Springer Shop Bolero Ozon. New Research Approaches P. Everything means, is understood as a part of a greater whole - there is a constant interaction between meanings, all of which have the potential of conditioning others. Which will affect the other, how it will do so and in what degree is what is actually settled at the moment of utterance. This dialogic imperative, mandated by the pre-existence of the language world relative to any of its current inhabitants, It means that a specified state of fact or law is accepted or rejected, that it is something proper to be affirmed or at least acquiesced in.
We adopt it here for the purpose of classification of the following studies.
LINGUIST List 15.1486
The normative approach is characterized by the use of Likert-scale questionnaires in the investigation of learner beliefs. Horwitz , used this item questionnaire to explore students', teachers', and pre-service teachers' beliefs. For example, three large-scale American studies assessing teacher and student opinion on a variety of issues related to language learning Horwitz, ; Kern, ; Mantle-Bromley, produced similar results, though a few items differed such as:.
Studies undertaken by Chawhan and Oliver , Cotterall , Kim-Yoon and Yang extended their research into different contexts. Chawhan and Oliver investigated the beliefs of 54 overseas learners in Australia, Cotterall examined almost respondents in New Zealand; Kim-Yoon identified the beliefs of EFL learners in Korea, while Yang explored the beliefs of over students in Taiwan.
The findings of these studies suggested that learner beliefs about language learning are context-specific. The results also indicated that there were significant differences between groups of diverse language background students. These studies support the fundamental arguments raised by previous researchers that understanding of learner beliefs can enhance the language learning process. For instance, Sakui and Gaies investigated 1, Japanese EFL learners' beliefs at public and private institutions of higher education using their own instrument.
The study aimed to validate a item questionnaire and examine the value of interview data to complement and explain the questionnaire data, and to describe Japanese learners' beliefs, as well as to determine the organization of these beliefs. Their findings suggest that beliefs about language learning are dynamic and situationally conditioned.
The results provided a tentative support for the view that Japanese learners have internalized a coherent set of beliefs about methodological options for the EFL classroom instruction. A number of research studies on language learner beliefs adopted the metacognitive approach in their inquiries e. Wenden a, b, , , conducted important studies within this framework, and described beliefs as stable, statable, although sometimes incorrect knowledge that learners acquired about language, learning and the language learning process Wenden, Employing semi-structured interviews and self-reports to collect data, Wenden explored learners' explicit prescriptive beliefs with the purpose of determining whether the learners held such beliefs, and if so, what those were, whether those beliefs were reflected in what learners reported they did to learn a second language, and finally, what the significance of such beliefs was.
The participant group comprised 25 adults who had recently arrived in the USA and were enrolled in the advanced level classes of a language program at a university. The findings revealed that learners held prescriptive beliefs, which Wenden categorized into three main groups. The first group was the importance of using the language in a natural way by practicing as often as possible, thinking in the second language and living and studying in an environment where the target language was spoken. The second group was concerned with the learning about the language such as learning grammar and vocabulary, taking a formal language course, learning from mistakes, and being mentally active.
The third group emphasized the importance of personal factors such as the emotional aspect, self-concept and aptitude for learning. Others were themes that could expand into separate sets of beliefs, for example, the role of culture. The researcher drew a conclusion that such differences lead to the development of "a more comprehensive and representative set of beliefs" Wenden, , p. To expend an understanding of the function of metacognitive knowledge in language learning, Goh investigated forty ESL learners' metacognotive awareness about listening.
She accessed to this knowledge by asking learners to keep a 'listening diary' where they described the way they listen, react to, and perceive the information. In her study, Goh applied the same classification of metacognitive knowledge as Wenden used in her study: She also developed subcategories for each of these three main groups. The study revealed that the learners had a high degree of metacognitive awareness and were conscious of their learning strategies in listening. As it is seen from the data, the students were able to both observe their cognitive processes as well as articulate their beliefs about learning to listen in English.
One of the strengths of this research is that learners become aware of their learning styles, strategies and beliefs that could lead them to improve their own learning processes in other contexts. A number of research studies have employed the contextual approach to explore language learning beliefs Allen, In this approach, beliefs are viewed as embedded in students' contexts. Research studies within the contextual approach are qualitative in nature and contribute to an interpretive paradigm.
The contextual approach uses ethnography, narratives, and metaphors Kramsch, White contributed to the body of research by undertaking a longitudinal study of 23 novice distance learners of Japanese and Spanish. The five phases of the research study aimed to develop an understanding of the way learners experience, interpret and present their experiences of a non-classroom, solo context for language learning. The results of the study revealed three central constructs: In this study, the students viewed self-instruction as requiring the use of their cognitive abilities in order to create an effective working relationship with the target language learning materials.
The study reports that while the majority of learners shifted from external to internal locus of control during their experience in a new learning context, a small group of learners retained an external locus of control. The research suggests that some individual differences between learners may be accountable for less predisposing to be able to adjust to language learning in a less conventional context. The study also reveals that learner predispositions contribute to how learners conceptualize and experience their initial self-instructed learning. To better understand the complex area of learner beliefs about language learning, Benson and Lor proposed to take into consideration three levels of analysis: The authors explored whether or not a higher order of conceptions of language and language learning could be identified, and whether the notion of approaches to language learning could help understand the functions of beliefs in context.
Based on their research with 16 first-year undergraduates, they found that learners' conception of the object and process of learning were influential in the learner's beliefs, and subsequently learning strategies.
The researchers showed that conception of learning constitutes a higher level of abstraction than beliefs. In their view, a conception of learning is significant because it helps to classify learner beliefs, and the approach to learning forms the level at which conception and beliefs function. The notion of approaches to learning seems central to perceiving the ways in which conception and beliefs are open to modification. Benson and Lor discovered that in order to modify beliefs, the learner must also modify the underlying conceptions on which they are based and pay attention to the context in which they function.
This conclusion could provide practical implications for language teachers who need to know whether their learners' beliefs are functional or dysfunctional, and how dysfunctional beliefs can be changed. However, the authors have not suggested how one can "modify an underlying conception.
Review: Applied Ling: Kalaja & Ferreira Barcelos (2003)
The abovementioned studies point to the researchers' different ontological and epistemological assumptions, which are clearly reflected in their research paradigms. The diversity of theoretical frameworks in language learner beliefs research creates a rich tapestry of complimenting studies.
However, none are without limitations. On one hand, while quantitative, etic research methods in the normative approach provide clarity and precision through the use of well-designed questionnaires and descriptive statistics, can include a large number of respondents and afford them anonymity, they do have limitations. The beliefs profiled in normative studies are only those identified by the researcher and therefore, are not all the beliefs learners might hold about language learning.
There is also potential for misunderstanding of questionnaire items. On the other hand, qualitative, emic research methods such as those used in the metacognitive and contextual approach, or the discursive approach Kalaja, , are most often studies of small-scale, in-depth, descriptive and interpretive analyses. They can include, inter alia, interview techniques, journal or diary entries, use of metaphors, and classroom observations. They also allow for triangulation of data. However, the limitations of such studies are reflected by selectivity of data, a degree of interpretive subjectivity, and context-specificity resulting in lack of application to broader SLA contexts.
Consequently, the choice of research methodology in language learner beliefs studies will depend on the investigator's purpose and questions of enquiry, as well as the adopted view of the nature and function on learner beliefs. Since beliefs about language learning have been found to have a significant impact on the language learner, the focus here is on various possible teaching implications reported by the literature.
Preconceived beliefs may directly influence or even determine a learner's attitude or motivation, and precondition the learner's success or lack of success Kuntz, Supportive and positive beliefs help to overcome problems and thus sustain motivation, while negative or unrealistic beliefs can lead to decreased motivation, frustration and anxiety Kern, ; Oh, Many successful learners develop insightful beliefs about language learning processes, their own abilities, and the use of effective learning strategies, which have a facilitative effect on learning.
Students who believe, for example, that learning a language primarily involves learning new vocabulary will spend most of their energy on vocabulary acquisition, while older learners who believe in the superiority of younger learners probably begin language learning with fairly negative expectations of their own ultimate success.
In addition, an unsuccessful learning experience may likely lead students to the conclusion that special abilities are required to learn a foreign language and that they do not possess these necessary abilities Horwitz, Such beliefs can also inhibit learners' perceptiveness to the ideas and activities presented in the language classroom, "particularly when the approach is not consonant with the learners' experience" Cotterall, , p.
Kern found that differences between student and teacher beliefs might create tension in the classroom; and Yang , in her review of foreign language anxiety research, promotes learner beliefs as one of six primary variables affecting anxiety. As negative beliefs can lead to dissatisfaction with the course and anxiety, Mantle-Bromley suggests that if teachers attend to the affective and cognitive components of students' attitudes as well as develop defendable pedagogical techniques, they may be able to increase both the length of time students commit to language study and their chances of success in it.
However, Stevick argues that success depends less on the materials and teaching techniques in the classroom and more on what goes on inside the learner. As a result of various research findings that indicate learners hold both facilitative and inhibitive beliefs about language learning, teaching implications have become a primary concern. Researchers have suggested possible measures teachers might take to promote positive beliefs in the classroom and eliminate the negative ones.
Horwitz points out that while teachers cannot tailor instruction to each belief of each student, and must out of necessity deal with groups of students, the investigation of beliefs which inform different behaviors in the language classroom is useful in making teachers aware of different learner types that need to be accommodated.
Additionally, Wenden a proposes that if we are to discover what characterizes successful language learning, we need to discover what students believe or know about their learning and provide activities that would allow students to examine these beliefs and their possible impact on how they approach learning. Discovering students' attitudes and beliefs is possible, as it is generally accepted that language learners are capable of bringing this knowledge to consciousness and articulating it Willing, ; Kalaja, ; Hosenfeld, No doubt, such dialogues are important since they form an essential component for gaining firsthand insight into learners' conceptual frameworks in second or foreign language acquisition.
Consequently, Kalaja suggests using the discursive approach of social psychology to the study of learner beliefs, pointing to discourse analysis as a "more sensitive [method] than the traditional methods of data collection.
TESL-EJ -- Beliefs about Language Learning
Other recommendations come from Bassano , who recognizes that students have different needs, preferences, beliefs, learning styles, and educational backgrounds, but argues that the imposition of change upon these factors can lead to negative reactions. The author offers teachers six steps towards dealing with student beliefs:. Morgan suggests that four aspects of classroom persuasion should be considered in attempting to change students' attitudes and beliefs:.
While the suggestions provide sound pedagogical advice and reflect a humanistic approach to language teaching, it is not clear to what extent, if any, they will have an effect on the learner's beliefs about language learning. There is currently a paucity of literature on intervention methods in classroom research that report on the degree of success such methods might have in changing learner beliefs. Some researchers suggest the need for studies on how beliefs differ across learners, particularly in terms of individual differences Horwitz, ; Wenden, ; Rifkin, Yet, interdisciplinary research has already shown clearly that beliefs are fairly stable in the populations that have been tracked over time, and that they are a real part of people's personality Furnham et al.
So far, attempts to answer the riddle of beliefs' origins and shaping factors in the literature have produced a number of explanations. Some are results of empirical research, though many refer to inference, anecdotal evidence, or generalized assumptions. The origins of learning beliefs have been assumed to be acquired consciously as well as unconsciously Larsen-Freeman, and derive from a number of origins at various stages of one's life. Factors that have been thought to determine or influence learner beliefs are numerous and include:.
In addition, Rifkin's 3-year BALLI study found that the level of language instruction, the nature of language studied, and the type of educational institution also played a role in shaping learner's beliefs, but that "individual learner differences such as personality. Another shaping factor is cultural difference deriving from learner backgrounds. For example, Prudie, Hattie and Douglas found "clear differences" between Australian and Japanese high school students' conceptions of learning p.
Truitt found that Korean university students studying EFL held different beliefs than those in Horwitz's , original study both of Americans studying foreign languages and of international students studying English in the U. The beliefs reported by Truitt's study were also different than those of other research Park, ; Yang, , Truitt interpreted these differences as possibly culturally based. However, Horwitz concluded that it was premature to explain inter-group belief differences in terms of culture; the differences likely reflect the relative status of language learning in the various countries and indicate that social, political, and economic forces can also influence learner beliefs Dias, ; Horwitz, Further, she notes that if significant intra-group differences in beliefs exist, these could also be explained in terms of learning setting and individual characteristics, which may include personality.
In fact, a number of studies found beliefs to be related to such stable factors as one's personality traits. In early psychological literature, Fishbein and Ajzen reviewed a number of studies in which personal factors trait inferences played a major role in the formation of inferential beliefs.
More recently Langston and Sykes found that that the "Big Five" traits of personality extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness strongly related to subjects' general beliefs about people and the world. Moreover, Pratt found that effects of cultural belief differences depend on personality and vice-versa. To this end, a study by Alexander and Dochy examined subjects' personal theories of what constitutes knowledge and beliefs, what factors shape these beliefs, and whether these were believed to be stable or subject to change.
The sample consisted of 54 adults. The researchers classified the conditions that shaped one's beliefs, presented by their respondents, into factors that appeared to influence one's beliefs. Specifically, factors were generated by the adults in their sample, classified into five categories:. It is interesting that approximately one in five responses fell under the "personality" category, indicating that subjects believed personality traits to be the key factor in shaping beliefs.
To a number of respondents, whether beliefs changed or not, involved aspects of personality e. A quotation from one of the expert study participants succinctly concluded: Yet, little research has been done that involves investigations into the stability of beliefs and effects of instructional interventions based on students' beliefs about language learning. Peacock's longitudinal study investigated changes in the beliefs about language learning held by trainee ESL teachers over their 3-year program at the City University of Hong Kong.
It was hoped that while trainees might have had some mistaken ideas about language learning at the beginning of the program, these beliefs would change as they studied TESL methodology. Data were collected using the BALLI, and upon its analysis Peacock reported, "Disturbingly, no significant changes were found" , p. This research has shown that subjects failed to "update" their beliefs in response to new evidence with bearing on previously held beliefs. In cognitive theory, for beliefs to be "updated," a certain condition exists namely:.
This represents a significant potential complication and raises ethical concerns, as until now language teachers were assumed to be able to simply take on the role of educational "psychotherapists'" and rid students of their "irrational" and "destructive" beliefs. However, Mantle-Bromley notes that "we do not yet know enough about the nature of incoming students' beliefs to design effective curricular intervention addressing those beliefs p. Furthermore, since learner attitudes and beliefs about language learning "may be quite well entrenched" Kern, , p.
Paradoxically, while Holec claims that "a deconditioning process is necessary for students to rid themselves of ineffective and harmful preconceived notions of language learning" p. This paper has attempted to illuminate the complex nature of beliefs, including the social, cultural, contextual, cognitive, affective, and personal factors that shape them.
It has provided a synopsis of research conducted on the beliefs of second and foreign language learners in various contexts, using a number of approaches. It has also outlined a few interdisciplinary studies which could provide a foundation for further research into learner beliefs. It is argued that such a foundation is crucial if we are to address beliefs in the classroom context and fully understand their impact. We expect discussions to be informal and interactive; and the author of the book discussed is cordially invited to join in.
New Research Approaches Message 1: New Research Approaches Date: Mon, 10 May Kluwer Academic Publishers, Educational Linguistics 2.
This book offers an insight into this growing research area by providing the reader with a useful summary of the state-of-the-art in the field on the one hand, and in-depth individual research studies on beliefs about SLA on the other hand. The collection is a result of a colloquium held at the annual meeting of the British Association of Applied Linguists in Cambridge in September In addition to four papers from this conference, the editors included five reports on other recent research on beliefs about SLA.
It should be noted that the individual contributions can be read independently, depending on the reader's interest, even though I think that only the whole collection gives justice to the complexity of the research area. In addition to the preface by Leo van Lier , the introductory chapter, and the conclusion by the two editors, the volume contains nine articles on research on beliefs about SLA.
There is both a useful Subject and Author Index. The book is divided into three sections. Section 1 discusses key issues in the research area. Section 2 focuses on research into students' beliefs about SLA, whereas Section 3 deals with students' as well as teachers' beliefs about SLA. They report that, since the comparatively late arrival of beliefs as a research topic in Applied Linguistics in the mid s, there has been growing interest in this research area.
The increase in research into beliefs about SLA went hand in hand with the shift in focus from the teaching to the learning perspective, and thus to the learners. Earlier research on beliefs has been influenced by Cognitive Psychology and can be described by three main characteristics: However, this collection of articles reports on more recent research on beliefs, which takes a different stance. The studies in this volume differ from the earlier research by seeing beliefs as ''socially constructed and variable rather than stable in nature'' p.
The novice as well as the expert in beliefs about SLA will find her critical overview of research on beliefs as well as on the different labels and definitions for the concept very useful. Barcelos then groups these studies according to the researcher's respective definition of beliefs, methodology, the relationship between beliefs and actions, and their advantages and limitations, into three categories: Grounded studies allow meaning to emerge from the data compared to studies which apply a priori categories as a framework for analysis.
It follows that it is, in particular, the contextual approach that forms the uniting framework to the studies collected in the present volume. Typical features of the contextual approach are its understanding of beliefs as contextual, dynamic and social. Studies within the contextual approach use a variety of different methodologies.
With regard to the relationship between beliefs and actions, these studies investigate beliefs within the context of their actions. The main advantage of the contextual approach lies in its emic perspective, thus taking into account students' own words as well as the context of their actions. Its greatest drawback is that this type of research is very time-consuming and, consequently, can be conducted with small samples only.