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Published 2016-10-14 Published on SciPeople2017-08-29 11:43:46 JournalProcedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences

Towards an Ecological Understanding of General English University Students’ Anxiety in Light of Sociocultural Perspective
Majid Elahi Shirvan, Pinar Karahan, Anahita Ahangar, Tahereh Taherian / Majid Elahi Shirvan
Abstract A large number of research studies have been carried out focusing on the role of anxiety in the process of English language learners⿿ development. However, the multifaceted nature of anxiety needs to be explored from an ecological perspective which can shed more lights and provide a better understanding of the different aspects influencing English language learners⿿ anxiety. This paper takes advantage of Vygotskian sociocultural theory, and activity theory in particular, as a conceptual framework to explore university students⿿ anxiety in English course in the classroom. To do so, data from 21 university students at University of Bojnord, Iran, were collected via semi-structured interviews, classroom observations over three months, and journals recorded by the students. The results of qualitative content analysis based on sociocultural theory indicated that, micro-genetically, the types of activities, assignments, teachers⿿ behaviours and peers⿿ effect influence students⿿ anxiety in the community of classroom. In addition, rules, rooted at the cultural-historic span, in terms of the assessment criteria, curriculum development and classroom syllabus underpin the anxiety experiences of the students. The functions of mediators and the objectives of the classroom regarding the ebbs and tides of students⿿ anxiety are also discussed. Towards an Ecological Understanding of University Students⿿ Anxiety in English as a General Course in Light of Sociocultural Perspective.

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