A Psycholinguistics Case Study: The Relations of Learned Helplessness, Locus of Control, and Attitudes towards English with Academic Success

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Learned helplessness is the result of exposition to enduring negative and/or painful stimuli.  If somebody thinks that he has free will to do something and his behavior is related to various outcomes, his/her locus of control is internal. Otherwise, s/he is convinced that her/his behavior, emotions and thoughts are controlled by some external factors which they cannot influence. The aim of this study is to examine the impact of learned helplessness and the locus of control on overall academic success (average grades) as well as on English grades. Our sample consisted of 159 students who were at tertiary level in Balkans (from the first to the sixth year of study). The mean age of participants was M = 21.62 (SD = 1.83). There were 76 males (47.80%) and 83 females (52.20%). The measures used in this study are: Demographic Information Questionnaire, Emotional aspect of attitudes toward the English language,  Learned Helplessness Scale (LHS), and Trice’s Academic Locus of Control Scale. The results revealed that students had low levels of external locus of control and learned helplessness whereas their attitudes toward English were positive. The main part of results included the following findings: students who had low levels of learned helplessness and internal locus of control had better average grades as well as grades in English as a high school/university subject. In addition, they like English more than students with external locus of control and high levels of learned helplessness.

Anahtar kelimeler

Learned helplessness, locus of control, English as a foreign language (EFL), attitudes toward English, academic success

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