Investigating second language learner self-efficacy and future expectancy of second language use for high-stakes program evaluation

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Abstract

As part of a larger summative evaluation of a foreign language department and a two-year foreign language core competency, the researcher investigated fourth-semester student self-efficacy (a person's belief, rooted in experience, that they can do something) and future expectancy of second language use. In effect, this was also an evaluation of program theory, which sought to determine what faculty members thought second-year learners ought to know and be able to do at the end of their study, and the extent to which those learners felt they knew and could do these activities. Using questionnaire data from 150 students in nine divisions (Arabic, Chinese [Mandarin], French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish), this study found that learners had at least a modicum of self-efficacy for the things that faculty members and instructors thought they ought to know and be able to do. It was recommended that (1) practice and language use opportunities probably require more attention within divisions so that learner self-efficacy might be further developed, and (2) divisions and students might benefit from having instructors more explicitly connect potentially undiscussed classroom processes (staying in the second language [L2], interacting with classmates in the L2) with successful class outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-540
Number of pages36
JournalForeign Language Annals
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2009

Keywords

  • Learner variables
  • Program evaluation
  • Self-efficacy

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