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|Title: ||AFRICAN LITERARY TEXTS AND LANGUAGE BASED APPROACHES IN ELT: A STUDY OF MOTIVATION|
|Authors: ||ABIYE, DANIEL|
|Advisors: ||Dr. Haile Michael Abera|
|Keywords: ||AFRICAN LITERARY|
STUDY OF MOTIVATION
|Copyright: ||Jul-1998 |
|Date Added: ||20-Nov-2012 |
|Abstract: ||The Ethiopian English language learner seems to be less fluent in the freshman class
over the last couple of years. What appears to be the root cause of these low grades is the
lack of motivation in the language classroom due to the neglect of culturally appropriate
material and the absence of a language-based approach.
This thesis attempts to explore the contributions of African literary texts to the
language classroom arguing that a socio-cultural approach to language learning is more viable.
Ethiopian English does not exist as an institutionalized variety, however, within a Pan-African
perspective the Ethiopian learner can identify with African Literatures in English and begin
from a familiar schematic reality. This authentic schema, apart from motivating the learner,
will help in the efficient use of their top-down processing, a quality that at present is lacking.
An understanding of African Literature is also approached through an attempt of it's definition
from a historical perspective, an asset the language learner can call upon from his cultural
competence and which also powerfully influences the rules of discourse in communication.
Furthermore, African literature is based on the supposition that there is a constant interaction
between social and linguistic aspects in regards to the understanding of language. Therefore
the educational goal is based on the understanding of cultural assumptions in the classroom,
and views culture as a process of understanding and tolerating different perceptions. African
literature, in this thesis, focuses on problematizing major themes and therefore, stimulating
discussion dependent on cultural awareness and based on dialogue and negotiation. African
literature is therefore viewed as a stepping stone from which the Ethiopian language learner
begins from and moves towards other forms of discourse, that is, from the familiar towards
The learner approaches African literary texts from a language-based perspective with
an emphasis on communication and negotiation as a bases for language awareness. In other
words, African literary texts are seen from three perspectives: as text, as message, and as
discourse. African literary text as text enables the language learner to examine language as
system, and through a stylistic analysis be able to explore the different levels of language.
However, though description is a fundamental beginning towards a closer understanding, the
learner has to move on to the next level of text as message. On this level the student explores
meaning in text on the semantic level and understands how the writer transmits his message
through language. The third and most important aspect however, is through interpretative
procedures where text is seen as discourse and the learner's response is most valued, here a
pragmatic understanding of meaning is explored. In this case meaning only exists with
learners active engagement with the text and in the ultimate pursuit of communication.
Communication in turn, develops a better understanding of language. As students are equipped
with their schematic knowledge, bottom-up processing or explicit awareness of language is
dealt with in the tasks. The tasks therefore, have a major role to play in language learning,
firstly, they are a means through which the learner communicates and negotiates meaning- an
educational value, and secondly the learner is exposed to a more explicit awareness of
language- a pedagogic value.
Based on the assumptions of African literary texts and language-based approaches, this
thesis also explores the motivational factors that influence language learning. The researcher
feels that by using African literary texts and a language-based methodology the language
learner will be more motivated to learn a foreign language. Models exploring motivation are
reviewed and a synthesis between a psycho-educational model by Lambert and a socioeducational
model by Gardner seem to be most relevant for this research. In this approach,
cultural beliefs have a great influence on individual differences of which attitude and
motivation are a part. Attitude and the aspect of orientation, which includes integration and
instrumentality, seem to have a direct influence on motivation and situational anxiety,
influencing foreign language learning. The ultimate outcome of learning a foreign language
is reflected on self-identity both in linguistic and non-linguistic terms. Therefore, African
literary texts, based on the social milieu of the learners, seems to assure that self-identity and
may probably help to motivate second language acquisition. However the Ethiopian situation
is unique because English is used only as a medium of instruction, questioning whether the
integrative motive is the most influential in language acquisition.
To conclude, the researcher feels that the use of African literary texts in the language
classroom with a focus on a language-based approach communication, can help to foster
motivation and break the 'culture of silence' in the Ethiopian language learner.|
|Appears in:||Thesis - Literature |
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