Influence of Attitudes in Learning Foreign Languages among Students of Sultan Idris Education University (UPSI)

Mariyati Haji Mohd Nor, Robe'ah Yusuf, Norhana Md. Salleh

Abstract


The objective of this study was to determine the attitudes of students in learning foreign languages, namely Spanish, German and Japanese at Sultan Idris Education University (UPSI). This study measured the attitudes through the aspects of interest, motivation and perception of students on the basis of Socio-Educational Model presented by Gardner (1985). The methodologies used in the study were quantitative and qualitative. Questionnaires and interviews were used to collect data of the study. A total of 90 respondents involved in this study comprising of 30 Spanish, 30 German and 30 Japanese language students. The overall results showed positive attitudes, interest and perceptions among respondents towards learning process of all the three languages. The study found out that interest of students to attend foreign languages courses was influenced by the internal factors like preferences, interests and enjoyment in learning foreign languages. In addition, integrative and instrumental factors also influenced the attitudes of the students. The study showed that there were no comparison of views on learning foreign languages among female and male students, and races but there were significant differences based on gender and race in the aspect of attitudes, interest and students' perceptions towards the language learned. Female students were more positive with high interest and good perceptions towards learning foreign languages. In the aspect of race, Chinese students were more positive and integrative-oriented in learning Japanese language. This was due to many similarities between Japanese language and their mother tongue. Indian students were more positive in learning European languages such as Spanish and German due to the second language factor as the languages have similarities with English language. Malay students were positive towards all the three languages as they were influenced by the instrumental factor. They wanted to learn foreign languages for their future benefits. The findings also clearly proved that interest, motivation, perception, instrumental and integrative factors played important roles in the learning process and influence the students' attitude to learn Spanish, German and Japanese. In conclusion, UPSI students have positive attitudes towards foreign language that is being learned and they are showing interest, motivation and positive perceptions.

Keywords


attitude, foreign language, learning, interest, socio-educational model, students

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21462/eflj.v1i2.10

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