A Study of  Causal Relationship between  Attitude, Self-Esteem, Ambiguity Tolerance, Locus of Control, and  Language Proficiency of Iranian learners of the English as a Foreign Language

Author

Department of English Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman

Abstract

This study investigated the causal relationship between  Attitude (Att), Self-esteem (S-e), Ambiguity tolerance (At), Locus of control (Loc) and  Language Proficiency (LP) among Iranian EFL learners. It was hypothesized that there are some causal relationships between FL learners’  mentioned variables and their LP. Participants were 172 senior English major university students who filled out the questionnaires for each trait. The statistical procedure of path analysis was utilized to examine the adequacy of the proposed causal models which linked Att, S-e, At, Loc,  and LP.  Results revealed that , firstly, the total effects in causal models  calculated through path analysis were all greater than the direct effect estimated through correlational analysis. This finding is, in fact, the essence of  this research in suport of utilizing path analysis rather than simple correlation in studies about learners' variables. Secondly, the highest total positive effect  was related to  Model 2   in which  Att  affected LP through all other variables. Moreover,   S-e had a significant total effect  and At had  a non-significant total effect and Loc (external) showed a negative total effect on LP.  From the findings of this study, it can be  concluded  that  attitude  has a determining role in language learning process. The findings clearly demonstrated that causal  modeling  path analysis can serve  as a versatile tool in research in applied linguistics,  because it reveals the more complicated  interplay of  the learners' variables.

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