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A Correlational Study of CALL College English Learners Beliefs about Language Learning, Learning Strategies and Their Academic Achievements Presented by:

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Presentation on theme: "A Correlational Study of CALL College English Learners Beliefs about Language Learning, Learning Strategies and Their Academic Achievements Presented by:"— Presentation transcript:

1 A Correlational Study of CALL College English Learners Beliefs about Language Learning, Learning Strategies and Their Academic Achievements Presented by: Wu Yongfei From Anhui University,Heifei,Anhui,China June, 2006

2 Contents Chapter1:Introduction Chapter2:Literature Review Chapter 3:Research Method Chapter 4:Findings and Discussions Chapter 5:Implications and Conclusions

3 Chapter1:Introduction

4 Clarifying the main terms: ( 1)beliefs about language learning: a component of metacognitive knowledge which includes all that individuals understand about themselves as learners and thinkers,including their goals and needs (Horwitz, 1987). (2) learning strategies: behaviors or actions which learners use to make language learning easier, faster, more enjoyable, more self-directed, more effective, and more transferable to new situations (Oxford,1990). (3)direct strategies: those strategies that directly involve the target language in the sense that they require mental processing of the language. The direct strategies are composed of memory strategies, cognitive strategies, and compensation strategies (Oxford,1990). (4)indirect strategies: strategies that provide indirect support for language learning through focusing,planning, evaluating, seeking opportunities, controlling anxiety, increasing cooperation and empathy and other means. The indirect strategies are composed of metacognitive strategies, affective strategies and social strategies (Oxford, 1990).

5 Chapter2:Literature Review Earlier researches: Oxford (1990a) synthesized existing researches on how the following eight factors influence the choice of strategies used among students learning a second language: (a) motivation, (b) gender, (c) cultural background, (d) attitudes and beliefs, (e) type of task, (f) age and L2 stages, (g) learning styles, (h) tolerance of ambiguity. Yangs (1992, 1999)correlational analysis identified a strong relationship between beliefs and strategy use. Specifically, self-efficacy beliefs were related to the use of various kinds of learning strategies, and beliefs about the nature and value of spoken English with the use of formal oral-practice strategies. Yang suggested that this relationship between beliefs and strategy use, should be viewed as cyclical rather than uni-directional. Wen (2001) explored the developmental patterns in motivation, beliefs and strategies through a three-year longitudinal study over seventy two second-year English majors at Nanjing University. The research indicated that the relations among motivation, beliefs and strategies are fairly stable. In addition, motivation affects beliefs and strategies, and beliefs affect strategies.

6 Chapter2:Literature Review This research This research was aimed at exploring college English learners beliefs in five areas including their beliefs about foreign language aptitude, the difficulty of language learning, the nature of language learning, learning and communication strategies, motivations and expectations (Horwitz, 1987).It was also intended to investigate how learners use strategies in their language learning process, including cognitive strategies, memory strategies, compensation strategies, metacognitive strategies, social strategies and affective strategies (Oxford, 1990). In addition, the relationship between learners beliefs, learning strategies, and their achievements was explored in this study.

7 Chapter 3:Research Method 3.1. Research questions : (1). What is the overall picture of the beliefs about foreign language learning held by the CALL college English learners in mainland China? What are the stronger beliefs and the weaker beliefs that they have? (2). What is the overall picture of the strategies used by the CALL college English learners in their foreign language learning? What strategies are preferred by the learners? (3). Is there any statistically significant correlation between the learners beliefs and their strategies? If any, what are the specific correlations between them (4). Do higher scorers and lower scorers in the English achievement tests significantly differ from each other in the beliefs about their language learning and the strategies used in their language learning?

8 Chapter 3:Research Method 3.2. Instrumentation : (1) Horwitzs (1987) Beliefs About Language Learning Inventory (BALLI) (2)Oxfords (1990) Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) (3)Two achievement tests

9 Chapter 3:Research Method Table 1: Internal consistency reliability estimates for BALLI Name of beliefsItems usedCronbachs alpha Beliefs about learning and communication strategies B7, B9, B13, B14, B18, B21, B22, B Beliefs about foreign language aptitude B1, B2, B10, B11, B16, B19, B30, B Beliefs about the nature of language learning B6, B8, B12, B17, B23, B27, B Beliefs about the difficulty of language learning B3-5,B15,B25,B Beliefs about motivations and expectations B20, B24, B29, B31, B Total0.7416

10 Chapter 3:Research Method Table 2: Internal consistency reliability estimates for SILL Name of beliefsItems usedCronbachs alpha Memory strategiesS1-5,S7-9,S14,S Cognitive strategiesS6,S11-13,S16-21,S23,S Compensation strategiesS25,S Metacognitive strategiesS10,S15,S22,S Affective strategiesS Social strategiesS Total0.8237

11 Chapter 3:Research Method 3.3. Data collection 184 copies of valid questionnaires were collected from 195 CALL college English learners at a national key university. All the subjects had studied English for 6 years in junior and senior high schools and about one more year at college. 111 males (63%) and 73 females (37%) All the questionnaires were distributed, administered and collected by the teachers of the students. It took the students about 20 minutes to complete the questionnaires.

12 Chapter 3:Research Method 3.4. Data analysis (1). To answer the first question, a descriptive statistic analysis, including frequencies, means, and standard deviation, item response frequencies were computed in order to find the information concerning the students beliefs on language learning. (2). To answer the second question, another descriptive statistic analysis, including frequencies, means, and standard deviation, item response frequencies were computed in order to find the information concerning the students use of learning strategies. (3).Pearson product moment correlation analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between the CALL college English learners beliefs about language learning and their learning strategies use. (4).Independent samples T-tests were made to find whether significant differences exist among higher scorers and lower scorers in the beliefs about their language learning and the strategies used in their language learning. All the analyses above were made with SPSS 12.0.

13 Chapter 4:Findings and Discussions 4.1. Descriptive analysis of the BALLI ItemsNMeanStd. Deviation Ranking order Beliefs about motivations and expectations Beliefs about foreign language aptitude Beliefs about the nature of language learning Beliefs about the difficulty of language learning Beliefs about learning and communication strategies

14 Chapter 4:Findings and Discussions 4.2. Descriptive analysis of the SILL: ItemsNMeanStd. DeviationRanking order Metacognitive strategies Cognitive strategies Memory strategies Social strategies Compensation strategies Affective strategies

15 Chapter 4:Findings and Discussions 4.3. Correlations between beliefs and strategies ItemsMemory strategies Metacognitive strategies Compensation strategies Social strategies Cognitive strategies Beliefs about aptitude.249** **.207**.244** Beliefs about motivations and expectations.205**.235**.356**.256**.164* Beliefs about the difficulty of language learning.186* * Beliefs about learning and communication strategies Beliefs about the nature of language learning

16 Chapter 4:Findings and Discussions 4.4. Independent samples T-tests of beliefs, strategies and achievements 1.Beliefs 3. AchievementsMean S.D.T-valueP Higher scorers Lower scorers StrategiesHigher scorers Lower scorers

17 Chapter 5:Implications and Conclusions Pedagogical implications Teachers are supposed to assume the responsibility to foster facilitative beliefs among the students and try to remove their debilitating beliefs. Strategy training should be based clearly on students' attitudes, beliefs, and stated needs. Teachers are also expected to help students develop integrative motivations which were found less strong than instrumental motivations in this study.

18 Chapter 5:Implications and Conclusions 5.2 Limitations of the present study and further research Firstly, the tools of collecting information concerning students beliefs and strategy use were restricted to questionnaires. A better understanding of the students beliefs and strategy use would be obtained if other qualitative methods like interview and classroom observation were used as complements. Secondly, the BALLI and the SILL are possibly culturally biased since they were originally designed for the students in the western countries. Finally, due to the limits of survey time and conditions, the data about the academic achievements of the subjects were adopted from two final examinations. The reliability and validity of the exam papers might not be ideal enough.

19 Chapter 5:Implications and Conclusions 5.3. Conclusions This research has provided a better understanding of the beliefs and learning strategy use made by the CALL college English learners in mainland China. In addition, it provided an empirical evidence for the correlation between the learners beliefs and their learning strategy use. Firstly, learners beliefs in motivations were correlated with all the strategies, indicating that a highly motivated leaner will take advantage of the strategies. Learners beliefs in aptitude were related to all strategies except metacognitive strategies. Secondly, the learners generally use the learning strategies to a moderate extent. Specifically, they use metacognitive strategies the most frequently and the affective strategies the least frequently. Finally, it has been found that the beliefs of the learners under this study are similar to those of the subjects in Yangs (1992) research since they share similar cultural backgrounds. Differences in their beliefs were also found in the difficulty of learning English, womens advantage over men in foreign language learning, etc., which may be attributed to the differences in situational factors.

20 Thank you for your attention!


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