Why they succeed or fail: self concept and attributional styles of Ivorian secondary school English as a Foreign Language ( EFL) learners.

AGBA Yoboué Kouadio Michel


The aim of the research was to investigate French speaking secondary school EFL learners’ self-concept and their perceptions of the causes of their difficulties in learning a foreign language. For that purpose, 41 high school final year students in literature (LS), and 49 high school final year students in sciences (SS) were investigated using evocation questions, a Likert scale questionnaire, and open and closed questions.  The research results revealed that both literature and science students had a negative self-concept, and perceived themselves as not deeply involved in the language class. These learners attributed the causes of their difficulties in the language class either to the teacher or to the coefficient of English. Such findings highlight the essential role of EFL teachers in increasing students’ interest in the language class by helping them shape a positive self-concept. They also underline the necessity of increasing the coefficient of English as a discipline in our schools.


self-concept, attribution, self esteem, self-efficacy, self-handicapping.

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