Academic Goal Orientation and Possible Selves of African Undergraduate Students Living In the United States (Published)
There is a large gap in literature about the many Africans increasingly arriving in the United States (US) either by sheer ignorance or because of their racial homogenization with African Americans. Indeed, this conflation ignores the vast socio-cultural and historical differences in literature. This paper examines possible selves and goal orientations of African Undergraduate students in the United States. A study that adopted multiple regression was undertaken. The author sought to understand this relationship by collecting data in the Spring Semester of 2007 from undergraduate students registered in any of the semesters in the Spring semester, 2007 and the year 2006, and whose both parents were born in Africa. A significant relationship was found between students’ balanced possible selves and their mastery goal orientations. This suggested that students with more balanced possible selves had higher academic goal orientation. Additional analyses also indicated that there was a significant positive relationship between length of stay in the United States and possible selves which would be indicative of the students’ continued enculturation into an individualist society which in effect increases the number of balanced possible selves.
This article aims to understand the importance for Saudi students of learning about English/American culture in developing learners’ communicative competence. To this end it intends to explore the attitudes of students and parents of students to incorporating English/American culture into the EFL classroom. A quantitative approach was used for the data collection, consisting of a structured-questionnaire presented to 200 student and parent participants. The results of this study show that most students who were surveyed have a strong motivation to learn the English language in order to gain access to the culture of English-speaking countries such as the UK and the USA. Hence, they want to focus on communicative competence rather than linguistic competence in learning English. The majority of student participants who want to learn about the target culture prefer learning this at intermediate school. Also, the results show that some parents treat learning the target culture with suspicion, because of the fear of losing Saudi identity by studying authentic materials. But despite this most parent respondents have positive attitudes to learning English/American culture in the EFL classroom. The originality of this article is including parents in the belief that their participations cannot be ignored because of their influence on their children’s views. This study concludes with some useful references to ways of learning English/American culture in the EFL classroom.