On the Relation of Locus of Control, Social and Cultural Capital and Oral Proficiency Achievement of EFL Students:

Hamid Ashraf, Toktam Abtahi


Two areas of difficulty that almost all students might face while learning a second language are speaking and listening skills.  Individuals’ perceptions about the underlying main causes of their lives’ events which is called Locus of Control (LOC), has a great role in their activities as well as the interactions between individuals and socio-cultural environments. This study aims at investigating the relationship between social cultural capital, LOC and oral proficiency (listening and speaking) of Iranian EFL learners.  It also aims at examining the relationship between social cultural capital and LOC (internal and external). To meet this end, Social Cultural Capital Questionnaire (Pishghadam, Noghani & Zabihi, 2011) and the Persian version of  LOC questionnaire (Ghonsooly & Elahi, 2010) were administered to a sample of 100 upper intermediate EFL students from some language institutes in Mashhad, Iran. Both male (N=46) and female (N=54) students filled in two questionnaires. The participants’ Grand Point Averages (GPA) of their FL Listening and Speaking exams also served as an index of their oral proficiency achievement. The results of the statistical analyses revealed a positive correlation between social cultural capital, LOC, and students’ oral proficiency. The findings also demonstrated a significant relationship between social cultural capital and LOC.


Social capital, Cultural capital, Locus of control, Iranian EFL

Full Text:



Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In: John G. Richardson (ed.). Hand book of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education (pp. 241-258). New York: Greenwood.

Brown, H. D. (2001). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy (2nd ed.). NY: Pearson Longman.

Chastain, K. (1988). Developing second language skills, theory and practice. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers.

Dumais, S. A., & Ward, A. (2010). Cultural capital and first-generation college success. Poetics, 38(3), 245–265.

Duttweiler, P. C. (1984). The internal control index: A newly developed measure of locus of control. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 44, 209–221.

Findley, M. J., & Cooper, H. M. (1983). Locus of control and academic achievement: A literature review. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 419-427.

Ghonsooly, B., & Moharer, A. ( 2012). Examining the relationship between translation students’ locus of control and their translation achievement. .International Journal of Linguistics, 4 )2(.

Ghonsooly, B., & Elahi, M. (2011). On the relation of locus of control and L2 reading and writing achievement. English Language Teaching, 4 (4).

Ghonsooly, B., & Elahi, M. (2010). Validating locus of control questionnaire and examining its relation to General English (GE) achievement. The Journal of Teaching Language Skills (JTLS), 2( 1), 117-143.

Gopee, N. (2002). Human and social capital as facilitators of lifelong learning in nursing. Nurse Education Today, 22(8), 608-616.

Goyal, G. (2000). The relationship between locus of control and academic achievement and the role of gender (Master's thesis). Rowan University.

Heidari, F., & Khorasaniha, N. (2013). Delving into the relationship between LOC, MI, and reading proficiency. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 4 (1), 89-96.

Hosseini Fatemi, A., & Elahi, M. (2011). On the alleged relationship between locus of control, L2 reading achievement and use of language learning strategies. Ferdowsi Review, 1, 21-47.

Israel, G. D., Beaulieu, L. J., & Hartless, G. (2001). The Influence of family and community social capital on educational achievement. Rural Sociology, 66(1), 43-68.

Phares, E. J. (1965). Internal-external control as a determinant of amount of social influence exerted. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2(5), 642-647. doi: 10.1037/h0022710

Pishghadam, R., & Navari, S. (2009). Cultural literacy in language learning: Inrichment or derichment. International Conference on Languages. UITM of Malaysia.

Pishghadam, R., Noghani, M., & Zabihi, R. (2011). The construct validation of a questionnaire of social and cultural capital. English Language Teaching, 4(4).

Pishghadam, R., Noghani, M., & Zabihi, R. (2011). An application of social and cultural capital to English language learning. English Language Teaching, 4(3). Retrieved from: www.ccsenet.org/elt

Pishghadam R., & Zabihi, R. (2011). Foreign language attributions and achievement in foreign language classes. International Journal of Linguistics, 3(1): E2.

Pishghadam, R., & Zabihi, R. (2011). Social and cultural capital in creativity. Canadian Social Science, 7(2), 32-38.

Rotter J. B. (1990). Internal versus external control of reinforcement, a case history of variable. American Psychology, 45, 489-463.

Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80, 1-28.

Rotter, J. B. (1954). Social learning and clinical psychology. New York: Prentice Hall.

Saadat, M., Ghasemzadeh, A., Karami, S., & Soleimani, M. (2011). Relationship between self-esteem and locus of control in Iranian university students. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 31, 530 -535.

Scott, J. (2006). Sociology the key concepts. Routledge.

Serina N. B., Serin O., Sahin, F. S. (2010). Factors affecting the locus of control of the university students. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2, 449–452.

Severino, S., Aiello, F., Cascio, M., Ficarra, L., & Messina, R. (2011). Distance education: The role of self-efficacy and locus of control in lifelong learning. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 28, 705-717.

Tramonte, L., & Willms, J. D. (2010). Cultural capital and its effects on education outcomes. Economic of Education Review, 29, 200-213.

Tranter, D. (2006). Becoming self-conscious: Exploring habitus. Referred paper presented at AARE 2006 International Education Research Conference: Adeluide, University of Adelaide.

Twenge, M., Zhang, L., & Im, C. (2004). It’s beyond my control: A cross-temporal meta-analysis of increasing externality in locus of control, 1960-2002. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 8 (3), 308-319.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.3n.2p.242


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.