You are on page 1of 9

Editorial

Introduction to Beliefs about SLA revisited


Abstract
This article serves as an introduction to this second special issue of Systemon Beliefs about Second Language Acquisition (SLA)
held by learners and/or teachers of foreign languages in a variety of contexts all over the world, and it compares and contrasts the
empirical studies included in the issue. In sharp contrast to the rst special System issue on beliefs about SLA, most of the studies
reported in this issue drawon sociocultural theory, make use of more than one type of data, and can be characterized as qualitative in
nature. In addition, the studies tend to view beliefs as variable and xed, and focus on changes in these and/or on the interaction
between beliefs and learner or teacher actions, acknowledging their relationship to be a complex one.
2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Beliefs about SLA; Review; Empirical studies
1. Introduction
Beliefs about Second Language Acquisition (SLA) have intrigued applied linguists since the mid-1980s, starting
with the pioneering work of Elaine Horwitz (1985) and Anita Wenden (1986). Since then, we have seen an increased
interest in this topic in the eld of Applied Linguistics, culminating in a colloquium on beliefs about SLA at AILA
1999, an international conference in Tokyo, and a special issue of System published the same year (Wenden, 1999).
This was later followed by an edited collection e mostly e on language learner beliefs (Kalaja and Barcelos, 2003),
illustrating alternative approaches, and a comprehensive review of language teacher beliefs (Borg, 2006).
This issue is an attempt to revisit beliefs about SLA a dozen years after the publication of the rst special issue of
System. This coincides with the rst time that an encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics will include entries on learner
and teacher beliefs about SLA (Barcelos and Kalaja, in press; Kalaja and Barcelos, in press). In response to our call for
papers on beliefs about SLA for this second special issue of System, we received nearly 100 abstract submissions (with
another dozen submitted after the deadline), of which 20 full-length manuscripts competed for inclusion,
1
and 11 were
nally accepted after having been peer-reviewed by two or three experts and revised accordingly.
With the introduction of sociocultural theory or a sociocultural approach to research on beliefs about SLA (a recent
off-shoot of the contextual approach, as we have argued elsewhere) it has been realized that some beliefs held by
language learners e or teachers e are more important than others, as pointed out by Alanen (2003): once beliefs (or
metacognitive knowledge) turn into mediational means, these can have an effect on learners eor teachers eand their
actions, and in the case of learners either enhance their learning of languages or prevent them from learning them. The
1
We wish to thank our colleagues all over the world for acting as reviewers of these manuscripts. All nal decisions were, however, ultimately
ours e as editors.
0346-251X/$ - see front matter 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.system.2011.07.001
www.elsevier.com/locate/system
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
System 39 (2011) 281e289
studies reported in this volume complement nicely previous studies on learner or teacher beliefs within this framework
(e.g., Aro, 2009; Johnson, 2009).
2. Overview of the special issue
If the focus in the mid-1980s was on understanding what students and teachers believed about the language
learning process, now, as the collection of papers in this issue shows, the focus seems to be on how beliefs develop,
uctuate and interact with actions, emotions, identities or affordances and how they are constructed within the micro-
and macro-political contexts of learning and teaching languages. The papers in this issue go beyond describing beliefs
and focus on how beliefs become appropriated and negotiated in interaction with signicant others. In this way, these
papers present some original insights and complement the collection of papers edited by Kalaja and Barcelos (2003),
which characterized beliefs as dynamic, complex and contradictory. As we will see, in describing the nature of beliefs,
most authors in this issue draw on the contextual approach (Barcelos, 2003; Kalaja and Barcelos, in press) and depict
beliefs along the same lines. Yet, beliefs are also seen as increasingly complex, uctuating, appropriated and related to
affordances. The collection of papers in this issue gives us a much more complex view of beliefs than previously.
This issue contains two stance papers illustrated with data samples, and nine empirical studies. In the following
sections, we will review the different studies, discussing their research methodology, the nature of beliefs, a socio-
cultural approach to beliefs and the relationship between beliefs, change and actions (for details, see Table 1).
2.1. Research methodology
Since its beginnings in the mid-1980s, research on learner beliefs has mostly relied on questionnaires with Likert-
scale answers, making use of a quantitative and descriptive research methodology. This issue, however, contains
papers that are, for the most part, qualitative in nature, drawing on the contextual approach (Barcelos, 2003), and of
these quite a number were conducted within a sociocultural framework (see Section 2.4).
Data have been collected for the studies reported in this issue in various ways (see Table 1). An interview with
open-ended questions seems to be the most common instrument used. However, most of the papers combine inter-
viewing with one or more of the following: learning journals (Navarro and Thornton, 2011; Aragao, 2011; Peng, 2011;
Yang and Kim, 2011; Mercer, 2011), self-reports (Navarro and Thornton, 2011), language learning histories, video-
recordings of classroom sessions, informal conversations, drawings (Aragao, 2011), stimulated recall tasks (Yang and
Kim, 2011), classroomobservation (Peng, 2011; De Costa, 2011), school artifacts (De Costa, 2011), postings to an on-
line discussion forum (Negueruela-Azarola, 2011, p. 360e361) sentence-completion tasks (Woods and C akr, 2011;
Wan et al., 2011), and questionnaires (Navarro and Thornton, 2011; Pan and Block, 2011). Of the data collection
methods, drawings and metaphors have so far been little used in research on beliefs about SLA, but these have proven
to be of great value (see Barata, 2006; Kalaja et al., 2008; Kramsch, 2003; Menezes, 2008).
The contexts and subjects of the studies are as varied as the types of instruments used (for details, see Table 1). This
issue contains papers on Japanese learners in a university self-directed language learning setting (Navarro and
Thornton, 2011), teacher trainees on a Brazilian university language teacher education program (Aragao, 2011),
Chinese learners learning English at a university (Peng, 2011) and their teachers (Pan and Block, 2011; Wan et al.,
2011), two Korean students in study abroad contexts (the U.S. and the Philippines) (Yang and Kim, 2011),
a student studying English and Spanish at an Austrian university (Mercer, 2011), a Chinese student in a Singapore
secondary school (De Costa, 2011), in-service teachers at a U.S. university (Negueruela-Azarola, 2011), six British
teacher trainees at a British university (Borg, 2011), six teachers of foreign languages in Turkish schools (Woods and
C akr, 2011).
The data collected from the specic groups of learners and/or teachers in the specic contexts where they nd
themselves have been processed in various ways (see Table 1), ranging from content analysis (often following the
principles of grounded theory) to thematic or discursive analysis of sorts; and from basic statistical analysis (Pan and
Block, 2011) to metaphor analysis (Wan et al., 2011). In the past, research on beliefs relied on an etic perspective, but
all papers in this collection emphasize an emic or even an epic perspective (Negueruela-Azarola, 2011). An epic
perspective to beliefs means
282 Editorial /
System 39 (2011) 281e289
Table 1
Summary of the papers reported in this special issue of System.
Paper Perspective Type of study Focus of study Context Data collection
Approach Subjects Data analysis
Navarro and
Thornton (2011)
e Emic
e Contextual
Longitudinal case
study; qualitative
Possible changes in beliefs and
actions in relation to self-directed
language learning
(or more specically, the
implementation of study plans) and
interaction with advisors
e Japan, university,
learning self-directed
language learning skills
e Two students (out of a
total of 18) and their two
advisors; studying English
e Learning journals,
advising sessions, self-
reports, two questionnaires
e Content analysis of an
intensity sample, i.e. the
two students
Aragao (2011) e Emic Longitudinal case
study; qualitative
Possible changes in beliefs about
oneself as a learner
in relation to classmates
and emotions (e.g. embarrassment,
shyness)
eBrazil, university
e Three teacher trainees
(out of seven who had
volunteered); studying
English
e Language learning
histories, video-recordings
of classroom sessions,
learning journals, interviews
and informal conversations,
drawings
e Contextual,
discursive
e Narrative analysis
Peng (2011) e Emic Longitudinal case
study; qualitative.
Possible changes in beliefs about
learning and teaching EFL, including
types of activities preferred,
learning/teaching goals (mediated by
classroom affordances) while
transferring from high
school to university.
e China, university.
e One rst-year university
student (out of a total of
four), studying English.
e Interviews, classroom
observation, learning
journals
e Contextual, or more
specically,
ecological/
Sociocultural theory.
e Content analysis
Yang and Kim
(2011)
e Emic Longitudinal case
study; qualitative
Possible changes in beliefs e.g. about
goals in learning English in relation
to action(s) while studying abroad
e Study abroad in the
U.S. and the Philippines
e Language learning
histories, learning journals,
interviews, stimulated
recall tasks
e Contextual, or more
specically,
Sociocultural theory
e Two Korean students,
one (male) majoring in
Electronics, the other
(female) in Special
Education; studying English
e Content analysis based
on the principles of
Grounded theory
Mercer (2011) e Emic Longitudinal case
study; qualitative
Possible stability and/or changes in
beliefs about oneself as a learner (or
self-beliefs) in relation to ones self-
concept
e Austria, university e Learning journals,
interviews e Contextual more
specically,
Complexity theory
e One student, studying
English and Spanish e Content analysis based
on the principles of
Grounded theory
(continued on next page)
2
8
3
E
d
i
t
o
r
i
a
l
/
S
y
s
t
e
m
3
9
(
2
0
1
1
)
2
8
1
e
2
8
9
Table 1 (continued)
Paper Perspective Type of study Focus of study Context Data collection
Approach Subjects Data analysis
De Costa (2011) e Emic Stance paper with
illustrative data
samples from an
ethnographic
study
Language ideology and positioning
(instead of beliefs) concerning the
model/goals in learning and teaching
English in this specic context
e Singapore, secondary
school
e Classroom observations,
interviews, school artifacts e Contextual,
discursive e One Chinese student (out
of ve immigrant students)
and her teachers, studying
English
e Coding following Strauss
and Corbin: within-case and
cross-case analyses
Negueruela-Azarola
(2011)
e Epic Case study;
qualitative
Personal beliefs (viewed as
conceptualizing activity) in relation
to theoretical knowledge and
pedagogical practice
e U.S., university
e A teacher trainee (in-
service teacher)
e Postings to an on-line
discussion forum (in addition
to other types of data)
e Contextual, or more
specically,
Sociocultural theory e Thematic analysis in terms
of thesis, anti-thesis and
synthesis
Borg (2011) e Emic Longitudinal case
study; qualitative
Possible changes in beliefs about
teaching English (and increased
awareness of and/or an ability to
express these) as a result of taking a
course in language teacher education
e U.K., university e Interviews, coursework,
tutor feedback e Contextual e Six teacher trainees (or in-
service language teachers)
out of 12
e Qualitative thematic
analysis: cyclical and
summative
Woods and C akr
(2011)
e Emic Stance paper with
illustrative data
samples
Possible changes in teachers
knowledge (with two dimensions:
impersonal vs. personal; theoretical
vs. practical; and including beliefs)
of communicativeness in language
teaching e leading to understanding
through personal reection
e Turkey, schools
e Six teachers of foreign
languages
e Sentence-completion task
and interviews, commenting
on video-recordings of EAP
activities and lessons
regarding their
communicativeness, etc.
e Contextual
e Thematic analysis
Pan and Block (2011) e Emic Descriptive study Beliefs about English as a language
to be learned and taught (including
its status, motivation to study the
language and focus in teaching the
language) held by students and
teachers in relation to two discourses
about the English language in this
context (i.e., globalization and
instrumental value)
e China, university e Questionnaire and
interviews e Contextual, or more
specically,
Sociocultural
theory/Dialogism
e University students
studying English (N 637)
and EFL teachers (N 53)
e Basic statistical analysis;
discourse analysis of topics
Wan et al. (2011) e Emic Descriptive study Beliefs about teachers roles held by
students and teachers and possible
mismatches from one group to
another, and consequent willingness
e on the part of the teachers e to
change their teaching practices
e China, university
e First- and third-year
university students (N 32
and 33) and EFL teachers
(N 33)
e Sentence-completion task
An English teacher is .
because . and interviews
with teachers
e Contextual, or more
specically,
Sociocultural theory
e Metaphor analysis
2
8
4
E
d
i
t
o
r
i
a
l
/
S
y
s
t
e
m
3
9
(
2
0
1
1
)
2
8
1
e
2
8
9
beliefs as transpection or thinking through in the activity of understanding the world and oneself. That is
indeed the epic of human development. Human beings construct and use conceptualizations that are relevant to
explicating their practices in ways that are signicant because of who they are, where they are, and what they
want to do in a specic situation (Negueruela-Azarola, 2011, p. 362).
Beliefs, according to Negueruela-Azarola (2011) are viewed as categories of meaning used for thinking in the
activity of understanding the world and oneself (p. 362).
In sum, the research methodology of the papers in this issue is an indication of the complexity of doing research on
beliefs. The papers are mostly case studies, with the number of subjects ranging from one to half a dozen. In those
studies that can be characterized as descriptive (Pan and Block, 2011; Wan et al., 2011) the numbers are bigger, but not
yet big enough to be subjected to rigorous statistical or quantitative analysis. Interestingly, we also see a move from
ESL to EFL countries as contexts of learning and/or teaching the language. Almost all the papers have used more than
one instrument, often multiple instruments, reecting the fact that the methodology has to be sensitive enough to
capture the complex nature of beliefs. In addition, the use of different theoretical frameworks in several papers such as
the biology of knowing by Maturana (Aragao, 2011) and the sociocultural framework adds to the alternative
approaches that portray beliefs as mediated in interaction and inuencing affordances.
2.2. The nature of beliefs
The papers in this issue conrm what has been pointed out by Kalaja and Barcelos (2003) about the nature of
beliefs: they are context-dependent, in a number of cases variable even within one and the same context or over time e
and at the same time constant ecomplex, discursively constructed through negotiation, dynamic and contradictory. In
addition, the papers in this issue emphasize beliefs to be:
1) Fluctuating: In other words, the same person can hold different beliefs about the same aspect related to SLA at
different times or during short periods in their lives. The uctuation is inuenced by signicant others, micro-
and macro-political contexts, emotions and self-concept. In sum, beliefs are known to have a complex trajectory
permeated by changes, being thus emergent (Peng, 2011).
2) Complex and dialectical: Beliefs are characterized by Mercer (2011, p. 343) as a complex dynamic system
rather than determined by a simple cause-and-effect relationship or dened by the change/stability dichotomy.
Some more general global self-beliefs may appear to be less immediately inuenced by context (Mercer,
2011, p. 343). In fact, as Negueruela-Azarola (2011, p. 360e361) puts it, beliefs are both stable and
changing. A complex view of beliefs acknowledges their paradoxical nature portraying them as being both a)
stable and dynamic; b) social, but personally signicant; c) situated, yet generalizable; d) dialectical, i.e., they
transcend the dichotomy between cognitive and social, ideas and actions; orienting the signicance of
activity but not determining the outcomes in a causal fashion; e) transformative and f) inter-related,
embedded, non-linear, multidimensional and multilayered (Mercer, 2011). This is in accordance with what
Kramsch (2003) has stated earlier on: a contextualized view of beliefs should take into account variability,
contingency and inconsistency (p. 111).
3) Related to the micro- and macro-political contexts and discourses, as also pointed out recently by Gao (2010):
Beliefs are socially historical and political products, connected to the broad socio-political contexts (De Costa,
2011; Pan and Block, 2011; Negueruela-Azarola, 2011). Beliefs may even be referred to by other terms such as
language ideologies. By these De Costa (2011, p. 352) understands (1) ideas about the nature of language itself;
(2) the values and meanings attached to particular codes; (3) hierarchies of linguistic value; and (4) the way that
specic linguistic codes are connected to identities and stances.. Language ideologies are closely connected to
learner/teacher identities and group talk (De Costa, 2011).
4) Intrinsically related to other affective constructs such as emotions and self-concepts: Beliefs are intrinsically
related to emotions. Emotions such as fear, embarrassment, or self-esteem can be related to the beliefs a learner
has about him- or herself and can inuence his or her actions (Aragao, 2011). Self-concept as a subset of self-
beliefs can have a tremendous inuence on how learners approach the language learning task. Learners beliefs
are mediated by their affective dimensions (emotions and self-concept) (Mercer, 2011).
285 Editorial /
System 39 (2011) 281e289
5) Other-oriented: Beliefs are inuenced by signicant others who can affect a persons decisions to incorporate
new beliefs or reinforce old ones (Navarro and Thornton, 2011).
6) Inuenced by reection and affordances: Beliefs may change or be rened as individuals have the chance to
reect on them; they are triggered by affordances and mediated by emotions as well as the socio-historical
contexts (Negueruela-Azarola, 2011; Woods and C akr, 2011; Borg, 2011; Mercer, 2011; De Costa, 2011).
7) Related to knowledge in intricate ways: teacher knowledge (or under-standings) is dynamic, situated, and
contextualized. It is a process (Woods and C akr, 2011). Teachers understand knowledge through the inter-
pretation of their own experiences and through reection on those experiences. Teachers own practical
knowledge can become articulated and theorized through reection on practice. According to Woods and C akr
(2011), new understandings evolve rst by going beyond the terms and developing personal conceptions
through experience, and then by re-theorizing them through verbal articulation, and sharing them through
rhetorical expression (p. 389).
8) Related to action in complex ways: As pointed out above and discussed in the literature (Borg, 2006; Kalaja and
Barcelos, 2003; Woods, 1996), the relationship between beliefs and actions is not a causal one. Rather, it is
dynamic; it is intrinsically mediated by affordances, ones interpretations of ones own actions, emotions, and
self-concepts; and it is inuenced by the socio-historical contexts (see Section 2.4).
2.3. A sociocultural approach to beliefs
The sociocultural framework has emerged as a complementary path to exploring beliefs as contextually situated
social meaning emerging in specic sense-making activities (Negueruela-Azarola, 2011, p. 368). Several papers in
this issue have used a sociocultural framework to investigate beliefs (Negueruela-Azarola, 2011; Yang and Kim, 2011;
Peng, 2011; De Costa, 2011). These papers emphasize how beliefs act as mediators in cognition, in change and in the
macro-political context.
Beliefs play a role in mediating negotiation, change and motivation, claim Yang and Kim (2011). They use the term
belief uctuation to refer to how beliefs change according to learners participation and interaction in different
contexts. Thus, beliefs can also act as scaffold to students participation in a study abroad context. Yang and Kim talk
about the concept of remediation to explain the relationship between learners beliefs and their environment.
The concept of affordance is used by Peng (2011) to explain how beliefs can be mediated. Affordances are
relational and dependent on learners perceptions of the environment. According to the author, Local classroom
affordances (such as meaning-focused activities, familiar topics, support from the teacher and peers, teaching
methods, and lesson goals) can give rise to the emergence of learner beliefs (p. 321).
Positioning is yet another concept that relates to beliefs. According to De Costa (2011, p.350), positioning refers to
how a learner positions him- or herself as well as others vis-a`-vis the identity he or she wants to construct or perform in
a conversation. How learners position themselves inuences the kinds of beliefs that they may construct, rene and
reinforce. They may use other positioning, self-positioning, rst other positioning and strategic positioning to
reinforce their own beliefs or those of other people. Thus, language ideologies are closely connected to identities and
to group talk. As De Costa (2011) explains, positioning theory can allow us to examine how learners discursive
positionings shape their beliefs and subsequently inuence their learning outcomes (p. 350). This theory highlights
the intrinsic relationship between beliefs and identity as well as agency.
Based on the pioneering work of Alanen (2003) and Dufva (2003) within a sociocultural or dialogic approach to
beliefs, the concept of belief appropriation is taken up by authors such as Peng (2011), and Navarro and Thornton
(2011), to refer to how we appropriate beliefs from others. This is similar to what Kramsch (2003) has dened as
belief ascription, i.e., how beliefs are attributed to self or others (p. 111). According to Yang and Kim (2011), only
appropriated beliefs can be used as an effective mediational tool that enables learners to sustain motivated L2
learning (p. 331).
2.4. Beliefs, change and actions
Most of the papers in this issue focus on belief change (Navarro and Thornton, 2011; Aragao, 2011; Peng, 2011;
Yang and Kim, 2011; Mercer, 2011; Borg, 2011; Woods and C akr, 2011). Belief change is described as complex and
286 Editorial /
System 39 (2011) 281e289
nuanced, and beliefs may change to reect contextual changes or in terms of the emotions they trigger (Mercer,
2011). The factors that inuence change include the context, signicant others (Navarro and Thornton, 2011), and
the emotions as modulating the beliefs constructed in interaction (Aragao, 2011; Mercer, 2011). Change is also closely
tied to reection and action.
Within a sociocultural approach to beliefs, Yang and Kim (2011) see changes in learner beliefs as a factor that can
bring about a qualitative transformation in the relationship between the learner and the environment (p. 326).
Accordingly, beliefs can promote an L2 remediation process, showing the learners agentive efforts to maintain (or
abandon) L2 goals or to remediate their L2 learning process (p. 332). In other words, learners beliefs seem to play
a crucial role in their agentive efforts to engineer their environment toward their language learning process. In this
effort, reection is decisive.
Reection plays an important role in belief change. Four papers deal with this aspect of teacher beliefs (Woods and
C akr, 2011; Negueruela-Azarola, 2011; Aragao, 2011; Borg, 2011). Woods and C akr (2011) emphasize that
knowledge becomes articulated as we become aware of it and are able to personalize it through our own experiences.
According to the authors, when a teacher reects on practice, and begins to articulate his or her practical
knowledge, it begins to be theorized and to inform his or her theoretical knowledge (p. 389).
Negueruela-Azarola (2011) sees belief change and reection as processes that are part of conceptual mediation.
Belief change can be equated with transforming beliefs, by engaging learners in a process that promotes the emer-
gence of their beliefs in sense-making activity (p. 360). Aragaos (2011) study shows how beliefs and emotions can
be changed through reection. Through reection, student teachers were able to distinguish and observe their own
emotions and their own interpretations of events and their ultimate consequences. Once again, this is not a cause-and-
effect relationship, but a dynamic system since, students actions are not conditioned to the emotion present in
reection, but the student can move on to a new emotion under which other aspects present in the context can play
a role in the learning dynamics (p. 311).
One of the most complex and intriguing aspects of research on teacher beliefs is how teacher education courses
affect student teacher beliefs. Borg (2011) investigates this issue and concludes that teacher education courses do have
an impact on teacher beliefs: they can a) strengthen or extend teachers beliefs; b) make their beliefs more apparent
and help them verbalize them; c) help teachers to put their beliefs into practice and to develop links between beliefs
and theory; and d) be the source of new beliefs for teachers. With some teachers in his study, however, change was not
observed and, according to Borg (2011), there may be several reasons for this: the teachers may have equated change
with radical change; or their beliefs may already have been in alignment with those promoted on the course; or thirdly,
the course may have allowed them to think about their beliefs, without challenging or confronting them (possibly due
to limited opportunities for teachers to talk to each other).
There is also the question of the role of actions in belief change. How beliefs interact with actions has been
a recurrent theme in research on beliefs and it is an important aspect in understanding belief change. In earlier research
on beliefs, this relationship was seen as a simple cause-and-effect relationship; as interactive, i.e., beliefs inuence
actions but actions also inuence beliefs; or as dissonant, in which case beliefs and actions may be discrepant due to
contextual factors (Barcelos, 2003, 2006).
We could say that the papers in this issue stress a complex relationship between beliefs and actions. Most papers
rely on a sociocultural approach to beliefs and actions seeing beliefs as mediators of learners actions (Navarro and
Thornton, 2011). In addition, learners interpretations of their actions as well as their successful practice as rein-
forcement can act to rene their emergent beliefs. In this sense, we can say that a belief trajectory develops through
ones engagement or agency in interpreting ones actions and rening thoughts.
2.5. Future directions
Overall, the papers published in this issue have thrown further light on learner and teacher beliefs about various
aspects of SLA. The papers are concerned with the nature of these beliefs (for the most part in the form of case studies
and carried out within a sociocultural framework) and possible changes in beliefs (described by a number of terms)
and viewing beliefs in relation to a variety of issues relevant in learning and teaching second or foreign languages,
highlighting the dynamicity, complexity and context-dependency of these relationships. Future research could address
or elaborate on some of the following issues: relationships between
287 Editorial /
System 39 (2011) 281e289
beliefs and identities
beliefs and emotions
beliefs and motivation
beliefs and agency within sociocultural theory,
with groups of subjects (including other stake-holders such as parents and Government ofcials as local and national
decision makers) and in different contexts (including homes, headmasters studies, Ministries of Education), and
research methodologies rened. Alternatively, further studies could elaborate on or reconsider the theoretical starting
points of research in this eld. For example, complexity theory is addressed in only one paper in this special issue
(Mercer, 2011), pointing thus to new directions in this eld.
References
Alanen, R., 2003. A sociocultural approach to young learners beliefs about language learning. In: Kalaja, P., Barcelos, A.M.F. (Eds.), Beliefs
about SLA: New Research Approaches. Kluwer Academic Press, Dordrecht, pp. 55e85.
Aragao, R., 2011. Beliefs and emotions in foreign language learning. System 39 (3), 302e313.
Aro, M., 2009. Speakers and Doers: Polyphony and Agency in Childrens Beliefs about Language Learning. Jyvaskyla Studies in Humanities 116.
University of Jyvaskyla, Jyvaskyla.
Barata, M. C. C. M., 2006. Crencas sobre avaliacao em l ngua inglesa: um estudo de caso a partir das metaforas no discurso de professores em
formacao. Unpublished Ph. D. Dissertation. Belo Horizonte: UFMG, Brazil.
Barcelos, A.M.F., 2003. Researching beliefs about SLA: a critical review. In: Kalaja, P., Barcelos, A.M.F. (Eds.), Beliefs about SLA: New
Research Approaches. Kluwer Academic Press, Dordrecht, pp. 7e34.
Barcelos, A.M.F., 2006. Cognicao de professores e alunos: tendencias recentes na pesquisa de crencas sobre ensino e aprendizagem de l nguas. In:
Barcelos, A.M.F., Vieira-Abrahao, M.M. (Eds.), Crencas e Ensino de L nguas: Foco no Professor, no Aluno e na Formacao de Professores.
Pontes, Campinas, pp. 15e41.
Barcelos, A.M.F., Kalaja, P. Beliefs about SLA: teacher. Wiley Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, forthcoming.
Borg, S., 2006. Teacher Cognition and Language Education: Research and Practice. Continuum, London.
Borg, S., 2011. The impact of in-service teacher education on language teachers beliefs. System 39 (3), 370e380.
De Costa, P.I., 2011. Using language Ideology and positioning to broaden the SLA learner beliefs landscape: the case of an ESL learner from
china. System 39 (3), 347e358.
Dufva, H., 2003. Beliefs in dialogue. In: Kalaja, P., Barcelos, A.M.F. (Eds.), Beliefs about SLA: New Research Approaches. Kluwer Academic
Press, Dordrecht, pp. 131e151.
Gao, X.A., 2010. Strategic Language Learning: The Roles of Agency and Context. Multilingual Matters, Bristol.
Horwitz, E., 1985. Using student beliefs about language learning and teaching in the foreign language methods course. Foreign Language Annals
18 (4), 333e340.
Johnson, K., 2009. Second Language Teacher Education: A Sociocultural Perspective. Routledge, New York.
Kalaja, P., Barcelos, A.M.F. (Eds.), 2003. Beliefs about SLA: New Research Approaches. Kluwer Academic Press, Dordrecht.
Kalaja, P., Barcelos, A.M.F. Beliefs about SLA: learner. Wiley Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, forthcoming.
Kalaja, P., Alanen, R., Dufva, H., 2008. Self-portraits of EFL learners: Finnish students draw and tell. In: Kalaja, P., Menezes, V., Barcelos, A.M.F.
(Eds.), Narratives of Learning and Teaching EFL. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 186e198.
Kramsch, C., 2003. Metaphor and the subjective construction of beliefs. In: Kalaja, P., Barcelos, A.M.F. (Eds.), Beliefs about SLA: New Research
Approaches. Kluwer Academic Press, Dordrecht, pp. 109e128.
Menezes, V., 2008. Multimedia language learning histories. In: Kalaja, P., Menezes, V., Barcelos, A.M.F. (Eds.), Narratives of Learning and
Teaching EFL. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 199e213.
Mercer, S., 2011. Language learner self-concept: complexity, continuity and change. System 39 (3), 335e346.
Navarro, D., Thornton, K., 2011. Investigating the relationship between belief and action in self-directed language learning. System 39 (3),
290e301.
Negueruela-Azarola, E., 2011. Beliefs as conceptualizing activity: a dialectical approach for the second language classroom. System 39 (3),
359e369.
Pan, L., Block, D., 2011. English as a global language in China: an investigation into learners and teachers language beliefs. System 39 (3),
391e402.
Peng, J.-E., 2011. Changes in language learning beliefs during a transition to tertiary study: the mediation of classroom affordances. System 39
(3), 314e324.
Wan, W., David Low, G., Lib, M., 2011. From students and teachers perspectives: metaphor analysis of beliefs about EFL teachers roles. System
39 (3), 403e415.
Wenden, A., 1986. What do second-language learners think about learning. ELT Journal 40, 3e12.
Wenden, A., (Ed.) 1999. System 44 (Special issue on beliefs about SLA).
Woods, D., 1996. Teacher Cognition in Language Teaching: Beliefs, Decision-making, and Classroom Practice. Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge.
288 Editorial /
System 39 (2011) 281e289
Woods, D., C akr, H., 2011. Two dimensions of teacher knowledge: the case of communicative language teaching. System 39 (3), 381e390.
Yang, J.-S., Kim, T.-Y., 2011. Sociocultural analysis of second language learner beliefs: a qualitative case study of two study-abroad ESL learners.
System 39 (3), 325e334.
Ana Maria Ferreira Barcelos*
Federal University of Vicosa, Brazil
Paula Kalaja
University of Jyvaskyla, Finland
E-mail address: paula.kalaja@jyu.
15 January 2011
*Corresponding author. Tel.: 55 31 3899 1585; fax: 55 31 3899 2410.
E-mail address: anamfb@ufv.br
289 Editorial /
System 39 (2011) 281e289