A Review of Beliefs, Agency and Identity in Foreign Language Learning and Teaching

Sotiria Pappa

Identity, Beliefs about Language learning, Foreign language learning and teaching, Agency


This publication is comprised of seven empirical studies on beliefs, agency and identity as a response to the need for contextual, longitudinal and interconnected studies in foreign language learning and teaching. The underpinning argument of the book is that our beliefs about foreign language learning inform our actions, while both beliefs and actions affect our sense of self, our identity. This holds true for students and their learning as much as for teachers and their teaching. Building on former studies within contextual approaches, beliefs, agency and identity are presented as interconnected phenomena. As such, they are addressed by various theoretical starting points and data of longitudinal nature, ranging from 3 to 15 years. The emic (insider) perspective taken to examine the subjective experiences of participants is complemented by the qualitative and interpretative approach to data collection and analysis. The book primarily aims at a deeper understanding of the role of beliefs in foreign language learning. Secondly, it aims at learning about the beliefs held by specific groups of Finnish and Brazilian individuals involved in teaching and learning foreign languages. After two introductory chapters, the book is structured in storyline fashion, transitioning from young learners (Part I, two studies) to student teachers (Part II, three studies) to in-service teachers (Part III, two studies). A critical evaluation of the reported studies and the overall contributions of the book are discussed in the concluding chapter.

Download as PDF

Print this page

Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies