The purpose of this study was to examine whether Thai university students change their beliefs about language learning when they learn the Japanese language. The study also explored the relationships between the learners’ beliefs and their achievements in language learning. The participants (N = 81) were undergraduate students taking the elementary-level Japanese language courses at a Thai university. The participants completed a 35-item questionnaire, Beliefs About Language Learning Inventory (BALLI) developed by Horwitz at two different times with an interval of approximately four months. Through principal component analysis, five underlying dimensions were identified for the beliefs. A significant increase at the dimensional level was uncovered in one of the five identified belief factors, while changes were also observed in other two factors yet they were not statistically significant. Pearson product-moment correlations between the students’ belief factor mean scores and variables of Japanese and English achievements were statistically significant in two cases, yet they were generally weak. It appeared that the students’ experience of taking elementary-level Japanese language courses was related to changes of certain types of their beliefs about language learning, which implies one facet of the beliefs’ nature of being dynamic, variable, and socially constructed.
|Keywords:||Beliefs about Language Learning, Learning Experiences, Thai University Students|
Lecturer, Humanities and Language Division, Mahidol University International College, Buddhamonthon, Nakhonpathom, Thailand