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The perceived value of english: the case of tunisian university students

( Télécharger le fichier original )
par Mimoun Melliti
Faculté des lettres, arts, et humanités Manouba - Maitrise en Anglais 2008
Dans la categorie: Arts, Philosophie et Sociologie > Littérature
  

Disponible en mode multipage

Ministry of Higher Education Scientific Research and Technology
University of Manouba
Faculty of Letters, Arts and Humanities
Department of English

The Perceived Value of English:

The Case of Tunisian University Students

End of Undergraduate Studies Research Paper

Submitted by
Mimoun Melliti

Supervised by
Dr. Faiza Derbel

May 2008

Abstract

This study is an attempt to track certain issues related to the status of English among a cohort of Tunisian university students. It explores the value of English as perceived by university science students in five higher education institutions in Tunisia. The institutions visited were the Faculty of Medicine, the Engineering Preparatory Institute Tunis, the Higher Institute of Commerce, the Higher Institute of Commerce and Business Administration, and Faculty of science Tunis. A questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample of 100 students, who were asked to express their view about the value they attach to English and the use of it in their daily lives. The data analysis revealed that a considerable percentage of Tunisian university science students in the institutions visited claim to be proficient in English and indicated that they were aware of the importance of English for them as science and technology students in spite the fact that this awareness is not accompanied by any detectable measures to develop their mastery of it. Another finding of this research was that English was found to be slowly occupying areas of use usually occupied by French despite the fact that French was still their dominant language in research activity and entertainment. This study provides evidence that the importance of English is very much recognised by Tunisian university science students, which made the prospect of adopting it as the language of instruction in scientific disciplines favoured. Obviously, the situation of English in the Tunisian EFL context is gaining importance, which suggests that it is going to be an influencing factor in the future of Tunisia.

Acknowledgments

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the following people without whom this work would not have been completed. First, I would like to thank my supervisor Dr. Faiza Derbel for her endless support. Second, I am grateful to my parents for their financial and moral support. Last but not least, many thanks go to my friends Besma Msekni, Walid Jawadi, and Badr Zoughlemi for their continuous encouragement.

Table of contents

Abstract

.2

Acknowledgments

3

Table of contents

4

List of acronyms and abbreviations

8

List of tables

..9

List of figures

10

0. Introduction

11

0.1. Background to the study

11

0.2. Language in Tunisia

12

0.3. General aims

14

0.4. Research questions

14

0.5. Data collection

14

0.6. Organisation of the paper

15

Chapter One: English in the world 17

1.0.1. Introduction 17

1.1. Aspects of English spread worldwide 17

1.1.1. Landmarks in the history of English 17

1.1.2. The status of English around the world 19

1.1.3. Kachru's three concentric circles 21

2. Explanations of English spread worldwide 22

1.2.1. Historical reasons 22

1.2.2. Political reasons 23

1.2.3. Economic reasons 25

1.2.4. Practical reasons 26

1.3. Perspectives to the spread of English 29

1.3.1. Resistance to English spread 29

1.3.2. Supporters of English spread 30

1.3.3. Predictions about English in the future 32

1.4. English in Tunisia 33

1.4.1. The introduction phase: from independence until the end of the 1970s 34

1.4.2. The generalisation phase: from 1970s until 1984 35

1.4.3. The new promotion phase: from 1984 until 2000 36

1.4.4. The present phase from 2000 until 2007 37

Conclusion 37

Chapter Two: Methodology 39

2.0. Introduction 39

2.1. Research design 39

2.2. The participants 39

2.3. The data collection instrument 40

2.4. Data collection 43

2.5. Data handling 44

Chapter Three: Data analysis 45

3.0. Introduction 45

3.1. Science students' claimed proficiency in English 45

3.2. English in students' plans 47

3.3. Students experience with learning English: past experience, motivators, and

obstacles 48

3.3.1. Students' past experience with learning English 48

3.3.2. Motivation behind studying English 49

3.3.3. Obstacles to learning English 50

3.4. Prospects of adopting English and Arabic at science higher education university

institutions 51

3.4.1. Prospect of adopting English in education 51

3.4.2. Prospect of adopting Arabic 52

3.4.3. Measures to promote learning English 54

3.5. The use of English among students 54

Conclusion 56

Chapter Four: Discussion of the findings 57

4.0. Introduction 57

4.1. Tunisian university science students' claimed proficiency in English 58

4.1.1. Exams results 58

4.1.2. Reported communicative abilities 58

4.1.3. English vs. French in science students' daily use 59

4.2. Tunisian university science students' perception of the value of English 59

4.2.1. English in students' plans 60

4.2.2. The reasons for English 61

4.2.3. Science and the question of language choice 61

4.2.4. Obstacles of learning English and some suggested solutions 62

4.2.4.1. Obstacles of learning English 62

4.2.4.2. Some proposed solutions 63

4.3. The use of English among Tunisian university students 64

Conclusion 64

Chapter Five: Conclusion 66

5.0. Introduction 66

5.1 Major findings 66

5.2 Contribution of the study 67

5.3 Limitations of the study 67

5.4 Suggestions for further research 68

5.5. Recommendations 68

References 69

Appendix A: Questionnaire for students 71

List of acronyms and abbreviations

BC: The British Council

EFL: English as a Foreign Language

ESC: Higher Institute of Commerce

ESL: English as a Second Language

ESP: English for Specific Purposes

I.B.L.V: Bourguiba Institute of Living Languages

ISCAE: Higher Institute of Commerce and Business Administration IPEIT: Engineering Preparatory Institute Tunis

L1: First Language

L2: Second Language

List of tables

Table 1: Distribution of sample 15

Table 2: Some domains of English use in six East African states 20

Table 3: Major international domains of English 27

Table 4: Reasons concerning adopting English 52

Table 5: Students' view about the prospects of teaching science in Arabic 53

List of figures

Figure 1: Kachru's three concentric circles of English 21

Figure 2: Categories of science students' reported proficiency in English 45

Figure 3: Science students' claimed proficiency in English 46

Figure 4: Ability to communicate only in English 46

Figure 5: Choice of language in favourite films 47

Figure 6: Language of the computer interface 47

Figure 7: English in science students' plans 48

Figure 8: Studying English out of public institutions 48

Figure 9: Reasons for not studying English out of pubic institutions 49

Figure 10: Domains of English use 50

Figure 11: Obstacles preventing students from learning English 51

Figure 12: Prospects of adopting English 52

Figure 13: Prospects of adopting Arabic 53

Figure 14: Students' preferred solutions to promote learning English at science

institutions 54

Figure 15: English in science students' exchange of e-mails 55

Figure 16: Major situations where students were obliged to use English 55

Figure 17: The language of science students' mobile phones 56

0. Introduction

The purpose of this introduction is to provide background related to the value of English in the world and in the particular case of Tunisian university science students. For this reason, the situation of language in Tunisia will be described in order to offer an overview of the context of the study and especially the linguistic situation. This introduction is going also to explain the aims of the research and provide information about data collection, and the way the paper is organised.

0.1. Background to the study

Since English is no doubt the most important language in the world today (Crystal, 2003; Graddol, 1997; Phillipson, 1992), then it is of interest to researchers to explore how it is valued by users all over the world. Research on English and how it is perceived can be tackled from many angles. This research will focus on the issues related to how English is valued by young university science students in Tunisia. Reasons behind choosing this topic are mainly linked to the functions that English fulfils in Tunisian society and the complexity that it adds to the linguistic situation in Tunisia in addition to its importance for science students. Whether the decision to teach English as a compulsory subject in higher institutions is viewed as positive or negative, depends on the fact that the society as a whole and persons involved or affected by its presence will see the phenomenon from a perspective of language competition or not. Those persons are going to perceive it also with reference to various interpretative frames such as perceptions of agendas underlying the policies or the felt needs for it. Within this context, the issues related to the value of English in the world and in Tunisia specifically are to be discussed in order to witness the benefits that teaching English offers and the claimed drawbacks of such a decision.

In fact, English is generally considered by policy makers in Tunisia advantageous for fulfilling an important role in creating and sustaining links with the world in terms of knowledge and transfer of technology (Salhi, 1985; Derbel, 2001). Therefore, it will be of interest to explore the views of the Tunisian population investigated in this research and to find out how they see the importance of English. In contrast, English can be seen as a new vehicle of colonialism (Phillipson, 1992) or as a threat to native languages; this may well be a view held by some science students investigated in this paper. The aim of such investigation is to track the value attached to English and the extent to which it is perceived crucial in Tunisian science students' studies and future careers. It is anticipated that Tunisian university science students are aware of the value of English despite the fact that they are not taking the «right» measure or following the effective strategies to master it. Concerning the use of English by Tunisian university science students, there is observable evidence of heavy domination of French over English and to some extent over Arabic in the use of electronic devices and in communication with foreigners. However, English is more present in the lives of Tunisians due to technology and media in English that is more and more available. These expectations are, in fact, connected to the linguistic situation in Tunisia and this research is seeking to empirically investigate such impressions and observations in the case of Tunisian university science students.

0.2. Language in Tunisia:

The linguistic situation in Tunisia is characterised mainly by diversity (Payne, 1983). Standard Arabic is the official language of the country while a variety of regional dialects is used following the difference in the geographical areas (ibid). Concerning foreign languages present in the Tunisia, Payne (1983) documented the existence of French, Italian, and Spanish, which dates back to the colonial period.

However, English was introduced after independence and it went through various stages of development that are going to be described more thoroughly in the fourth section of the first chapter. The presence of English resulted in competition with French as the most dominant foreign language in Tunisia since the period of colonisation. The possibility of replacing French for English is according to some researchers (Battenburg, 1997) considerable viewing to the growing international interdependence of the world on English and the continuous vanishing of French as a language of world communication and trade with some doubt in Walters (1999) who identifies only a 2% or 5% as proficient users of English. Battenburg contends that the figures illustrating the amount of money spent to sustain the use of language by France, the UK, and the USA reveal that Tunisia is still considered a francophone country (Battenburg, 1997). He mentioned that in 1996 while the USA and Britain spent 600.000 and 400.000 dollars respectively on promoting the study of English in Tunisia, France spent 20 million dollars (Battenburg, English language teaching in Tunisia). The struggle over dominance between English and French in Tunisia is a matter of fact. In fact, some opposition figures in the parliament asked for the adoption of English instead of French since in Akkari's terms «the French themselves have begun to realise the inadequacy of their language and its loss of international prominence» (qtd in Daoud, 2001).

Apart from education, English is used in media. Not all kinds of media use English, but Walters (1999) mentioned that it is used an hour per day on the Radio Tunis Chaîne Internationale from 14.00 am to 15.00 am. Radio listeners can also listen to Voice of America and BBC World on local FM frequencies (ibid). The only newspaper that uses exclusively English, as observation shows, is Tunisia News. Observation shows also that the state owned TV channel (Channel 7) broadcasts in English only at 00.00 am when giving news and so is the case of Tunis 21 with

difference in time. English speaking songs are heard also by Tunisians on local radios (Walters, 1999) and more and more in all radio channels. Thanks to satellite dishes, Tunisians have access also to channels broadcasting in English like MB, MBC Action and MBC4 (with subtitles in Arabic), the world edition of CNN, and BBC World. All of the above-mentioned domains of exposure to English, though restricted can be assumed to have important influences on students' perception of the value of English in their lives generally and in their careers in the near future.

0.3. General aims

This paper aims primarily at exploring the value of English, as it is perceived by university students in scientific fields and investigating the use of English among them in the direction of recognising its status.

0.4. Research questions

Considering the research aims mentioned above, a number of research questions could be formulated especially with regards to the value students attach to English in the direction of recognising their needs for English and the arguments that they give in support of learning English. Thus, two research questions are proposed as research focus in this paper.

1. What is the perception of Tunisian university science students concerning the importance of English in their studies and future careers?

2. What are the domains of use that English occupies in the lives of Tunisian university science students?

0.5. Data collection

In order to investigate the perceived value of English among Tunisian university science students, a questionnaire covered (apart from the five background information questions) five sections. The questions were of two types. Closed-ended questions

aimed at enabling students to choose from proposed alternatives that concerned their level, perception, and use of English and open-ended questions aimed at extracting direct information concerning the reasons of their choices. The questionnaire was completed by one hundred university science students from five higher education institutions in Tunis and Manouba. The institutions investigated are stated in the following table.

Table 1: distribution of sample

 

Faculty

of Medicine

Engineering Preparatory Institute Tunis

(IPEIT)

Higher Institute of Commerce (ESC)

Higher

Institute of Commerce and Business Administration (ISCAE)

Faculty of

Science Tunis

Number of female students

10

10

10

10

10

Number of male

students

10

10

10

10

10

Total

20

20

20

20

20

Total

target population

100

The diversity of the institutions included serves the purpose of collecting data from students specialising in different domains where English is claimed to be of great value in the academic and future professional life of these students. Therefore, it was expected that these students hold views about the value of English in their present situation and in the near and distant future.

0.6. Organisation of the paper

This paper contains five chapters. The first chapter deals with views related to the status of English in the world today. Chapter two is reserved for the explanations of the methodology used in this paper. It will clarify the `research design', `the participants', `the data collection instrument', `data collections', and `data handling'. Chapter three presents analysis of the data derived from the students' responses. The

discussion of the findings is to be found in chapter four that is divided into three sections. The first section overviews the results of the exploration of science students' proficiency in English. The second section will summarise the results related to Tunisian university students' perception about the value of English. The final section of this chapter will cover results from students reporting on their use of English. The paper will be concluded by synthesising the major findings and discussing the contribution of the study, its limitations, and by providing suggestions for other research.

The starting point of this paper is going to be the investigation of the situation of English in the world including its status in Tunisia. It is important to track these issues in order to have a clear idea about the perceived value of English that could be helpful in tracing possible change putting into perspective the attitude of Tunisian university science students towards English.

Chapter one: English in the world

1.0. Introduction

The aim of this chapter is to provide a review of the various themes related to the value of English in the world and in Tunisia. It is composed of four sections; the first tracks the aspects of the emergence of English worldwide, the second deals with the explanations of this spread, the third tackles the perspectives to such emergence, and the fourth covers the status of English in Tunisia throughout modern history (from independence until 2007).

1.1. Aspects of English spread worldwide

This section is going to provide a historical overview that covers the major periods of the development of English to be the first language of world communication based on accounts provided by authors such as Graddol (1997) and Crystal (2003). Such a status is going to be the main concern of the second sub-section that is entitled `the status of English around the world'. The description of the emergence of English will follow the framework of the sociolinguistics of World Englishes provided by Braj Kachru (1985) and specifically his classification of English use around the world into three concentric circles.

1.1.1. Landmarks in the history of English

The period between the 11th and the mid 15th century witnessed in its beginning the Norman Conquest to England, which meant the period of confrontation between English and French. It was also a period of language contact, which resulted in the borrowing of words from French especially reinforced with making French the official language in England (Graddol, 1997). Graddol (1997) suggests that during this period educated people in England had to learn three languages, which are Latin, French, and

English. It could be remarked that during this period French and Latin were still dominant over English.

Between mid 15th and mid 18th century, however, some revolutionary events concerning the emergence of English took place. These events were marked by the use of English in trade, scientific writings as a result of the industrialisation of Britain. The movement of English beyond the borders of Britain; first to America as part of immigration to North America and second India as a result of British imperial expansion was also crucial in the emergence of English. Moreover, the increase in the importance of printing and the beginning of teaching English in Holland and France as a foreign language helped the process of English spread (ibid). It could be said that at this point of time English started the process of dissemination as a world language.

Other important events in the path of English happened in the period between mid 18th and mid 19th century. Graddol (1997) in his book The future of English? stated among these events standardisation of the language that was facilitated by the compilation and publication of dictionaries and the achievements resulting from the industrial revolution that transformed Britain into a technological and internationalised nation leading to the advent of the use of English in advertising, media, in telecommunication, and more and more in education. In addition to its use in the fields mentioned above, it became the language of world organisations and diplomacy (Crystal, 2003), which paved the way for another important phase in the process of the emergence of English (Graddol, 1997). It will soon replace French as the language of diplomacy and international communication (ibid). The second half of the 20th century brought more importance and spread to English as major radio channels and television, entertainment activities, and the internet adopted it (ibid).

Researchers, such as Crystal (2003) and Graddol (1997), provided the reasons for the spread of English in the 20th century and linked it mainly to the impact of the

British Empire and the rising political power of the United States of America in the world after the Second World War. These issues are going to be discussed in the second section of this chapter when dealing with the explanations for the spread of English.

Scrutinising the process of the development of English, it could be said that the value of English has witnessed a gradual rise in terms of importance in the world, which resulted in being the language of the 21st century.

1.1.2. The status of English around the world

In fact, until the 16th century English was not so much important in world communication (Crystal, 2003). Nowadays, English is said to be the lingua franca of the world. Wehmeier (2000) defines it as «a shared language of communication used by people whose main languages are different» This definition is applicable to the situation of English today such is the case of India and Kenya (Graddol, 1997).

Certain facts about the existence of English in the world could be helpful in understanding its status. Actually, Graddol (1997) indicates that English is spoken by 750 million as English as a Foreign Language (EFL) speakers, 375 million as Second Language (L2) speakers, and 375 million as First Language (L1) speakers. In addition to these speakers, major influential world organizations such as the United Nations, where it is among the six languages that are considered official, and the European Union are adopting English (ibid).

The existence and emergence of English in non-native English countries is an important feature of its worldwide spread and reflects, in the view of some (Crystal, 2003), the value attached to it and in the view of others (Phillipson, 1992; Kachru, 1985; Pennycook, 1994), the sign of imposition, domination and imperialism. In his Encyclopaedia of English language, David Crystal (2003) mentioned some statistics

about the use of English in six east African states showing its deep infiltration into various domains. Table 2 below shows that English is present in five East African countries (Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, and Zimbabwe) in high court, parliament, civil service, education, media, business, signs, and has an official status in them. This means that it is present in the legislative, judicial, and what is called the fourth branch of the political system, which is media. Taking into consideration the variety of languages and ethnic minorities that exist in these countries, one could deduce that English has occupied domains of use otherwise impossible for the minority languages to occupy. This situation usually leads to greater value attached to the learning and mastery of English in these communities.

Table 2: Some domains of English use in six east African states (Crystal, 2003, p. 103).

 

Kenya

Tanzania

Uganda

Zambia

Malawi

Zimbabwe

Official status

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

High court

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Parliament

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Civil service

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Secondary school

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Primary school

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Radio

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Newspapers

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Advertising

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Road signs

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Shop and

vehicle signs

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Business and

correspondence

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes = English used No = English not used

Studying the spread of English has been the concern of many scholars who tried to investigate and describe this horizontal spread (emergence of English all over

the globe). For instance, Braj Kachru (1985) presents the model of the three concentric circles reviewed in the forthcoming sub-section.

1.1.3. Kachru's three concentric circles

In his investigation of the spread of English, Braj Kachru (1985) presents a model that consists of three circles each one representing a particular group of countries on the basis of the situation and the use of English in them (see Figure 1 below).

Figure 1: The three circles of English according to Kashru (1985) with estimates of speaker numbers in millions according to Crystal (1997) (Graddol, 1997, p. 10)

Expanding
100-1000

Inner

320-380

Outer
150-300

The Inner Circle (at the centre), represents the countries where English is the primary language and it includes the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. These countries are said to represent what is called native speakers of English. He also refers to them as «norm- providing» (Kachru, 1985) countries since the norms of English use are derived from them. The

second circle, which is called the Outer Circle, represents countries where English is one of two or more official languages and used in a variety of functions. Examples of such countries are mainly former colonies of Britain such as India, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana. Kachru calls such countries «norm-developing» (ibid) countries since they are developing their own varieties. Some examples for such category are Singaporean English and Indian English. The third circle, which is called the Expanding Circle, includes countries where English is used as an international language like, China, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Zimbabwe. These countries, according to Kachru, are «norm-dependent» (ibid) as they are not developing their own varieties of English.

If we follow Kachru's classification, Tunisia will fit into this last category since English is used within the Tunisian context of English as a foreign language. From personal observations, Tunisians and particularly Tunisian university students, tend to view English as a necessary language to master nowadays. However, some conditions that are going to be discussed further in chapter five prevent most of them from learning it sufficiently.

1.2. Explanations of English spread worldwide

In order to investigate the variety of explanations suggested to explain the worldwide emergence of English consulting references from researchers like Crystal (2003), Phillipson (1992), and Graddol (1997) is needed. Exploring their findings, this section investigates the historical, political, economic, and practical reasons for the emergence of English around the globe.

1.2.1. Historical reasons

One of the explanations suggested with regard to the emergence of English is the historical factor. In fact, researchers such as Crystal (2003) reported that English

benefited from being the language of Britain, which was a huge empire during the 19th and 20th century especially. Consulting Phillipson (1992) in his provocative Linguistic imperialism, one could realise the difference between his perspective and that of Crystal (2003). Phillipson emphasised, for instance, the persistent role of Britain in imposing English on its colonies. Therefore, it could be deduced that this imposition is in his account an important factor behind the influential presence of English in many countries today. There is no coincidence in the fact that in former British colonies, like India and Egypt, English occupies an important status in education, media, governmental documents, and trade. Crystal (2003) proposes the same idea but presenting the emergence of English as an ordinary and totally positive spread. As a conclusion, it could be said that making English the language of instruction in those countries is a colonial heritage. However, the historical reasons were not to happen without political motives that are the concern of the forthcoming sub-section.

1.2.2. Political reasons

It is important to deal with political reasons behind the imposition of English because politics is an influencing player in the game of whose language dominates in non-native contexts. The political reasons could be classified as either internal or external.

The internal reasons come from the countries where English is adopted as a solution to the problems created by multilingualism (Crystal, 2003). In fact, certain countries choose to adopt English, as a solution to their multilingual situation such is the case of India and Kenya. Multilingualism could create difficulties with communication internationally for any country, as it could create a heated debate over what language to adopt as the official language. In some multilingual contexts as remarked by Phillipson (1992) «English has been described as an ethnically and

ideologically unencumbered language». This means that it can be perceived as a «neutral» and «unifying» language since it allows ethnic minorities in such countries to avoid conflicts about which group language to choose as the official language of the country. Communication between the different ethnic groups becomes carried through English instead of the, less practical perhaps, variety of languages. As far as neutrality is concerned, it should be stated that this apparent neutrality is misleading as it can be argued that English in the context of most of such countries is the language of elites, which means that at the end a language of a minority is dominating the majority of uneducated members of the language community (Pennycook, 1994). The only difference is that this minority is privileged and perhaps supported by `English powers' such is the case of the elite governing in Philippines in the 1980s described in Phillipson, 1992. Apart from the internal reasons there are some external ones suggested by Phillipson (1992).

The external reasons are those related to factors (or plots) coming from outside the country which means the overt and covert pressure exercised by the inner circle on some countries in order to impose English as the language of the most important fields in the country and this is done mainly for political and ideological purposes. Such a claim could be illustrated with the attempts of the British government to alter the dominance of the USSR over Eastern Europe in 1990s by imposing English as the second language instead of Russian (Phillipson, 1992). However, other explanations for this shift from Russian to English could be thought of especially in connection to the fall of the USSR at that period and the loss of faith in the communist ideology. This could mean that the spread of English in Eastern Europe came from inside these countries not outside them.

External organised strategic imposition, as it is claimed by Phillipson (1992), is neither for the sake of the beauty of English nor for the sake of `civilising' people in

those countries. In fact, English could serve as a facilitator of the emergence of free trade, which strengthens the imposition of globalisation.

As far the situation in Tunisia, the context of this study, it should be noted that despite the diversity of the linguistic situation, it could not be said that it is a multilingual country in the same sense as in Kenya or India but there are the regional dialects constructing the Tunisian linguistic variations of the same Arabic with the presence of French and Italian in the background. Therefore, the internal political reason explaining the penetration of English in some countries does not apply to the case of Tunisia.

In the case of Tunisia, the pressure of the inner circle is not persistent as Tunisia is considered a francophone country for historical reasons, especially due to the fact of having been colonised by France not an English speaking country. This is an important fact that is going to be put under study in the fourth chapter when analysing some aspects of the relationship between English and French in Tunisia.

1.2.3. Economic reasons

Dominating and even participating in world economy needs mastering the language of the economically dominant (Derbel, 2004). The main language of the United States of America, which is dominating and monitoring world economy, is English, which means that taking part in international business depends on knowledge of English (Phillpson, 1992). For this reason, a lot of money has been spent on learning this language. It seems from this perspective that the dominance of the US after the Second World War resulted in the dominance of English in the modern history. This saying could be illustrated by Graddol's claim that «the story of English in the 20th century has been closely linked to the rise of the US as a superpower that has spread the English language alongside its economic, technological and cultural influence»

(Graddol, 1997, p. 8). Within the context of a globalised capitalist world economy, governments and individuals found no way but to learn, teach, and use English in order to live and to prosper. Therefore, the economic reasons are either internal or external.

The internal ones are those related to the attempt of the governments in the world to promote the mastery of English among its economy agents for the sake of integration in world economy (Derbel, 2001). In the same vein, Phillipson (1992) illustrates this claim when he argues that «the discourse accompanying and legitimating the export of English to the rest of world has been so persuasive that English has been equated with progress and prosperity».

The external ones are those related to the British and later on the American attempts to spread English in order to make English the language of world economy for the sake of more and more economic, political, and ideological dominance.

At the level of economy, Tunisia is very much connected to Europe and mainly France more than English speaking countries (Bahloul, 2001; Derbel, 2001). Importation and exportation could determine which language to promote which determines also the language to be favoured by students.

However, apart from the internal and external economic reasons, there exist some practical reasons, which strengthen the importance of the value of English and legitimate the claim that the world is increasingly depending on this language (Graddol, 1997).

1.2.4. Practical reason

The practical reasons are in relation with what English offers to its individual learners, which create the extrinsic motivation to learn it. Gardner (1985) differentiated between «extrinsic» and «intrinsic» motivation (qtd in Liu, 2007).

In a study that concerned the Chinese context, Meihua Liu mentioned that extrinsic (or instrumental) motivation refers to the fact of learning a language for the sake of gaining a tangible reward. Therefore, it is linked to some external forces like learning English in order to succeed in education, avoiding a punishment, to pass the TOEFL, qualifying for a job, achieving a higher social status, getting a rise in salary, or studying in an English speaking country (Liu, 2007). This kind of motivation differs from intrinsic motivation as a driving forces in learning. Intrinsic motivation refers to the forces that urge the learner to learn a particular language and that are coming from inside them (ibid). Instead of being related to material gains, they are related to the desire of the learner to learn a second or foreign language for the sake of being part of the speech community that speaks that language or out of fascination towards its culture (ibid).

The practical reasons, then, are related to the presence of English everywhere and for this reason, it seems extremely important to master it. In fact, with English comes the promise to those who will master it to succeed in life, as it will allow them to gain access to knowledge in all domains especially in fields connected to science and technology. Table 2 below includes a list although not exhaustive of the fields where English is used.

Table 3: Major international domains of English (Graddol, 1997, p. 8)

1. Working language of international organisations and conferences

2. Scientific publication

3. International banking, economic affairs and trade

4 Advertising for global brands

5 Audio-visual cultural products (e.g. film, TV, popular music)

6 International tourism

7 Tertiary education

8 International safety (e.g. `airspeak', `seaspeak')

9 International law

10 As a `relay language' in interpretation and translation

11 Technology transfer

12 Internet communication

The variety of domains listed in the table above illustrate the fact that in order to read a scientific article, to use technological products, to look for research information, to have access to studies about the world's phenomena, mastery of English is needed. It is especially required to communicate and participate in trade with Europe and America, but also important even to enjoy popular music and films produced predominantly in Hollywood in English. It is also crucial for young people to participate in youth culture; to enjoy watching world television, to use computers and video games, and a huge variety of other activities for which English is required. In brief, English is a necessity for inclusion in any domain today.

These facts concern any country in today's world including even former colonies of France such is the case of Tunisia. Actually, observation of the Tunisian context implies that the above-mentioned reasons for the spread of English are the most applicable in Tunisia (Derbel, 2001). The claim is so as an expected increasing awareness that is going to be measured in the analysis of data collected from the questionnaire, exists among Tunisians and especially students about the value of English in their lives today's and in the near future.

All the explanations mentioned within this section suggest the various reasons elucidating the spread of English around the world. Such a spread could not be understood as the exclusive result of one of the reasons because all of them complemented each other to create the situation of this language today. This situation generated conflicting perspectives to the worldwide domination of English, which is going to be the concern of the third section of this chapter.

1.3. Perspectives to the spread of English

The aim behind dealing with the perspectives to the spread of English is to investigate what might be the causes of resisting the spread of English and the reasons for supporting it. For this reason, these views of `resistance to English spread' and those `supporters of English spread' will be discussed in light of ideas about the position of English in the future as forecasted by David Graddol (1997) in his book The future of English?, which can help in our attempt to understand the perception of Tunisian university science students later on in the discussion of the findings.

1.3.1. Resistance to English spread

Throughout history, some countries took decisions to block the spread of English (Crystal, 2003). The former USSR and France are two examples of countries where such efforts were deployed.

In fact, the soviets saw English as a dangerous threat to communism. The reason behind this position was that the spread of English meant the spread of thoughts. What the soviets seemed to be afraid of, actually, is the spread of capitalism under the cover of the spread of English (Crystal, 2003). As discussed by Ajroud (1994), certainly the USSR had no problem with disseminating the Russian language and communism in Eastern Europe. At the same time it denounces the emergence of English and capitalism. The soviets depicted English as the language of world capitalism and world domination (Crystal, 2003).

Another political argument comes this time from France, which was threatened by the spread of English. Before the rise of English, French was dominating world communication as the lingua franca but with the rise of English, it has lost this position mainly in the 20th century where «the international importance of other European languages, especially French, has declined» (Graddol, 1997, p. 8). The

French, and for a long time, took practical decisions to deal with this situation. They established the Haut Comité pour la Défense et l'expansion de la Langue Française in 1966 and strengthened their links with francophone countries (Phillipson, 1992).

The worldwide dominance of English was also criticised by scholars such as Skutnabb-Kangas (1994) and Wardaugh (1987) for being the cause of the loss of local languages. It has long been argued that «when one language expands it restricts the dominance of another» (Derbel, 2004, p. 226). Such a situation happens when the dominant language earns more «domains of use» while the dominated one «experiences domain loss» (ibid). However, other scholars, such is the case of BruttGriffler (2002) continue to claim that there is no correlation between the spread of a language and the loss of local languages because the emerging language serves only as an additional one and therefore its effect is benign. This last claim could be refuted by the question that Pennycook (1994) raises concerning the resulting extermination of minor (in terms of use) languages.

In parallel with the critical views of the spread of English, we find views of those who claim that it is not a threatening language and that in the contrary it opens many doors for knowledge, creativity, and economic development. This position is going to be the concern of the second sub-section.

1.3.2. Supporters of English spread

Proponents of English worldwide spread could be those actively engaged in its use around the globe. The United States with its domination presses heavily in favour of English especially in Asia (Phillipson, 1992; Ajroud, 1994). The argument is that the introduction of English opens the door for non-English speaking countries to receive American and British support and aids. Even though there is no evidence of who these people are and/or what they do exactly, it is said sometimes that history

repeats itself, which means, according to Ajroud's (1994) contention, that «the bible and the sword have been replaced by the language teacher and the IMF `aid'» (p. 111). Habib Ajroud (1994) is making by this statement an analogy between the ancient religious crusades and the actual linguistic ones. Receiving English language professionals and books has been a pre-condition for receiving British and American economic aids as implied by Battenburg (1997) who criticised Tunisian officials for using language policy as a means to extort money from the Americans. Therefore, it could be said that Britain and the USA have been engaged in promoting English in Tunisia.

The British Council (BC) and TESOL international could also be considered as agencies in support of English spread. The BC is a public organisation that was founded in 1934 in order to spread the English language, literature, and culture in the world for the sake of serving the interests of Britain (Phillipson, 1992). Certainly, these goals are slightly different from those recognized officially by the organization or said differently in order to be easy to `swallow'. On its official website, the BC claims, however, that its goals are related to establishing cooperation «increasing exchange and mutual understanding» (The British Council Annual Report 2006-2007) between the UK and other countries. In order to understand the deep and hidden motives behind the creation of the British Council it could be resorted to what the Prince of Wales said after its establishment in 1934. In fact, he said that «the glories of our literature, our contribution to the arts and sciences and our pre-eminent contribution to political practice... (the appreciation of these) can be best achieved by promoting the study of our language abroad» (qtd in Ajroud, 1994, p. 114). The repetition of the term `our' three times is extremely meaningful as it shows whose interests the British Council is going to serve. However, it could be said that this is normal since the matter concerns British money that serves British interests.

Support to English spread comes also from English as a Second Language (ESL) and an increasing number of EFL countries, which are promoting the use of English in various domains for the reasons mentioned in the previous section of this paper (historical, political, economic, and practical reasons). Therefore, in the context of all of this support for English, one might wonder about the future of this language. Such a question is going to be dealt with in the forthcoming sub-section.

1.3.3. Predictions about English in the future

David Graddol (1997) tried in his book The Future of English? to predict the

situation of English in the future. He wrote:

There is no reason to believe that any other language will appear within the next 50 years to replace English as the global lingua franca. The position of English has arisen from a particular history which no other language can in the changed world of the 21st century repeat. (p. 58)

Perhaps what might assist the expected domination is that English could become recognised as the world language and would no longer be linked to colonialism. Therefore, the sustaining of its domination might not to be because of what it refers to (i.e. colonialism) but what it gives (i.e. prosperity). In fact, its increasing presence in EFL countries especially in education could decide much of its future (ibid). The prospect of this presence in a number of EFL countries like Tunisia is going to be measured when analysing the questionnaire.

Predicting the scenarios that might happen in Asia as far as English is concerned, Graddol (1997) suggests three possibilities. The first is that English will remain the language of communication between Asian countries. The second is that Mandarin could become more important. The third possibility is that there will be no dominant language, which means that people will use many regional languages for

communication. Viewing to the rising importance of the Asian economies and the possibility of adopting English in all sectors for them, one could wonder about the value that today's university science students assign to mastering this language in Tunisia as an example of EFL countries. However, this claim could be discussed by the fact that Tunisia is connected to francophone countries more than Anglophone ones especially in terms of economy. Yet, it is important to mention that globalisation does not separate between countries based on this distinction. What is meant by this is that the rising importance of English together with the rising importance of economic world dependence on it leads to questioning the value young university students in the economic, technological, and scientific sections attribute to English. Such an issue is going to be discussed in chapter four. Whatever be the results, they are certainly influenced by the measures that have been taken to promote English throughout history and especially after independence. These measures are going to be discussed in the fourth section of this chapter, which tracks the situation of English in the educational system of Tunisia and the phases of its implementation.

1.4. English in Tunisia

This issue is going to be dealt with in four sub-sections that describe the various phases of the promotion of English from independence until 2007 in Tunisia based primarily on works of Tunisian researchers such as Salhi (1984), Derbel (2001), and Daoud (2001). The importance of this issue lies in the fact that these phases reflect the value attached to English by Tunisian governments from independence until now (2008), which contributes in the formation of Tunisian university science students' perception of English. While the first sub-section, which is entitled `the introduction phase' (from independence until the end of the 1970s) tracks the first measures taken to introduce English in Tunisia, the second sub-section, which is entitled `the

generalisation phase' ( from1970s until 1984), covers the measures that were taken to support the learning of English. `The promotion phase' ( from 1984 until 2000) where the study of English were more promoted is going to be the concern of the third subsection before discussing `the present phase' (from 2000 until 2007) in the implementation of English in the fourth sub-section. Needless to mention that the periods could not be one hundred percent exact as there could exist some reforms generalising the learning of English during what was described as promotion or introduction phase and vice versa.

1.4.1. The introduction phase: from independence until the end of the 1970s

During this period, especially with generalising the teaching of English in 1958 with the first educational reform, English was taught from the second to the sixth year of secondary school for all sections, which were scientific, literary, technical, commercial, teacher training, and economic sections (Derbel, 2001). As described by Salhi (1984), this stage is characterized by the absence of a clear efficient policy concerning teaching English. The position of English was similar to that of other languages like Italian, German, and Spanish. There was no Tunisian syllabus and no Tunisian made textbooks for teaching English as textbooks were brought from France. In fact even when teaching English at this stage one could easily infer the French style revealed by the French-English vocabulary lists and translation from French into English (Daoud, 2001). After the evacuation of Bizerte and the nationalisation of agricultural lands, De Gaulle ended the French support for teaching foreign languages in Tunisia, except for French. This decision opened the doors in the 1970s for the United States of America and the United Kingdom to participate in teaching English in

Tunisia through providing teachers and organisations working in the field namely the Ford Foundation and Overseas Development Agency (Daoud, 2001; Derbel, 2001).

Concerning this stage, Salhi (1984) wrote:

While little encouragement was shown by [Tunisian] educational authorities towards English in the sixties, a major project developed mainly by foreign organisations- American and British- was drawing to its close, namely the consolidation of the Institut Bourguiba des Langue Vivantes (I.B.L.V) as an institution for English language teaching. Although it was marginal to the mainstream of education, the I.B.L.V was the first planned action in favour of English in Tunisia. (p. 82)

Clearly, the British and the Americans acted in favour of introducing English in Tunisia. The British and the American assistance helped the establishment of the I.B.L.V in 1964 that worked mainly on teaching English to the public for acceptable prices and later on English for Specific Purposes (ESP) in 1980s (Daoud, 2001). The introduction of English was followed by some measures taken in order to promote learning it, which are to be reviewed in the forthcoming second sub-section.

1.4.2. The generalisation phase: from 1970s until 1984

Daoud (2001) gathered some facts about this stage. He mentioned that during this period, Tunisia started trying Tunisian textbooks and teaching English became limited to scientific, literary and economic sections. Moreover, in 1983, the Ariana Pilot School was established and it taught pupils scientific disciplines in English instead of French from the seventh year (Daoud, 2001). This was in basic and secondary education but in higher education only students who chose to study English and students of scientific sections got access to English thanks to the ESP project. In 1981, the Transfer of Technology Program started with American assistance allowing holders of baccalaureate to study in the United States of America in scientific sections.

Such an act reflected the government's concern at that time to have access to science and technology directly from the source without the mediation of French. Such an objective could be revealed from the goals of the Sixth Development law (ibid).

In spite of the increase in graduate and post graduate students going to study in English speaking countries, and the number of institutions providing students with ESP courses increased, Salhi (1984) argues that there still «[was] no clear English language policy in Tunisia and no coordination at the level of the ministry of higher education». Therefore, more efficient measures are to be taken to promote the study of English, which are going to be reviewed in the next sub-section.

4.3. The Promotion phase: from 1984 until 2000

During this period, there was confusion in the implementation of English because of the political situation just before and at the eve of November 7, 1987 (Derbel, 2001). Two main measures were taken, which did not serve English in Tunisia. The first one is the transformation of the Ariana School from an institution that teaches scientific disciplines in English to a French medium institution in 1989 (Daoud, 2001). The second is the cancellation of the project of establishing a university that teaches scientific disciplines in English at the eve of the change in the political leadership of 1987 (ibid). However, this period could be seen as a successful one especially as far as the promotion of English in the educational system is concerned. In fact, 5th year students started learning English from the academic year 1994/95 before the abolishing of this measure and its replacement by teaching English to 8th year students and followed by the 9th year in September 1997 (ibid). This period also was marked by the promotion of teaching English in higher education and its introduction in the 7th year of basic education in 2000 (ibid). It is true that these measures are essential in the process of promoting the teaching of English. However,

they came slightly late as they followed the retreat of American and British agencies from supporting the dissemination of English in North Africa. Such retreat was, according to Daoud (ibid), because of British concern in ELT in Asia and because of the rise of the conservatives in America. Therefore, after such retreat, the officials in Tunisia recognised that the implementation of English is a necessity. Now they have to do that on their own (ibid). However, this account from Daoud could be discussed by the fact that the concern in English by Tunisian officials increased gradually following the increase in the importance of this language and taking into consideration the economic factor that tied Tunisia to France. Yet, Derbel (2001) argues that concerning the implementation of English there existed macro level measures and micro level ones that did not strengthen the position of English in education, society, and business.

4.4. The present phase: from 2000 until 2007

This phase is characterised primarily by the lowering of the age of learning English at primary schools in 2005 as it became taught from the 6th year (Merdassi, 2007). Such an act was certainly taken as a result of a growing awareness about the importance of teaching English at an early age in order to promote mastery of it. It seems that this measure is a needed decision despite the existence of some limitations in it. Actually, observation shows that teachers (of other disciplines) in primary schools are hardly competent in teaching English for pupils, as they are not well trained in the field of English Language Teaching in spite of government's effort to train them through summer courses.

Conclusion

One of the aspects of the spread of English worldwide is the emergence of its use vertically (i.e. its infiltration into major domains of life) and horizontally (i.e. its propagation around the world). The appearance of the division of ESL and EFL

countries is one of the aspects of the horizontal spread of English. Putting into consideration the rising importance of English as a global language, it seems crucial to investigate the value attached to it by young university students in the sciences. The variation of the reasons explaining the worldwide emergence of English strengthens this claim as within some of those reasons one can realise the dependence of the coming decades on English in the world (Graddol, 1997) despite the fact that according to some perspectives English is the sign of colonialism (Phillipson, 1992). Such a position is expected to be of minor importance in Tunisia and especially for Tunisian university science students. The perception of the value of English among those students can be coloured by the various attempts to promote it, at least apparently, in education since independence.

Chapter Two: Methodology

2.0. Introduction

This chapter aims at providing the context of the research in terms of components and way of data collection and analysis. For this reason, it is composed of five sections. The first sub-section deals with the research design that is the reasons behind choosing the survey method. The second sub-section contains the description of the participants before moving to deal with the questionnaire itself in terms of its themes in the third sub-section entitled `the data collection instrument'. The procedures, the timing, and the difficulties witnessed when collecting information are to be dealt with in the fourth sub-section under the subtitle `data collection'. Finally, the way the data was handled will be the focus of the fifth sub-section entitled `data handling'.

2.1. Research design

The aim of this paper is primarily to investigate the value of English as perceived by Tunisian university science students. For this reason, the questionnaire is helpful in gathering the needed information as it allows to elicit personal view directly from the respondents.

2.2. The participants

The target population of this paper is one hundred Tunisian university science students in five higher education institutions in Tunis and Manouba. The institutions are the Faculty of Medicine, the Engineering Preparatory Institute Tunis (IPEIT), the Higher Institute of Commerce (ESC), the Higher Institute of Commerce and Business Administration (ISCAE), and the Faculty of Science Tunis. The decision of choosing science students was taken because of the important link between them, English, and the future. Their perception could be valuable in recognising attitudes towards English

today (2008) and according to who are assumed to be the scientists of the future in Tunisia in the direction of predicting their inclusion to a world dominated by English. 2.3. The data collection instrument

The questionnaire was divided into six sections. The first one contained the background information about the students, which means their age, gender, department, level, and specialisation. The second section aimed at collecting data about the proficiency of the students as they claimed it. For instance, responded were asked to indicate their level in the last English exam they sat for by giving them three alternatives (0-7, 8-12, and 13-up) in order to classify them into «under average», «intermediate», and «Good» learners of English. The second and the third questions of this section aimed at exploring students' communicative ability. What is meant by `communicative abilities' is their ability to perceive English utterances and communicate using English. Therefore, the second question of this section explored their ability to understand people speaking English in an authentic English film or TV program by giving them four alternatives. The first alternative «I understand every word they say» is taken to reflect ability as very competent users of English. The second alternative provided in «I miss few words at times» was put to classify respondents intermediate in understanding spoken English. The alternative «I have difficulties with understanding» was put to investigate the number of students who assess their ability as «weak» or «low». The fourth alternative that is «I understand better British films than American films aimed at recognising the closest variety to students' abilities. In the third question of this section, the concern was student' ability to produce exclusively English utterances when in real life and the possible alternatives they resort to when they cannot communicate their ideas. Thus, students had to choose between three alternatives, which are «perfectly», «sometimes I resort to

gestures», and «I resort to French if I can't express myself». The first alternative concerns competent users of English at the level of verbal production while the second and third alternatives aimed at scrutinising the possible solutions students resort to when failing in finding English words. In an attempt to witness the relationship between English and French in terms of use, students were asked, in question four, to identify the language of their favourite films and, in question five, of the interface when using internet.

In section three, the position of English in students' plans was put under study. They were asked to identify whether they plan to study in an English speaking country or just they need English to have access to more sites on the internet for their studies. The emphasis of this question is mainly the second alternative which is planning to study in an English speaking country.

Sections four and five questioned the attitudes of students concerning English. The first question of section four aimed at recognising the percentage of students who studied English out of public institutions and the rate of those who did not in addition to the reasons behind each choice. The reasons were reported using open-ended questions as an attempt to elicit direct information from the participants. The second question of the fourth section tackled the domains of the importance of English according to the students. They were offered two intrinsic motivators («to discover other cultures of the world» and «to find out about any topic of the world») and two extrinsic motivators («to succeed in education» and «to succeed in professional life») in order to witness the type of motivation that drives the students. The third question dealt with the possible obstacles students' face with learning English. They were asked to choose the most inhibiting obstacle. Such a question aimed at recognising students' difficulties concerning mastering English. The first alternative provided was the «absence of extra curricular activities» and it aimed at measuring the number of

students who think they could promote their level from activities like English clubs. The rational behind suggesting the alternative of «dominance of French language in Tunisia» is investigating the degree to which the availability of this language is an obstacle facing learning English. The alternative of whether students feel they have no time to study English or not was put to explore the degree to which students claimed that loaded timetables is an obstacle. The alternative that the time allocated to study English is not encouraging was put on the basis of personal observations of complaints of science students who claim they could not learn English because the time allocated for it is too early or too late. The last alternative in this question is that «the program is not interesting» and it is put because students might feel bored and frustrated because of particular kinds of programs that, for example, enormously lay on the structure.

In the fifth section, the prospect of adopting English and Arabic and the reasons behind the choices were tackled. In the first question, which concerned the possibility of adopting English as the language of instruction in universities teaching science and technology, students were given four alternatives which are «I agree», «I disagree», «I totally disagree» (which aim at measuring those who extremely refuse the idea), and those who say they are «indifferent». The degree of acceptance or refusal is measured as students might have some conditions before taking such a decision. In the same question, they were asked to provide the reasons for their choices. They were not given alternatives as the question was given in an open-ended manner to elicit direct and real data. The same structure used with the first question of section five was used with the second question in the same section. Students were asked to state their perception of adopting Arabic as the language of instruction in scientific sections at universities and to provide the reasons (in an open-ended manner) for their choices. The solutions students propose as measures to promote the learning of English among science students are investigated in the third question of this section. Students had to choose

what they think the most efficient decision from five alternatives, which are «oblige teachers to use tape recorders and multimedia in teaching English», «increase the coefficient of English», «establish English clubs in every university», «increase the hours devoted to study English», and «teach English literature and civilisation». Suggesting using multimedia and establishing clubs as alternatives to the question intends to exploring the rate of students who support creative methods in teaching as a solution to promote learning English. Increasing the coefficient aims at investigating instrumentally motivated students while increasing the number of the hours aims at measuring whether students do need more exposure to English or not.

The sixth section of the questionnaire, which investigated the use of English among university science students, is composed of three questions. The first question reports students' use of English when sending e-mails where students were given three alternatives, which are «never», «few times», and «many times». The second question scrutinised the situations where students were obliged to use English and they were given four alternatives which are «never», «when chatting», «when using English documents», and «with foreigners». The use of English was measured also in terms of the language set in students' mobile phones. They were given four alternatives, which are «French», «English», «Arabic», and «other».

In brief, the themes included in the questionnaire aimed at collecting data mainly about three issues, which are students' proficiency in, perception of, and use of English in education and daily life.

2.4. Data collection

After preparing the final draft of the questionnaire, 100 copies were produced and distributed by three undergraduate students from the English department including the researcher. In order to sure the participants understand the questions, the data

collectors paraphrased or translated the questions into Tunisia Arabic sometimes. April 14th 2008, the ESC and the ISCAE students were investigated. By April 15, 2008, students of the faculty of Medicine Tunis and students of IPEIT and of the Faculty of Science Tunis were covered too by the researcher and one of the above-mentioned colleagues. Actually, the work went smoothly and there were no difficulties apart from being obliged to enter some institutions secretly in order to investigate the students, as the team had no official paper allowing them to enter such institutions. When some officials in the visited institutions inhibited the team from entering, students, who were very cooperative, were met in front of their faculties.

2.5. Data handling

Because of lack of enough knowledge concerning statistics packages, handling data was done manually by the researcher. Questionnaires concerning each institution were separated and for each question, the answers were counted and checked twice and thrice if the numbers exceeded or were less than the total number of investigated students in each institution. The answers collected from all students were transformed into five sets of tables each set representing the data collected from each institution and each table contained the answers to a particular question. Then, the five sets of tables were gathered into one set of tables containing the answers collected from all the institutions put together. The tables of the last set representing the total answers collected from students were transformed into graphs using Microsoft Excel. In the following chapter, the results will be discussed.

Chapter Three: Data analysis

3.0. Introduction

This chapter contains the results of the data collected from the students and it aims at presenting all the percentages and figures of the answers collected from the questionnaire item by item.

3.1. Science students' claimed proficiency in English

The analysis of the questionnaire data indicates that concerning the level of science students in English, which is retrieved from their claimed marks, an important percentage of them could be classified as `Good' since 44% of the investigated students said that they obtained more than thirteen in their last exam. In fact, only 14% reported that they obtained less than 7 out of twenty in their last exam as Figure 2 below indicates. Students who obtained a mark between 8 and 12 represent 42% of the total students.

Figure 2: Categories of science students' reported proficiency in English

14%

44%

42%

0-7

08-12 13-up

As a response to the question proposed in the questionnaire that is «could you understand people speaking English in life or in an authentic English film or TV program», which is summarised in figure 3 below, 52% of the students claimed they «miss few words at times» and 37% claimed they «have difficulties with understanding». 6% and 5% are the percentages assigned respectively for «I

40

60

20

50

30

10

0

I can

Communicate perfectly

Figure 4: Ability to communicate only in English and alternative solutions

10

Sometimes I

resort to
gestures

39

I resort to French if I can't express myself

51

Number of students and percentage

understand better British films than American films» and «I understand every word they say». The mentioned figures are illustrated in Figure 3 below.

37%

Figure 3: Science students' claimed proficiency in English

6%

5%

52%

I understand every word they say

I miss few words at times

I have difficulties with understanding

I understand better British films than American films

The ability of the students to communicate with someone using only English which is reported in Figure 4, indicates that only 10% of them report that they can «communicate perfectly» in comparison to 51% who «resort to French if they can't express themselves. Those who «sometimes resort to gestures» represent as high a percentage as 39% of the investigated students.

The results of the investigation of students' «choice of language in favourite films», as it is reported in Figure 5 below, show that 75% of them prefer the French version compared to the 25% favouring the English version.

French version

English version

Figure 5: Choice of language in favorite films

75

25

80

60

40

20

0

Number of students and percentage

Concerning students' use of French or English to look up information on the internet or to download music, the results show that 83% of the investigated students use French as language of the interface in comparison to only 17% use English.

Figure 6: The language of the computer interface

83

17

100

80

60

40

20

0

Number of students and percentage

French English

3.2. English in students' plans

The results summarised in Figure 7 below concerning the presence of English in students future plans show 41% of the students intend to study in an English speaking

country and that those who value its importance in consulting information on the internet represent 59%.

Figure 7: English in science students' plans

I want to learn English to have access to more

sites on the internet for my studies

I want to improve my English because I want to study in an English speaking country

41%

59%

3.3. Students' experience with English: Past experience, motivators, and obstacles

3.3.1. Students' past experience with learning English

Figure 8: Studying English out of public institutions

0 20 40 60 80

No

Yes

26

74

Number of Students and percentage

As a response to a question proposed in the questionnaire concerning whether students have studied English out of public institutions or not, Figure 8 below indicates that only 26% of them responded by «Yes» compared to the 74% who responded by «No».

When asked to provide the reasons for not studying English out of public institutions, students stated four reasons. In fact, Figure 9 below indicates that being «not motivated» was mentioned 32 times (out of 102) followed by «time restrictions», which was mentioned 27 times. Lack of «money» was mentioned 22 times and those who believed that there were «no need to» study it stated this fact 21 times.

Figure 9: Reasons for not studying English out of public institutions

40

20

30

10

0

Money Time No need to Not

motivated

22 27 21

32

3.3.2. Motivation behind studying English

In order to know the motivators behind studying English for the investigated students, a question that suggested four alternatives was put forth for the participants. The results reflected that half of the students consider success in professional life as the major reason for such a decision (50%). The rest of the students indicated that it is important «to find out about any topic of the world» (22%), «to discover other cultures of the world» (21%), and «to succeed in education» (7%).

Figure 10: Students' motivators behind studying English

21% 50%

22%

7%

To succeed in professional life

To discover other cultures of the world

To find out about any topic of the world

To succeed in education

3.3.3. Obstacles to learning English

The availability of French is, according to 40% of the students the most inhibiting obstacle towards learning English. «Time constraints» and «revising courses that are more important» was mentioned by 33% of the students investigated. «Absence of extra curricular activities» and «the program of teaching English is not interesting» were mentioned by 8% and 7% of the students respectively in comparison to 12% who stated that the obstacle preventing them from learning English is that «the scheduled time of English is not encouraging.»

Figure 11: Obstacles preventing students from learning English

33%

12%

7%

8%

40%

Absence of extra curricular activities Availability of French

There is pressure to use the time for more important courses

The scheduled time of English is not encouraging

The program is not interesting

3.4. Prospects of adopting English and Arabic at science higher education university institutions

3.4.1. Prospect of adopting English in education

As a response to the closed-ended question «if you were in charge of education in Tunisia, would you teach science and technology in English?», 48% of the investigated participants claimed that they «agree» in comparison to 45% who did not. Actually, 26% percent of those who refuse such a decision «disagree» and 19% of them hold a strong view ticking «totally disagree». Indifferent students did not exceed 7% as Figure 12 below indicates.

Totally disagree

Indifferent

Disagree

Agree

Figure 12: The prospects of adopting English

0 20 40 60

7

19

26

48

Number of Students and percentage

The reasons behind such rates were measured when students were asked to illustrate their choices, as it is synthesised in Table 4 below. In fact, those who agreed with the idea of adopting English claimed that «English is important» (50.9%). Students who totally disagreed with the idea reported either that it is «a problem of organisation as students are used to French» (27.2%) or provided no reason for such a choice (0.9%). Mere disagreement concerns 16.3% who claimed that there is an «absence of command in English». It is notable that 4.5% of the students claimed they are indifferent to such issue.

Table 4: Reasons concerning adopting English

Responses

Totally disagree

Disagree

Agree

Indifferent

Reasons

A problem
of
organisation

No reason

English
deficiency

English is
important

Do not
care

Number of
arguments

30

1

18

56

5

Total

110

percentage

27.2%

0.9%

16.3%

50.9%

4.5%

3.4.2. Prospect of adopting Arabic

Responding to the closed-ended question «if you were in charge of education in Tunisia, would you teach science and technology in Arabic?» 86% of the students rejected the idea; among those, 64% selected «totally disagree» and 22% selected

«disagree». Concerning this question, there were no «indifferent» students (0%) and those who selected «agree» represented only 14% of the participants as it is illustrated in Figure 13 below.

Figure 13: Prospect of adopting Arabic

Agree

Disagree

Totally disagree Indifferent

0%

14%

64%

22%

When students were asked to provide the reasons for their choices, 48.6% of the total number of the arguments (115) concerned the idea that «Arabic is not a language of science», and 21% that «Arabic is of no help when communicating internationally.» 13% is the rate of the arguments that such an act will create «a problem of organisation, as students are used to French.» The same figure (13%) is of «Arabic is our mother tongue,» which those who accepted the idea said. 1.7% of the arguments provided concerned those who refuse the adoption of Arabic for «no reason» and the same figure goes for who refuse it because it «is boring».

Table 5: Students' views about the prospect of teaching science in Arabic

Responses

Indifference

Refusal

Acceptance

Reasons

No reason

Arabic is

boring

Arabic is not a language of

science

A problem of

organisation

Arabic is not an

international language

Arabic is our mother tongue

Number of arguments

2

2

56

15

25

15

Total arguments

115

Percentage

1.7%

1.7%

48.6%

13%

21.7%

13%

3.4.3. Measures to promote learning English

Responding to the question of «if you were in charge of education in Tunisia, what would you do to promote English language teaching at university?» 31% of the students proposed that «increasing the coefficient of English» is the best solution in comparison to 23% who chose the alternative of «obliging teachers to use tape recorders and multimedia in teaching English». The rest of the students (21%) chose «establishing English clubs in every university» or «increase the time allocated for studying English» (18%), and only 7% claimed that they prefer «teaching English literature and civilisation» as an efficient measure to promote the learning of English among students in the sciences.

Figure 14: Students' preferred solutions to promote learning English at science institutions

Oblige teachers to use tape recorders and multimedia in teaching English

Increase the coefficient of English

Establish English clubs in every university Increase the time

allocated

Teach English literature and civilization

Number of students and percentage

35

30

25

20

15

10

5

0

23

31

21

18

7

3.5. The use of English among students

Three alternatives were given to students as a possible response to the question «have you ever sent e-mails written only in English?» 53% of the students claimed that they have «never» sent e-mails written in English in comparison to 47% who claimed

that they sent e-mails written in English either «few times» (34%) or «many times» (13%).

Figure 15: English in science students' exchange of e-mails

40

60

50

30

20

10

0

Never

53

Few times

34

Many times

13

Number of Students and percentage

The analysis of the responses of the students concerning the question «have you ever found yourself obliged to use English» shows that only 11% of them answered by «never» compared to 89% who have been obliged in times to use English either «when chatting» (14%), «consulting English documents» (30%), or «with foreigners» (45%).

Figure 16: Major situations where students were obliged to use English

45%

11%

14%

30%

Never

When chatting

When consulting English documents

With foreigners

Concerning the language used in students' mobile phone, Figure 17 below indicates that 81% of them use French in comparison to 15% who use English and 0% who use Arabic. Surprisingly, the rest of the students (4%) use other languages.

Figure 17: The languages of science students' mobile phones

100

40

20

60

80

0 French English Arabic Other

81

15

0 4

Number of Students and percentage

Conclusion

To conclude, one can say that the analysis of the questionnaire data covered in this chapter reflected students' views concerning particular issues. These issues are mainly their proficiency in English, their attitude towards the questions related to it, and their actual use of English in daily life, in mobile phones, and when using the internet. The results illustrated in this chapter are going to be discussed in the forthcoming chapter.

Chapter Four: Discussion of the findings 4.0. Introduction

The general aim of this paper is to study the perceived value of English among Tunisian university students in the scientific fields. In order to realise this goal, two research questions have been asked:

1. What is the perception of Tunisian university students concerning the importance of English in their studies and future careers?

2. What are the domains of use that English occupies in the lives of Tunisian university science students?

The aim of this chapter is to discuss the findings gathered in the previous chapter concerning the data collected from the students. Three sections constitute the components of this chapter. The first section is entitled `Tunisian university science students' claimed proficiency in English' and it is composed of three sub-sections. While the first sub-section concerns `exams results' and the second concerns `reported communicative abilities', the third sub-section tracks `English vs. French in science students' daily use'. The perception of students concerning the value of English is going to be discussed in the second section that contains four sub-sections. Such a discussion is going to go through `English in students plans', `the reasons for English', `science and the question of language choice', and obstacles of learning English and some suggested solutions'. This last sub-section is going to be divided into `obstacles of learning English' and some proposed solutions'. Finally, in the last section of this chapter the concern is going to be `the use of English among Tunisian university science students'. Thus, the starting point of this chapter is `Tunisian university science students' proficiency in English'.

4.1. Tunisian university science students' claimed proficiency in English

As it was previously stated in the introduction to this chapter, the concern of this section is going to be `exams results', `reported communicative abilities, and English vs. French in science students' daily use'.

4.1.1. Exams results

The analysis of the self-reported results indicates that 44% of the investigated students obtained more than 13 in their last English exam, which reveals «Good» proficiency. This fact could legitimate drawing the conclusion that those students are competent in English especially that 42% of them claimed that they obtained a mark between 8 and 12. Thus, it could be said that more than half the students investigated might have obtained the passing ten in their last exam in English. Therefore, the level of Tunisian science students in English is promising and this could, actually, be understood as an important number of them in the investigated institutions are said to be brilliant learners who used to work hard in all subjects in their secondary schools.

4.1.2. Reported communicative abilities

The ability of the students to understand English utterances could be classified as «acceptable» since 57% of them claimed they understand every word (5%) or they miss few words at times (52%). This, in fact, could be understood especially putting into consideration their claims concerning their marks. Students' reported communicative abilities were investigated also with reference to another variable, which is their ability to communicate only in English. The figures concerning this question illustrate that only 10% of them could use English without being obliged to resort to French or gestures. This figure does not seem striking, as complete competence in English is hardly expected from students of science in an EFL country

like Tunisia. Actually, 51% of the students resort to French that offer them an alternative solution when they fail in finding the appropriate English words. This could be explained by the daily access to French in the lives of those students as they are educated through it more than they are educated through English.

4.1.3. English vs. French in science students' daily use

Concerning favourite films, 75% of the students prefer to watch the French version in comparison to only 25% preferring the English one, which reveals French domination and emphasise the idea of francophone Tunisia. However, the importance of the 25% should not be ignored especially if some historical facts that are linked to the near (real) introduction of English vs. the older domination of French are put into consideration. Such a figure could reflect the (relatively) fast and important spread of English in Tunisian students' entertainment activities. Pertinent dominance of French is derived from its authority over the educational of science students in Tunisia. For instance, if students are to look for information concerning their courses (that are taught in French), the majority of them (83%) are going to use French in their search not English (17%). An important fact that needs to be recognised also concerning the high rate of using French is that proficiency in this language is higher by definition as it is the language of instruction and the second language of the country. Putting in consideration these fact, one could wonder about the perception of the value of English among those students.

4.2. Tunisian university science students' perception of the value of

English

Four sub-sections are going to be the components of this section, which are English in students' plans , the question of why English, science and the question of language, and obstacles of learning English and some suggested solutions.

4.2.1. English in students plans

The analysis of the results concerning the presence of English in students career plans show that students valued having more access to internet sites for their studies (59%) more than studying in an English speaking country (41%). This reflects awareness about the importance of the World Wide Web (that is mainly speaking English) in education. The important percentage of students preferring to study in an English speaking country reveals that Tunisian science students recognise the value of English as the new lingua franca of the world.

However, mere awareness of the importance of English is to be accompanied with a real work on mastering it, which is not, unfortunately, the case with Tunisian university science students. The analysis of the second question, which concerns the presence of English in students' plans in the past, shows that 74% have not attempted to improve their language skills outside the classroom. Thus, real awareness about the importance of English translated into real actions to invest in learning it. This leads to thinking about the possible reasons behind this situation. In fact, 32 reasons out of 102 reflected that students were `not motivated' to do so, which means that they had no encouragement from their educators nor from their parents. This means that the responsibility of not being highly competent in English is shared between the students, parents, and the educational system. Those who claimed that there was `no need to' study English (mentioned 21 times) thought that their level in English is sufficient. The relatively high prices provided by the institutions teaching English, and mainly private ones and the British Council, was a reason mentioned 22 times in science students' responses. Time limitation was mentioned 27 times out of 102 and it could be understood only with reference to the claimed loaded timetables that students complain

of. It seems that students found excuses reflecting lack of motivation and the little attention language development in English has captured in their lives as students.

4.2.2. The reasons for English

Generally, students with extrinsic motivators to study English were proven in the analysis of the questionnaire to be in 57% of the cases studied extrinsic. It is not a huge majority compared to the rate of students who claimed that their goals are intrinsic (43%). What is striking in the detailed analysis of the results is that only 7% of the students claimed that their motivator is «success in education». Compared to the rate of students who value the importance of English in finding a job (50%), this rate reveals that they do not see a connection between their education in English and their professional need in English. The 7% reflects also that 93% of the investigated students do not think that they need English to succeed.

4.2.3. Science and the question of language choice

An important majority of the investigated students (48%) claimed that if they were in charge of education in Tunisia, they would teach science and technology in English. This could reveal their awareness of the importance of English in educating future generations. As it is shown from the reasons they provided, 50.9% of the arguments emphasised the importance of English in the world and especially for science students. In fact, an important 45% oppose the idea. It should be mentioned that this rate encompasses those who «disagree» and those who «totally disagree». Actually who «disagree» mentioned the «problem of organisation» (27% of the total arguments) concerning the issue, which means, if we take it positively, that in case of existence of an organised plan to shift from adopting French to adopting English, they might agree. Thus, the popularity of such shift is considerable especially if the «indifferent» students (7%) who claimed that any language fits science and technology

(4.5% of the total arguments) are put into consideration. Those accepting the adoption of English could reach 55% of the total students.

Obviously, the competition in terms of language preference involves only English and French and not Arabic. 48.6% of the arguments provided evolved around the idea that `Arabic is not a language of science' and another 21.7% that «Arabic is of no help» on the international scene. In other words, these students would not be upset if Arabic were to be eliminated from the choice list. While it is not proven linguistically and historically that a particular language could not be used in science, to say that a particular language is not a language of science could reflect only Tunisian university science students' bewilderment about the idea of adopting Arabic. However, the claim that Arabic is not to be adopted as the language of science because it does not assure communication with the outside world is understood at least nowadays and in a world context characterised by dominance of English over science and technology. 21.7% of the respondents mentioned that Arabic would be an obstacle to communication with the outside world. Actually, it should be stated that if French assures little communication (in comparison to English) with the world in terms of research, collaborating in scientific meetings, and working abroad, Arabic seems to assure nothing for the students in this study.

Thus, it becomes clear that while English receives considerable support concerning the prospect of adopting it as the language of teaching science and technology from the respondents, Arabic does not.

4.2.4. Obstacles of learning English and some suggested solutions

4.2.4.1. Obstacles of learning English

Various obstacles were mentioned in the responses that students felt prevent them from learning English. From the data collected, it could be inferred that the

«availability of French» (40%) is the primary obstacle facing students' learning of English. Therefore, because French is the second language in Tunisia, Tunisian university science students face some problems in learning English. However, the obstacles are mostly of administrative order as 60% of them relate to the administration and the system of education in the visited institutions. This is interesting as it could reflect that those administrations are not considering students competence in English among the needed priorities that necessitate special care and management.

4.2.4.2. Some proposed solutions

The most proposed solution among the five suggested in the questionnaire is «increasing the coefficient of English» (31%). This reflects awareness on their parts that students are instrumentally motivated. Therefore increasing the coefficient of English would be a relevant and practical solution if the policy makers were really interested in raising the level of science students' competence in English.

Needless to mention also students' claimed need to be more exposed to English in order to promote learning it. This fact could be deduced from their argument that «establishing English clubs» (21%) and «increasing the time allocated to English» (18%) is the best solution to promote learning it. Therefore, the suggestions of students evolve around the idea of improving proficiency level, through increasing the coefficient of English, and changing the pedagogy of teaching it, through adopting new ways of teaching. Students also emphasise the idea of implementing new and more creative ways of teaching English (44%), which could be inferred from their choice of the two alternatives «obliging teachers to use tape recorders and multimedia in teaching English» (23%) and «establishing English clubs in every university» (21%). It seems that there is a feeling of discontent among the students from the pedagogy used

to teach English to them as they are suggesting innovative pedagogy of teaching that consists of extra curricular activities and using technological devices instead of the traditional methods based on transactional routines.

4.3. The use of English among Tunisian university students

In general, it could be said that 89% of the students were obliged in some situations to use English while the number of those who claimed they have «never» been in such situations is 11%. Such a figure reflects students' real need for English that is not met by the institutions as revealed in the proposed solutions.

Data collected from the section dealing with the use of English indicates also that French dominates students' use of language in their mobile phones (81%) but indicating at the same time that English is the second choice (15%) before any «other» language (4%). Clearly, as far as French is concerned, this is proof that it has over the decades secured a prominent position in the daily lives of Tunisians especially among the educated. The fact that students were not using Arabic is striking. This could be interpreted as reflecting an attitude that Arabic is not the language of technology (such is the case of mobile phones in this question.)

Nearly half of the students (47%) claimed that they have sent e-mails written in English, which is an interesting rate especially when putting into consideration the availability of French and the difficulties they reported they faced when expressing themselves in English. Concerning this issue, English seems to be rivalling French even though we can doubt the level of English used.

Conclusion

Answering the research questions, it could be said that Tunisian university science students are aware of the importance of English, which made them suggest innovative measures to be taken to promote the learning of it. Concerning the use of

English, it was proven interesting viewing to the absence of encouragement from parent and educators. Therefore, much of students' exposition to English comes from informal contexts such as technology and contact with foreigners.

Chapter Five: Conclusion

5.0. Introduction

This chapter is going to contain the major findings of the research in addition to the contribution and the limitations of the study, the suggestions for other research, and some recommendations.

5.1. Major findings

The purpose of this study is to investigate the value of English, as it perceived by Tunisian university science students. In order to do so, two research question were asked:

1. What is the perception of Tunisian university science students of English?

2. What are the domains of English use according to them?

As far as students' perception of English, it was found paradoxically that they are aware of its value, especially in professional life, but they made no moves towards mastering it. This fact could be explained by the availability of French and the lack of efficient administrative measures to promote learning English. This situation resulted in the fact that students do not value English much in the education sphere even though they are aware of its position in the world in science and technology.

Additionally, what is informative is that students felt the need to adopt some new and creative methods in teaching English with more exposure through English clubs and increasing teaching hours. A surprising finding is that students lack the interest in learning English, as they feel not motivated to do so mainly because of French availability but also because they would like to be taught differently in a different «informal» learning environment. However, concerning the prospect of adopting English in teaching science, they proved to be accepting the idea to the detriment of French and Arabic, which is interesting as a finding.

As to the use of English among Tunisian university science students, this language was found to be creeping in spite of the persistent dominance of French, which could be explained by the increasing dependence of certain entertainment activities and academic ones on English. It is clear they have begun to make the switch in their use of electronic and technological devices.

5.2. Contribution of the study

All of the stated findings could contribute to the enrichment of knowledge about the issue of the perceived value of English especially as it suggests some recent statistics about the particular situation of Tunisian university science students. One of the most interesting findings of this research is that despite French domination over students' leisure activities and education, English is gaining importance in their use. The importance of this work also lies in the investigation of the real obstacles that are inhibiting science students from mastering English, which are mainly French availability, discontent with the teaching pedagogy, and lack of investment (in terms of time and money). Moreover, suggesting feasible and especially acceptable measures, from the part of students, to promote learning English is another interesting finding of this paper. Concerning this matter, it was found that more exposure to English whether formally (more allocated time for teaching English) or informally (English clubs) is one of the most efficient measure to enable students to increase their level in English. 5.3. Limitations of the study

This work encompasses certain limitations mainly because of resorting only to 100 participants. In fact, the small number of the target population does not allow drawing real generalisations about all Tunisian science students.

5.4. Suggestions for further research

A study that concentrates on gender, level, and institutional differences concerning the perceived value of English among university science students could be helpful in clarifying important aspects of this issue. For doing so, it seems important to resort to a test when measuring students' proficiency and to supplement with interviews of university teachers.

5.5. Recommendations

It seems important that policy makers in the institutions teaching science and commerce to decide to promote learning English and resort to efficient measures derived from their students and ESP teachers such as:

1. Giving more importance to English by increasing its coefficient.

2. Providing teachers with appropriate materials for teaching like English laboratories.

3. Establishing English clubs and encouraging teachers to run them.

4. Establishing (at least) a university that teaches scientific disciplines in English.

What seems needed from the part of learners is mainly good will to master English and having access to scientific publications written in English because of its importance for their future careers.

Adopting more active, creative and motivating methods in teaching science students instead of the traditional and sometimes monotonous ways could be an important measure to take on the part of teachers. Examples of such methods are:

1. Encouraging interpersonal interaction between the students when doing classroom activities.

2. Changing the environment of teaching by organising purposeful excursions.

3. Adopting communication based tests instead of paper-and -pencil ones.

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Appendix A: Questionnaire for students

University of Manouba 2007-2008

English department

Research project: « memoir de fin d'études »

Student: Mimoun MellitiSupervisor: Dr. Faiza Derbel

Questionnaire for students

This is a questionnaire that attempts to study the perceived value of English among a cohort of Tunisian university science students. This research is going to be used for academic purposes and all answers will be anonymous.

Thank you for your collaboration.

Section 1:

1.1. Age .....

1.2. Gender

1.3. Department

1.4. Level

1.5. Specialization

Section 2:

2.1. What was the last mark you obtained in the English exam? 0-7 8-12 13-Up

2.2. Could you understand people speaking English in life or in an authentic English film or TV program? (Please use a tick)

I understand every word they say

I miss few words at times

I have difficulties with understanding

I understand better British films than American films

2.3. Could you communicate with someone using only English?

Perfectly

Sometimes I resort to gestures

I resort to French if I can't express myself

2.4. When you find English and French versions of your favourite film do you choose

The French version

The English version

2.5. If you have a choice when using the internet (to find information for your course or research, to download music...), do you use

English French

Section 3:

3.1. Which of the statements below apply to your case?

I want to learn English to have access to more sites on the internet for my studies.

I want to improve my English because I want to study in an English speaking country.

Section 4:

4.1. Have you ever studied English out of public institutions (British Council, American Centre, private teacher, private school...)?

Yes provide the reasons .

No provide the reasons

4.2. Do you consider command of English important To succeed in education

To succeed in professional life

To discover other cultures of the world To find out about any topic of the world

4.5. What obstacles can prevent you from achieving your goal?

Absence of extra curricular activities (English clubs, exchange of e-mails...).

Dominance of French language in Tunisia.

There is pressure to use the time for more important courses (example: mathematics, management, commerce...).

Because the scheduled time of English is not encouraging.

Because the program is not interesting.

Section 5:

5.1. If you were in charge of education in Tunisia, would you teach science and technology in English?

I agree I disagree I totally disagree Indifferent

Provide the reasons for your choice:

5.2. If you were in charge of education in Tunisia, would you teach science and technology in Arabic?

Agree Disagree Totally disagree Indifferent

Provide the reasons for your choice

5.3. If you were in charge of education in Tunisia, what would you do to promote English language teaching at universities?

Oblige teachers to use tape recorders and multimedia in teaching English.

Increase the coefficient of English.

Establish English clubs in every university.

Increase the hours devoted to study English.

Teach English literature and civilisation.

Section 6:

6.1. Have you ever sent e-mails written only in English?

Never Few times Many times

6.2. Have you ever found yourself obliged to use English?

Never When chatting When using English documents With

foreigners

6.3. What is the language of your mobile phone?

French English Arabic Other