The Impact of Negotiated Syllabus on Foreign Language Learners' Language Anxiety and Learning Motivation

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Department of English Language, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Research in Education, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran

10.22132/tel.2022.145402

Abstract

Negotiated syllabus, as a type of learner-centered syllabus, has been found to affect language learners' language achievement. This study aimed at investigating the foreign language learners' foreign language anxiety and motivation for learning. We selected two intact classes, consisting of 64 undergraduate language learners. We used a quasi-experimental research design. The two intact classes received foreign language anxiety and motivation scales before and after the treatment. The experimental group received a negotiated syllabus, while the control group received a teacher-developed syllabus. The two groups' scores on different aspects of motivation and language anxiety scales were analyzed through independent samples t-tests. The results indicated that while foreign language anxiety of learners in the experimental intact class significantly decreased, their motivation for learning English language increased. It was concluded that the use of negotiated syllabus can filter language anxiety and can significantly improve students' motivation for learning. Findings can be employed by English language teachers and learners.

Keywords


Dörnyei, Z., & Ushioda, E. (2011). Teaching and Researching Motivation. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
Duckworth, E. (2009). Helping Students get to where ideas can find them. The New Educator, 5(3).
Dunkel, H. (1947). The effect of personality on language achievement. Journal of educational psychology, 38(3), 177-182.
Dykes, R. (2017). The Effect of communicative based teaching on foreign language anxiety. University of Fukui, 37-49.
Encyclopedia of psychological assessment test anxiety. (1991). In R. F. Ballesteros, Encyclopedia of Psychological Assessment (pp. 965-969). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Fryer, L. K. (2015). Predicting Self-concept, Interest and Achievement for First-year Students: The Seeds of Lifelong Learning. Learn. Individ. Differ, 107–114.
Gardner, R. C. (1985). The attitude motivation test Battery: Technical report. London, Ontario Canada: University of Western Ontario, Department of Psychology.
Gonzales, R. D., & Lopez, M. Y. (2015). Foreign language learning motivation questionnaire: Further examination of a six-factor model. Development Strategists International Consulting, Inc. & University of Santo Tomas Graduate School, Manila, 1-24.
Gourlay, L. (2005). Directions and indirect action: Learner adaptation of a classroom task. ELT Journal, 59(3), 209–216.
Harrington, C. M., & Gabert-Quillen, C. A. (2015). Syllabus length and use of images: An empirical investigation of student perceptions. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 1, 235–243.
Hernandez, T. (2006). Integrative motivation as a predictor of success in the intermediate foreign language classroom. Foreign Language Annals, 39(4), 605–617.
Horwitz, E. K. (2001). Language anxiety and achievement. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 21(1), 112-126.
Horwitz, E. K., & Young, D. J. (1991). Language anxiety: From theory and research to classroom implications. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B., & Cope, J. A. (1986). Foreign language classroom anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 70(2), 125-132.
Huang, H. T., Hsu, C. C., & Chen, S. W. (2015). Identification with Social Role Obligations, Possible Selves, and L2 Motivation in Foreign Language Learning. System, 28–38.
Huang, J. (2006). Fostering learner autonomy within constraints: Negotiation and mediation in an. Prospect: An Australian Journal of TESOL, 21(3), 38-57.
In'nami, Y. (2006). The effects of test anxiety on listening test performance. System, 317-340.
Kawashima, T. (2009). FL Anxiety studies of Japanese EFL learners: A critical review. JALT 2008 Conference Proceedings. Tokyo: JALT.
Kirby, J. R., Silvestri, R., Allingham, H., & Parrila, R. (2008). Learning srategies and study Approaches of postsecondary sudents with dyslexia. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41(1), 85–96.
Kassem, H. M. (2019). The impact of student-centered instruction on EFL Learners' affect and achievement. English Language Teaching,1(1), 134-153.
Khazaie, S., Torabi, R., & Saghaee, A. (2020). Exploring the viability of augmented reality-based cognitive therapy of low working memory in English for medical purposes comprehension and performance. Paper presented at the Fifth International Conference on Computer Games, University of Isfahan, Iran.
Kondo , S., & Yang , Y. L. (2003). "The English language classroom anxiety scale: Test con-struction, reliability, and validity. JALT journal, 25(2), 187-196.
Krashen, S. D. (1982). Principles and practice in second language acquisition. Southern California: University of Southern California.
Little, D. (1995). Learning as dialogue: The dependence of learner autonomy on teacher autonomy. System, 23(2), 175–181.
Littlejohn, A. (1998). Sharing decisions with students: Some whys, how’s, and how nots. Retrieved from http://www.andrewlittlejohn.net
Littlejohn, A. P. (1983). Increasing learner involvement in course management. TESOL Quarterly, 17(4), 595–608.
Liu, M., & Huang, W. (2011). An exploration of foreign language anxiety and English learning motivation. Hindawi Publishing Corporation Education Research International, 1-8. doi:10.1155/2011/493167
Long, M., & Robinson, P. (1998). Focus on form: Theory, research and practice. In C. Doughty, & J. Williams, Focus on form in classroom second language acquisition (pp. 15-41). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lynch, D. N. (2010). Student-Centered Learning: The Approach That Better Benefits Students. Virginia: Wesleyaan Collage.
MacIntyre, P. D. (1999). Language anxiety: A review of the research for language teacher. In D. J. Young, Affect in foreign language and second language learning: A practical guide to creating a low-anxiety classroom atmosphere. Boston: McGraw-Hill College.
MacIntyre, P. D., & Gardner, R. C. (1991a). Investigating language class anxiety using the focused essay technique. The Modern Language Journal, 75, 296-304.
MacIntyre, P. D., & Gardner, R. C. (1991b). Language anxiety: Its relation to other anxieties and top-processing in native and second languages. Language Learning, 41, 513-534.
MacIntyre, P. D., & Gardner, R. C. (1994). The subtle effects of language anxiety on cognitive processing in the second language. Language Learning, 44(2), 283-305.
MacKay, A., Oates, K., & Haig, Y. (2000). Negotiated evaluation in a primary ESL context. In P. Breen, & A. Littlejohn, Classroom decision making: Negotiation and process syllabuses in practice (pp. 44–55). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Martyn, E. (2000). Syllabus negotiation in a school of nursing. In M. P. Breen, & A. Littlejohn, Classroom decision making: Negotiation and process syllabuses in practice (pp. 150–163). Cambridge: CPU.
Matsuda, A., & Gobel, P. (2001). Quiet apprehension: reading and classroom anxieties. JALT Journal 23, 227–247.
Matsuda, S., & Gobel, P. (2004). Anxiety and predictors of performance in the foreign language classroom. System, 32(1), 21–36.
Matsumura, S. (2000). Computer anxiety and students' preferred feedback methods in EFL writing. Modern Language Journal, 88(3), 403 - 415.
Mermelstein, A. (2015). Asian EFL university students’ preference toward teaching approaches. The CATESOL Journal, 27(2), 259-279.
Miyanaga, C. (2007). Anxiety, strategies, motivation, and reading proficiency in Japanese university EFL learners. The Temple University Graduate Board: Unpublished doctoral dissertation.
Mollaei, F. (2013). Concepts of negotiated syllabus and assessments in EFL setting. Journal of Studies in Learning and Teaching English, 1(4), 103–115.
Nation, I. P., & Macalister, J. (2010). Language curriculum design. New York, NY: Routledge.
Naveh-Benjamin, M. (1991). A comparison of training programs intended for different types of test-anxious students: further support for an information-processing model. Journal of Educational Psychology, 134–139.
Nguyen, N. T. (2010). Negotiating tasks in listening and speaking classes at DELL of USSH, HCM City(Master’s thesis). Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: University of Social Sciences and Humanities.
Nguyen, T. C. (2017). Aligning English for specific purposes(esp )curriculum within idustry needs:Language practices for Vietnam’s globalised work places. Queensland: Queensland University of Technology.
Nunan, D. (1989). Hidden agendas: The role of the learner in program implementation. In R. K. Johnson, The second language curriculum (pp. 176–187). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nunan, D. (2001). Teaching grammar in context. In C. Candlin, & N. Mercer, English language teaching in its social context (pp. 191-199). London, UK: Routledge.
Nunan, D. (2005). Important tasks of english education: Asia-wide and beyond. The Asian EFL Journal, 7(3), 1-159.
Ozturk, G. (2013). Negotiated syllabus: Potential advantages and drawbacks in English preparatory programs at universities. International Journal on New Trends in Education and their Implications, 4(2), 33-39.
Pendergrass, N., Kowalczyk, R., Dowd, J., & Laoulache, R. (2001). Improving first-year engineering education. Journal of Engineering Education, 90(1), 33-41.
Peyton, J. K., More, S. K., & Young, S. (2010, May). Evidence-based, Student-centered Instructional Practices. Center for Applied Linguistic. Retrieved from http://cal.org/caelanetwork
Rahmanpanah, H., & Tajeddin, Z. (2015). Investigating a Systematic Approach to the Promotion of EFL Learners’ Autonomy. Journal of Language and Translation, 5(1), 17-31.
Ramsden, P. (2003). Learning to Teach in Higher Education (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.
Riasati, M. J. (2011). Language learning anxiety from EFL learners’ perspective. Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research, 7(6), 907-914.
Richards, J., & Schmitt, R. (2010). Longman dictionary of language teaching and applied Linguistics. Longman Publications.
Richmond, A. S., Boysen, G. A., & Gurung, R. R. (2016). The model teacher: An evidence-based guide for college and university teaching. New York: Routledge.
Richmond, A. S., Boysen, G. A., Gurung, R. R., Tazeau, Y. N., Meyers, S. A., & Sciutto, M. J. (2014). Aspirational model teaching criteria for psychology. Teaching of Psychology, 41, 281–295.
Richmond, A. S., Slattery, J., Morgan, R., Mitchell, N., & Becknell, J. (2016b). Can a learner-centered syllabus change students’ perceptions of student-professor rapport and master teacher behaviors? Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 2, 159-168.
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 110-121.
Saglamel , H., & Kayaoglu, M. N. (2013). Creative Drama: A Possible Way to Alleviate Foreign Language Anxiety. RELC Journal, 44(3), 377 –394.
Sarani, A., Alibakhshi, G., & Molazehi, H. (2014). On the application of critical pedagogy principles by ELT instructors and subject Teachers: A case of Iranian universities. Research in applied Linguistics, 5(2), 41-56.
Saville, B. K., Zinn, T. E., Brown, A. R., & Marchuk, K. A. (2010). Syllabus detail and students' perceptions of teacher effectiveness. Teaching of Psychology, 37, 186–189.
Scovel, T. (1978). The effect of affect on foreign language learning: A review of the anxiety research. Language Learning, 28, 128-142.
Scovel, T. (1978). The Effect of Affect on Foreign Language Learning: A Review of the Anxiety Research. Language Learning, 28(1), 129-142.
Serrano-Sampedro, I. (2000). Refining negotiated classroom work in a Spanish secondary school. In M. P. Breen, & A. Littlejohn, Classroom decision making: Negotiation and process syllabuses in practice (pp. 108–133). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Shabbah, S. S. (2018). English language syllabuses: Definition, types, design, and selection. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ), 9(2), 127-142.
Sinclair, B. (2008). Multiple voices: Negotiating pathways towards teacher and learner autonomy. In T. Lamb, & H. Reinders, Learner and teacher autonomy: Concepts, realities, and responses (pp. 237–269). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Smith, K. (2000). Negotiating assessment with secondary-school pupils. In M. P. Breen, & A. Littlejohn, Classroom decision making: Negotiation and process syllabuses in practice (pp. 55–63). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Smith, S. A., Briggs, J. G., & Pothier, H. (2018). Exploring Variation in Reading Comprehension among Young Adult Spanish-English Bilinguals: The Role of Environmental Language Contact and Attitudes Toward Reading. Int. J. Biling, 695–716.
Suwantarathip, O., & Wichadee, S. (2010). The impacts of cooperative learning onanxiety and proficiency in an EFL class. Journal of College Teaching & Learning, 7(11), 51-57.
Teng, B., & Sinwongsuwat, K. (2015). Teaching and learning English in Thailand and the integration of Conversation Analysis (CA) into the classroom. English Language Teaching, 8(3), 13- 23.
Ushioda, E. (2003). Motivation as a socially mediated process. In D. Little, J. Ridley, & E. Ushioda, Learner autonomy in the foreign language classroom: Teacher, learner, curriculum and assessment (pp. 90-102). Dublin: Authentik Language Learning Resources Ltd.
Uztosun, M. S. (2013 ). The role of student negotiation in improving the speaking ability of Turkish university EFL students: An action research study . Exeter: The University of Exeter as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Education in TESOL.
Vandergrift, L. (2005). Relationships among Motivation Orientations, Metacognitive Awareness and Proficiency in L2 Listening. Appl. Linguist, 70–89.
vanLier, L. (2007). Action-based teaching, autonomy and identity. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 1(1), 46–65. doi:10.2167/illt42.0
Von Worde, R. (2003). Students’ Perspectives on Foreign Language Anxiety. Students' Perspectives on Foreign Language Anxiety, 1-15.
Williams, K., & Andrade, M. (2008). Foreign Language Learning Anxiety in Japanese EFL University Classes: Causes, Coping, and Locus of Control. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 5(2), 181-191.
Wu, K. H. (2010). The Relationship between Language Learners' Anxiety and Learning Strategy in the CLT Classrooms. International Education Studies, 3, 174-191.
Young, D. J. (1991). Creating a low-anxiety classroom environment: what does the language anxiety research suggest? Modern Language Journal, 426-437.
Yu, B. (2019). The Predicting Roles of Approaches to Learning, L2 Learning Motivation, L2 Learning Strategies and L2 Proficiency for Learning Outcomes: A Comparison Between Mainland and Hong Kong Chinese Students. Educunal Studies, 520–532.
Zeidner, M. (1998). Test Anxiety: The State of the Art. New York,  Plenum.
Zhang, H., Dai, Y., & Wang, Y. (2020). Motivation and second foreign language proficiency: The mediating role of foreign language enjoyment. Sustainability, 1-13.
Zhao, J., & Li, S. (2014). An empirical analysis of college students' motivation for foreign language learning and its implications-a case study of English majors' motivation for second foreign language learning. Foreign Language Research, 40–45.
Zhao, N. (2007). A study of high school students' English learning anxiety. Asian EFL Journal: English Language Teaching Article, 9(3), 22-34.