Language Learner Beliefs In An English As A Lingua Franca (ELF) Context

Bakhtiar Naghdipour


With the advent of learner-centered approaches to second or foreign language teaching, the research on learners’ beliefs or what learners bring into the classroom in terms of their prior knowledge and experiences, their expectations, and their attitudes towards different aspects of language learning has gained momentum. Learners may, for example, develop core beliefs about language learning that undergo change or otherwise resist change when moving to a new learning context. This study examines overseas Iranian undergraduate students’ (n = 160) beliefs about language learning in an English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) context and investigates the impact of the old and new learning environments on shaping or affecting these beliefs. The data form a survey and a semi-structured interview revealed that the students’ previous learning experiences and the socio-political factors of the old learning context affected the shaping of the trajectory of their belief development. The results also suggested that the new learning environment hardly affected the students’ core beliefs about language learning and in some cases even consolidated them. The paper concludes with a discussion of the main findings and offers several implications for further research and practice.

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