Cooperative learning and classroom anxiety: Acomprative study between the departement of english in Boumerdes and that in Tizi ouzou

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Universite Mouloud MAMMERI


Anxiety is considered a negative factor that prevents students from communicating their ideas and developing their language proficiency. Reducing students’ apprehension in the classroom can enhance their language learning experience and improve their communicative competence. In recent decades, cooperative learning has attracted the attention of researchers and educators due to its positive outcomes on students’ performance. Thereby, this thesis aims to measure the levels of anxiety in oral classes and compare the effects of cooperative learning with the traditional instructional method on anxiety. Besides, the study attempts to determine the factorsthat may hamper the implementation of cooperative learning, and examine students’ cooperative behaviors and their perceptions of cooperative work. To this end, four classes of second-year students of English enrolled at the Universities of Boumerdes and Tizi Ouzou during the academic year 2015-2016 participated in the study. This fifteen-week quasi-experimental research involvedtwo experimental classes introduced to cooperative learning and two control groups taught with the conventional lecture method.Three instruments were used to collect data: a modified version of Horwitz, Horwitz, and Cope’s (1986) anxiety questionnaire, classroom observation, and semi-structured interviews. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methodology was used to analyze the findings. The questionnaire was used as a pre-test and a post-test to ascertain the participants’ level of anxiety. The pre-intervention findings indicated that the participants had a moderate level of anxiety. No statistically significant differencewas found between the anxiety scores of the study groups. The post-intervention data showed significant reductions in the participants’ levels of anxiety. However, no statistically significant differenceappeared between the anxiety scores of the students who studied cooperatively and those who worked individually. Classroom observation and the interviews with fourteen students revealed the problems obstructing the integration of cooperative learning in oral classes such as students’ resistance, classroom situation, and domineering group members. Despite their hostile reaction, the participants progressively displayed cooperative behaviors. Most of the interviewed students had favorable perceptions of cooperative learning and expressed their desire to work in cooperation more often. Therefore, instructors should be encouraged to use cooperative learning as part of their teaching. Keywords: language anxiety, cooperative learning, traditional lecture method, comparative study, quasi-experimental design.


297f. : ill. ; 30cm. + CD.Rom


Cooperative learning, Comparative study, Cooperative work


Language Sciences