Environmental Conditions for English Language Learning in Malaysia
Keywords:English language learning, international students, Malaysia, mixed-setting language environment, sociocultural theory
AbstractThe importance of environment in students’ language learning process should not be undervalued. This research, underpinned by the Sociocultural Theory by Vygotsky that centres on the tenet of mediation, looks at how the environmental conditions assist and hamper the English learning of a group of international students. The research questions that guide this study are (1) What are the elements in the environment that assist/hamper the English language learning of international students learning English in an institution in Malaysia? (2) How do the conditions in one of these elements assist and hamper the English language learning of international students learning English in an institution in Malaysia? The participants for this study were nine international students studying English in an institution in Malaysia. Data were gathered through observations, interviews and document analysis. Data were analysed thematically and managed by ATLAS.ti. The data revealed that firstly, there were three themes emerging from the data – situations, people, and things/media. Secondly, further deliberation presents two sides of a coin to the ‘situations’ - where on one side, there are, for example, situations that promote English, while on the other side, there are situations which do not. All in all, the findings further enhanced the importance of conducive environment to promote learning.
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