Quotation Sing, Christine Simone, Trinder, Ruth. 2009. Contexts, conflicts and consequences: an investigation of business students' language attitudes, learning beliefs and strategies. 42nd BAAL Annual Conference: Language, Learning and Context, Newcastle, Großbritannien, 03.09. - 05.09.




The significance of context for students' learning environment and success of language learning is recognised as a key variable in language teaching. As a concept, however, context comprises a variety of situations to which a learner is exposed. Therefore, any analysis of learners' attitudes, beliefs and strategies in their specific 'context of situation' has to spell out whether these contexts are to be viewed as empowering or constraining factors. In its most general form, context relates to broader societal issues as well as to national and supranational educational policies. More specifically, these issues seep into the institutional context, from which they enter the classroom environment. In this study, the contexts outlined above interact to generate a specific type of content-based ESP characterised by a concern for accuracy and native speaker norms combined with a strong emphasis on the transfer of topical knowledge. Not surprisingly, such a top-down syllabus can be irreconcilable with students' perceptions of their own language learning needs, target norms, and learning beliefs. This discrepancy is even more glaring in the light of the link between (meta)cognitive knowledge and achievement. While strategies have been widely acknowledged as pivotal to learners' motivation and performance, the impact of language attitudes, frequently reduced to their affective component, has been underestimated. Yet there is considerable evidence that these sentiments are also indicative of important cognitive processes needing to be uncovered. Drawing on the relevant literature, we attempt to deconstruct advanced students' views of the constituents (language & content) of the ESP programme they have passed through, identify mismatches and categorise those types of behaviours and attitudes that students adopt in response.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Paper presented at an academic conference or symposium
Language English
Title Contexts, conflicts and consequences: an investigation of business students' language attitudes, learning beliefs and strategies
Event 42nd BAAL Annual Conference: Language, Learning and Context
Year 2009
Date 03.09. - 05.09.
Country United Kingdom
Location Newcastle


Sing, Christine Simone (Former researcher)
Trinder, Ruth (Details)
Institute for English Business Communication (Köster) (Details)
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