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    An Annotated Bibliography on the Affective Factors of Language Learning at College

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    Russell Berman is a professor at Stanford University who composed an article for CNN arguing why students in college should take a foreign language, His perspective is that learning a foreign language in college will be advantageous when looking for a job, advance English vocabulary skills, and gives proficiency in specific areas according to specific languages. For example, he says that taking French will help with a curiosity in African history. Berman argues that uncommon languages, such as Arabic and Mandarin, are on the rise, and students have a variety of languages to choose from. The college professor appears adamant on urging college students to take a foreign language. I chose some of his key points to give sustenance to my opposition that students should be required to learn a foreign language in college. I used his idea that this requirement would aid students in their English vocabulary, adding that seventy five percent of the English language is derived from Latin if students chose to take Latin.

    Ramona Henter conducted a study of the factors that affected college students’ performance in taking a foreign language, specifically English, The purpose was to discover whether or not attitude, motivation, and anxiety influenced their learning. Students participating In the study took English courses from the Transilvania University of Brasov, as English was a foreign language to them. Results of the study showed that motivation is one of the best indicators of success in taking a foreign language class. It was also concluded that students who did not require English for their major were less motivated and their attitude toward the language was low. This source gave detailed, factual information on the three factors: motivation, attitude, and language anxiety.

    As it was quite informative, I used evidence in this study to suppon my thesis that motivation and attitude affected learning a foreign language; if students were not motivated and had a negative attitude towards the class, they will not be successful. This source proved that to be correct for the students studying English. Scott Kissau, Bob Algozzine, and Mary Jo Adams conducted a study to find the similarities and differences between the motivation and aptitude levels in students who learned foreign languages in middle school and those who learned in high school. About one hundred students enrolled in various foreign language classes were given an assessment to test their expertise in languages.

    The results showed that students taking foreign languages in middle school received higher scores on the language test than those taking a foreign language in high school. This study gives a good amount of factual information on the cognitive factors that affect language learning. I used this to support my alternative point to my thesis that students should not be required to take foreign languages in college. My alternative point is that students should be required to take a foreign language in middle school. This source gives information on lateralization, which I incorporated in my argument. Lateralization finishes around the age of adolescence, therefore adults benefit less than middle schoolers at learning a foreign language. The study gave my opposition credentials, and shows evidence that those in middle school will have a more successful outcome at taking a foreign language course than those in college.

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    An Annotated Bibliography on the Affective Factors of Language Learning at College. (2023, Mar 15). Retrieved from

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