Attitude as a Learner Variable in Learning English in Sri Lanka
English language is considered second language in many countries which were colony of the British Empire. The importance of learning English is recognized at present with the advancement of modern technology. Therefore, many studies were conducted by researchers to find out the issues related to English language learning. The learner differences I am going discuss in this paper are some of them which have been received attention by scholars. Language learners’ differences in personality, attitudes or social factors can contribute to the ways and means of learning another language. This paper attempts to discuss issues related to attitudes of language learners as a variable that may directly have an impact on making differences in learning English language in Sri Lankan context. Language learner’s attitude is directly linked with their level of motivation which may lead to learning English as a second language aiming at the different expectations they wish to fulfil by learning it. It further tries to relate the contextual issues to the experience of the writer in learning and teaching English language in the context of Sri Lanka.
Keywords: Second language, Attitude, Ethnocentrism, Learned helplessness, Social status
Individual differences in language learning is a topic that has been researched and discussed broadly in the field of English language teaching. According to Johnson (2008), the variables that contribute broadly in making individual differences are “cognitive variables, affective variables and personality variables” (p.113). The most common affective variables are “motivation and attitude”(p.113). According to Johnson (2008) the word affective is “to do with feelings” (p. 113). This paper discusses the attitude as a variable that influences learners in learning English as a second language. This article will examine how various attitudes influence the learners in having positive or negative attitude in learning English as a second language in relation to the context of Sri Lanka. This paper discusses attitudes of English language learning in relation to the experience of my teaching of English for many years. Continue reading