An Exploration of English Students’ Attitude toward Learning English

Teuku Zulfikar, Syarifah Dahliana, Riska Amelia Sari


Attitude is one of the success factors in language learning. It includes students’ feelings, beliefs, and behavior tendencies. This study is conducted using the mixed-method research  exploring English Department students’ attitude on learning English. The main focus of the study is to discover students’ belief on English, to understand students’ attitude, feeling and behavior on learning English. The data were collected through questionnaire and semi-structured interview. The participants of the reseach were fifty five students selected randomly to fill in the questionnaire. However, only six students were selected purposively to gain data more in-depth through interview. The results indicate that English department students show positive attitude in three points of cognitive aspect; the students’ reason for learning English, the students’ level of English competeent, and the students’ thinking toward learning English which they consider that English is important.  Moreover, the students have positive in four points of emotional attitude; the students’ interesting in learning English, the students’ feeling in learning English, the students’ preference in learning English, and the students’ enjoyment in learning English which the students show good feeling in learning English. Furthermore, the students have positive in three points of behavioral attitude; the students’ attention during learning English, students’ participation in the English which the students act posively during learning English. In other words, English Department students were found to have positive attitudes toward learning English.

Full Text:



Abidin, Z, Mohammadi M, Alzwari H (2012). EFL students attitudes towards learning English language: the case of Libyan secondary school students, 8 (2), 119-134

Ajzan, I. (1988). Attitudes, personality and behaviour. Chicago : Dorsey Press.

Albarracín, D., Johnson, B.T., Zanna, M.P. & Kumkale, G.T. (2005). Attitudes: Introduction and Scope. In D. Albarracín, B.T. Johnson, y M.P. Zanna (Eds.), The Handbook of attitudes 9pp. 3-20). Mahwah, NJ : Lawrance Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Alsayed, M. (2003). Factors That Contribute to Success in Learning English as a Foreign Language. Damascus University Journal, 19 (1), 22-44

Baron, A & Byrne, E. (2003). Social psychology (10th ed). Boston: Allyn and Bacon

Bergroth, U. M. (2007). Finish Professionals with limited English Proficiency: A Study of Language Attitudes and Language Use. Englannin Kieli Syyskuu

Bohner, G. & Wanke, M. (2002). Attitudes and attitude change. New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Boonrangsri, K., Chuaymankhong, D., Rermyindee, N., & Vongchittpinyo, N. (2004). The Attitude towards English Language Learning of the Students in Vocational Certificate Level under Curriculum in 2002. Thailand: A Case Study of Ayutthaya Technical College studied by Naresuan University.

Brown, H. D. (2000). Principles of language learning and teaching. 4th ed. White Plains, NY: Addison Wesley Longman.

Brown, H.D. (2001). Using surveys in language programs. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge. University Press

Brown, H. D. (2007). Principles of language learning and teaching. USA: Longman.

Candeias, A. A., Rebelo, N., & Oliveira, M. (2010). Student’ Attitudes Toward Learning and School-Study of Exploratory Models about the Effects of Socio-demographics and Personal Attributes. Retrieved from http://www. on May 13, 2019

Chalak, A. & Kassaian, Z. (2010). Motivation and Attitudes of Iranian Undergraduate EFL Students towards Learning English. GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies 37, 10 (2), 37-56. Available online: on March 12, 2019.

Creswell, J.W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.) Pearson: University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Choy, S. C. & Troudi, S. (2006). An investigation into the changes in perceptions of and attitudes towards learning English in a Malaysian college. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 18(2), 120-130.

Devi, N., & Simanjalam, P. (2008). Students participation in english language classrooms. (Project Report). Retrieved from on March 9, 2019.

Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of learning for intruction (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Fakeye, D. (2010). Students’ Personal Variables as Correlates of Academic Achievement in English as a Second Language in Nigeria. Journal of Social Sciences, 22(3), 205-211

Feng, R., & Chen, H. (2009). An analysis on the importance of motivation and strategy in postgraduates English acquisition. English Language Teaching. 2, 93–97. Retrieved from elt/article/viewFile/3700/3301 on February 2, 2019.

Festinger, L. (1957). A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Fishbein, M. & Ajzen, I., (1975). Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior, Reading. MA: Addison-Wesley.

Gajalakshmi, V. (2013). High School Students’ Attitude toward Learning English Language. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 3(9), 1-7.

Gardner, R. (1985). Social psychology and second language learning: The role of attitudes and motivation. London: Edward Arnold.

Gardner, R., & Lambert, W. (1972). Attitudes and motivations in second language learning. Rowley, Massachusetts: Newbury House.

Haddock, G. & Maio, G.R. (2010). The Psychology of Attitudes and Attitude Change. Pennsylvania State University : Sage

Hatch, E., and Lazaraton, A. (1991). The research manual. New York : New Bury house

Holmes, J. (1992). An Introductionto Sociolinguistics. Pearson, NY: Longman.

İnal, S., Evin, İ. & Saracaloğlu, A. S. (2003). The Relation between Students’ Attitudes Toward Foreign Language and Foreign Language Achievement. Paper presented at Approaches to the Study of Language and Literature, First International Conference Dokuz Eylül University Buca Faculty of Education, İzmir, Turkey. Retrieved from on January 7, 2019.

Jain, V. (2014). 3D Model of Attitude. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences, 3(3), 1-12

Julia, K., Eckhardt, A. (2011). The Attitude Construct in IT Adoption Research- A Scientometric Analysis. Research in Progress paper, International Conference on Information sytem. Shanghai

Kara, A. (2009). The effect of learning theories unit on students’ attitudes towards learning. Australian journal of teacher education. 22, 205-211.

Karahan, F. (2008). Language attitudes of Turkish students towards the English language and its use in Turkish context. Journal of Arts and Sciences, 7, 73-87

Katesi, Y,Y, K. (1993). Some factors influencing language learning and their implication for language teaching. ITL, Review of Applied Lingusitic, 2 (3) 101-139

Keith walley, Paul Custance, Gaynor Orto n, Stephen Parsons, Adam Lindgreen, Mart in Hingley. (2009). Longitudinal attitude surveys in consumer research: A case study from the agrifood sector. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 12(3), 260-278.

Kubiatko, M. (2013). Postoje žiakov druhého stupňa základných škôl k prírodovedným predmetom. Habilitačná práca. Brno: Masarykova Univerzita.

Latchanna, G. & Dagnew, A. (2009). Attitude of teachers towards the use of active learning methods. E-journal of All India Association for Educational Research. 21(1). Retrieved from on April 12. 2019

Lennartsson, F. (2008). Students' motivation and attitudes towards learning a second language: British and Swedish students' points of view. Retrieved from on March 9, 2019.

Marwan, A (2012). Researching Indonesia Students‘ Attitude towards Foreign Language. Journal Bahasa dan Seni, 40(2) , 195-204.

Mantle-Bromley, C. (1995). Positive attitudes and realistic beliefs: links to proficiency. Modern Language journal, 79 (3), 372-386

Meriam-Webster Dictionary. (2017). Learning. Retrieved from on December 6, 2018

Mensah, J., Okyere, M., & Kuranchie, A. (2013). Students attitude towards mathematics and performances: does the teacher attitude matter?. Journal of education and practice, 3, 132-139.

Middlebrook, P.N. (1980). Social Psychology and Modern life. New York : Alfred A

Mohd, N., Mahmood. (2011). The effect of attitude toward problem solving in Mathematics Achievments. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 5(12), 1857-1862

Momani M (2009). The Jordanian Secondary Stage students Achievement in Reading Comprehension according to their views towards Learning English as a Foreign Language. J. Human Sci, 42:1-36. Retrieved from: on Novermber 4, 2018.

Montano, D.E. & Kasprzyk, D. (2008). Theory of reasoned action, theory of planned behavior, and the integrated behavior model: Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass

Nahavandi N, Mukundan J. (2013). Iranian EFL Engineering Students’ Motivational Orientations towards English Language Learning along Gender and Further Education in Language Institutes. International Journal of Linguistics, 5(1), 72-93. doi:10.5296/ijl.v5i1.2684

Obiola, M. S. (2002). The Matched Guise Technique: a Critical Approcimation to a Classic Test for Formal Measurement of Language Attitudes. Online. Internet. Retrieved from, on June 3, 2019

Padwick, A. (2010). Attitudes towards English and varieties of English in globalizing India. Newcastle: University of Groningen. Retrieved from on May 2, 2019

Quasem, F. (2014). Students Attitude Toward Learning English : The Bangladesh Context. Prime University Journal. 8 (1), 70-100.

Pickens, J. (2005). Attitudes and Perception. In organizational Behavior In Health Care; Jones & Barlett Learning: Burlington, MA, USA, 43-76. Availbale online: on December 12, 2018

Saidat, A. M. (2010). Language attitude: The case of Jordan. International Journal of Academic Research, 2, 235–243

Schiffman, L.G. & Kanuk, L.L., (2004). Consumer Behaviour . 8th ed., Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education.

Schwarz, E.J., Wdowiak, M.A., Almer-Jarz, D.A. and Breitenecker, R.J. (2009). The effects of attitudes and perceived environment conditions on students’ entrepreneurial intent. Education & Training, 51 (4), 272-291.

Shams, M. (2008). Students’ attitudes, motivation and anxiety towards English language learning. Journal of Research, 2(2), 121-144.

Sudono, A. (2008). Penelitian Tindakan Kelas. Jakarta : Raja Grafindo.

Sulistiyo, U. (2012). Learning English As A Foreign language in an indonesian university: A study of non-english department students’ preferred activities inside an outside the classroom. IJET, 5 (2), 1-26

Tella J, Indoshi FC, Othuon LA. (2010). Relationship between students’ perspectives on the secondary school English curriculum and their academic achievement in Kenya. Educational Research, 1(9), 390-395

Wang, C. (2010) Toward a second language socialization perspective: Issues in study abroad research. Foreign Language Annals. 42: 270-286.

Wenden, A. (1991). Learner strategies for learner autonomy. London: Prentice Hall.

William, M. And Burden, R. (1997). Psychology for language teachers. Cambridge university press.

York, T., Gibson, Ch., & Rankin, S. (2015). Defining and Measuring Academic Success. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation. 20(5), 1-20.

Rula, Y. J. (1991). Social And Psychological Factors In Learning English As A Foreign Language In Lebanon. The Degree Of Doctor Of Philosophy In Applied Linguistics At The School Of Education University Of Leicester. United States



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Teuku Zulfikar

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

English Language Teaching Educational Journal
Kampus 4 Universitas Ahmad Dahlan
Jl. Ringroad Selatan, Tamanan, Bantul, Yogyakarta

e-ISSN: 2621-6485


View My Stats