Las creencias en la adquisición de segundas lenguasla habilidad para los idiomas desde un marco incremental-fijo

  1. Laura Victoria Fielden Burns
Supervised by:
  1. María Mercedes Rico García Director

Defence university: Universidad de Extremadura

Year of defence: 2015

  1. Ramón López Ortega Chair
  2. Nere Amenabar Perurena Secretary
  3. Elizabeth Gunn Committee member
  4. María Jordano de la Torre Committee member
  5. Alejandro Blas Curado Fuentes Committee member

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 378165 DIALNET


There are students who believe that they are incapable of learning a foreign language. When they look to the causes of this perceived ineptitude, some turn to the concept of language aptitude. Students' beliefs about the nature of aptitude are important to how they may perceive their success or failure. Over the years, beliefs about language aptitude have been partially examined through a nine-item section on the Beliefs About Language Learning Index (BALLI). There it has been shown that the great majority of students and teachers across many cultures believe that a special ability to learn languages exists for some people. However, more information is needed. Specifically, it is important to understand the nature of this belief. If students believe in a special language aptitude, do they see this as fixed or malleable? Is one born with it, or can one acquire it over time? This study examined beliefs within such a framework, based on Dweck's work in entity and incremental mindsets. The subjects were 51 adult continuing education students enrolled in English courses in a state-sponsored program in Extremadura, Spain. Quantitative belief questionnaires were issued before and after a stress test to determine how beliefs changed. Finally, one-to-one semi-structured interviews were undertaken with students from fixed-leaning and incrementally-leaning groups, which provided a wealth of detail.