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Volume 7 Number 3, Autumn 2010, Pages 1-187   


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Science and Engineering Students' Attributions for Success and Failure in the EFL Classroom

    Kitcha Thepsiri and Punjaporn Pojanapunya


Attribution for success and failure can be conducive to academic motivation, learning achievement, and learning expectations. This study investigated students' attributions for success and failure in learning English to find out whether or not their attributions differed according to the level of English proficiency. Two versions of questionnaires focusing on successful and unsuccessful learning experiences, including explanations for their success and failure, were distributed to 356 first-year university students majoring in engineering- and science-related fields in Bangkok, Thailand. The results show that the students considered grades, teacher influence, classroom atmosphere, and effort as the factors that facilitated success, while they considered lack of ability, inappropriate learning strategy, lack of preparation, and lack of effort as failure attributions. The level of proficiency was found to be a factor influencing the formation of different views on attributions for success and failure. The results suggest that teachers and stakeholders in ELT should deal effectively with students' attributions in order to enhance student motivation and to facilitate expectations for success.

Keywords: attribution theory, attributions, causal attributions, success, failure