Skip to content

Beliefs about language learning and their relationship to proficiency

by Matthew Peacock
International Journal of Applied Linguistics ()
Get full text at journal


This paper reports on a study that investigated the beliefs about language learning of 202 EFL students and 45 EFL teachers in the Department of English at the City University of Hong Kong. The primary aim of the study was to determine if the differences between student and teacher beliefs about language learning affect proficiency. Secondary aims were to develop hypotheses about the origins of Chinese learner beliefs about language learning, and to check the correlation between learner self-rated proficiency and tested proficiency. Data were collected using a 34-item self-report questionnaire (Horwitz's BALLI 2013 Beliefs About Language Learning Inventory), a comprehensive proficiency test, an interview, and a self-rated proficiency sheet. Results indicated that four of the mismatched learner beliefs negatively affected EFL proficiency: additionally, learner answers on seven other BALLI items were considered to have implications for the learning and teaching of EFL. It was concluded that a number of different learner beliefs were detrimental to language learning, and also that they resulted in many dissatisfied and frustrated students who could not understand the rationale behind the tasks they carried out in class.

Cite this document (BETA)

Readership Statistics

42 Readers on Mendeley
by Discipline
52% Social Sciences
33% Linguistics
12% Arts and Humanities
by Academic Status
29% Student > Master
21% Student > Ph. D. Student
17% Student > Doctoral Student
by Country
7% United States
5% United Kingdom
2% Japan

Sign up today - FREE

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research. Learn more

  • All your research in one place
  • Add and import papers easily
  • Access it anywhere, anytime

Start using Mendeley in seconds!

Sign up & Download

Already have an account? Sign in