The Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory (BALLI): Teacher Version. This version adapted with Horwitz, E. K. (). Becoming a language teacher: A. Re-examining Horwitz’s Beliefs About Language Learning Inventory (BALLI) in the Malaysian .. She acknowledged that the themes in her questionnaire were. It is concluded that development of the BALLI marked the beginning of . four items adapted from the Beliefs About Language Learning questionnaire (Horwitz, .

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The beliefs which learners horwitzz concerning second or foreign language learning have been the subject of numerous research studies.

Researchers have found that learning experiences lead learners to develop beliefs about language learning Horwitz, ; Mori, queetionnaire, Robert, According to Richards and Schmitlearner beliefs include opinions learners have about various aspects of language, learning and teaching.

All of these may affect their horwwitz and motivation in learning and may have an influence on their learning strategies and learning outcomes. At present, the horwwitz which is mostly used for collecting data in the area of learner beliefs about language learning is the item Likert-scale BALLI.

Horwitz developed this inventory for her foreign language teacher training course. She asked her trainees to question their beliefs about language learning. The findings of Horwitz, Kern, and Mantle-Bromely were similar in several aspects and they observed that some of the learner beliefs were different from teacher beliefs.

Quesyionnaire, Bernat investigated the beliefs of participants in the Australian and American contexts and found that their bal,i were similar in all categories and it was concluded that despite a small number of inter-group differences, it seems premature to conclude that beliefs about language learning vary by contextual setting.

Zhang and Cui investigated learning beliefs held by distance English language learners in China. Beliefs about the nature of language learning, the role of the teacher, the role of feedback, language learning strategies, and self-efficacy were examined through surveys. It was found that the majority of the participants perceived insufficient communication with teachers and peer students as the dominant difficulty in distance learning, and that distance language learning was more difficult than traditional classroom language learning.

Research interests in beliefs about language learning are not limited to those of language learners. Several studies have researched beliefs about the language learning of both in-service and pre-service teachers. These studies were designed based on the hypothesis that teacher beliefs may influence student beliefs through instructional practices.

There are a ballj studies which have compared student beliefs with teacher beliefs. Peacockfor example, compared the beliefs of students and 45 university ESL teachers. Several broad differences were found, such as students focusing more on vocabulary and grammar. Peacock concluded that learners with this belief may focus on memorizing vocabulary items and grammar rules and may not pay attention to the tasks which are given by teachers and they may also be dissatisfied with teachers who do otherwise in the classroom.

Samimy and Lee reported very similar findings, noting that the students tended to support the idea of accurate pronunciation, vocabulary learning, and using translation in Chinese learning: Peacock carried out a longitudinal study that explored howitz in beliefs about second language learning of trainee ESL teachers.

He was hopeful that the trainees would change their wrong ideas after studying TESL methodology.

But after three years of studying, there were not any significant changes in their beliefs. First-year student trainee beliefs qeustionnaire language learning were collected using BALLI and were compared with teacher beliefs.

The conclusions were that considerable efforts should be made to eliminate any unfavorable trainee beliefs before they start teaching. Participants were 25 pre-service teachers. She used the BALLI to collect data and the data analysis showed that generally pre-service teachers recognized the existence of foreign language aptitude and placed strong emphasis horwit excellent pronunciation, vocabulary acquisition, the benefits of practice, and an immersion approach to language learning.

To sum up, both teachers and students have different beliefs concerning language learning. Few studies have compared the belief systems of these two major stake-holders in any educational enterprise. Although there are numerous independent studies on student or teacher beliefs about language learning, there has been relatively little work on comparative studies in this area in general, and in Iran in particular.


Indeed teachers and students are interconnected components of an educational program; and in order to gauge the effectiveness of the system, their questionnairee contributions should be taken into consideration rather than regarding them as detached. This gap in the current literature on learning beliefs was the motivation behind conducting this study in a context where the issue has not received due attention by researchers. However, the gap is not limited to an Iranian context and the findings will contribute to the better understanding of the interrelationship between teacher and student roles in language learning internationally.

To investigate the beliefs about language learning, students from three language institutes and 80 language teachers took part as participants.

A Comparison of EFL Teachers and Students’ Beliefs about Language Learning

In terms of gender, the students were not balanced 74 females and 26 males. Regarding the teacher participants, there were 36 female teachers and 44 male teachers. Their ages ranged from 25 to 39 with an average age of It has a Likert-scale format and learners are asked to choose among strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree, and strongly disagree options for items in five areas: The items of the questionnaire appear in the results section.

In this study the teachers were asked not to answer item 16 because this item is specifically related to the students. In the result section these items have been categorized based on the topic being discussed. The questionnaire was not translated into Persian, but the participants filled it in with the presence of the researchers.

If they had any difficulty, the researchers could help the participants with any problems. The questionnaire was administered to the chosen students and teachers in English. For collecting data from the students, the researcher distributed the instrument during class time preceded by a brief explanation of the purpose and the nature of the study.

If they had difficulty in understanding any item, the researchers clarified the misunderstanding. For collecting data from the teachers, the researchers distributed the instrument to 91 teachers and explained the purpose and nature of the study, but only 80 teachers responded to the questionnaire.

The time needed for the participants to answer the questionnaire was not more than 20 minutes. After the collection of the data, they were analyzed using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics.

Man Whitney U and independent samples t -test were used to investigate the differences between the teachers and the students in their beliefs about language learning. For analyzing data SPSS software, version 16, was used. All results will be given briefly in this section and discussed further in the next section. In this study the responses of the participants have been shown in percentage.

Table 1 deals with foreign language aptitude. Table 1 consists of nine items 1, 2, 6, 10, 11, 16, 19, 30, and 33 which dealt with foreign language aptitude. Both teachers and students had the same opinion that children can learn a foreign language easier. Table 2 consists of five items 3, 4, 15, 25, 34 which deal with the difficulty of language learning.

The majority of the students and teachers agree that learning a language by spending one hour a day takes 1—2 years or 3—5 years.

Concerning the skills, Table 3 bqlli six items 8, 12, 17, 23, 27, 28 which deal with the nature of language learning. Most of the teachers and students agree or strongly agree to learn about English speaking culture and to quesgionnaire English in an English quesitonnaire country. Table 4 is concerned with learning and communication strategies and there were eight items 7, 9, 13, 14, 18, 21, 22, The majority of the teachers and students Concerning motivation and expectations, Table 5 provides the results for six items 5, 20, 24, 29, 31, The majority of the teachers and students believe they would learn to speak English and just 3.

None of the teachers and students disagree or strongly disagree that they want to speak English very well. The researchers also carried out an independent-samples t -test to compare the overall beliefs scores of teachers and students.

There was a significant difference in scores for the teachers M: This can be seen in Table 6. In the present study, the beliefs of English teachers and students concerning language learning were explored using the BALLI Horwitz, Based on the analysis, it was found that that teachers and students hold a variety of beliefs about language learning. Sixty nine percent of the students agree that they have a special ability for learning foreign languages.


This means that Iranian students have a relatively high level of confidence for learning foreign languages and this certainly helps their learning. This shows that both the teachers and students may blame a lack of intelligence for a lack of progress in language leaning.

This represents that almost half of the students underestimate the difficulty of speaking a foreign language and according to Peacock the learners who underestimate the difficulty of language learning are significantly less proficient than those who thought otherwise and it is possible that their lower proficiency is a result of such a belief.

Another possibility is that they become disappointed if they fail to be proficiency enough during a certain period of time. This indicates that learning about the cultures of the target language is very important and that culture is an integral part of learning a foreign language.

Such a sharp contrast of opinions can be partially due to the learning environment and teaching methods in Iranian governmental schools which focus on memorizing new words and grammar points.

This finding may be indicative of the observation that Iranian teachers and students pay a lot of attention to language proficiency and in order to show their proficiency in English, they feel they should speak English with an excellent pronunciation.

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Perhaps this is due to the teaching methods and structure of Iranian English books which follow behaviorism. This indicates that Iranian teachers and students have strong instrumental motivation for learning English and they feel that learning English will help their promotion in the future. This is shown in Table 7.

It is surprising that while teachers have studied courses on methodology and language teaching theories, they still have undesirable beliefs about language learning. These beliefs must be changed because they affect their teaching behavior in the classroom.

Teachers should be told that these beliefs do not help language learning. It can be done through extra in-service training and they can be referred to readings which discuss the benefit of more communicative approaches to teaching EFL.

Having such beliefs may have other reasons. Cummingscited in Richards, points out:. The kind of practical knowledge which teachers use in teaching, appear to exist largely in very personalized terms, based on unique experiences, individual conceptions, and their interaction with local contexts.

It tends to have a personal significance which differs from prescribed models of educational theory. Some of the beliefs held by students could possibly be harmful in case they prevented them from paying attention to other language skills and sub-skills.

For example, a majority of students agree with the following items: According to some scholars, these beliefs can be undesirable for language learning. Mantle-Bromley mentions that there are learners who believe that people who speak more than one language are very intelligent. Those language learners, who believe this may blame a lack of intelligence for their lack of progress and success, an unjustifiable assumption which leads to frustration and dissatisfaction.

When a learner pays a lot of attention to learning grammar, vocabulary, and translation, he or she may spend a lot of time memorizing vocabulary lists and grammatical points and he or she may ignore the communicative aspects of language.

Also these kinds of students are maybe dissatisfied with a teacher who does not emphasize grammar, vocabulary, and translation in classroom tasks. The language learners who think that it is important to speak English with an excellent pronunciation try to have native-like accents and since most of learners cannot have a perfect accent, this may lead them to further dissatisfaction and disillusionment.

These potentially detrimental beliefs affect their language learning and teachers should try to reduce the possibility of these beliefs being unfavorable, by focusing more on communicative approaches in language learning and teaching.