turn, might have developed a sense of

rapport between the students and the instructor and also among the students. When the

students asked the instructor any questions he would always spend time answering them.

Instructor 2, on the other hand, used an inductive method of teaching, writing a few

sentences or examples on the chalkboard, and asking the students to examine the

structure and come up with the language rule to be studied that day, based on the given

examples. The teacher would speak in French most of the time and also required his









students to answer him in French. The students would try their best to answer in

complete sentences. This instructor would not call on individual students as much as the

previous instructor for answers, but would explain a concept for a few minutes then ask

the students to practice the concept or grammar item in pairs or in groups of three,

depending on the seating arrangements in class. In this way, the students got a fair

amount of practice in using the language regardless of whether or not they always used

grammatically correct structures with each other. This teacher also occasionally asked

the students to read aloud some dialogues from the textbook, which gave them some

practice in reading the language. Instructor 2 believed that grammar should be taught in

the cultural context and remarked, during the interview, that his students asked many

questions on vocabulary and grammar, especially conjugations. This was probably

because the focus of teaching in this class was not always on grammar and vocabulary, as

it was in the previous class, and the teaching style was inductive rather than deductive.

The dissatisfaction of the students in each of these classes indicates that neither the

inductive nor the deductive teaching style met the needs of all the students in the class.

This class was also different from the first with regards to student interaction. The

students would come to the classroom and interact, in English, with the others sitting in

their general vicinity while waiting for the class to begin. This was probably because

most of the time the instructor would require the students to practice or complete an

exercise in pairs or small groups, which involved interactions on a regular basis. The

students may have formed a bond which made it easier for them to interact with one

another even when they were not required to.









The decrease in the overall levels of motivation within the participants could have

occurred for a variety of reasons examined below. These comments were extracted from

the journal entries and interviews that were conducted with the students and instructors,

and support the possible reasons given for a decrease in motivation in their language

classes. It must be noted that the following comments are made by students whose

motivation levels decreased from test to retest.

Test Anxiety

The participants who were highly motivated in this study said that they experienced

test anxiety. B02 was anxious just before tests because that is when she realized that she

did not know as much as she should. She said that the teacher did not require them to

complete the assignments, and as a result, she had fallen behind and was very worried

about the final exam. B 06, B17 and B18 felt that being nervous was a waste of time

because classes and tests are within the student's control, so either they knew the answers

or they did not. B17 added that when a person is apathetic, there is no anxiety. B18

reported being frustrated with her test grades because she knew more French than what

her test reflected.

Extensive Material

None of the students said that the material was very difficult to grasp, but they felt

that they might have been more inclined to do the daily assignments if there had not been

so much to do every day that it became very tedious. Even if they did the assignments,

they were not motivated to bother about quality because the instructors did not read what

was written, but only checked to see if the work was done. A18, who was highly

motivated only during Test 1, said "I am not sure that I'm retaining much of what I am

learning because I have to concentrate so hard on learning each new lesson and chapter









that I forget what we've studied previously." Also, the students were not very motivated

to do the writing exercises in the workbook because it did not prepare them for the tests,

which included multiple choice answers or word banks from which to choose answers.

Fast Pace of Class

It was also felt that the pace of instruction was too fast and because new material

was being taught every day, the students did not have time to assimilate or practice what

was taught, so they were not learning as much as they could. A17, who was highly

motivated only during Test 1, felt that if the pace of class was slower, she would not be as

confused or discouraged while learning French. This aspect of class was probably one of

the factors that lead to a decrease in her motivation level.

Language Requirement

Some students disliked the fact that they had to take the French class because of a

language requirement policy of the university. In connection with this policy, B18 said

that she hated people telling her what to do. A18 said that she was taking the class as a

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option so that she didn't have to work very hard, and came to

class only for the attendance. This aspect and the fact that there was so much to learn in

class probably were the reasons for A18's decrease in motivation.

Communication with Instructor

In one of the classes, the students felt that the teacher could not understand the

questions they asked him in English, so they gave up asking questions after a while.

They also felt that he could not explain some concepts well because of his lack of fluency

in English, and wished that he could give them examples of the concepts taught and their

English equivalents. Two other students said that when they got an answer wrong, the

instructor just said "it's wrong" without giving them any hint as to how to get the right









answer. Their disappointment with the method of instruction in class probably dampened

their enthusiasm to learn French.

Dissatisfaction with Class

The students were also dissatisfied with the way the class was taught. One of the

instructors focused a great deal on teaching grammar and vocabulary, and called on the

students to answer questions. The students in this class felt that they needed to learn how

to communicate in French in full sentences, rather than to learn a lot of grammar and

vocabulary. The second instructor frequently asked the students to do some activities in

pairs or small groups, and the students in this class thought there was not much point in

interacting with their classmates because they did not know the right answers, anyway.

These students said they would have preferred to be called upon to answer questions and

did not think that it would be an anxiety-provoking experience. This may be so because

this group usually interacted with each other in class.

These were some possible reasons for the decrease in motivation observed within

the participants, especially within Group 2. The comments made by the students give an

insight into their frustrations. It is quite clear that the students were more motivated at

the beginning of the semester, but that as the semester progressed, some of them lost

interest and their motivation levels decreased.

There is no doubt that the students were frustrated in their French class, but the

interviews with the instructors revealed that they also had their share of frustrations.

There were times when they felt that they could not do much to improve the situation in

the classroom because it was beyond their control. They were very frustrated when the

students complained about the tests and said that the grading was harsh because the

students did not put much effort into their studies, were fine with a grade of 'B,' and









came to the tests unprepared. It was also frustrating when the students would walk into

class very late and even read the college paper during composition days instead of

spending that time in their writing. Teaching the students grammar was a challenge

because they were unfamiliar with the grammar terms even in English so they were not

really interested in grammar. The students also complained that they were not prepared

in class for the final oral exams, but the instructors believed that doing an oral exercise in

class was preparation for that exam. This mismatch of student-instructor perception of

the final oral exam might have been prevented if the students were reminded throughout

the semester that any oral communication they engage in during class is practice for the

final oral exam.

Some of the concerns the instructors had about the class were regarding the amount

of grading that needed to be done. Since it was not possible to grade all the work that

was done, they mainly checked for completion, hoping that the students had learnt

something from actually doing the exercises. Another area of concern the instructors had

was about the SAT II placement tests that were conducted only during the first two days

of the semester. When a student decided to join the French class on the third or fourth

day, they had to decide which class s/he should attend. This was a challenging task

because if a mistake was made in assigning the student to the appropriate class, they were

'stuck' with that student for the rest of the semester.

These remarks made by students and instructors alike give an insight into the

frustrations experienced on both sides and could serve as possible reasons why the

motivation levels within the participants decreased over the course of the semester. This

was only one side of the story, however, because there were some students who were









very happy with their instructors. At the same time, the instructors had some very

positive comments to make about some of the students. Nevertheless, because the results

show that there was an overall statistically significant decrease in motivation levels in

this group of students, some possible reasons for this change was explored.

In this study, out of a total of 32 participants, during Test 1 eight participants (25%)

experienced high levels of anxiety, 19 participants (59%) were highly motivated, and five

participants (16%) were autonomous. During Test 2, seven participants (22%)

experienced high levels of anxiety, 17 participants (53%) reported being highly

motivated, and four participants (13%) were autonomous. No correlations were found

between anxiety and motivation or between anxiety and autonomy, but there were

statistically significant moderate correlations between motivation and autonomy. Results

shows that the participants' motivation levels decreased from Time 1 to Time 2. As far

as correlations between the affective factors and class performance was concerned,

anxiety had a statistically significant moderate negative correlation with class

performance.