Language learner beliefs and study abroad: a study on English as a lingua franca (ELF)
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The English language used to be specific to English-speaking countries such as the U.S.; however, it has evolved to become the new lingua franca all around the world. Considering the growing number of students studying abroad in English as a lingua franca (ELF) communities, the present study aimed to investigate the relationship between Turkish exchange students’ beliefs about English language learning and their study abroad sojourns in ELF contexts. The data were collected mainly through three instruments: language learner belief questionnaire (LLBQ), elicited journals, and a study abroad perception questionnaire (SAPQ). The quantitative and qualitative results revealed three important findings. First, there is a bi-directional relationship between students’ pre- and post-beliefs about English language learning and their perceptions of study abroad experiences. Second, Turkish exchange students’ overall beliefs remained almost the same across pre- and post-study abroad, suggesting that students might need stays longer than five months to have any observable changes in their beliefs about language learning. Third, although the current study’s participants reported a commitment toward native-speaker norms, they shifted their focus from accuracy to intelligibility, which helped them achieve their ultimate goal, that is, successful interaction in ELF communities.