The impact of culture on student attributions for performance

A comparative study of three groups of EFL/ESL learners

Peter Gobel, Setsuko Mori, Siew Ming Thang, Ngat Har Kan, Kean Wah Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper describes a cross-cultural comparative study concerned with learners' attributions for success and failure in learning English as a foreign/second language. The study investigated perceived reasons for doing well or poorly on actual language learning tasks under a variety of teaching conditions, looking at how learners judge their successes and failures, and their range of attributions. Using a set of questionnaires, 355 Thai first-year university students, 350 Japanese first-year university students and 298 Malaysian first-year university students were asked to what they attributed their success or failure in chosen tasks. The results of the questionnaire uncovered striking similarities across the three groups, indicating a lack of the self-enhancement/self-protective bias proposed in previous (Western) studies, and suggesting a possible attributional cultural bias that extends to a number of Asian cultures. If this bias does indeed exist, the study suggests that it should be taken into consideration when considering language teaching methodology and the learning environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-43
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Institutional Research South East Asia
Volume9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2011

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Keywords

  • Attribution theory
  • Culture
  • EFL
  • ESL
  • Motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

The impact of culture on student attributions for performance : A comparative study of three groups of EFL/ESL learners. / Gobel, Peter; Mori, Setsuko; Thang, Siew Ming; Kan, Ngat Har; Lee, Kean Wah.

In: Journal of Institutional Research South East Asia, Vol. 9, No. 1, 05.2011, p. 27-43.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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