An Arab EFL Context: Does Variance in Anxiety and Motivation across Gender Impact Language Attainment?

Priya Mathew, Liz Mundakkal Job, Tareq Al Damen, Mohammad Rafiqul Islam


This study proposes to investigate whether mixed classes are a de-motivating influence and increase anxiety levels and causes variance in performance between males and females. The researchers’ observation and documentary evidence suggest that female learners outperformed their male counterparts in assessments and class participation. The main objective of this study was to identify factors which account for the disparity in gender performance, addressing three research questions: a) is there a correlation between gender and performance?  b) Do levels of motivation and types of anxiety vary in males and females thus causing variance in language attainment in a co-educational Arab EFL context? c) Does effort work on the anxiety experienced by female students and make the latter beneficial? A questionnaire was administered to a stratified sample of 100 Arab EFL learners in the Foundation Programme at a private college in the Sultanate of Oman. Findings show that although males and females display equal amounts of anxiety and motivation, females still outperformed the males. This study identifies the factors responsible for this disparity.


Proficiency; Anxiety; Motivation; Gender; Arab EFL learners; Socio-cultural

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