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Perceptions and beliefs play a significant role in directing human behaviour. In the SLA field almost two decades of research has revealed how students? beliefs have the potential to shape their cognitive and affective processes in the classroom and impact on their actions. Various ideologically and methodologically diverse studies have shed light on the phenomenon, however, these have mostly been conducted from only one ontological perspective and one research paradigm limiting their potential. This paper attempts to characterize some of the dimensions of the major perspectives in SLA research, and in particular language learner beliefs studies, and show how both have followed parallel paths.