Travelling among Languages – Comparing Language Learning Beliefs of Learners at Home Versus Migrant or Immigrant Workers

Open access


The paper presents a qualitative approach to language learning beliefs while analysing case studies in detail to offer significant insight into these beliefs and language learning as well. A number of studies have shown that the belief system of language learners plays a decisive role in their success and failure in language learning (Bernat & Gvozdenko 2005; Horwitz 2008). The research presents the content analysis of interviews with bilingual participants. Interviews were carried out with migrant workers, other interviews with bilingual students in Romania, as well as online interviews with immigrant workers in the EU. The paper explores different beliefs learners hold regarding learning languages. By comparing migrant workers’ and students’ beliefs the complexity of positive and negative beliefs are presented. These may change due to previous and current language learning experiences, cultural-, social-, and educational background, personality traits, etc. The result of the qualitative analysis has shown that beliefs are linked to the particular language placed in a socialcultural dimension; the same beliefs may not be possible to be transferred to the next language being learnt, individual differences in beliefs regarding learning languages and their dynamic change in different language learning processes are investigated in details.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Alexander Patricia & Dochy Filip. 1994. Adults’ views about knowing and believing. In R. Garner & P.A. Alexander (eds.) Beliefs about Text and about Instruction with Text 223-244. Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum.

  • Arnold Jane. 1999. Affect in Language Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Bernat Eva & Gvozdenko Inna. 2005. Beliefs about Language Learning: Current Knowledge Pedagogical Implications and New Research Directions. TESL-EJ 9(1): 1-21.

  • Bernat Eva. 2008. Beyond Beliefs: Psycho-cognitive Sociocultural and Emergent Ecological Approaches to Learner Perceptions in Foreign Language Acquisition. Asian EFL Journal 10(3): 7-27.

  • Biró Enikő. 2012. Kétnyelvűek nyelvtanulási stratégiái. [Language Learning Strategies of Bilinguals]. Bolyai Társaság Kolozsvár: Egyetemi Műhely Kiadó.

  • Cotterall Stella. 1995. Readiness for Autonomy: Investigating Learner Beliefs. System 23(2): 195-205.

  • Dias Roy. 2000. Lebanese Students’ Beliefs about Learning English and French: A Study of University Students in a Multilingual Context. Dissertation Abstracts International. 62 (02) 497A (UMI No. 3004253).

  • Dörnyei Zoltán. 2001. Teaching and Researching Motivation. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

  • Epstein Seymour. 1990. Cognitive-experiential Self-theory. In L. Pervin (ed.) Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research 165-192. New York: Guilford Publications Inc.

  • Horwitz Elaine. 1987. Surveying Student Beliefs about Language Learning. In A. Wenden & J. Rubin (eds.) Learner Strategies in Language Learning 119-129. Englewood Cliffs NY: Prentice Hall.

  • Horwitz Elaine. 2001. Language Anxiety and Achievement. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 21: 112-126.

  • Horwitz Elaine. 2008. Why Student Beliefs about Language Learning Matter. The Evolution of the Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory. In J. Siskin (ed.) Issues in Language Program Direction 2-8. American Assoc. of University Supervisors and Coordinators.

  • Kern Richard. 1995. Students’ and Teachers’ Beliefs about Language Learning. Foreign Language Annals 28(1): 71-92.

  • Kiss Jenő. 1995. Társadalom és nyelvhasználat. [Society and Language Use.] Budapest: Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó.

  • Little David Singleton David & Silvius W. 1984. Learning Second Languages in Ireland: Experience Attitudes and Needs. Dublin: Trinity College.

  • Pavlenko Aneta. 2002. Poststructuralist Approaches to the Study of Social Factors in Second Language Learning and Use. In Cook Vivian (ed.) Portraits of the L2 User 277-302. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

  • Rust Frances. 1994. The First Year of Teaching. It’s Not What They Expected. Teaching and Teacher Education 10: 205-217.

  • Shohamy Elana. 2006. Language Policy: Hidden Agendas and New Approaches. London & New York: Routledge.

  • Skutnabb-Kangas Tove & Teresa L. McCarty. 2008. Bilingual/Immersion Education: What the Research Tells Us. In Cummins Jim & Nancy H. Hornberger (eds.) Encyclopedia of Language and Education (5): 3-17. New York: Springer.

  • Spolsky Bernard. 2004. Language Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Tódor Erika. 2008. Reperele analitice ale bilingvismului instituţional. [Analytical Aspects of Institutional Bilingualism.] Working Papers in Romanian Minority Studies 10: 1-29. Cluj Napoca: Institutul pentru Studierea Problemelor Minorităţilor Naţionale.

  • Weinstein Carol. 1994. A Look to the Future: What We Might Learn from Research on Beliefs. In R. Garner & P. Alexander (eds.) Beliefs about Text and about Instruction with Text 295-302. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

  • Wenden Anita. 1986. Helping Language Learners Think about Learning. English Language Journal 40(1): 3-12.

  • Williams Marion. 1994. Motivation in Foreign and Second Language Learning: An Interactive Perspective. Educational and Child Psychology 11: 77-84.

Journal information
Impact Factor

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.101

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 187 96 1
PDF Downloads 89 54 1