Exploring Locus of Control Orientations of Turkish Efl Learners with Regard to Socio-Economic Status

Devrim Hol & Ayseun Yavuz, Turkey, ID CLEaR2016-367;       “Why do people fail?” is probably the most frequently asked question both by people themselves, and in this context, by teachers and learners sharing the same classroom. In language learning classrooms, this question may be more complex as learning a foreign language is a very different area of learning because no other field of study necessitates learners to take social risks, and it is highly related to personal factors (Horwitz, 1990). Another reason is that although learning a foreign language may seem as a “learnable” school subject and contains grammatical rules that are taught explicitly, it is a social event and it is socially and culturally bounded (Williams, 1994). As the individual factors gain importance, factors affecting learning and achievement are believed to unearth the key to success, and it takes the great attention of all stakeholders in education ranging from researchers to institutions and, of course, the learners. Psychological factors including motivation are among the most important driving forces that direct a goal (Schunk, 1990). It should be noted that psychological factors are important in motivation and achievement for a specific goal, however, just being aware of psychological factors and the relationship between psychology and achievement does not help teachers and learners to understand the reasons fo failure deeply and help them to be more successful, so, in order to gain knowledge about psychological factors and achievement and also individual differences, knowledge of the factors paving the road to success is highly critical. As a result, researchers turned their way to explore reasons why some learners are more successful and motivated than others and it forced them to question deeper reasons for failure such as past experiences, socio-economic differences. The focus of this research is to investigate learners’ attributions with respect to their success or failure in an EFL setting with  socio-economic status of the participants. This experimental study was designed based on a pretest-posttest model and was conducted with the participants in School of Foreign Languages at Pamukkale University during 2013-2014 academic year. The study conducts an attribution retraining intervention program in addition to a questionnaire, semi- structured pre- and post-interviews, self reports. The findings of the questionnaire were analyzed through SPSS 20 Program (Statistical Program for Social Sciences) and the pre- and post interviews were analyzed through qualitative content analysis. It was found that participants with low socio-economic status attribute their failure to external attributions more than the participants with good or average socio-economic status. Findings of the study were discussed in the light of the relevant literature and some suggestions for further studies were made.

Key Words: Attribution, Attribution retraining, Academic Achievement, Socio-economic Status

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