THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN THE EFL CLASSROOM AMONG IRANIAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

Abstract

Numerous studies have shown that the socioeconomic (SES) achievement gap is the main cause of inequality of students in schools and other educational systems (Bourdieu 1989; Carnoy 2007; Shavit and Blossfeld 1993, as cited in Doren, 2013). The most significant reason of this finding according to Battle and Lewis (2002) might be the fact that a person’s education is clearly linked to their life chances, income and well-being. The low status students compared with the mid/high status students are often more depressed and they are concerned about their financial problems and sometimes they don’t have enough time for studying and other academic activities. As such, besides providing the educational materials and facilities to promote learning and achievement in academic settings, the socioeconomic status of the students or their family could be a factor which impacts on their emotional state and motivation for their learning. Stern (1963, as cited in Burstall, 1975) also stated that there is a serious need to study motivational factors which may result in the students’ development of positive or negative attitudes toward foreign language culture, language itself, and people of the foreign country, which may have hindering or facilitating results on the foreign language development. As some researchers such as Gayton (2010) also have recognized, while the influence on language-learning motivation of other macro -level factors, such as gender, have been extensively investigated, there has been comparatively little written about an association between SES and language- learning. Particularly, in Iran and even more evidently among the university students, differential achievement along the lines of SES has not been central to investigation in the realm of educational attainment. This is while the problem of socioeconomic status is getting more and more tangible in universities due to its impacts on the students’ academic achievement and even sometimes it causes some students put aside their education. Thus, it is important to have a clear understanding of what benefits or hinders Iranian university-age students’ educational attainment. As such, the present research aims to investigate the effects of the socio-economic status on EFL sophomore learners’ academic achievement in the national university of a town in Iran named Rafsanjan.

Keywords: Academic Achievement, EFL, Iranian University Students, Socio-Economic Status


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 49-57 (Download PDF)

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