Abstract = 70) completed Beliefs About Language

Abstract

The present study addresses the differences and
similarities among students’ beliefs about language learning. The participant
students (n = 70) completed Beliefs About Language Learning Inventory (BALLI)
and a demographic information questionnaire. Learning a second language
upgrades the procurement methods that can be connected later to learn extra
dialects also and it turns into a thousand times less demanding to acquire
another language. Learning a second language increases the innovativeness of a
youngster. It develops self-assurance and is viewed as great and adroit in
Pakistani society. As indicated by the consequences of our study a dominant
part of the average citizens believe that figuring out how to speak English in
an excellent accent is more vital than to take in its scripted frame. It is
dominatingly believed by the surveyed students that one should begin taking in
the second language from his/her early youth, that is, critical period. A
common perception is that in the early day’s ones picking and retaining
capacity is significantly higher as compared to adulthood. Many individuals
surmise that it is a smart approach to build up a sizable vocabulary in the
language to be learnt. Bilingualism activities your cerebrum, moves you to
think and lifts your critical thinking abilities. Bilingual understudies tend
to score higher on state sanctioned tests than monolingual understudies
particularly in the zones of vocabulary, perusing and science. There are many
advantages of learning a second language. Studies have demonstrated that
individuals who are bilingual are better at assignments that require
multi-entrusting and consideration centring than monolinguals. It encourages
the child to assemble culturally diverse companionships, more extensive
profession openings, energizing travel experiences and a profound insight to
how others see the world.

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Introduction

Richardson (1996) defined beliefs as psychologically
held understandings, premises, or propositions about the world that are held to
be true. Beliefs are central constructs in every discipline which deals with
human behaviour and learning. Beliefs help individuals to define and understand
the world and themselves, and they are instrumental in defining behaviour. Larger
part of the general population feel that knowing more than a solitary dialect
builds the likelihood of landing great positions. The competition for
employment can be exceptional and it is extremely vital to discover methods for
separating yourself from different candidates. Monolingual created nations like
the Unites States and the UK consider the expertise of knowing various dialects
exceptionally amazing and that is a noteworthy motivation behind why numerous
Asians are offered occupations there. A nearby case study from the region of
KPK is that each child there learns no less than 3 dialects and at most 5
dialects including the primary language. Consider the case of a Pukhtoon child
whose primary language is Pashto. His procedure of taking in various dialects
begins from taking in Urdu and Hindko from the impact of the general public.
English must be learnt as a piece of the school educational programs. Thirdly,
due to the Afghans who have sought refuge in the KPK, children in Peshawar are
also exposed to Persian.

 

Theoretical
Framework

This study uses a mixture of combining quantitative
and qualitative methods which refers to the mixed method. Using the combination
of qualitative and quantitative method allows for a more complete analysis of
the research problem (Greene et al., 1989). Many studies have found the
strengths and limitations of mixed research. Migiro and Magangi (2011)
evaluated that mixed method research could answer broader and more complete
research questions. It can also allow more insight that might be missed when only
a single method is employed. However, mixed methods also have limitations e.g. the
researcher has to learn how to combine qualitative and quantitative method
appropriately hence it is more time consuming.

A survey method has been used in this study in order
to collect data. Considering the research questions, we used a standardised
survey (BALLI) to 70 high school students from Super Nova School.

Questionnaires are a commonly used tool to
investigate beliefs and language-learning strategies. However, this method
offers several advantages and disadvantages. Tabulating a large number of
responses is possible with the use of a questionnaire. It can be seen that
using a questionnaire is an easier way to collect data and is less invasive of
the respondents’ privacy. However, questionnaires also have limitations. Wenden
(1987) mentioned that questionnaire cannot articulate participants’ cognitive
thoughts as they don’t allow them to express their beliefs in their own words.

Thus, in this study, we decided to obtain data from
a survey method. Data will be collected from the most widely used questionnaire
to investigate beliefs and learning strategies: Horwitz’s (1987) beliefs about
language learning inventory.

Methodology

The Horwitz (1987) Beliefs about Language Learning
Inventory (BALLI), a 34-item survey instrument, was used to collect data from
high school students studying in a private educational institute in Islamabad.
Data analysis using frequency statistics showed that generally, students
recognized the existence of foreign language aptitude and placed heavy emphasis
on impeccable pronunciation, vocabulary acquisition, the benefits of practice,
and an immersion approach to language learning. The majority was found to be
highly motivated to acquire English as a second language. It was pleasing to
note that a large number of Pakistani students were confident about their
ability to learn the language.

This study was conducted among the students of Super
Nova School, Islamabad. The duration of the study was 2 weeks, that is, from
1st January 2018 to 15th January 2018. It is a descriptive, cross sectional
study for which the subjects were chosen by convenient sampling technique. High
School students studying in a private educational institution were recruited to
be in the study. All students had an opportunity to be selected in the study in
accordance with the random sampling technique used. It is important to note
that no exclusion criteria were employed.

A standardized questionnaire, “Beliefs about
Language Learning Inventory” was used to analyse  the views about second language acquisition
amongst students. At present, the prime data-collection instrument used for researching
learner beliefs about language learning is the 34-item Likert-scale BALLI,
prepared by Horwitz in 1985 to use on her foreign language teacher training
course. This standardized questionnaire, the BALLI, has been widely used in
different contexts and cultures to evaluate students’ beliefs. For example, in
Iran (Ghobadi & khodadady, 2011), China (Zhang & Cui, 2010), Hong Kong
(Peaccok, 2001), Hungary (Rieger, 2009), Malaysia (Nikitina & Furuoka, 2006),
Thailand (Fujiwara, 2011), Vietnam (Bernat, 2004).

Data
Analysis

This research analyzes different opinions from a
variety of students from SuperNova School Islamabad. The data is gathered
mostly from questionnaires, that are themed to test the willingness, or
otherwise, the motivation of students to learn any foreign language such as
english, as well as their general perception of their varied ability to do so,
some themes that were observed as follows

·        
Environmental advantages, that is, the
importance of exposure while learning new languages such as learning at a young
age  (and thus greater ability to learn
and remember), company of native speakers (and thus greater exposure to more
subtle language nuances of words and sounds) , were readily apparent to these
students.

·        
The ability to learn foreign language
was seen as an ability ingrained in some people , as students answered
positively to questions that implied “Is the ability to learn a foreign
language a measure of intelligence”, and “some people have the ability to learn
a lot of foreign languages quickly”.

·        
The perception that learning foreign
languages is a skill, (with some people naturally having more of it than others)
, persists in the sense that the students think it gets successively easier to
learn more and more foreign languages. This idea persists in the responses to
the question “Language learning is different from other school subjects”.

·        
The other factors, such as practice and
effort were also given more importance, without any particular correlation to
the aforementioned ability factors, which shows that ability does not
necessarily counterbalance the importance of effort.

·        
Even though students reported being
self-conscious while speaking the foreign language, they also gave the clarity
of accent some priority. And they expressed their desire to go talk to a person
speaking the foreign language, in order to practise. This highlights the
repressed nature of the students in relation to their foreign language speaking
skills.

·        
Pakistanis were thought to give extra
importance to the ability to speak a foreign language, but they didn’t think
they had any special ability to learn them, (most of the answers were
“undecided”).

 

 

·        
The respondents were rather harsh on new
speakers, saying that mistakes should not be allowed, in fear that they will be
difficult to deal with later on. Though they allowed guessing unknown words.

·        
Speaking and understanding the language
was seen as easier than reading and writing it, but the students saw no large
difficulty gap between understanding a language and speaking a language.

·        
The students disagreed with learning
methodology using grammar rules, giving more importance to learning by
translation, and learning new vocabulary.

 

Conclusion

After a lot of contemplation and study of the data
collected, we finally concluded that people in Pakistan have a very contrasting
approach when it comes to earning a second language may it be English or any
other for that matter. According to the statistics a majority of the people are
willing to learn English because it would supposedly open a window of life changing
opportunities. This trend is usually associated with Pakistanis.

However, when asked about whether or not
bilingualism should start at an early age, most people were in favour of
teaching a secondary language from a young age before their critical period
ends as at that time the child has an impressive capability to take in a lot of
information and process it. It was agreed by an astonishing margin that
learning to speak a foreign language adeptly is far different from learning its
grammar and format. In order to catch up with the modern standards of English
speaking in the world, we would have to take drastic measures to ensure that we
keep pace with the ever-changing world. For that to come about, we would have
to change our language teaching standards in our primary schools with the chief
focus towards public and remotely located schools.

This would have to happen as quickly as possible
otherwise the fast paced world would leave us behind and it might become too
hard for us to catch up with them again. 

 

References

 

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·        
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·        
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