The Role of Informal English Language Teaching in Childhood on English Knowledge and Attitude towards the English Language in Adulthood

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

Department of Educational Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of informal English language teaching in childhood on English knowledge and attitude towards English language in adulthood. The research design was of a causal-comparative nature. The statistical population included all the first-year undergraduate students of Islamic Azad Universities who had been studying humanities in the academic year of 2015-2016. A sample size of 200 students was selected by multistage cluster sampling method. The research tools were English knowledge test and attitude questionnaire which were developed by the researcher.  Statistical analyses using MANOVA was implemented. Findings revealed that the informal English language teaching in childhood, as compared to its absence, leads to more English knowledge and improves attitude towards the English language in adulthood. Based on the obtained results, it is recommended that English language learning should not only start at an earlier age but it should also and be taught informally.

Keywords


Ahmed, S. (2015). Attitudes towards English language learning among EFL learning at UMSKAL. Journal of Education and Practice, 16(18), 6-16.

Dominguez, R., & Pessoa, S. (2005). Early versus late start in foreign language education: Documenting achievements.  Foreign Language Annuals, 38(4), 473-483.

Fathman, A. (1975). The relationship between age and second language productive ability. Language Learning, 25(2), 245-253.

Gardner, R. C. (1985). Social psychology and second language learning. Great Britain: Edward Arnold.

Gardner, R. C. (2004). Attitude/motivation test battery: International AMTB research project (English Version). Retrieved from http://publish.uwo.ca/~ gardner/

Gorjian, B., Mahmoudi, Kh., & Mir, F. (2010). Students’ individual differences and its relationship with English language learning. Journal of Social Science, 8, 111-130.

Gursoy, E. (2011). The critical period hypothesis revisited: The implications for current foreign language teaching to young learners. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 2(2), 757-762.

Johnoson, J. S., & Newport, E. L. (1989). Critical period effects in second-language learning: The influence of maturational state on the acquisition of English as a second language. Cognitive Psychology, 21, 60-99.

Karahan, F. (2007). Language attitudes of Turkish students towards the English language and its use in Turkish context. Journal of Arts and Sciences, 7, 73-87.

Khalifa Gawi, E. M. (2012). The effects of age factor on learning English: A case study of learning English in Saudi Schools. English Language Teaching, 5(1), 127-139.

Marinova-Todd, S. H., Bradford Marshall, D., & Snow, C. E. (2000). Three misconceptions about age and L2  learning. TESOL Quarterly, 34(1), 9-34.

Noels, K. A., Pelletier, L. G., Clement, R., & Vallerand, R. J. (2000). Why are  you learning a second language? Motivational orientations and  self-determination theory. Language Learning, 50, 57-85.

Kocaman, O., & Kocaman, N. (2012). Age factor in foreign language education at preschool level. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 55, 168-177.

Li, Q. (2014). Research on age-related in foreign language learning. International Journal of Language and Linguistics, 2(1), 31-37.

Saif, A. A. (2016). Measuring, assessing and educational evolution. (6th ed.). Tehran: Doran.

Snow, E. C., & Hoefnagel-Hohle, M. (1978). The critical period for language acquisition: Evidence from second language learning. Child  Development, 49, 114-1128.

Yang, X. (2012). Attitudes and motivation in L2 learning among University of Malaya master students. International Journal of Management and Sustainability, 1(1), 13-22.

Zainol Abidin, M. J., Pour-Mohammadi, M., & Alzawari, H. (2012). EFL students’ attitudes towards learning English language: The case of Libyan secondary school students. Asian Social Science, 8(2), 119-134.