EUROSLA Yearbook: Volume 7 (2007)
  • ISSN 1568-1491
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9749
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This paper describes a study into learners’ attributions for success and failure in learning English as a foreign language. The study investigated perceived reasons for successes and failures on actual language learning tasks in both oral communication and reading classes, looking at how learners judge their successes and failures, and their range of attributions. A questionnaire was created based on attribution theory focusing on the attributions of ability, effort, task difficulty, and luck and was administered to 233 Japanese first-year university students. A significant relationship between exam scores and the attributions of ability, task difficulty and likes was found, with attributions for failure focusing on internal causes and attributions for success on external causes. The theoretical structure of causal attributions is discussed, and the implications that can be drawn with regard to cultural bias, language teaching and the nature of the learning environment are considered.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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