English Teaching in China

A peer-reviewed journal for teaching professionals

Crawford, D. (2013) Do Teachers Understand What Their Students Believe About Learning English? English Teaching in China, 3, 11 - 16.

Crawford, 2013 (PDF)

Beliefs about language learning are thought to influence language learners’ use of and preference for various language learning strategies. Similarly, teachers’ beliefs about language learning will influence their pedagogical and classroom approaches. Yet beliefs are rarely externally manifested and, therefore, need to be ascertained directly. The beliefs about language learning of 163 Chinese high school students and 38 mixed nationality teachers were obtained via questionnaire. Additionally, teachers’ perceptions of the students’ beliefs were ascertained. Results indicated that students and teachers held a range of beliefs. Teachers often understood students’ beliefs, but notably underestimated their students’ support of communicative language learning. It is suggested that teachers should analyse their students’ beliefs to prevent mismatches of expectations or conflicts over classroom practices.