Mandarin native speakers' perceptions and attitudes towards learning English as a foreign language

Gibello, Lauren (2017-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: As the spread of the English language advances exponentially, the need for improving English language teaching for second language (L2) learners becomes more prominent along with subsequent research into factors affecting language learning. Perceptions and attitudes are two major factors which have an influence on language acquisition. While much has been written about the influence of these factors on L2 acquisition, new areas of focus for such investigation are becoming apparent. A significant number of native Mandarin speakers who prefer to learn English in South Africa offer novel research opportunities. This thesis explores the perceptions and attitudes held by native Mandarin-speaking students who are learning English in South Africa by investigating the factors that have an impact on their language acquisition process. A small-scale study was conducted through the dissemination of self-report questionnaires to native Mandarin speakers who are currently learning English at a South African language institute. A selected number of participants were requested to participate in follow-up interviews which provided additional qualitative data. The results show a wide range of reasons that underlie the impact of perceptions and attitudes on language learning. The findings indicate that native Mandarin speakers receiving their tuition in South Africa have positive perceptions of the English language and determined attitudes to successfully acquire English as a result of these perceptions. It is envisaged that this research will provide facilitators and teachers in English language instruction in South Africa with insight into particular perceptions and attitudes that aid L2 learners in their language acquisition process.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Namate die verspreiding van die Engelse taal eksponensieel groei, word die behoefte vir 'n verbetering in Engelse taalonderrig aan tweedetaalverwerwers meer prominent, tesame met die gevolglike ondersoek na faktore wat die aanleer van taal affekteer. Persepsies en houdings is twee van die meer belangrike faktore wat taalverwerwing beïnvloed. Terwyl baie oor hierdie faktore se invloed op tweedetaalverwerwing geskryf is, kom nuwe areas vir ondersoek nogsteeds aan die lig. 'n Noemenswaardige groep inheemse Mandaryns-sprekers wat verkies om Engels in Suid-Afrika aan te leer, bied nuwe navosingsgeleenthede. Hierdie tesis verken die persepsies en houdings van inheemse Mandaryns-sprekers wat Engels in Suid-Afrika aanleer, deur die faktore wat 'n impak op die taalverwerwingproses het te ondersoek. 'n Kleinskaalse studie is uitgevoer deur middel van die verspreiding van self-verslaggewende vraelyste aan moedertaalsprekers van Mandaryns wat tans Engels by 'n Suid-Afrikaanse taalinstituut aanleer. 'n Geselekteerde aantal deelnemers is gevra om deel te neem aan opvolgonderhoude wat addisionele kwalitatiewe data tot die studie gevoeg het. Die resultate dui op 'n wye verskeidenheid redes wat onderliggend is tot die impak van persepsies en houdings op taalverwerwing het. Die bevindinge dui aan dat Mandaryns- moedertaalsprekers wat hulle onderrig in Suid-Afrika ontvang, positiewe persepsies van die Engelse taal besit en dat hulle vasbeslote houdings het om Engels suksesvol aan te leer as gevolg van hierdie persepsies. Daar word voorsien dat hierdie navorsing insig sal gee aan fasiliteerders en onderwysers in Engelse taalonderrig in Suid-Afrika met betrekking tot die spesifieke persepsies en houdings wat tweedetaalleerders in die taalverwerwingsproses van hulp sal wees.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/101278
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