LEARNER BELIEFS IN LANGUAGE LEARNING: A STUDY ON THE EFFECTS OF CONTEXT IN LEARNERS’ PERCEPTION

Sibel Kaymakamoğlu, Muhammed Atmaca

Abstract


Learner beliefs can be defined as the perception of people towards the learning situation that they are in, and it is also believed that those learner beliefs affect the actual performance of the people in the area that the learning takes place. In the scope of this research, the learner beliefs of six Turkish participants are evaluated, towards learning English as a foreign language. The learning context is taken as a determinant which affects the learner beliefs, which can be described as the outer learning environment and the other people around while the learning takes place. Current research investigates the learners’ beliefs about the influence of learning context in English language learning and the way the learners evaluate their own competence/performance in the foreign language in different learning contexts. As a part of the study, six learning contexts are taken as learning in the class environment, learning with private tutoring, learning alone, learning together with peers, learning in a mixed-level class environment and learning abroad among the native speakers. The interviews are conducted with six participants learning English in six different learning contexts. The answers that the participants give to the interview questions are analyzed via coding, narrative analysis and thematic analysis methods. It is found out that the learner beliefs of the individuals vary according to different outer conditions of the learning environment. People also evaluate their own competence and performance in the language differently according to different learning contexts.

Key words: Learner beliefs, learning context, perception towards learning, outer conditions, thematic analysis.


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