The Plasticity of Students’ Language Learning Beliefs: The Interplay of Gender, Grade and Educational Level
Journal of Language and Education, 2019, 5(4), 36-53. doi: 10.17323/jle.2019.9732
18 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2020
Date Written: December 20, 2019
Understanding learners’ epistemological beliefs as one of the core segments affecting students’ learning experiences is of cardinal importance both from the point of conveying new knowledge and acquiring it. In English language teaching, studying language learning beliefs has become a popular research area, with its genesis found in the seminal paper by Horwitz (1987), whose instrument (BALLI) was employed to collect the data in the present paper. In the under-researched context of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the current study explores the language learning beliefs of 233 elementary school and university students, taking into account the main and interaction effect of three factors: gender, grades, and educational level. Through ANOVA and MANOVA statistical analyses, the results revealed an insignificant main effect of gender and grades on the BALLI while the latter significantly affected one of the area of beliefs assessed by the test. Conversely, educational level demonstrated a significant main effect on both the BALLI and one area. Most importantly, the study showed interesting interplay among the three factors on the shaping of learners’ stances. These findings bring significant realization into the complexity of students’ beliefs as well as their ever-changing nature with relevant pedagogical implications for the field of second language acquisition.
Keywords: BALLI, beliefs, language learning, gender, grade, educational level
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