"Self-Efficacy in Foreign Language Learning" Webinar with Dr. Nicole Mills, Harvard University Friday, April 19th 2013

This webinar provides an overview of the construct of self-efficacy or an individual’s beliefs in his/her ability to perform a designated task or complete an activity, which is a strong predictor of future performance. Bandura (1997) and a good deal of subsequent research suggest that self-efficacy beliefs can influence one’s decisions, expended effort and perseverance, resilience to adversity, thought processes, affective states, and accomplishments. Evaluation of self-efficacy beliefs allow instructors to better: understand their students' self-beliefs about language learning; evaluate language program effectiveness; understand the complexity of instructors' beliefs associated with language learning. This presentation provides an overview of the construct of self-efficacy in foreign language education research, including the sources of self-efficacy, simple strategies to guide self-efficacy research, and approaches to fostering student and instructor self-efficacy beliefs. Specific research-based examples will be provided with proposed adaptations based on the context, challenges, and questions associated with the teaching of less-commonly-taught languages.

Dr. Nicole Mills is coordinator of the Beginning French Language Program at Harvard University and previous coordinator of beginning and intermediate French at the University of Pennsylvania. At both institutions, she developed curriculum grounded in second language acquisition research and theory. She was the curriculum design specialist  for last year’s STARTALK Persian Curriculum Design Workshop at George Washington University. She has extensive publications in various academic journals and edited volumes on various topics associated with curriculum design and foreign language education, motivation, and engagement. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies and French from Emory University.

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