Self-efficacy Beliefs and Language Learners’ Perceptions of Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication for Second Language Learning

By Olga Sanchez-Castro.

Published by The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 4, 2015 $US5.00

A number of individual learner variables have been found to affect second language learning (Gass and Selinker 2001; Long 1996; Skehan 1998). Among these variables, Bandura’s Social Cognitive theory of learning identifies self-efficacy beliefs, or “personal judgements of performance capabilities in a given domain of activities” (Schunk 1985:208), as having a crucial role over the learning process and, ultimately, over achievement (Bandura 1986; 1991; 1993; Breen 2001; Schunk 1989; Zimmerman 1995). With a focus on self-efficacy beliefs and second language learning, this longitudinal study explored whether synchronous text-based chat (i.e. simultaneous—real time—written communication in online chat rooms) is perceived by intermediate-level Spanish language learners to enhance opportunities for second language learning . The specific concern is whether participation in synchronous text-based chat is perceived by learners with lower self-efficacy beliefs to promote opportunities for engagement in collaborative discourse construction in their second language. Taking a mixed-methodology approach, the analysed survey and interview data illustrates the role text-based chat can play in facilitating participation in the second language for learners who have low- and mid-point levels of self-efficacy beliefs. Findings suggest that opportunities to engage in symmetrical and collaborative discourse construction are enhanced, and that this, in turn, can positively impact learners’ sense of mastery experience over time.

Keywords: Second Language Learning, Self-efficacy Beliefs, Computer-Mediated Communication

The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies, Volume 13, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.27-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 4, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 606.989KB)).

Dr. Olga Sanchez-Castro

Lecturer, School of Humanities, Department of Language Studies, Spanish, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia