Foreign Language Attributions and Achievement in Foreign Language Classes

Reza Pishghadam, Reza Zabihi


This study examined the relationship between EFL learners’ attributions for success and failure in learning a foreign language and their achievement in foreign language classes. To this end, the Causal Dimension Scale (CDS-II), and the Language Achievement Attribution Scale (LAAS) were administered to 209 EFL learners studying at English language institutes in Mashhad, a city in north-eastern Iran. Six causal attributions (ability, effort, task difficulty, mood, luck, and teacher) together with four attributional properties (locus of causality, stability, personal control, and external control) were compared with learners' English language achievement. To see whether there is any significant relationship between learners' attributions and their English language achievement, Pearson product-moment correlation was applied to the data. The results showed significant correlations between LAAS as well as CDS-II subscales and learners' final scores. Results from Regression Analysis (using LAAS) revealed that effort attribution was the best predictor for achievement, indicating that students who attributed the outcome of their test to effort received higher grades on the final exam. Moreover, results from Regression Analysis (using CDS-II) indicated that only stable and personal attributions significantly predicted students’ foreign language achievement. Finally, statistical results were discussed, and implications for English language teaching were suggested.

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International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email:

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