EFL Learners’ Beliefs about Language Learning along Gender, Further Education in Language Institutes & Different Proficiency Levels

Naemeh Nahavandi, Jayakaran Mukundan


The aim of the present study was to understand the beliefs of Iranian EFL learners’ about language learning. This study was an attempt to understand if there was any relationship between gender, proficiency level and further education in language institutes on beliefs about language learning. Accordingly, 369 EFL engineering students studying in Azad University of Tabriz, Iran were selected based on random sampling. Data were collected using two questionnaires: a demographical questionnaire, and the Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory (BALLI). Data were analyzed using ANOVA, LSD & t-test. The results of the study showed that the highest mean average among the five components of beliefs about language learning was nature of language learning (M=3.91), followed by Foreign Language Aptitude (M=3.85), Difficulty of Language Learning (M=3.42), Learning and Communication Strategies (M=3.35) and Motivation and Expectations (M=3.25). The findings showed that there was a significant difference between learners’ beliefs, gender and further education in language institutes. However, there was not any significant difference between learners’ beliefs and their proficiency level. The study concluded with some pedagogical implications.



Iranian EFL learners, BALLI

Full Text:



Alexander, P. A., & Dochy, F. J. (1995). Conceptions of knowledge and beliefs: A comparison across varying cultural and educational communities. American Educational Research Journal, 32(2), 413-442.

Altan, M. Z. (2006). Beliefs about Language Learning of Foreign Language-Major University Students. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 31(2), S. 45-52.

Bagherzadeh, H. (2012). Language learning beliefs of non-English majors: Examining the role of English language proficiency. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 3(4), 784-792.

Bernat, E. (2006). Assessing EAP learners’ beliefs about language learning in the Australian context. Asian EFL Journal, 8(2), 202-227.

Bernat, E., & Lloyd, M. (2007). Exploring the gender effect on EFL learners’ beliefs about language learning. Australian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 7, 79-91

BÜYÜKYAZI, M. (2010). The Beliefs of University Foreign Language Students and Their Teachers about Language Learning. Sosyal Bilimler, 8(1), 169-182.

Christison, M. A., & Krahnke, K. J. (1986). Student perceptions of academic language study. TESOL quarterly, 20(1), 61-81.

Diab, R. L. (2000).Political and socio-cultural factors in foreign language education: the case of Lebanon.Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education, 5 (2000), pp. 177–187.

Diab, R. L. (2006). University students' beliefs about learning English and French in Lebanon. System, 34, 80-96.

Dörnyei, Z. (2005). The psychology of the language learner: Individual differences in second language ac-quisition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Fujiwara, T. (2011). Language Learning Beliefs of Thai EFL University Students: Dimensional Structure and Cultural Variations. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 8(1), 87-107.

Gardner, R. C. (1985). Social Psychology and Second Language Learning, London: Edvard Arnold.

Gardner, R. C. & MacIntyre, P. D. (1991). An instrumental motivation in language study: Who says it isn't effective? Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 13, 57-72.

Ghabanchi, Z., & Meidani, E. N. (2012). Beliefs about language learning and strategy use: the case of Iranian non-English majors. World Journal of English Language, 2(1), p21

Hosenfeld, C. (1978). Learning about learning: Discovering our students' strategies. Foreign Language Annals. 9, 117-129.

Horwitz, E.K. (1987). Surveying student beliefs about language learning. In A.Wenden, & J. Rubin (Eds.), Learner strategies in language learning. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. (pp.119-129).

Horwitz, E.K. (1988). The beliefs about language learning of beginning university foreign language students. The Modern Language Journal, 72(3), 283-294.

Horwitz, E.K. (1999). Cultural and situational influences on foreign language learners' beliefs about language learning: A review of BALLI studies. System, 27, 557-576.

Jafari, S. M., & Shokrpour, N. (2012). The Beliefs of Iranian ESP Students about Language Learning. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 157.

Kunt, N. (1997). Anxiety and Beliefs about Language Learning: A study of Turkish speaking university students learning English in North Cyprus. Dissertation Abstracts, International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 59 (1).

Mesri, F. (2012). The Relationship between Gender and Iranian EFL Learners' Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety (FLCA). International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 2(6), 147-156.

Nahavandi, N. (2011). The effect of task-based activities on EFL learners' reading comprehension. In Mukundan, J., Nimehchisalem, V., Menon, S., Jin, Y.J., Roslim, R., Leong, A., Mohamad, A. & Philip, A. (Eds.). (2011). ELT Matters 5 (pp.56-69). Petalingjaya, Malaysia: Galaxy.

Nahavandi, N., & Mukundan, J. (2012). Task-based Language Teaching from Teachers’ Perspective. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, 1(6), 115-121, doi:10.7575/ijalel.v.1n.6p.115.

Nahavandi, N. (2013). Task-based activities in reading comprehension classes: Task-based language teaching & learning. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.

Nahavandi , N. & Mukundan, J. (2013a). Foreign Language Learning Anxiety among Iranian EFL learners Along Gender & Different Proficiency Levels. Language in India. 13(1), 133-161.

Nahavandi , N. & Mukundan, J. (2013b). Iranian EFL Engineering Students’ Motivational Orientations towards English Language Learning along Gender and Further Education in Language Institutes. International Journal of Linguistics, 5(1), doi:10.5296/ijl.v5i1.2684.

Nahavandi , N. & Mukundan, J. (2013c). Task-based cycle in reading comprehension classes. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, 1 (6), 115-121, doi:10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.2n.2p.107.

Nespor, J. (1987). The role of beliefs in the practice of teaching. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 19(4), 317-328.

Nikitina, L., & Furuoka, F. (2006). Re-examining Horwitz's beliefs about language learning inventory (BALLI) in the Malaysian Context. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 3(2), 209-219.

O’Malley, J. M. and A. U. Chamot (1989). Learning Strategies in Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Omaggio, A.C. (1978). Successful language learners: What do we know about them? ERIC/CLL News Bulletin, May, 2-3.

Oxford, R. L., Roberta Z. Lavine and David Crookal (1990). Language Learning Strategies: What Every Teacher Should Know. Heinle & Heinle, Boston.

OZ, H. (2007). Understanding Metacognitive Knowledge of Turkish EFL Students in Secondary Education. Novitas-ROYAL, 1(2), S. 53-83.

Park, G.,( 1995) . Language learning strategies and beliefs about language learning of university students learning English in Korea. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX.

Rieger, B. (2009). Hungarian university students' beliefs about language learning: A questionnaire study. WoPaLP, 3, 97-113.

Sadeghi, A. R. (2005). ESP in Iran: A transition from present state. In: G. R Kiany, and M. Khayyamdar, (Eds.), Proceedings of the First National ESP/EAP Conference, 2, Tehran.

Sakui, K. & Gaies, S.J. (1999). Investigating Japanese learners' beliefs about language learning. System 27, 473-492.

Shen, M. C. (2006). The relationship between beliefs about language learning and learning strategy use of junior high school students. Unpublished M.A. thesis, Leader University.

Sioson, I, C. (2011). Language Learning Strategies, Beliefs, and Anxiety in Academic Speaking Task, Philippine ESL Journal, 7, 3-27.

Talebinezhad, M. R., & Aliakbari, M. (2002). Evaluation and justification of a paradigm shift in the current ELT model in Iran. Linguistik online, 10(1), 21-28. Retrieved from www.linguistik-online.de/10_02/talebinezhadaliakbari.pdf

Tercanlioglu, L. (2005). Pre-service EFL teachers’ beliefs about foreign language learning and how they relate to gender. Research in Educational Psychology, 53(1), 145-162.

Weinert, F.E. & Kluwe, R.H. (Eds.) (1987). Metacognition, motivation and understanding. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Wenden, A.L., Rubin, J. (Eds.), (1987). Learner Strategies in Language Learning. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Wenden, A L. (1991). Learner Strategies for Learner Autonomy London Prentice-Hall.

Yang, D. (1999). The relationship between EFL learners' beliefs and learning strategy [Special Issue]. System, 27, 515-535.

Zhang, X. & Cui, G. (2010). Learning beliefs of distance foreign language learners in China: A survey study. System,38, 30-40.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.3n.1p.170


  • 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.