ERIC Number: ED436971
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Nov-17
The Role of Expectations in Foreign Language Learning.
Daley, Christine E.; Onwuegbuzie, Anthony J.; Bailey, Phillip
Expectations of performance in a foreign language are important predictors of future achievement. Two types of bias occur in foreign language learning: self-enhancement bias, which pertains to students who are unrealistically optimistic about their ability to learn a foreign language; and self-derogation bias, which pertains to those students who have little or no confidence in their ability to learn a foreign language. The purpose of this study is to investigate the prevalence of these two biases and to compare students with these two biases, as well as those with accurate self-assessments of their foreign language performance, with respect to anxiety and overall academic achievement. Participants were 213 college students enrolled in Spanish, French, or German classes. Self-enhancement bias was more than three times as prevalent as self-derogation bias--47.4% versus 13.6% respectively. Students with self-derogation bias tended to have significantly higher levels of anxiety about foreign languages, while those with self-enhancement bias tended to have overall lower levels of academic performance. It is concluded that self-enhancement bias has a greater potential than does self-derogation bias to facilitate language learning because language learning anxiety has been implicated as a probable cause of language learning difficulties. Discerning and understanding these expectations may help foreign language instructors better target and help affected students. (Author/KFT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (Point Clear, AL, November 17, 1999).