The Correlation between Moroccan EFL Learners’ Attitudes towards Speaking in the Classroom and their Speaking Proficiency
Keywords:speaking, attitudes, language proficiency, Moroccan EFL learners
The present paper addresses the correlation between Moroccan EFL learners’ attitudes towards speaking and their speaking proficiency. It is an investigation of the validity of Gardner’s (1985) study, which claims that language proficiency is achieved if learners display a positive attitude towards language learning. Hence, the present study explores Moroccan EFL learners’ attitudes towards speaking in the classroom, first, and identifies the correlation between their attitudes towards speaking in the classroom and their speaking proficiency, second. The research study is conducted using two major data collection instruments: a questionnaire and a speaking test. The questionnaire generates data about EFL learners’ attitudes towards speaking in the classroom, whereas the speaking test generates data about their speaking proficiency level. The participants of this study are EFL students, belonging to Ibn Abbad secondary high school, located in Kenitra city. The participants, both females and males, are 1st year baccalaureate students majoring Art stream. The total number of the participants is 80 students.
Unlike Gardner’s study, the present study indicates that the correlation between attitudes and speaking proficiency is negative. As far as the participants’ attitudes towards speaking in the classroom, the study findings show that they possess a positive emotional and cognitive attitude towards speaking in the classroom and a negative behavioral attitude towards it. The correlation findings, on the other hand, indicate that the informants’ positive attitude towards speaking in the classroom and their proficiency level are negatively correlated. This negative correlation is explained by a variety of linguistic and non- linguistic factors. The present study also provides some pedagogical implications and suggestions for further research.
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