The Relationship Between Socio-Economic Factors and the Academic Achievement of Students of Foreign Languages (The Case of the University of Jordan)
Nahed Emaish, University of JordanDepartement of French (Jordan)
Jordan is an Arab country in which English is the first foreign language. At the University of Jordan, in addition to English, other European and Asian languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese and Korean are also taught as foreign languages.
This paper aims to examine the relationship between socio economic factors of students of foreign languages at the University of Jordan and their academic achievement measured by their GPA.
The literature pointed to the need for linking between socioeconomic factors and foreign language learning (e.g.,Babikkoi & Binti Abdul Razak, 2014; Demmert, 1993).
Our research uses quantitative data based on an empirical study that applied a questionnaire to the total number of registered students in the bachelor level during the first semester of the academic year 2015/2016 at the Faculty of Foreign Languages. The total number of students who participated in this research is 2772. To achieve our objective, the data was subjected to statistical analyses by using T-test and ANOVA.
The findings reveal that gender is the most significant factor in predicting the academic performance of students. The results show that the differences between females’ and males’ cumulative GPA is statistically significant for the benefit of females. With reference to the personal choice of studying foreign languages, there was a significant difference in the cumulative GPA between students who chose to study foreign languages because of their personal choice and motivation and those who were obliged to study foreign languages because of their Tawjihi (high school) marks.
The analysis of variance (ANOVA) shows that there are no statistical differences in the cumulative average for student’s parents’ education or the family income. A possible explanation for the weak influence of parent’s education and the family income could be due to the fact that most of these languages are new and not common to all Jordanians regardless of their education or income.