Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.A. in Modern Languages

Department

Modern Languages

First Advisor

Tamara Warhol

Second Advisor

Esim Erdim

Third Advisor

Larisa Warhol

Relational Format

dissertation/thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between learner self-efficacy and English-language proficiency in a native English environment involving participants from various non-native English backgrounds. Participants were 43 English language learners in a university-level Intensive English Program in the Southeast United States. Previous studies, including those by Idrus and Sivapalan (2010); Nasseri and Zaferanieh (2012); Rahimi and Abedini (2009); Teng (2005); Tifarlioglu and Cinkara (2009); Wong (2005); and Hsieh and Kang (2010), have examined self-efficacy and learning outcomes for students who shared a common language and were studying English in the students' native language environments. Findings in these studies suggested that higher perceptions of self-efficacy were related to increased achievement in learning English. The participants in the current study were asked to complete the Adult Literacy and ESL Learning Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (Mikulecky et al., 1996) at the beginning and end of the semester. A comparison of results revealed that the measure of student self-efficacy was consistent over time. Results from the first questionnaire were compared to the change in scores between learners' entrance and exit Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments English Placement Test (Cambridge, 2013). The results of statistical analysis were not consistent with research that examined students who were learning English in native language environments and who shared a common native language and indicated that there was no discernible relationship between learner self-efficacy and change in language score for the diverse group. In addition to the student analysis, instructors were asked to estimate the level of self-efficacy of students through an adaptation of the Adult Literacy and ESL Learning Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (Mikulecky et al., 1996). Instructor estimates were compared to the reports of self-efficacy for students in their classes to determine whether perceptions would be consistent. Analysis of instructor and student perceptions of students' self-efficacy toward their potential for learning a new language indicated that scores from both were consistent. In this small sample of instructors, the respondents appeared to be intuitive in assessing the self-efficacy of their students and receptive to using such information to adjust teaching to maximize learning outcomes for all students.

Concentration/Emphasis

Emphasis: Linguistics

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