Assessing EAP learners’ beliefs about language learning in the Australian context

| June 28, 2006
Title
Assessing EAP learners’ beliefs about language learning in the Australian context

Keywords: learner beliefs, language learning, context

Authors
Eva Bernat
Macquarie University, Australia

Bio Data
Eva Bernat has extensive experience in language teaching and language teacher education. She currently lectures on second language acquisition, bilingualism, cross-cultural communication, and business communication skills at Macquarie University. Her primary research interests include learner contributions to language learning – particularly metacognition and affect, personality psychology, as well as language teachers’ professional development. Eva holds a Bachelor of Adult Education (Language, Literacy & Numeracy), a Master of Arts in TESOL, and is in her final stages of a PhD in Applied Linguistics at Macquarie.

Abstract
This paper reports on a study of beliefs held by 262 English for Academic Purposes (EAP) language learners at an Australian University. The Horwitz’ (1987) BALLI was used to collect data, which was later compared with an American study of 156 EAP learners (Siebert, 2003). Data analysis using frequency statistics shows that beliefs about language learning reported by both study groups were similar in all categories. It was concluded that despite a small number of inter-group differences, it seems premature to conclude that beliefs about language learning vary by contextual setting. Rather, they are due to the effects of individuals’ complex metacognitive structure (as affected by a number of social, cultural, contextual, cognitive, affective, and personal factors) that is responsible for the nature and strength of these beliefs.

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 8 Issue 2