Date of Award

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

David I Hanauer, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Sharon K. Deckert, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Gloria Park, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study on English writing anxiety was conducted to answer questions that were constantly repeated by students and instructors in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) science departments at Qassim University in Saudi Arabia. These questions are: 1) Do Saudi EFL students experience anxiety in their academic writing in the science colleges (preparatory year, engineering, and pharmacy)? 2) Do preparatory year students (beginner students) experience more anxiety when writing in English than do engineering and pharmacy students? and 3) Where do these problems come from? I quantitatively examined the seriousness of the problem and the sources of writing anxiety. The participants, 296 Saudi university students, filled out the English Writing Apprehension/Attitude Test (EWAT) scale survey. The participants were chosen from three science colleges: preparatory year, pharmacy, and engineering. The findings of this research showed that, first, the three groups share almost the same moderate feeling of English writing anxiety. By comparison, the engineering students were somewhat higher anxiety than the preparatory year students, while the least anxious students were the pharmacy majors. The last research question, an open-ended question, received varied answers, according to the students' personal experiences. The weakness of their past English education was the first and overwhelming reason they gave for their writing anxiety; their lack of confidence in writing was the second, and the last one was the evaluation.

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