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Contribution to Book
Self-efficacy in Second Language Acquisition
Multiple Perspectives on the Self (2014)
  • Nicole A Mills, Harvard University
Within social cognitive theory, perceptions of self-efficacy are among the most central mechanisms of self-reflection (Bandura, 1997). Self-efficacy refers to “beliefs in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments” (Bandura, 1997: 3). More simply, self-efficacy refers to an individual’s beliefs in his/her ability to perform a designated task or complete an activity and may be used as a predictor of future performance. Bandura (1997) suggests that self-efficacy beliefs can influence one’s decisions, expended effort and perseverance, resilience to adversity, thought processes, affective states, and accomplishments. Schunk (1991) contends that self-efficacy beliefs may better forecast success than prior achievements, skills, or knowledge. For these reasons, Bandura (1997: 19) claims that self-efficacy beliefs “affect almost everything [people] do; how they think, motivate themselves, feel, and behave”. This chapter provides an overview of the construct of self-efficacy in foreign language education research including the sources of self-efficacy, relationship of self-efficacy to other self constructs, strategies to guide self-efficacy research, and approaches to fostering students’ self-efficacy beliefs.
  • self-efficacy,
  • second language acquisition
Publication Date
Winter 2014
Marion Williams and Sarah Mercer
Multilingual Matters
Citation Information
Nicole A. Mills. "Self-efficacy in Second Language Acquisition" Multiple Perspectives on the Self (in press). Ed. Marion Williams and Sarah Mercer. Multilingual Matters, 2012.