ERIC Number: ED420193
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Students' Learning Difficulties in a Second Language Speaking Classroom.
A group of three studies investigated sources of learning difficulty in 18 current or former foreign graduate students with limited English skills whose native language was Chinese, and compared the findings with those for a similar group of 14 native English-speaking graduate students. Students were asked seven questions about their first year of graduate study, asking subjects to recall the mental capacity needed to deal with multiple classroom activities, anxiety level and duration, causes for anxiety, and difficulty in academic learning, and emotional state. The same questions were asked twice for the foreign students, in two situations: sitting in a graduate classroom in their home country, and sitting in a first-year graduate classroom in the United States. There were additional questions for foreign students, concerning their English competence and how they coped with their difficulty. Responses of the two groups were compared, and are summarized here. Both study 1 and study 2 indicated that one of the causes for students' learning difficulties in their second language speaking classroom is the non-automatization of the language used in the classroom, or in other words, the non-automatization of their symbol system for encoding information. This is also a major cause of their anxiety. Contains 3 references. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).