Changes in Prospective Teachers’ Beliefs about Foreign Language Learning in a Teacher Training Program

Adel Abu Radwan

Abstract


This study examines changes in the beliefs of a group of undergraduate students about learning and teaching English as a foreign language. Learners’ beliefs are thought to shape students’ language learning experience and often guide their future teaching practices. Thus, any mistaken beliefs could negatively affect student learning and teaching experience for decades (Peacock, 2001). While some studies suggest that students’ beliefs are stable, inflexible and resistant to change, others show that students’ beliefs are amenable to change with proper intervention. This study uses a questionnaire to collect data from 212 students in the English Department at Sultan Qaboos University. The results show that learners hold strong beliefs about the role of vocabulary, grammar and practice in learning a foreign language. Moreover, their beliefs did not undergo any significant changes during the duration of the program though slight shifts in their beliefs could be noticed in the final year of their training. The study suggests that special attention should be given to this area to eliminate any detrimental beliefs held by prospective teachers. Early intervention may steer students in the right direction and could equip them with the theoretical and pedagogical beliefs necessary to positively influence their future students.   


Keywords


Learners’ beliefs; English as a Foreign Language; Detrimental Beliefs

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jass.vol10iss2pp37-48

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