Social, Cultural and Linguistic Factors Affecting EFL Learners’ Language Proficiency: A Quantitative Analysis

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of English, Qeshm Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qeshm, Iran

2 Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran


Many factors may be involved in determining why some students are more and some are less proficient in language. This study tried to explore the factors affecting Iranian EFL learners’ proficiency. 221 students at second, third and fourth year of university, including 50 male and 171 female were selected randomly to participate in the study. A researcher-made questionnaire and a proficiency test comprised the data collection instruments. The researchers were able to identify three factors affecting language proficiency. They were classified as social factors, cultural factors and linguistic factors, Then a model was developed to represent the relationship among these factors and language proficiency. In line with Bourdieu’s (1986), the results of data analysis indicated that social factors are among the most dominant factors affecting the learners’ language proficincy.