The Significant Roles of Self-Esteem in Learning English As Foreign Language

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In TEFL domain, we know that language learning is affected by

Many factors, such as cognitive and Affective factors that it is sometimes called intrinsic factors.

For being a successful learner, we should not just pay attention to one of these. Recently,

Affective variables have taken much interest. They are described as” emotional side of human

behavior” (Brown, 2000, p. 143) and they include many components, such as motivation,

anxiety, Inhibition, self-esteem, self-actualization, self-assessment, risk-taking, empathy, and

extroversion. Research domains abound with these factors, but self-esteem has taken much more

attention of scholars and it has many related names, for instance, self-confidence, self-image,

self-concept, and self-perception. It is also significant for me as a TEFL MA. Student, and as a

teacher because I experienced it by myself and in my classes with my students.

Self-esteem has been defined by many scholars. As Murk (cited in Rubio, 2007, p. 3) states

that it is “impure phenomenon”. According to Chastain (1988) “self-esteem means that the

student knows his capabilities and accepts himself as he is” (p. 169). Brown (2000) refers to

self-esteem as self confidence, knowledge of yourself, belief in your own capabilities for the

activity, concept of self, and the self-evaluation ( p. 145). In his another book, he terms it as “I

can do it” or “person’s belief in his or her ability to accomplish the task” (2001, p. 62). “People

derive their sense of self-esteem from the accumulation of experiences with themselves and with

others and from assessment of the external world around them” (Brown, 2000, p. 145).


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...oach to language pedagogy.

New Jersy: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.

Chastain, K. (1988). Developing second language skills theory and practice. Florida: Harcourt

Brace Jovanovich.

Knanafani, J. K. (2009). The importance of building students’ self-esteem in language learning.

On going teacher training, 44, 31-34. Retrieved from


Kazumata, K. (1989). Roles of self-esteem in second language oral production performance.

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L, K. (2012). The improvement of foreign language teachers’ affective variables in universities

for ethnic minorities. doi: 10.5539/elt.v5nlzp70

Rubio, F. (2007). Self-esteem and foreign language learning. UK: Cambrige.
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