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A Study on Approach-Avoidance conflict in the Students

The main hurdle to Learn English
Sudheer Kumar Nadukuditi,
Department of English,
Bapatla Engineering College,
Guntur (DT), A.P., India, 522501



Approach –Avoidance conflict is a psychological term. Language learning and cognition of
the learner always go hand in hand. The major research on the English language teaching
focuses much on the tips and techniques to be followed to learn English Language.
Surprisingly, many students are aware of the tips and techniques that the scholars propose or
suggest through their research. In spite of being aware of the procedure to learn a language
(L2), and in spite of knowing the importance of learning the language (L2), Students fail to
utilize the learner centred methods to learn the language.

To examine the impact of Approach and avoidance conflict among the students, we have
collected data from reputed Engineering colleges in Guntur and Krishna districts of Andhra
Pradesh, India. By using weighted mean formula, it has been inferred that almost all the
students have a very good understanding about the tips and techniques to learn English. In the
second part of the paper, observations related to the research have been given. In the last part
of the paper, various suggestions have been proposed to overcome Approach-Avoidance
Conflict among the students.



Language learning and psychology are interrelated and depend upon one and other. the
language learning takes place in the minds of the learners. Psychological well being is a very
important factor in cognitive development of a child or an adult. There are a few
psychological conditions that reflect as a hindrance to the language learning. One among
them is the psychological conflict in the minds of the learner that arises due to being owing to
their preoccupation by the negative implications of the process of language learning rather

Students fail to utilize the learner centred methods to learn the language. and Literature in English help me to improve my English Language Skills . Not more than 15 samples have been collected from each college. Questionnaire: Please Read the questions given below and tick () the appropriate answer based on your awareness and experiences about acquiring English Language Skills “A “for “True” “B” for “Partially True ““C” for “False “D” for “Can’t say” Statements A B C D Learning English is very useful for me Listening to English through various mediums helps me in improving my English Language proficiency Reading English Novels. Research Methodology: The Main Purpose of this study is to find out how much does this psychological impact had on the students and are they really ignorant of the important methods of learning English. To find out the facts on it. and in spite of knowing the importance of learning the language (L2). Newspapers in English. The same target has qualities that make the individual want to approach it and other qualities that make him/her to avoid it. This conflict in the minds of the leaner is called Approach-Avoidance Conflict. many students are aware of the tips and techniques that the scholars propose or suggest through their research. The major research on the English language teaching focuses much on the tips and techniques to be followed to learn English Language. Approach-Avoidance Conflict is psychological term coined by the renowned psychologist Kurt Lewin (Kurt Lewin 1935) . In spite of being aware of the procedure to learn a language (L2). a questionnaire has been served to 100 random students from various professional Colleges. The goal here for the student is to learn English and repulsion is due various factors that normally stops an individual learner to proceed further in learning English.than focussing on the positive results to be attained after leaning the language. Surprisingly.It is a situation where an individual is both attracted and repelled by the same target.

debates and various other events are useful tools to develop my English speaking skills Learning Basic English Grammar is essential to communicate appropriately in English Attending to Spoken English classes helps me to acquire language Skills Speaking in English in public makes the students nervous Students are afraid of making mistakes while speaking or writing English Beginners in the language are afraid of the possible mockery by the proficient speakers of English Findings: Table (1): Representations and their Special Significances Different levels of opinions The weightages are given for of the students can be categorized as below: different categories as follows: A stands for ‘True’ Assigned value ‘4’for ‘True’ (A) B stands for ‘Partially True’ Assigned value ‘3’ for ‘Partially True’ (B) C stands for ‘False’ Assigned value ‘2’for ‘False’(C) D stands for ‘Can’t say’ Assigned value ‘1’for ‘Can’t say’ (D) The feedback is assumed to calculate for 10 point scale to the collected data from different branches of the students of various six colleges. The inherent mechanism of this formula based on quality relatives with proper assigned weightages.Creating an English Language speaking environment around me is a very useful strategy to improve my English Language proficiency Participating in Group discussions . . (????????????? Formula for Feed Back Index= ?????????? The above index formula is constructed with the help of weighted arithmetic mean’s concept which was effectively developed by Laspeyre.

Now.678 8.285 College-3 10 9.5 8.821 10 7.528986 Question-5 9.642 9. It is because there is a lot of brain washing for them by the trainers of English.035 8.5 9.826087 Question-9 7.642 9.142 7. ∑ ??? ? The general formula of weighted mean = where i = 1.2 .625 7.142 9.078 8.821 9. the last three statements in the questionnaire that is rather approved by the students .826087 Question-10 8.392 7.666 8.782609 Question-2 9.753623 Question-8 7.75 8.75 9.833 College-2 10 9.456522 Question-4 9.456522 Question-6 9. Table (2): Index of each question from every college with a minimum sample size (15) Questions & Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6 Q7 Q8 Q9 Q10 Colleges 10 9.857 7.166 9.642 9.289 9. But still.142 8. especially in Spoken English.342 9.492754 Question-3 9.157 College-4 10 9.666 8.75 8 7.375 9.3 …n ∑?? In the above formula.868 9.605 9.214 College-6 Table (2): Overall Indices of all Questions based on different levels of opinions of the students from six colleges Question Overall Index Question-1 9.142 7.375 College-1 10 9.214 8.107 9.642 9.821 9.625 9. Students are not proficient enough in English language skills. who have already imparted the effective strategies to learn English.550725 Almost all the students have expressed their opinion in general that they are aware of the importance of English and they are also aware of the general strategies that a second language learner can adapt to learn L2.75 8.142 7.473 9.833 9. wi be the assigned weight value for level i and xi be the quality relative assessment of i th level.285 College-5 9 8.605 9.736 8.83 10 10 10 9.565217 Question-7 7.821 9.875 6.821 7. Index of each question with respect to college wise is computed for the purpose of better assessment with authentic confirmation.

speaking requires some degree of real-time exposure to an audience. using L2 doesn’t make them feel as intelligent and friendly and charming as they felt in their native language. writing and listening activities. In general. In classes where some or all of the students share the same L1. They are attracted by the benefits of the learning English (L2) and at the same time they are repelled by the psychological factors that are mentioned above. Use English. All these reasons are psychological rather than something thing to do with the pedagogical or learning practices. irrespective of the level of their proficiency in an evidence to show that the students are more worried about making mistakes while speaking or writing. they may fall back on it when they could. Even the proficient speakers of the English fail to speak in public because of the nervousness. The students are comfortable with using their L1. The following suggestions may help the the teachers in getting the learners to overcome the Approach and avoidance conflict. scared of criticism of losing facts. Penny Ur says that Shyness and Inhibitions are the major problem faced in getting the students to talk in the classroom as unlike reading. Suggestions to help the students to overcome Approach-Avoidance Conflict: 1. or they are also worried about the external factors such as the mockery by the fellow students. (2002 Pg 31) People get used to using their native language and seeing themselves through their native language. Students are often inhibited about trying to say things in a foreign language in the classroom because they are worried about making mistakes. Minimising the corrections: Many teachers of English have impetuous tendency to correct any small error that a Student makes. with bit more effort. which is nothing but the Approach and Avoidance conflict among the students. We see it as the minimum responsibility of the teachers to correct the errors made by the student. Speaking in Public makes them nervous.Douglas. It is indeed the responsibility of the teacher to correct the . They feel frustrated as they try to speak. who are proficient in English. Hence the Teachers of the English should also ensure that the students overcome these psychological barriers to get the students to learn English (L2). They do so because it is easier and feels more natural to talk to each other in their own language (pg 118) Language Ego is one of the terms coined by Dr.

children have only wide angle lenses. They learn Language subconsciously.Rather than thinking in terms of correction. and this will probably be in cases where the teacher is aware that a learner is trying to formulate an accurate utterance. It is a well known fact that a Learner comprehends any concept that is taught by the fellow student than being taught by the teacher. Often this focus may not be so much on the mistake as on the rule or on the correct form. As Martin Parrot (2010) suggests that correction would rarely be appropriate where the emphasis was on communication. The Teacher should play the role of a facilitator instead of a teacher Feedback. students but the teachers are failing to realize the damage that is being done to the confidence levels of the students. and may take place sometime after the teacher has identified the problem. Group works Presence of an expert at the learners’ vicinity makes the students to be over conscious and some students hesitate to speak or write and some students refuse to speak or write in the presence of the Teacher. However.Doglas (2002) says that it is not necessary to stop studying grammar.e. the Teacher may create a few activities that require group work by the students and the teacher may stay away from the discussion or the activity. Using the same Principle. Teachers may prefer to think in terms of how best to develop their ability to communicate in the long term. We should always bias for the test i. Rama Matthew points out that those tests usually create negative reactions because they try to trap the student or worse still reinforce what students don’t know. as the correction would probably distract from the purpose of the activity (Pg 77). pronunciation and vocabulary. But still studying minor details is seen as tele lenses. Adults learn both consciously and unconsciously. give the students to demonstrate their best or their optimal ability. This of course goes against the popular practise of using tests as a . H.. 2. It is very easy for us to set tasks which are beyond the abilities of the students but which gives us an upper hand because we can assure ourselves that we know better than them. but is unsure about precisely what form this should take. (Pg 12) The effective one is to learn the language subconsciously rather than focusing on the micro details which incites the fear of making mistakes and thereby acting as a hindrance to the language learning. Only sometimes will this be best achieved by drawing their attention to make mistakes.

uk/article/neuro-linguistic-programming-elt. Strategies for Success: A practical guide to learning English. it can go a long way in getting rid of the fear of Learning L2. (1996).(2013). . K. 2.”Neurolinguistic Programming in ELT (2017) https://www. New York: McGraw Hill. Longman : New York (e-book) 6. Conclusion: So Students want to approach it because they know the advantages of learning English and at the same time they avoid it as the process demands confrontation with some painful experiences. Parrot. Hence. Mathew. 3. Lewin. References: New Delhi: Cambridge University Press. If the confidence levels of the students can be boosted by paving a way for them to score good grades in the examinations. Brown. 4. Steve Darn. some beliefs are disabling. UR. it is the responsibility of the teachers to focus upon the making the learning process a pleasurable one and the researchers have to focus upon this particular aspect rather than trying to find if listening is better or reading is better. PENNY.Doglas (2002). A Course in English Language Teaching. Methods of Teaching English: Evaluating Language Teaching and Learning”. (1935). weapon or wielding power. (Pg 27). (2010). In certain cultures. A dynamic theory of personality. So it is advisable to create the tests which are really easy to answer especially to the ESL (English as a Second Language) Learners and English as a Foreign Language Learners. what they want / need to know and don't want / need to know. 5. 3. Using NLP: “Values provide the basis for decisions about what is right and wrong. H. “Tasks for Language Teachers”.teachingenglish. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press. Rama. Martin. CIEFL: Hyderabad. in that they prevent learners adopting strategies such as risk-taking which teachers would like to encourage” (Steve Darn 2017) Activities based on NLP create a very friendly atmosphere between learner and the teacher.