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Previous research studies confirm that students with positive beliefs about language learning, good attitudes and high motivation are likely to be successful language learners.
Likewise, fostering and maintaining positive beliefs, good attitudes and motivation are important because the students can be propelled to their furthest language learning
potential. However, less is known what Thai EFL university students’ beliefs, attitudes and motivation are like and whether or not they have changed over time. This research
aimed to fill in this gap by using a cross-sectional research design to investigate these psychological variables among first-year to fourth-year undergraduate students of
Prince of Songkla University. The findings revealed that a marked change of beliefs, attitudes and motivation can be clearly observed as fluctuated over time. The mean
scores showed that the third-year students possessed the strongest beliefs, the most positive attitudes, and the highest motivation. One-Way ANOVA displayed statistically
significant differences of beliefs, attitudes and motivation among the students of all four years, (F(3, 228) = 9.51, p < .05), (F(3, 228) = 8.00, p <.05), and (F(3, 228) = 6.17, p <.05),
respectively. The Scheffe post hoc test also confirmed the differences among specific groups of students, that is, beliefs, attitudes and motivation of the third-year students
were higher than those of the first- and the fourth-year ones in a statistically significant way. It is interesting to note that the first-year students seemed not ready when compared
to the third-year students whose beliefs, attitudes, and motivation were relatively highly positive. Language teachers should therefore shape and foster positive beliefs, attitudes,
and motivation with regards to language learning in the first-year students. Additionally, curriculum developers and administrators are challenged to reconsider English language
study plan so as to introduce English language courses to the time when students are psychologically ready to study.
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