The role of affective factors, especially motivation, in second language learning has received substantial research attention over the years. One surprising omission in this body of research has been that of the effect of student expectations from courses or programs. Intuitively, most TESOL professionals would agree that student expectations will play a vital role in their motivation and learning of the language. In fact, student expectation has been neglected as a research topic in general education as well, despite the fact that teacher expectations have been extensively researched for years. This thesis explores the antecedents and consequences of student expectations in second language learning. This is the first empirical research on student expectations in SLA, therefore, some theoretical perspectives have been borrowed from the areas of consumer expectations in product and service marketing, health care and business education. The expectation-disconfirmation paradigm, widely used in these areas, has been modified in this thesis to fit the needs and parameters of second language learning. There are three studies in this thesis involving facilitated group-discussions . and initial interviews, a questionnaire study and in-depth interviews. The data from the group discussions and initial interviews were content-analysed and the results revealed some of the more common expectations, factors causing them and some of the outcomes of unfulfilled expectations. These results were then the basis for the construction of a questionnaire, which was administered to a larger population. The data from these questionnaires was factor-analysed and four factors each of both antecedents and consequences of expectations were isolated. Some gender differences regarding expectations and the effect of trait-anxiety on expectations were also found. The responses from the in-depth interviews were content-analysed with the help of NUD-IST, a software program designed for the analysis of qualitative data. The results indicated the relationship of student expectations to motivation and overall satisfaction, and some consequences of fulfilment of expectations. The interviews also provided validation for some findings in the questionnaire study. At the end of each of these studies, the model of student expectations was modified in accordance with the results with the final version of the model painting a holistic picture of the effects of student expectations on motivation and learning.