Beliefs about Learning English as a Second Language among Native Groups in Rural Sabah, Malaysia



This paper identifies differences between the three ethnic groups, namely, Kadazans/Dusuns, Bajaus, and other minority ethnic groups  on the beliefs about learning English as a second language based on the five variables, that is, language aptitude, language learning difficulty, language learning and communicating strategies, nature of language learning as well as learning motivation and expectation. A modified version of Horwitz’s  (1987) Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory (BALLI) was distributed to all the 254 form four students in Lahat Datu but only 193 students responded. This survey instrument consists of 34 items. Results of a One-way ANOVA test showed a significant difference among ethnic groups on motivation and expectation in learning English. Bajau students showed the highest motivation and expectation in learning English, followed by other ethnic minorities compared to Kadazan/Dusun students. Although participants scored high for motivation and expectation to learn English, they perceived that English is a difficult language to acquire. BALLI is used to identify the misconceptions or beliefs held among learners and find ways to reduce the negative impacts in learning English.

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