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Abstract


THE IMPACT OF PAST LEARNING EXPERIENCES UPON THE STUDENTS’ INHIBITORY LANGUAGE LEARNING BEHAVIOURS
Language learning is not an easy process. It contains diverse variables within itself. As different individuals, students bring different features from their past into the context of current learning. These features shape their perspectives, feelings and personal theories as regards learning. One of these experiences constitutes the concept of inhibition resulting from an anxious attitude towards language learning, which holds a great place within the context of language learning. The level of anxiety-based inhibition plays a big role in determining students’ success in language. Hence, the influence of students’ past learning experiences upon their inhibitory language learning behaviours related with anxiety was explored in this study. Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) was administered to 45 freshmen students studying in Food Engineering Department at Osmaniye Korkut Ata University. Later, 10 students from the same group were interviewed to elicit their past experiences as regards foreign language learning. It was found that students seem to show inhibition in their speaking skill since they possess anxiety in speech, which stems from the fact that they lack practice in that domain. Their past experiences affected their stance towards language to a certain extent; however, they are open to change because university education has a positive effect on their perspectives on language learning. The study suggests that establishment of psychologically secure environment with positive and enjoyable atmosphere has a role in reducing their fear of language and fostering their eagerness to learn.

Keywords
Inhibitory Behaviours, Anxiety, Past Learning Experiences, Freshmen


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