AWEJ Volume.4 Number.4, 2013                                                                    Pp.400-419

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English as a Foreign Language Learning Beliefs and
Attitudes of Saudi College English and Non-English Majors

 

Hassan M. Kassem
Tanta University, Egypt & Shaqra University
Saudi Arabia

Abstract:
The primary aim of the present study was to investigate EFL learning beliefs and attitudes held by a group of college Business Administration freshmen at a Saudi college. A second aim was to explore the relationship between EFL learning beliefs and attitudes in the same group of learners. Using a comparison group of English freshmen in the same college, the study also aimed to explore the differences in EFL learning beliefs and attitudes between English and non-English majors. Twenty three Business Administration freshmen and 32 English freshmen completed a 44-item questionnaire probing beliefs and attitudes towards learning English. Factor analysis of the questionnaire resulted in a 5-factor solution. The five factors are: self-efficacy, the importance of learning English, the difficulty of learning English, the nature of learning English, and threat to mother tongue/culture. Results revealed that the beliefs of the non-English majors concerning self-efficacy, and the difficulty and nature of learning English were below average. Meanwhile, their beliefs about the importance of learning English and threat to mother tongue/culture were moderate. A significant correlation was found between the non-English majors’ EFL learning beliefs and attitudes, indicating that stronger beliefs about a FL are accompanied by more favorable attitudes towards learning it. As to the comparison between English and non-English majors, significant differences in EFL learning beliefs and attitudes were found between the two groups of language learners. Pedagogical implications and suggestions for further research are reported.
Keywords: EFL learning beliefs, EFL learning attitudes, English majors, non-English majors

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