The following study aimed at investigating Palestinian high School students’ attitudes towards learning English and its culture, and the reasons behind these attitudes in the Palestinian educational context. The study sample consisted of 24 (12 males and 12 females) 9th grade EFL learners. The study followed a qualitative design. Semi-structured interviews were the primary research instrument used to collect data, which was analyzed thematically. The results showed that the social context a learner thrives in partially shapes his/her attitudes and motivation. Even with ideal environments, learners’ differences and personalities are what either keep them motivated or force them to withdraw from the learning process. The results also revealed that learners believe in the importance of learning the English language and its culture. The learners’ level was found to impact their motivation and attitude and a conflict was found between their native culture and the target culture. Moreover, the students expressed their desire to have more exposure to the target culture. Further, as the results showed, parents’ engagement and support, teachers’ support and personality, peer pressure, motivation and anxiety and the status of English as a lingua franca are some of the reasons behind learners’ beliefs and attitudes. The researchers discussed these results and their implications for EFL teachers, EFL curriculum developers, and EFL teacher trainers.
Nedaa Zayed and Anwar Hussein-Abdel Razeq
Attitudes, culture, foreign Language