The Effect of Erasmus Exchange Program on Attitudes Towards Learning English Foreign Language

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Year-Number: 2016-Volume 4 Issue 1
Number of pages: 18-32
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Abstract

As a result of globalization the societies have got closer and there has occurred a link between countries and cultures in terms of trade, immigration and the exchange of information and ideas. Erasmus Exchange Program is another way of sharing cultures and information. Erasmus Exchange Program has paved the way for participants to think in different dimensions. Culture and language may be preferred as the selection of these dimensions. In this sense, sharing culture plays a major role among the objectives of Erasmus Program. In addition, culture may be represented with the use of EFL among the advantages of this program. Gardner (1985) states that the attitudes are important elements of learning process and suggests that the more positive attitudes a learner develop, the more achievement s/he gets during learning process. The study of Jenkins (2009) revealed that Erasmus Exchange Program helps participants to develop an appreciation towards the idea of being a non-native speaker of English in a multicultural environment. Put another way, English plays another major role and in this study the ultimate purpose has been determined to indicate changes in the attitudes of Erasmus Students at Kahramanmaraş Sütçü İmam University in Turkey towards learning EFL after Erasmus Exchange Program. 18 items in a questionnaire and a semi-structured interview have been conducted within the study. There are 65 participants in this study who studied in different European countries during an educational period. The results of the study indicate that living and studying in a multicultural environment either strengthened their already positive attitudes towards learning EFL or helped the participants to develop positive attitudes.

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