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Researchers, practitioners, and policy makers in the field of foreign language study in higher education in the United States are familiar with the phenomenon of declining numbers among learners in advanced foreign language courses. The studies that have examined this phenomenon such as Graman (1987) and Dupuy (1994) investigated the learners of so-called "easy" and commonly taught languages, such as French, German and Spanish and suggest that the learners' positive learning backgrounds outside the formal language program are the main factors that influence the learners' decision to continue their language study in the advanced level courses. This study offers new direction in understanding the dropout phenomenon. Its goal is to examine the characteristics of learners at the advanced level as a means to explain and tmderstand their motivation to pursue advanced language with the hope that these findings will illuminate the attrition phenomenon in advanced language study. Unlike previous studies, this present work concentrates on learners who have enrolled in advanced foreign language courses in "difficult" languages such as Hebrew, Chinese, and Japanese. This study thoroughly examines three aspects of these learners: • Their psychological aspects; • Their beliefs and values; and, • Their past and present environments.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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