Second-Language Learners from Collectivistic Societies own Self-Efficacy Effects on Performance and Self Perception of Career Success.


  • Carlos Parra La Sierra University, California, USA 0000-0002-3316-4293
  • Nanci Geriguis La Sierra University, California, USA



In reference to cultural patterns in collectivistic societies, teaching and learning are greatly influenced by the teachers’ collectivistic or individualistic cultural orientation (Kaur & Noman, 2015). However, in dealing with both audiences and their teaching platforms, a chasm appears between methodologies and their applications since collectivistic societies are reluctant to accept methodologies perceived as mere Western innovations. In other words, a seemingly pedagogical incongruence arises where direct individualistic Western influence is perceived as unsuitable to a collectivistic mindset. One must keep in mind that family members in collectivist societies, who view themselves as part of a group rather than independent individuals, seem to feel more interdependent and mutually responsible for each other.

In addition to Vygotski’s assertion that children’s cognitive development is enriched through social interaction with more skilled individuals (1978), Bandura (1982) emphasizes that the degree to which learners believe in their own self-efficacy influences their functioning cognitively, motivationally, emotionally, and their decision making process. Also, self-efficacy is perceived to accelerate the process of adapting to a new environment while learners adopt new cultural practices and consent to norms and expectations. In our exploration, second-language learners (SLLs) from collectivistic societies advance academically—English as a second language included—within the frame of sociocultural theory, since they seem to be motivated by their culturally- induced sense of obligation to honor their parents and other group members. These SLLs are positively influenced by their prior experiences with the group’s perceptions and expectations of their capability to learn an additional language (Bandura & Schunk, 1981; Schunk, 1991). Our research seems to indicate that this outcome is significantly affected by the self-efficacy and self-reliance produced by prior successes in challenging tasks that may have been mandated by the SLL’s elders. In addition, SLLs also seem to succeed in accomplishing more challenging goals as they observe their families’ values and traditions even when they are in a society that enforces individualistic values.


second-language learners, collectivistic societies, self-efficacy, self-perception, language acquisition, career success, performance,


Download data is not yet available.


  1. Aimin, L. (2013). “The Study of Second Language Acquisition under SocioCultural Theory.” American Journal of Educational Research, vol. 1, no. 5, 12 May 2013, pp. 162–167., doi:10.12691/education-1-5-3.

  2. Aljaafreh, A., & Lantolf, J. P. (1994). Negative feedback as regulation and second language learning in the zone of proximal development. The Modern Language Journal, 78, 465-483.

  3. Arkoudis, K. (2006). Teaching international students: Strategies to enhance learning. Unpublished manuscript, Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

  4. Bandura, A. (Ed.) (1995). Self-efficacy in changing societies. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  5. Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy. In V. S. Ramachaudran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human behavior (Vol. 4, pp. 71-81). New York, NY: Academic Press. (Reprinted in H. Friedman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of mental health. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 1998).

  6. Bandura, A. (1993). Perceived Self-Efficacy in Cognitive Development and Functioning, 28 Educational Psychologist, 117, 118 (1993).

  7. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

  8. Bandura, A. (1982). Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency. American Psychologist, 37, 122-147.

  9. Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change.Psychological Review, 84, 191-215.

  10. Bandura, A. (1977a). Social learning theory. New York, NY: General Learning Press.

  11. Bandura, A. & Schunk, D.H. (1981). Cultivating Competence, Self-efficacy, and Intrinsic Interest through Proximal Self-motivation. Journal of Personal and Social Psychology, 41, 586-598.

  12. Brislin, R. (1993). Understanding Culture’s Influence on Behavior. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace.

  13. Cheng, X. T. (2000). Asian student’s reticence revisited. System, 28, 435-446.

  14. Chomsky, Noam (1968). Language and mind. Harcourt Brace & World, New York.

  15. Cook, Vivian. (2008). Second Language Learning and Language Teaching 4th Ed. London, England: Hodder Education Publishing.

  16. Crose, B. (2011). Internationalization of the Higher Education Classroom: Strategies to Facilitate Intercultural Learning and Academic Success. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 23(3), 388– 395.

  17. Donato, R., 1994. Collective scaffolding in second language learning. In: Lantolf, J. P., ed. Vygotskian approaches to second language research. London: Ablex Publishing, 33-56.

  18. Doolittle, P. E. (1995). Understanding cooperative learning through Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development. Paper presented at the Lilly National Conference on excellence in College Teaching, Columbia, South Carolina.

  19. Doolittle, P. E. (1997). Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development as a theoretical foundation for cooperative learning. Excellence in College Teaching, 8(1), 83- 103. Hall, A. (2007). Vygotsky goes online: Learning design from a socio-cultural perspective.

  20. Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success: How we can learn to fulfill our potential. New York: Ballantine Books.

  21. Ellis, R., 2000. Task-based research and language pedagogy. Language Teaching Research, 4(3), 193-220.

  22. Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.

  23. Guess, C. (2004). Decision Making in Individualistic and Collectivistic Cultures. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, Unit 4. Retrieved from http://

  24. Heslin, P.A., & Klehe, U.C. (2006). Self-efficacy. In S. G. Rogelberg (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Industrial/Organizational Psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 705-708). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

  25. Hird, B. (1999) English for Academic Purposes: Cultural impediments to Academic Objectivity. Prospect. Vol. 14, No.1, 28-43.

  26. Hofstede, G. 1980.Culture’s consequences: International differences in workrelated values. Beverley Hills, CA: Sage.

  27. Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations (2nd ed.). London, England: Sage.

  28. Kaur, A., & Noman, M. (2015). Exploring Classroom Practices in Collectivist Cultures through the Lens of Hofstede’s Model. The Qualitative Report, 20 (11), 1794-1811. Retrieved from

  29. Krashen, S., and T. Terrell. (1983). The Natural Approach: Language Acquisition in the Classroom. Oxford: Pergamon.

  30. Kuo, M., & Lai, C. (2006). Linguistics across Cultures: The Impact of Culture on Second Language Learning. Journal of Foreign Language Instruction, 1–9.

  31. Lantolf, J. (2000). Introducing sociocultural theory. In: Lantolf, J. P., ed. Sociocultural theory and second language learning. Oxford University Press, 1-26.

  32. Lantolf, J, & S Thorne. (2006). Sociocultural Theory and the Genesis of Second Language Development. Oxford University Press.

  33. Lin, S., & Day Scherz, S. (2014). Challenges Facing Asian International Graduate Students in the US: Pedagogical Considerations in Higher Education. Journal of International Students, 4(1), 33.

  34. Littlewood, W. (2001). Students’ attitudes to classroom English learning: A cross-cultural study. Language Teaching Research, 5(1), 3-28.

  35. Lu, M. (1998). Language learning in social and cultural contexts. Eric Digest. Retrieved October 11, 2006 from ed423531.html

  36. Maddux, J. E. 1995. Self-efficacy, adaptation, and adjustment: Theory, research, and application. New York: Plenum.

  37. McKenzie, J., 1999. Scaffolding for Success. 9(4). Available from: http://www. of Mediation Learning Experience.htm [accessed 19 March 2020].

  38. Mustafai, J. (2015). Dictionary Use as Word Solving Strategy (WSS). Academicus International Scientific Journal, 6(12), 190-198.

  39. Nelson, Gayle. (2000). Individualism-Collectivism and Power Distance: Applications for the English as a Second Language Classroom. The CATESOL Journal, 12.1, 73-91.

  40. Pai, Y., Adler, S. A., & Shadiow, L. K. (2006). Cultural foundations of education. (4th Ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

  41. Rao, Z. (2006). Understanding Chinese Students’ Use of Language Learning Strategies from Cultural and Educational Perspectives. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 27(6), 491–508. jmmd449.1.

  42. Sanchez, A. (2004). The Task-based Approach in Language Teaching. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 4(1), 39–71.

  43. Schunk D.H. (1995) Self-Efficacy and Education and Instruction. In: Maddux J.E. (eds) Self-Efficacy, Adaptation, and Adjustment. The Plenum Series in Social/ Clinical Psychology. Springer, Boston, MA. 4419-6868-5_10.

  44. Schunk, D. H. (1991). Self-efficacy and academic motivation. Educational Psychologist, 26, 207-231.

  45. Schwartz, M. H., “Expert learning for law students” (2008). McGeorge School of Law Scholarly Books. 23. facultybooks/23.

  46. Seedhouse, P., 1999. Task-based Interaction. ELT Journal, 53(3), 149-156.

  47. Shayer, M., (2002). Not just Piaget, not just Vygotsky, and certainly not Vygotsky as an alternative to Piaget. In: Shayer, M., ed. Learning intelligence, cognitive acceleration across the curriculum from 5 to 15 years. UK: Open University Press.

  48. Sihna, J.B.P. (2014). Collectivism and individualism. Psycho-Social Analysis of the Indian Mindset, XXI, 27-51.

  49. Simister, J., 2004.To think or not to think: a preliminary investigation into the effects of teaching thinking. Improving Schools, Sage Publications, 7 (3), 243- 254.

  50. Skinner, B.F. (1957). Verbal Behavior. Acton, MA: Copley Publishing Group.

  51. Sleeter, C. (2001). Preparing teachers for culturally diverse schools: Research and the overwhelming presence of whiteness. Journal of Teacher Education, 52, 94-106.

  52. Terrell, T.D. 1982. The natural approach to language teaching: An update. Modern Language Journal 66: 121 –132.

  53. Turuk, M. C. (2008). The Relevance and Implications of Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory on the Second Language Classroom. ARECLS, 5, 244–262.

  54. Vygotsky, L.S. (1987). The collected works of L. S. Vygotsky: Volume 1. Thinking and speaking. New York, NY: Plenum Press.

  55. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher mental processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  56. Weinstein, C. E. & Mayer, R. E. (1986). The teaching of learning strategies. In M. C. Wittrock (Ed.), Handbook of research on teaching (pp. 315–327). New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.

  57. Wertsch, J., 1985. Vygotsky and the social formation of mind. UK: Harvard University Press.

  58. Williams, M. and Burden, R., 1997. Psychology for language teachers, a social constructivist approach. UK: Cambridge University Press.

  59. Xiao, L. X. (2005). Do we reliably know what EFL students like in English classrooms at university level? The Journal of Asia TEFL, 2(3), 67-94.

  60. Yong, Fung Lan. (2010). A Study on the Self-Efficacy and Expectancy for Success of Pre-University Students European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 13, Number 4




How to Cite

Parra, C. and Geriguis, N. (2021) “Second-Language Learners from Collectivistic Societies own Self-Efficacy Effects on Performance and Self Perception of Career Success”., Academicus International Scientific Journal. Vlora, Albania, 12(24), pp. 130–158. doi: 10.7336/academicus.2021.24.09.