Psychology, gender and EFL writing : a study of the relationship between Saudi students' writing performance and their attitudes, apprehension and self-efficacy
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It has long been accepted in the field of EFL teaching and learning that writing in a foreign language by learners is a complex practice that involves not only cognition, but also psychology. With this in mind, in the present study, social-psychological and social-cognitive research frameworks were adopted to explore the relationship between the writing attitudes, apprehension and self-efficacy of Saudi learners of English, and their writing performance, with a view to expanding the frontiers of current scholarship. This relationship was investigated on two levels: that of writing in general, and that of writing specific types of text. This relationship has been neglected in previous research; in addition, the scope of past studies of Saudi students has been limited to only one of the two traditional genders. The current study was designed to contribute to filling these gaps. The thesis consists of six chapters. Chapter One introduces the objectives, research question, theoretical framework and background of the study. Chapter Two reviews the related literature. Chapter Three describes the sample population, data collection and procedures. Chapter Four deals with the data analyses. Chapter Five discusses the findings and implications of the investigation. Chapter Six presents a summary and conclusions. The research found no correlation between psychological characteristics and writing performance in general, nor between psychological characteristics and the writing of narrative and persuasive text types, in particular. Overall, the results conflict with those of previous studies, in that it was found that rather than psychological characteristics influencing writing performance gender difference influenced writing performance, and the psychological characteristics did not influence anything, it was the other way round, gender difference also influenced psychological characteristics. This thesis thus contributes to the growing body of knowledge in the field of EFL, by providing evidence that the influence of psychological characteristics on writing is not salient in every socio-cultural context, and that the writers’ gender can have an effect on their writing performance.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2022-05-31
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Electronic copy restricted until 31st May 2022
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