Decreasing the phobia of English in secondary level education

Project Report, 2015

39 Pages, Grade: A


Table of Content

1 Chapter- 1
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Objective
1.3 Literature Review
1.4 Data for Study
1.5 Methods
1.5.1 Questionnaire Method
1.5.2 Interview Method
1.5.3 Observation Method

2 Chapter- 2
2.1 Findings of the research
2.1.1 Class observation First classroom Second Classroom Third classroom
2.1.2 Definition of Phobia and It’s category Why should we call this “Specific situational Phobia”?
2.1.3 Students Phobic to English
2.1.4 Phobia of English as an academic subject
2.1.5 Influence of Phobia on Language skill
2.1.6 Phobia of Teacher Phobia of teacher among the passed students Phobia of teacher among the students who got (A) in recent Exam
2.1.7 Influence of Phobia on Results
2.1.8 Phobia of an Academic subject builds the phobia of language
2.1.9 Students bored to teacher
2.1.10 “Teaches with fun” contradicts with observation
2.1.11 Major Question bar Diagram from the questionnaire
2.1.12 Social Parameters
2.1.13 Long Term effect of Phobia

3 Chapter-3
3.1 Specifying the causes of Phobia
3.1.1 Causes of Phobia

4 Chapter-4
4.1 Decreasing the phobia of English
4.1.1 Suggestions to decrease the phobia

5 Chapter-5


6 Chapter-6

Works Cited


I hereby declare that this research paper is the outcome of my own investigation as well as has not been submitted partially or fully for any other diploma or degree at any university.


Nur Uddin Al Masud


Decreasing the phobia of English as a subject has been an important issue for the teachers to bring excellent outcome from the students. Since the beginning of language teaching in Bangladesh, Phobia of English has become a critical problem for the students as well as teachers. My Intention is to find out the reason of the Phobia of English Language by analyzing obtained data as well as to suggest some tips for decreasing the Phobia. I will conduct my research on high school level students and try to identify the major causes of Phobia among the Phobic students.

1.1 Introduction

English Is an International Language. According to British Council, “English has official or special status in at least 75 countries. English is spoken as a first language by around 375 million and as a second language by around 375 million speakers in the world”. In Bangladesh, 18 % people are using English as second language. Many schools, colleges and universities provide their education in English medium. Out of these institutions there are many schools and colleges teach English as a separate subject. A subject contains first paper and second paper. Teachers come to classroom and take the class as syllabus indicates. Students are supposed to capture the lecture and take notes on the topic. Therefore, most of them are tied in a syllabus. They get familiarity with the syllabus and try to follow the syllabus to pass the examination. In this journey of education many of them can pass the exam, but if you ask them to speak English or write freehand on a topic, shockingly their hands will not response at all. My research paper is on those students who can’t write or speak English freely and phobic to English Language.

I have completed my research on 100 students from a high school. I asked them questions and tried to find out answers that they were really fearful to English Language or not. Surprisingly I was taken aback by the result of my research. Students who are frequently getting A or Passed in their subjects, they don’t carry that quality in their language skills (Reading, Listening, and Speaking). This is an alarming for the nation that, their students are growing as good students by results and certificate, but many of them are not skilled that they should be. I asked those students some questions that relate them with Phobia of English. The Implication of this research guides us to work on student’s Psychology along with teaching methods.

1.2 Objective

The objective of this research article is to find out the causes of Phobia in English language among the target group.

1.3 Literature Review

The author has tried to make an intensive review of related literature about the factors which are affecting students as well as their English achievement at the secondary level across the country and beyond. Several related researches on this topic were conducted in developing as well as developed countries but no specific research found on phobia of English language. In developing countries some researchers showed that school factors were more important for student’s English achievement than family factors. Regarding Bangladesh, there is no specific study on the issue Phobia which can indicates student’s mental condition and shows some solutions. Hasan (2005) completed a linguistic study on the ‘‘English Language Curriculum at the Secondary Level in Bangladesh’’ He found 82% of rural and urban secondary school students complain that English is not sufficiently used in the class; with an average 68% of teachers admitting that they do not arrange the practice of the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) of English language in the classroom which could be one of the significant cause behind the phobia. No specific research has been found about Phobia of English language among secondary level students.

Therefore; further details investigation is necessary to reveal the factors behind phobia among the students at the secondary level of Bangladesh.

1.4 Data for Study

For collecting primary data 100 students of secondary school have been chosen. They include students from class 6 to class 10. I’ve taken some socio-linguistic parameter such as reading newspaper, watching news channel or English movies. Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, has been chosen to collect primary data from, because people from almost all districts gather here. Many people come here for their employment and their children get admitted in the schools here. I didn’t give importance on any special level of school such as good school by ranking. Because, my topic covers only those students who fear to Read, write and speak English as well as don’t acquire good result just because of some socio-psychological obstacles.

1.5 Methods

To illustrate the patterns and to find out the causes of the Phobia of English language of the target group the following sociolinguistic methods have been adopted.

1.5.1 Questionnaire Method

To conduct this research each of the respondents has been asked to fill up a questionnaire. The names and identities of the respondents have been symbolically used in this article in order to maintain confidentiality.

1.5.2 Interview Method

In this method the respondents have been asked to talk about class environment, teacher’s attitude towards them in class, their writing ability. I’ve chosen students who failed as well as students who got A+ in their very recent examination. And their narrations have been recorded.

1.5.3 Observation Method

I’ve observed the target group very closely to reveal the result of questionnaire method and interview method. Close observation method has helped me a lot to bring out the findings from the collected data.

Chapter -2

2.1 Findings of the research

The collected data have been analyzed by online data analysis tools. In some cases, the figures in bar diagrams and pie charts are explained with the help of information provided by the respondents individually. The information collected from interview and observation is used to explain the bar diagrams and pie charts. For explaining the data easily, I have divided 100 students in five different sets. Sets are, (i) set of students who got A+ (ii) set of students who got A (iii) set of students who passed by getting pass marks (iv) set of students who failed and finally (v) set of students who are Phobic to English. All sets are analyzed for gaining deeper findings from the research.

2.1.1 Class observations

I observed 3 classes when teachers were teaching English in their class room. I got some interesting point during class observation. First Classroom

In first class, teacher came to classroom and ordered them to show their home work. When teacher called one by one for correcting their exercise books, all of them looked fearful. Situation indicates that they were being punished or insulted during checking the homework. When teacher started the topic to teach, students looked attentive but they were not responding to the teacher’s question. They looked like they were not accustomed to co-operate with teacher during lecture. The response was poor. They looked indifferent by their attitude. After a while, they seemed very uneasy in classroom. Cause the topic was not catching them. I think teacher must make them catch the topic, their course teacher was teaching well on the topic but not much interesting and not so many examples were seen in his lecture. Second Classroom

Other class I observed was totally different. Students were active in their class and they were behaving easy with their teacher. Like their own friend is teaching them. They were responding to the teacher and participating in conversation in English with their teacher. I got amazed by this scene. I asked the teacher some questions about his teaching methods and his background. Well, he already taught in BBC JANALA PROGRAM directed by BBC where teachers teach with fun. Majority of his students answered positive in questionnaire session. Third Classrooms

In third classroom, I observed the teacher’s method of teaching and students co-operation with him. In this class, students were co-operative little but teacher was stopping his students to co-operate with him. These students were full of spirit, but their teacher was trying to chaining their spirit. He was teaching grammar with mentioning lots of rule after rule, giving little examples and writing the rules on board. Accept some students; all of them were in a circle of rule as if they were tired of writing the rules on their exercise book.

My class observation will reach to a final decision of identifying the cause and specifying them after having details on questionnaire analysis bellow.

2.1.2 Definition of Phobia and its categories

Phobia means dislike of something and strong fear of it. According to the American Psychiatric Association, “a phobia is an irrational and excessive fear of an object or situation”. According to the Psychiatrist, there are three kinds of Phobia seen among the people. 1. Social phobias—fear of social situations. 2. Agoraphobia—fears of being trapped in an inescapable place or situation. 3. Specific phobias—fear of a specific object (such as snakes). Specific Phobia has other four types. They are, (1) The natural environment—fear of lightening, water, storms etc. (2) Animal—fear of snakes, rodents, spiders, etc. 3.Medical—fear of seeing blood, receiving injections, visiting a doctor, etc. (4) Situational—fear of bridges, leaving the home, driving, etc.

Before defining the Phobia of English, I want to mention a definition of about phobia of an academic subject. They define this by mentioning the phobia of the subject Mathematics. According to, “Math anxiety is defined as feeling of anxiety that one cannot perform efficiently in situations that involve the use of mathematics. Although it is mostly associated with academics, it can apply to other aspects of life” They also said , “Math anxiety is an emotional problem, and it is characterized by intense nervousness before or during math tests. This interferes with a person's ability to optimally do math problems, thus morphing into an intellectual problem”

According to above definitions and psychological classification, we can define “Phobia of English Language” as a ‘ Specific situational phobia’. Specific phobia has four categories. The last one is ‘ Situational Phobia’ which include phobia created from any situation or action . So we can define this phobia as “specific situational phobia”. Why should we call this “Specific situational Phobia”?

Cause, this phobia depends on situation and environment. Students of schools are scared of their subject English. It is not because of English is hard to understand. Actually teachers unintentionally represent the subject as hard by his teaching method or attitude. That means the situation makes them fear English as a subject or Language. During my interview session with the students, I observed a nice thing, students who failed In English, they are speaking some nice English words when I asked them question. They try to adjust with the current world as well as try to speak English too. But the situation of their class room has been a great mental obstacle for them. Here, the problem is situation. That’s why I considered this phobia as Situational Phobia which indicates phobia of a specific social situation. In the next section of my findings, I will try to discuss them elaborately.

2.1.3 Students Phobic to English


1. Yes

2. No

3. Others (I don’t understand the question)

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1: Pie chart of those students who phobic to English

My first question in questionnaire was, are you afraid of the subject English? Among 100 students, 25% students answered that they are afraid of the subject English. This is a key point of my research paper. 25% students are afraid of their subject English. Above pie chart shows us the numbers of students who are afraid of the subject and who are not afraid of the subject. I mentioned in my abstract that my research paper is on those students only who are phobic to English language as their subject. I’ve already found the numbers of student phobic to English. Further analysis will make the concept clearer.

2.1.4 Phobia of English as an academic subject

English is an International Language. It has been taught in Bangladesh as a subject for academic purpose to grow a new generation which will be accustomed with Global village environment and serve the nation internationally as well as nationally. In Junior Schools (Primary) as well as Secondary schools (High Schools) English has been taught. Further academic level also includes the subject English. It has been taught In Higher Secondary Level too. I’ve selected secondary level for my research paper just because they are the 2nd important level from where the students build a milestone of their academic life. In Bangladesh, High school Graduate is certified as Secondary School Certificate (SSC). Many of students failed in this exam just because of the subject English. Failing in a subject has a cause behind it. Obviously that is the phobia of the subject.

2.1.5 Influence of Phobia on Language skills and results

When students start to become fearful to their subject, it indicates an obvious effect on their communicative skills as well as results too. I will show it with a bar diagram bellow.

Phobia of English Influences students and their communicative language skills such as Reading, Speaking and Listening.


1. Yes

2. No

3. Not Fluent

4. Fluent

5. Confident

6. Confused

7. Others

8. Little

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 2: Bar Diagram of Phobia and skills status of 100 students

From above bar diagram, we can get some important information. Such as, the number 25 is common among the numbers 36, 42 which means 36 students can’t read English well. 42 students don’t understand English when English has been spoken in front of them. Another number is 61(higher figure then previous), which indicates that 61 students can’t speak English. Among them 25 percent of students are afraid of their subject. It will be clear if you take a look on the pie chart of their results bellow.


1. A+

2. A

illustration not visible in this excerpt


Excerpt out of 39 pages


Decreasing the phobia of English in secondary level education
University of Information Technology & Sciences
Bachelor of Arts in English
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
1340 KB
The author of this text is not a native English speaker. Please excuse any grammatical errors and other inconsistencies.
Phobia, Decreasing the Phobia of English, Phobia of English, Students phobic to English
Quote paper
Nur Uddin Al Masud (Author), 2015, Decreasing the phobia of English in secondary level education, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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