A Foucaultian interpretation of Foreign Language Anxiety towards English & Arabic in schools & madrasahs of Postcolonial India
Keywords:FLA, English as the Second Language, Arabic as the Third Language, FLCAS, Power Discourses, Inferiority Complex, Superiority Complex, Acculturation Model.
The paper logically & theoretically analyses the difference in Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA) towards English, the Second Language & Arabic, the Third Language as observed during primary data collection from students and concerned subject teachers of West Bengal schools & madrasahs through classroom observations, interviews & the modified version of Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS). As towards English, no self-intimidation or anxiety was observed towards Arabic despite their acute incompetence in the latter and better acquaintance with the former due to incessant infiltration of Western knowledge & technology. Furthermore, whereas English bears colonial roots, Arabic has religio-cultural roots in India. The paper appropriates Foucault’s theory on ‘power discourse’ and Adler’s views on “inferiority & superiority complexes” to logically analyse the colonial and the cultural paradigms as “extra-lingual variables” responsible for the difference in FLA towards the two foreign languages being taught in India- English & Arabic. The researcher suggests Schumann’s “Acculturation Model of Second Language Acquisition” as a solution to the proposed problem.