Beliefs about English Language Learning, Attitudes and Motivation of Undergraduate Students of Prince of Songkla University, Surat Thani Campus

Main Article Content

Urairat Adithepsathit Jirada Wudthayagorn

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Article Details

Section
Research Article

References

Abedini, A., Rahimi, A., & Zare-ee, A. (2011). Relationship between Iranian EFL learners’ beliefs about language learning, their language learning strategy use and their language proficiency. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 28: 1029-1033.

Ajzen, I. (1988). Attitudes, personality and behaviour. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

Bagherzadeh, H. (2012). Language learning beliefs of non-English majors: Examining the role of English Language Proficiency. Journal of Language Teaching and Research. 3(4):784-792.

Bandura, A. (1995). Self-efficacy in changing societies. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Barcelos, A. M. F. (2003). Researching beliefs about SLA: A critical review. In P. Kalaja & A.M.F. Barcelos (Eds.). Beliefs about SLA: New research approaches (pp. 7-33). The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Press.

Bartram, B. (2010). Attitudes to modern foreign language learning: Insight from comparative education. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Chirdchoo, O., & Wudthayagorn, J. (2001). Beliefs about learning EFL: A study of Thai female high school students. PASAA: 32(December 2001): 82-94.

Dörnyei, Z. (1998). Motivation in second and foreign language learning. Language Teaching. 31: 117-135.

Dörnyei, Z. (2008). The psychology of the language learner: Individual differences in second language acquisition. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Eagley, A. H., & Chaiken, S. (1998). Attitude structure and function. In D. T. Gilbert & G. Lindzey (Eds.). The handbook of social psychology (pp. 269-322). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Elias, B. (2017). Foreign language learning anxiety: The case of trilinguals. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ). 8(1): 234-249.

Elkhafaifi, H. (2005). Listening comprehension and anxiety in the Arabic language classroom. The Modern Language Journal. 89(2): 206-220.

Eshghinejad, S. (2016). EFL students’ attitudes toward learning English language: The case study of Kashan University Students. Cogent Education. 3(1): 1-13.

Gardner, R. C. (1985). Social psychology and second language learning: The role of attitudes and motivation. London: Edward Arnold.

Gardner, R. C. (2004). Attitude/Motivation Test Battery: International AMTB research project for English as a foreign language [Online]. Availble: http://publish.uwo.ca/~gardner/

Gardner, R. C., & Lambert, W. E. (1972). Attitudes and motivation in second-language learning. Rowley. MA: Newbury House.

Griffiths, C. (2008). Strategies and good language learners. In C. Griffiths (Ed.), Lessons from good language learners (pp. 83-98). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Horwitz, E. K. (1987). Surveying student beliefs about language learning. In A. Wenden & J. Rubin (Eds.). Learner strategies in language learning (pp. 119-129). London, UK: Prentice-Hall International.

Horwitz, E. K. (1988). The Beliefs about Language Learning of Beginning University Foreign Language Students. Modern Language Journal. 72(3): 283-294.

Horwitz, E. K. (2001). Language anxiety and achievement. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. 21: 112-126.

Horwitz, E. K. (2010). Foreign and second language anxiety. Language Teaching. 43(2): 154-167.

Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B., & Cope, J. (1986). Foreign language classroom anxiety. The Modern Language Journal. 70(2): 125-132.

Hu, M., & Nation, I. S. P. (2000). Vocabulary density and reading comprehension. Reading in a Foreign Language. 13(1): 403-430.

Jafari, S. S. (2013). Motivated learners and their success in learning a second language. Theory and Practice in Language Studies. 3(10): 1913-1918.

Kalajahi, S. A. R., Nimehchisalem, V., & Pourshahian, B. (2012). How do English language learners apply language learning strategies in different proficiency levels? A case of Turkish EFL students. Language in India. 12(10): 187-203.

Kojima, C. (2014). The beliefs and practices of good language learners. . 12(62): 11-28.

Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (2006). How languages are learned (3 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Oroujlou, N., & Vahedi, M. (2011). Motivation, attitude and language learning. Social and Behavioral Sciences. 29: 994-1000.

Oxford, R. L. (1990). Language learning strategies: What every teacher should know. New York: Newbury House.

Peng, J.-E. (2011). Changes in language learning beliefs during a transition to tertiary study: The mediation of classroom affordances. System. 39: 314-324.

Rifai, N. A. (2010). Attitude, motivation, and difficulties involved in learning the English language and factors that affect motivation in learning it. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2(2): 5216-5227.

Rubin, J. (1975). What the “good language learner” can teach us. TESOL. 9(1): 41-51.

Stern, H. H. (1975). What can we learn from the good language learner? Canadian Modern Language Review. 31: 304-318.

Tremblay, P. F., & Gardner, R. C. (1995). Expanding the motivation construct in language learning. The Modern Language Journal. 79(4): 505-518.

UNESCO. (2013). PISA results show the power of better education policies [On-line]. Available: www.unescobkk.org/education/resources/resources/newsletters/epm-issue23-december2013/

Ushioda, E. (2008). Motivation and good language learners. In C. Griffiths (Ed.). Lessons from good language learners (pp. 19-34). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wahyudi, R. (2014). What does good language learners (GLL) say about foreign language learning? A story from an Indonesian learner. Advances in Language and Literary Studies. 5(1): 1-5.

Wenden, A. L. (1987). How to be a successful language learner: Insights and prescriptions from L2 learners. In A. Wenden & J. Rubin (Eds.). Learner strategies in language learning (pp.103-117). London, UK: Prentice-Hall International.

White, C. (2008). Beliefs and good language learners. In C. Griffiths (Ed.). Lessons from good language learners (pp. 121-130). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wong, L. L. C., & Nunan, D. (2011). The learning styles and strategies of effective language learners. System. 39 (2): 144-163.

Yang, A., & Lau, L. (2003). Student attitudes to the learning of English at secondary and tertiary levels. System. 31: 107-123.

Yunus, M. M., & Abdullah, N. R. K. R. B. (2011). Motivation and attitudes for learning English among year six students in primary rural school. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 15: 2631-2636.