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Title: Learner beliefs, foreign language anxiety and translation learning : an investigation into tertiary translation classrooms in China
Other Titles: Xue xi zhe xin nian, wai yu jiao lü ji fan yi xue xi : Zhongguo gao xiao fan yi ke tang zhi diao cha
學習者信念, 外語焦慮及翻譯學習 : 中國高校翻譯課堂之調查
Authors: Wang, Honghua (王紅華)
Department: Department of Linguistics and Translation
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Translating and interpreting -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- China
Second language acquisition -- China -- Psychological aspects
Notes: CityU Call Number: P306.5.W34 2014e
xiii, 273 pages : illustrations ; 30 cm
Thesis (Ph.D.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2014.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 184-199)
Type: Thesis
Abstract: This study aimed to investigate learner beliefs about language and translation learning and foreign language anxiety in tertiary translation classrooms in China. Change in learner beliefs over nine months was explored. Comparisons were made between language students from Mainland China (MC) and translation students from Hong Kong (HK) regarding foreign language anxiety and their beliefs about language and translation learning. Participants in the present study included a total of 328 undergraduate students. Specifically, the sample was composed of 246 third-year English majors in a university in MC and 82 translation majors from first year through third year in a tertiary institution in HK. A questionnaire was designed and administered to all subjects. The questionnaire consisted of the following six instruments: 1) Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory (BALLI) (Horwitz, 1985, 1987, 1988); 2) Beliefs about Translation Learning Survey (BATLS), which was developed on the basis of Schaffner (2004) and a pilot study; 3) English Classroom Anxiety Scale (ECAS) adapted from Horwitz et al. (1986) and Yan (1998); 4) English Reading Anxiety Scale (ERAS) modified from Saito et al. (1999); 5) Second Language Writing Anxiety Inventory (SLWAI) (Cheng, 2004); and 6) a demographic information sheet. The same questionnaire was administered to MC students a second time after nine months to examine change in learner beliefs. A total of 42 students from MC were selected for focus group interviews, and 10 students from HK were chosen for individual interviews. Additionally, five translation teachers from MC were invited for individual teacher interviews. The findings indicated that translation learners held various beliefs about aspects in language and translation learning including the difficulty of language learning, foreign language aptitude, the nature of language learning, learning and communication strategies, motivation, expectations about the course and teachers, directionality, the role of translation theory, translation learning methods, literature and culture, and translation principles. Great differences were identified between MC and HK students regarding their views on foreign language aptitude, their beliefs concerning English learning methods, their English learning motivations and communication strategies. MC and HK students also differed considerably in their beliefs about translation learning, such as those regarding the role of language learning and theory and translation learning methods. Significant changes were observed in learner beliefs about language and translation learning after nine months. One factor of their beliefs about language learning, "Effectiveness of Traditional Learning Methods", was found to have a mild but significantly negative correlation with translation achievement measured by translation course marks. This study showed translation learners experienced foreign language classroom anxiety in general, reading anxiety and writing anxiety in particular. MC students' foreign language classroom anxiety and reading anxiety were found to have significant and negative correlations with translation course marks. In addition, MC students' anxiety levels (their English classroom anxiety levels and English reading and writing anxiety level) pre- and post-nine months were significantly higher than those of HK students. This study highlighted the role of learner beliefs and language anxiety in translation classrooms and lent more support to the close ties between Second Language Acquisition and Translation Studies. The present study enriched the research on learner beliefs, foreign language anxiety and translator training. These findings held important implications for translation teaching and learning in China and the world in general.
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