Learning a second language is a complex task and one that is becoming more and more popular as the world becomes smaller. Within Taiwan, English is taught in elementary, middle and senior high schools as part of the compulsory education as well as in specialised courses in universities and cram schools. However, despite all this English teaching, the language proficiency of Taiwanese English learners is highly variable and not improving. According to the Education First - English Proficiency Index, Taiwan has slipped from 25th ranking down to 30th. However, it is not just proficiency test results that can and should inform English teaching. What really goes on in the language learner's mind and how do these processes influence proficiency outcomes? Researchers have established that a wide range of factors influence learning proficiency including demographic factors such as age and gender, as well as pedagogical factors related to approaches to learning and teaching and prior education. This study explores three pedagogical factors in the adult language learning university context in Taiwan; language learning strategies, foreign language classroom anxiety, and foreign language motivation. This research posits that these factors may account for a greater portion of language learning proficiency variance. This presentation explains the language teaching and learning context and its challenges, existing measures of motivation, learning strategies and anxiety used in language research and a proposed approach to research of these factors.
Philip Craigie, Central Queensland University, Australia
Stream: Language Learning
This paper is part of the ACLL2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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