Understanding the Construct of Learner Beliefs about Language Learning
Keywords:Learner beliefs, learner autonomy, language learning
Language learning is a complex phenomenon involving multiple cognitive, affective, social and
cultural influences (Izzo, 1981). With the recent learner-centered approach to teaching, researchers and practitioners are more focused on the cognitive and affective makeup of the learners that shapes their learning process. One such factor is the set of beliefs that language learner
possess regarding the target language, target community, or the language learning process in
general. This paper dissects the edifice of language learners ’beliefs about language learning
(process) by critically discussing its conceptual foundations based on a synthesis of prior research. This includes the different approaches that have been taken in studying the language
learners’ beliefs about language learning (BLLs) and the studied effect of BLLs on learner
achievement, learners’ use of learning strategies, and learner autonomy. The study condenses the
pedagogical implications of the awareness of learners’ BLLs among learners and teachers and
the possible influence that these BLLs may have on the learners’ language learning. The suggestions are put forward that the metacognitive knowledge of language learners and an empathetic
attention of teachers to learners’ BLLs can maximize learner achievement.
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