The Dynamic Nature of Learner Beliefs: The Relationship between Beliefs about EFL Learning and Proficiency in a Chinese Context

| March 24, 2012
Title
The Dynamic Nature of Learner Beliefs: The Relationship between Beliefs about EFL Learning and Proficiency in a Chinese Context

Keywords: Learner beliefs, proficiency, Chinese EFL learners, self-efficacy, the BALLI

Authors
Shaofeng Li
University of Auckland, New Zealand

Wenxia Liang
Hebei Teachers Unversity, China

Bio Data
Dr. Shaofeng Li is a lecturer in applied language studies at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. His research interests include form-focused instruction, the cognitive constraints of SLA (especially language aptitude and working memory), and language assessment.

Dr. Wenxia Liang is an associate professor in second language acquisition at Hebei Teachers University, China. She is also associate dean of the College of Foreign Languages at the University. Her research revolves around classroom SLA and individual learner differences.

Abstract
Notwithstanding a number of studies on L2 learner beliefs, there has been insufficient attention to how this individual difference (ID) variable is related to second language development. Also, there has been a call to adopt a dynamic approach to the role of individual difference variables in SLA, that is, conducting ID research in situational and cultural contexts (Dörnyei, 2009; Li, 2005). This study investigates the relationship between EFL learners beliefs about language learning and proficiency in a Chinese context. The participants were a hundred and forty-two EFL students from a large Chinese university. Three instruments were used: questionnaire, test, and interview. The data collected through the questionnaire were subjected to a factor analysis that generated six factors, which in turn were used in a multiple regression analysis as predictor variables for proficiency. The multiple regression analysis showed a clear relationship between the factor of self-efficacy and proficiency. The interview data provided further interpretations for such relationship; it also showed that the learners rejection of the primacy of grammar, vocabulary, and translation and the instrumental motivation they demonstrated were attributable to the idiosyncratic characteristics of this instructional and cultural context.
[private] See page: 177-211

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 14 Issue 1