from negative attitudes toward the writing activity, and some from fear of evaluation. Writing anxiety among EFL learners should be studied by taking into account the sociolinguistic considerations as learners may heavily on others’ attutides and their evaluation of their writing skills.
2.2.2 Motivation and Language Learning
Based on Gardner’s (1958) studies, language learning motivation includes three major components as follows: motivational intensity, desire to learn the language, and attitudes toward learning the language. Motivational intensity refers to the extent of students’ motivation to learn the language regarding work down for classroom assignments, future plans in language learning, and language study. The desire to learn the language is related to how strong the desire that student really want to study the language. In addition, students’ attitudes toward learning the language estimate students’ opinions about the language learning context, students’ evaluations of language teachers, and language courses.
Some researchers have tried to examine motivational orientation and attitudes of the learners towards learning English and have come up with different results. In a study, Sadighi and Maghsudi (2000) examined the effect of the two types of motivation namely as integrative and instrumental motivation on the English proficiency of the EFL senior students. The results of their study showed a significant difference between the means of English proficiency scores for the instrumentally motivated students and the integratively motivated ones.
In another study, Moiinvaziri (2008) observed that Iranian students were both instrumentally and integrativaly motivated to learn English. Vaezi (2008) pointed out that Iranian learners are highly motivated and have positive attitudes towards learning English, and that they are more instrumentally motivated. Besides, Chalak and Kassaian (2010) stated that Iranian learners learn the language for both ‘instrumental’ and ‘integrative’ reasons and they have positive attitudes towards the target language community and its members. Shirbagi (2010) observed that students showed favorable attitudes towards learning English and that Iranian students learn a foreign language mainly for its utilitarian value rather than integrative motivation.
Lepper, Iyengar, and Corpus (2005) examined motivational orientations in classrooms and their relationship to age differences and academic correlates. They found intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to be only moderately correlated, suggesting that they may be largely orthogonal dimensions of motivation in school. Intrinsic motivation showed a significant linear decrease from 3rd grade through 8th grade and proved positively correlated with children’s grades and standardized test scores at all grade levels. Extrinsic motivation showed few differences across grade levels, and it was negatively correlated with academic outcomes. Surprisingly, few differences in children’s sex or ethnicity were found.
Liu (2010) found that Taiwanese university freshmen in the advanced English proficiency level classes had significantly higher motivation than the other groups of students with lower proficiency levels over an entire academic year. Motivation also remained negatively related to foreign language anxiety and served as a significant predictor of learner anxiety.
Chalak and Kassaian (2010) investigated various socio-psychological orientations of Iranian undergraduates towards learning English. the study focused on the motivation orientations of the students and their attitudes towards the target language and its community. To do so, a group of 108 students majoring in English translation at Islamic Azad University, Khorasgan Branch in Isfahan, Iran was surveyed using the AMTB (Attitude, Motivation Test Battery).The results indicated that these Iranian Non-native speakers of English learn the language for both ‘instrumental’ and ‘integrative’ reasons and their attitudes towards the target language community and its members were generally were highly positive.
In a more recent study, Mahdavi Zafarghandi and Jodai (2012) noted that Iranian students were less motivated and their attitudes toward English and English learning are relatively neutral. Finally, Mahdinejad, Hasanzadeh, Mirzaian and Ebrahimi (2012) studied motivational orientations of 306 female students. The results of their study indicated that there was a statistically significant and positive relationship between intrinsic motivation and students’ English language learning. However, there was no significant relationship between extrinsic motivation and students’ English language learning.
2.2.3 Anxiety and Foreign Language Motivation
The relationship between language motivation and language anxiety has been explored by many studies. Some researchers have found language anxiety is negatively associated with foreign language motivation (Gardner, Lalonde, Moorcroft, & Evers; Hashimoto, 2002). However, anxiety as a secondary factor of foreign language self-confidence was related to self-confidence gained as a result of perceived communicative competence (Clement, 1986). Therefore, lack of anxiety is seen as a predictor of FL self-confidence found among motivated language learners.
Liu and Huang (2011) explored the relationship between foreign language anxiety and self-determination theory of language learning motivation. They have shown that anxiety is positively and significantly related to amotivation. However, they found that anxiety is more significantly correlated with extrinsic motivation than with intrinsic motivation.
Concerning the relationship between anxiety and motivation, Carreira (2006) found out that students who have practical reasons to study English and intellectual satisfaction tended to have lower levels of foreign language anxiety. Although this study did not reveal strong correlations between motivation and foreign language anxiety, it would be unwise to conclude that motivation and foreign language anxiety do not interact. As a result, further research is needed to explore possible links between motivation and foreign language anxiety. As such, the present study aims to fill such gap in the related literature.
Motivation has also been found to be a significant predictor of foreign language anxiety (Huang, 2005; Liu, 2010). Liu (2010) found that Taiwanese university freshmen in the advanced English proficiency level classes had significantly higher motivation than the other groups of students with lower proficiency levels over an entire academic year. Motivation was also shown to be negatively related to foreign language anxiety and served as a significant predictor of learner anxiety.
Liu (2012) examined the relationships between foreign language anxiety, learning motivation, autonomy, and language proficiency among first-year non-English major undergraduates, who were separated into various levels of English language classes based on their English proficiency. The findings indicated that more than half of the subjects’ responses reflected different degrees of learner anxiety. In addition, it was noted that learning motivation, followed by listening proficiency, reading proficiency, and learner autonomy, had the highest correlation with foreign language anxiety; all the correlations were highly significant and negative. The results also indicated that both learner anxiety and autonomy contributed were significant predictors of language proficiency. On the other hand, motivation failed to contribute significantly in the regression model when leaner autonomy was simultaneously included as a predictor variable. This result can be due to the high degree of correlation between leaner autonomy and motivation.
2.3 Final Remarks on Literature
An overview of the previous studies indicates that foreign language anxiety negatively affects the learners’ performance (So
upon, 2004; Andrade &William, 2009). In addition, Gardner (1985) and Gardner et al., (1997) observed high correlation between language anxiety and language proficiency. El-Banna (1989) fond that there was a negative correlation between language anxiety and English proficiency and anxiety has been shown to negatively affect achievement in the second language learning (MacIntyre& Gardener, 1991). On the other hand, different reasons have been mentioned as the sources of anxiety such as the lack of competence, lack of proper study skills, learners’ wrong self-perceptions about their capacities (Soupon, 2004), learners’ beliefs, perceptions, and poor command of language (Tanveer, 2007).
However, there are some confusion in the literature about the relationship between gender and foreign language anxiety. For example, Padilla, Cervantes, Maldonado and García (1988) focused on FL anxiety and gender and observed that female learners are more concerned about language complications than male learner and that they are more anxious and worried than male students. In contrast, Campbell and Shaw (1994) showed a significant interaction between gender and foreign language anxiety in the sense that male students were more anxiety-ridden in using a foreign language in the classroom than their female counterparts after a certain amount of instruction in that foreign language. Similarly, Awan et al., (2010) found that female students were less anxious in learning English as a foreign language than male students. However, AyashEzzi (2012) found that both male and female students had a high level of FL anxiety but female-students’ anxiety was higher than male-students. Murlidharan and Sharma (1971) have also found that females were more anxious than males when it comes to reading comprehension. In addition, as study by Mesri (2012) suggested that there was a significant relationship between foreign language communication anxiety and gender. It was also noted that Iranian female EFL learners have scored higher mean in all anxiety categories than male learners. Similarly, it was found language anxiety is negatively associated with foreign language motivation (Gardner &Lalonde, 1987; Hashimoto, 2002). Nahavandi and Mukundan (2013) observed that gender and first language didn’t affect their anxiety significantly.
Besides, it is not clear at what levels of proficiency; foreign language anxiety can be observed much more frequently. According to McCroskey (1984), even at higher levels of study, many students may experience some level of fear and anxiety when asked to communicate, especially in public. Given these contradictory results, the present study aims to examine the degree of anxiety among Iranian EFL learners and its relation to their motivation. It is also attempt to see whether there is any significant relationship between anxiety, motivation and language proficiency for Iranian EFL learners.
The present chapter includes four parts. The first part describes the participants in this study and how they were selected. The second section addresses the instruments used to collect the data and issues of reliability and validity. The third section discusses procedures used to collect the data followed by a discussion of statistical techniques employed to perform the data analysis in the fourth chapter. Finally, the design of the study is described in the fifth part.
The population of the study included all Iranian learners who were studying English as a foreign language. The sample group included both male and female participants, of whom a total number of 80 EFL learners (35 males and 45 females) were selected through random sampling from two language classes at Islamic Azad University, Sardasht Branch Hormozgan Province, Iran. Cluster sampling is a sampling technique