Faculty Publications

Title

Investigating Japanese learners' beliefs about language learning

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Beliefs, Cognitive style, Language attitudes, Language culture relationship, Learning processes, Metacognition, Second language instruction, Second language learning, Self-concept, Self-evaluation

Journal/Book/Conference Title

System

Volume

27

Issue

4

First Page

473

Last Page

492

Abstract

This article reports on a study of the beliefs about language learning of almost 1300 Japanese university learners of English. The primary aims of the study were: (1) to validate a questionnaire, developed for the Japanese context and written in Japanese, on a variety of beliefs (e.g. person, task, strategy, achievement) about language learning; (2) to investigate the value of interview data to complement and explain questionnaire data; and (3) to describe the beliefs about language learning of Japanese learners of English and to determine, through factor analysis, how those beliefs are organized. One of the principal findings of the study is that without complementary sources of data, learners' responses to questionnaires such as the one developed for this study can be easily misinterpreted as evidence of instrument unreliability. The study found evidence that many of the respondents' beliefs about learning English correspond to the distinction which many teachers would make between traditional and contemporary approaches to language teaching and learning. The article concludes by describing how data on learners' beliefs can inform efforts at policy and program evaluation.

Original Publication Date

1-1-1999

DOI of published version

10.1016/S0346-251X(99)00046-9

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