Students' and Teachers' Beliefs About Language Learning


  • Richard G. Kern Ph.D.

    1. University of California, Berkeley
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      University of California, Berkeley) is Assistant Professor of French at the University of California, Berkeley.


ABSTRACT  This study compares one group of students' beliefs about language learning with those of their teachers and with those of their peers at another institution. It furthermore examines change in students' beliefs in relation to those of their instructors in an effort to develop hypotheses about the potential influence of teachers' beliefs on students' beliefs. Beliefs were assessed by means of the Beliefs About Language Learning Inventory, developed by Horwitz (1985, 1988). Results were found to be significantly affected by the type of analysis: global analyses of group means and percentages showed overall similarities between teachers' and students' beliefs as well as between students' pre- and posttest responses, while analyses of individuals and course section groups revealed much greater differences. The findings of the study suggest that teachers' beliefs are but one of many factors that affect students' beliefs about language learning and that multivariate research designs are needed to explore with greater precision the complex interrelationships between learners' and teachers' belief systems.