The Interplay between Ethnic Identities and Social Attitude toward Foreign Language Learning and Language Proficiency of Young Gilak EFL Learners

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of TEFL, Tonekabon Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tonekabon, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of TEFL, Tonekabon Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tonekabon, Iran


 As a social-psychological phenomenon, language learning involves several factors. The two significant factors that attracted scholars’ attention recently are ethnicity and social attitude toward L2. Taking in to account this issue, the present study sought to investigate the relationship between Gilak ethnic identity, social attitude toward foreign language, and L2 proficiency. Using purposive sampling, 109 BA students (both male and female) majoring in the fields of English literature and Translation were selected from two branches of Islamic Azad University in Gilan province, Iran. The age of the participants ranged from 19 to 24. Three instruments including the TOEFL Test, General Ethnicity Questionnaire, and Attitudes towards Foreign Language Learning Scale were used for the purpose of data collection. The results of Pearson correlation coefficient and multiple regressions revealed that there was no significant correlation between learner’s social attitude towards L2 and their ethnic identity. Moreover, the results of the study indicated that from among the two variables, learners’ social attitude had significant effect on learners’ L2 proficiency.


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