Motivation and self-regulated learning: A case study of a pre-intermediate and an upper-intermediate adult student

Tags: strategies, self-regulation, motivation, self-regulated learning, language learning, students, Handbook of self-regulation, motivational strategies, learning strategies, motivation research, self-regulatory, Betti, observation, Elsevier Academic Press, Budapest, Academic Press, M. Boekaerts, P. R. Pintrich, learning English, questionnaire, participant observation, Journal of Educational Psychology, Mezei 98 Pintrich, Learning foreign languages, M. Zeidner, Pintrich
Content: WoPaLP Vol. 2, 2008
Gabriella Mezei Corvinus University of Budapest [email protected]
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to describe the self-regulation and motivational dispositions of two successful adult language learners at different proficiency levels in order to understand how motivational selfregulation and self-regulatory mechanisms in general shape their language learning behaviour. What motivated this research project was that self-regulation and motivation research lacks classroom-based descriptive studies; in addition, the Hungarian situation has hardly been studied yet. Devoting a case study to two successful language learners has allowed for a detailed description of their self-regulatory system with the tentative conclusions that self-regulatory capacity might be a function of proficiency and/or individual difference factors; furthermore the study has also provided evidence for self-regulation as a continuum. Keywords: motivation, motivational strategies, self-regulation, self-regulatory strategies, motivational teaching practice
1 Introduction and theoretical background Motivation is undoubtedly an essential element of every teacher's teaching practice, yet this is an issue that poses a problem on a daily basis in the classroom. Ample research has suggested different ways of motivating students to learn; however, it is only recently that researchers and educators have started to concentrate on the classroom. This paper intends to describe the self-motivating and self-regulating strategies of two successful adult language learners on the basis of qualitative data in the hope of being able to present valuable conclusions adaptable to classroom situations. First, the relevant literature and the method of data collection will be discussed, then the findings will be described, and finally tentative, and hopefully instructive, conclusions will be drawn along with some suggestions for further research. 1.1 Motivation and the self The notion of motivation has been associated with and studied in connection with several factors in language learning over the years, among which the self is a relatively new concept in second language education research. Motivation has traditionally been researched with quantitative methods, usually focusing on the antecedents of the construct, and/or linking it to the linguistic outcome. This has changed in the past few decades, thanks, first and foremost, to Crookes and Schmidt's (1991) seminal paper and the ensuing debate in The Modern Language Journal (Oxford, 1994; Oxford & Shearin, 1994; Dцrnyei, 1994b; Gardner
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& Tremblay, 1994a, 1994b). This change of perspective has been called the `educational shift' (Dцrnyei, 1998, 2001b) and is concerned with the necessity of focusing more on the classroom to understand motivation in context as most learning takes place in that environment in most countries. This shift has also resulted in a new view of the teacher's role in the classroom: his/her motivational force has become the focus of attention, and the techniques or strategies used to motivate his/her students have also sparked interest (e.g., Dцrnyei, 1994a). Comparing Gardner's (1985) early conceptualisation of motivation, which defined motivation in terms of effort, goals, and favourable attitudes, to Dцrnyei's (1994a) tripartite system (language level, learner level, learning situation level), it is apparent that the latter embraces more components such as the advances in achievement and attribution theories of motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic factors, the concept of self-efficacy, and context-specific issues. This conceptualisation is a complex and elaborate one, and is of great importance when considering the conceptualisation of self-regulation (see Section 1.2). One of the self-aspects, self-efficacy, which is one's belief in one's capabilities to exercise control over actions (Bandura, 1977, 1994), influences behaviour in a variety of ways. People with higher self-efficacy set higher goal challenges, they have higher commitment to these goals (cf. goal theories), they attribute their failures to insufficient effort instead of lack of cognitive abilities (cf. attribution theory), they consider themselves capable of carrying out action (cf. expectancy-value theory), and they do not withdraw from action in the face of difficulty (Bandura, 1994). According to Kuhl (2000), motivation depends on the self-system of the individual. Kuhl (1981, 1984), in the belief that even high self-efficacy or motivation might not be enough for the individual to launch action, included self-regulatory processes in his motivation theory, the Theory of Action Control. This theory holds that self-regulatory abilities are necessary to enact intentions, and that strategies play a crucial role in the actions to take place (Kuhl, 2000). A new milestone in motivation research happened when the factor of time was recognised to be an essential component of motivation. This line of research is of interest because of the realisation that motivation is not a static concept but one that changes over time, sometimes within the course of one English lesson (Dцrnyei, 2001b). Dцrnyei and Ottу's model (1998) is not the only one incorporating the time element in a model of motivation, but this is definitely one of the most complex ones, including three phases, and several motivational influences and action sequences. It was this model that Dцrnyei (2001a) built the model of Motivational Teaching Practice on, and which inspired him to collect 35 macrostrategies (broad categories or types of motivational strategies) teachers might use to motivate their students to learn, with altogether 102 microstrategies (concrete motivational strategies in each broad category). This extensive collection of practical suggestions will be discussed below. Motivation research did not stop evolving at this point, however. In most cases, L2 research has benefited from psychological research, and this was also the case with motivation (see expectancy-value theories, self-efficacy theory, goal theories, selfdetermination theory, and achievement theory in Dцrnyei (2001a) for an overview). The notion of the self has found its way into L2 research, and more specifically into L2 motivation research. Dцrnyei (2005, in press), drawing on Higgins (1987, 1996), discusses motivation in
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terms of the possible, ideal and ought-to selves. He proposes the L2 Motivational Self System, which comprises the Ideal L2 Self, the Ought-to L2 Self, and L2 learning experience, and which explains motivation by closing the gap between one's actual and ideal self (Csizйr & Kormos, in press; Kormos & Csizйr, in press). In this respect, this model can be considered "a model of self-regulation" since it can explain motivation in terms of goals (the ideal self), monitoring (the discrepancy between the actual and the ideal self), and choices (reactions, decisions as to how to refine goals, and planning). These elements are viewed as the phases of self-regulation (Pintrich, 2000).
1.2 Motivation and self-regulation Self-regulation and self-regulated learning have no clear-cut definitions across studies (Molnбr, 2002a), most probably because it is a multidimensional construct which is difficult to describe (Pintrich, 2000; Dцrnyei, 2005). Even the terms and associated derivatives researchers use to label the notion are confusing (Boekaerts, Pintrich, & Zeidner, 2000b) ranging from autonomous learning, to self-planned learning or self-education, even selfefficacy (Hiemstra, 2004). Most definitions define self-regulation as a capability or capacity (e.g., Lemos, 1999; Molnбr, 2002a; Rйthy, 2003), or as a process (e.g., Pintrich, 2000; Hoban & Hoban, 2004). Other interpretations include self-regulation as purposeful learning (Molnбr, 2003), strategies (Pintrich, 1999), behaviour (Lemos, 1999), or even an amalgam of "selfgenerated thoughts, feelings and actions" (Zimmerman, 2000, p.14). A broad and a more detailed definition are presented here in order for the reader to be able to compare and contrast different viewpoints. Dцrnyei (2005) defines self-regulation broadly as "the degree to which individuals are active participants in their own learning" (p.191). Pintrich's (2000) definition, on the other hand, is more complex, outlining some of the construct's characteristics and building blocks (i.e., phases): a general working definition of self-regulated learning is that it is an active, constructive process whereby learners set goals for their learning and then attempt to monitor, regulate, and control their cognition, motivation, and behavior, guided and constrained by their goals and the contextual features in the environment. These selfregulatory activities can mediate the relationships between individuals and the context, and their overall achievement (p.453). In spite of the terminological difficulties and definitional problems, there are a number of common features that can be identified across studies. Pintrich (2000) summarises these common underlying elements of self-regulation along four lines as follows: (1) Self-regulated learning is pro-active and constructive, that is, the student is active in the learning process. (2) A prerequisite for self-regulated learning is the potential for control. The students are able to monitor the learning process, which is a function of certain individual differences. (3) In self-regulated learning there are goals, criteria and standards that help the learner to modify the process of learning if needed. (4) Mediators have an important role in self-regulated learning in that they are a link between the learner and outer expectations, and between actual and expected activity.
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Dцrnyei (2005) at the same time emphasises that the construct has several dimensions, among which we can find cognitive, metacognitive, motivational, behavioural, and environmental processes. Molnбr (2002a) points out that three main lines of research account for these self-regulatory processes: studies emphasising cognitive and metacognitive components, studies emphasising motivational and self- and goal-related issues, and studies emphasising socio-cognitive aspects. It is also important to see how teachers characterise a self-regulated learner and selfregulated learning in general. These concepts are typically represented along the following lines: (1) learning is student-initiated, and the students persistently carry out the task; (2) students are autonomous and use efficient learning strategies; (3) students are able to reflect on their work; (4) self-regulated learners are typically interested in learning, able to set intrinsic and personal goals, realistic about their own knowledge, and love learning (Molnбr, 2002a), they are also self-confident, diligent and persistent (Molnбr, 2002b). Wolters (1999) adds that self-regulated learners possess a wide range of adaptive motivational beliefs and attitudes, which help them direct and control their learning. The concept of self-regulation is an important element in teaching since through the characteristics mentioned above teachers can effectively and efficiently affect their learners. It has been noted by researchers that self-regulation is a human characteristic everyone possesses (Zimmerman, 2000; Molnбr, 2002b), but which shows different levels of mastery across individuals (Zimmerman, 2000), thus, in this respect self-regulation is an individual difference factor, but one that can be improved (McKeachie, 2000). According to Winne (1997), self-regulating strategies can be learnt to a varying extent, but students need to be instructed, and they need to be provided with plenty of practice and appropriate feedback in class. Also, self-regulation is usually viewed as a cycle (Pintrich, 2000; Zimmerman, 2000), and it can even be imagined as a continuum (Zimmerman, 2000; Dцrnyei, 2005) along which students can be placed at each moment of learning. This way of modelling self-regulation provides an explanation for the phenomenon of "the daily ebb and flow of motivation" (Dцrnyei, 2001b, p.16) as well as dysfunctions of self-regulation (Zimmerman, 2000).
1.3 Strategies in language learning In discussing language learning strategies and student self-regulation, Dцrnyei (2005) points out that there are several inconsistencies and problematic areas in strategy research, especially the way the term strategy itself has contributed to the confusion, but on the whole he concludes that "learning strategies constitute a useful kit for active and conscious learning [and] these strategies pave the way toward greater proficiency, learner autonomy, and selfregulation" (p.195). Language learning strategies are "the techniques or devices a learner may use to acquire knowledge" (Rubin, 1975, p.43), regardless of the fact that researchers might refer to the behavioural or the mental nature of learning strategies (or both), whether they count as strategies or an approach, or how consciously they are used (Ellis, 1994). Undoing the confusion is not the aim of this paper, but learning strategies are nevertheless an important aspect of the teaching-learning process. In this section, therefore, not only learning strategies but also motivational and self-motivational strategies will be briefly reviewed.
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In the 1970s, the good language learner studies (Rubin, 1975; Stern, 1975; Naiman, Frцhlich, Stern, & Todesco, 1978) gave rise to language learning strategy research because it seemed likely that there might be techniques or strategies used by better language learners to facilitate or help the language learning process, and these were hypothesised to be teachable to `poor language learners' (Rubin, 1975). Different taxonomies have been published out of which those of O'Malley and Chamot's and Oxford's are the most important (Ellis, 1994). O'Malley and Chamot (1990) distinguish metacognitive, cognitive, and social/affective strategies, while Oxford (1990) differentiates between memory, cognitive, compensation, metacognitive, affective, and social strategies. Learning strategies are said to have a "mediating role" between learner factors and learner outcome (Ellis, 1994, p.529). According to Dцrnyei (2005), the term self-regulation has replaced learning strategy research, which can be justified on the basis of the difficulty to conceive of learning strategies. He also points out that learning strategies, and what researchers call strategies or techniques in general, are only "surface manifestations" (p.195) of a complex issue which is now known as self-regulation. If we consider the various groups O'Malley and Chamot (1990) and Oxford (1990) created, however, more or less the same dimensions are envisaged as was described above in connection with self-regulation: (i) cognitive and metacognitive, (ii) motivational, self- and goal-related, and (iii) socio-cognitive studies (Molnбr, 2002a). This shift has allowed researchers to investigate motivational and self-regulatory issues from a broader perspective, and also allows for a cross-disciplinary investigation (Dцrnyei, 2005; Boekaerts, Pintrich, & Zeidner, 2000a). Let us now turn to motivational and self-motivational strategies. Motivational strategies "refer to those motivational influences that are consciously exerted to achieve some systematic and enduring positive effect" (Dцrnyei, 2001a, p.28). Motivational strategy research gained its first insights at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s. The so-called educational shift (Crookes & Schmidt, 1991) opened up the way towards more situation-specific research breaking with the social-psychological paradigm. Not denying past research, scholars started to focus more on the classroom and the events taking place there. Gardner's (1985) conceptualisation of motivation was no longer seen as the only way to conceive of motivation. The everyday reality of the classroom seemed to include a host of variables quantitative research had had to ignore before. Lists of advice on how to motivate learners appeared, and research results indicated practical techniques practising teachers could use (see, for instance, Brophy, 1987; Jones & Jones, 1990; and Good & Brophy, 1994). Dцrnyei's (1994a) tripartite system of motivation and the resulting motivational strategies were mentioned in Section 1.1. The most comprehensive work related to motivational strategies is that of Dцrnyei (2001a), who, on the basis of the process model of motivation (Dцrnyei & Ottу, 1998), created the model of Motivational Teaching Practice. This four-phase cycle consists of the following stages: creating basic motivational conditions, generating initial motivation, maintaining and protecting motivation, and encouraging positive retrospective self-evaluation (Dцrnyei, 2001a, p.29). The 102 corresponding strategies are an exhaustive list of advice, but one that is to be implemented step by step to become a "good enough motivator" (p.136). Dцrnyei and Csizйr's (1998) empirical study also deserves to be mentioned. They conducted a nationwide study to investigate how useful teachers think different motivational strategies are and how frequently they use these strategies. The end result was the "Ten commandments" for motivating language learners. This study shed light on several important issues, one of which is that "no motivational strategy has absolute and general value" (Dцrnyei & Csizйr, 1998, p.224). Zimmerman (2000) and Dцrnyei (2001a) have also pointed this out. Dцrnyei and Csizйr (1998) also found that goal-related issues are somewhat neglected in the classroom despite the fact that the importance of this issue is stressed in
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studies about self-regulation (e.g., Lemos, 1999; Pintrich, 2000). The replication of the Dцrnyei and Csizйr (1998) study (Cheng & Dцrnyei, 2007) has sadly stated the same about goals. The paradigm shift and Dцrnyei's model (2001a) have both contributed to a more profound understanding of everyday classroom events. They have also allowed us to gain a deeper insight into the practice of teaching and thus help us conceptualise what a motivating teacher is like. It is not only the teacher's side, however, that is of importance when investigating motivation and motivating students to learn. Recent research has started to emphasise the importance of self-motivating strategies (Dцrnyei, 2005), which are also part of Dцrnyei's (2001a) Motivational Teaching Practice. This is in line with research on the selfregulatory processes mentioned above because they both emphasise that it is the student who is responsible for his/her own learning in the first place. Dцrnyei (2001a) divides selfmotivating strategies into five categories, namely: commitment control strategies, metacognitive control strategies, satiation control strategies, emotion control strategies, and environmental control strategies, while Wolters (1999), on the basis of factor analytical results, mentions interest enhancement, performance self-talk, self-consequating, mastery self-talk, and environmental control as part of motivational regulation and at the same time predictors of the use of learning strategies. Pintrich (2000) gives an overview of strategies to control motivation and affect, while Rйthy (2003) considers how the learning environment can affect language learning motivation, and, closely linked to motivation and self-regulation, what the key concepts of quality teaching are.
1.4 Summary
To summarise the complex interrelations that characterise motivation and selfregulation, and also the stages of the process of self-regulated learning, I adapted Pintrich's (2000, p.454) conceptualisation to illustrate the point. Table 1 shows the areas for regulation and the phases through which self-regulation is realised.
Areas for regulation
Motivation/affect Behaviour
Goal setting
Goal orientation Planning time, Perceptions of
Forethought, Content knowledge Efficacy
effort, self-
task and context
planning, and metacognitive judgements
activation knowledge activation Interest
Awareness and Awareness and Monitoring task
Monitoring awareness and
monitoring of monitoring of and context
monitoring of
motivation and effort, time, need conditions
for help
Selecting and adapting Selecting and Increase/decrease Change/
cognitive strategies adapting
strategies of
Persist/give up task or context
motivation and Help-seeking
Cognitive judgements Affective
Evaluation of
Reflection and attributions
reactions and behaviour
task and context
Table 1. Pintrich's (2000) adapted framework of the phases of self-regulated learning
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As the student is going through the four phases of self-regulation (first column of Table 1), various actions and activities are realised in the different areas of cognition, motivation/affect, behaviour and context (columns 2-5 of Table 1). That is how goals, efficacy beliefs, strategies, etc. shape self-regulated language learning behaviour. Pintrich (2000) highlights that the various phases might come into play in a nonlinear fashion, and that they are not necessarily separable. The cyclical nature of self-regulation is also emphasised, that is, the final phase feeds back to planning, and a new cycle begins. 2 Rationale for the research and research questions From the brief literature review above, it is clear how complex motivation and selfregulation research is, and how intricately interwoven relations exist between and within the participants of education, even if only the classroom is considered. What is unquestionable, however, is the fact that there is an increasing need for developing students' self-regulatory strategies and self-regulatory system (Molnбr, 2002a, 2003), and also for mapping the Hungarian situation (Molnбr, 2002a). Researchers seem to agree that students use selfregulatory strategies by default (Zimmerman, 2000; Molnбr, 2002a), which is a good starting point for this study. In Hungary self-regulatory research is in its infancy; mostly questionnaire-based studies have been done (Molnбr, 2002b; Rйthy, 2003), and classroombased qualitative studies are apparently lacking (an exception is Nikolov's (1999) study about Hungarian pupils). As Pintrich (2000) puts it: "There is a clear need for more descriptive, ethnographic, and observational research on how different features of the context can shape, facilitate, and constrain self-regulated learning" (p.493). It is this realisation that motivates my research, that is, to describe and compare two successful (as judged by the teacher) language learners regarding their self-regulation and self-motivation. The focus is on four aspects: (i) description of the learners' self-regulatory system and self-motivating strategies, (ii) identifying the sources of the strategies, (iii) finding a link between the self-regulatory system (including self-motivating strategies) and the manifestation of its elements (behaviour), and (iv) identifying possible similarities and differences between the learners. To investigate these issues, the following research questions guided the study: (1) What strategies do these successful students use to motivate themselves and regulate their own learning? (2) What are the sources of these self-motivating strategies? (3) How does using these strategies shape the students' language learning? 3 Method 3.1 Participants and setting The two participants were selected because they are considered to be `atypical' language learners in the sense that they show above average self-regulatory learning skills (for details see Section 4). An atypical case in qualitative research is advantageous as the given phenomenon can be investigated more thoroughly (Sбntha, 2006), and it can contribute to a more comprehensive picture (cf. critical case sampling, Dцrnyei, 2007), where the case can be studied from several angles (Sбntha, 2006). It should be noted that these students are atypical considering language learners in general, but are thought to represent self-regulating learners
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appropriately on the basis of how Pintrich (2000) and Molnбr (2002a, 2002b) describe selfregulation and self-regulating learners. In addition, they are successful in the sense that ­ in my judgment as their teacher ­ they achieve more, and more easily, than average language learners. Selecting these two students was due to convenience too since they are my students. They participate in company English courses, and they work in an environment where English is a tool of understanding and communicating, and thus both contexts can be labelled as `business English environments'. However, the main reason why they were chosen was that they have characteristics that harmonise with the aims of this study (purposive sampling, Dцrnyei, 2007). The researcher's being part of the context where the research takes place is common, more and more accepted, and cannot be considered a flaw as it does not bias the results (Szokolszky, 2004). Lбszlу (pseudonym) is a 29-year-old logistics assistant at a multinational company in Budapest. Earlier he had learnt English in secondary school for two years but had practically lost his knowledge by the time he started English again in summer 2006. I have been teaching him since June 2006 in a group of two people. He is very much interested in English and learning English, comes to the lessons with pleasure, asks questions, is not afraid of failure, grabs every opportunity to learn new words (sport broadcasts, films, etc.), does his homework, and seems to have an overall positive attitude towards the language (cf. good language learner studies, Rubin, 1975; Stern, 1975, and Csizйr & Kormos, in press; Kormos & Csizйr, in press). However, he primarily needs English for his work (instrumental reasons). He is now at a lower intermediate level (when we started, the group was labelled beginner). We have two double lessons a week. Originally we started with one double lesson but the students asked for the number of lessons to be raised. Betti (pseudonym) is 27 years old and works for a bank as a relationship manager in Budapest. I have been teaching her in a group of two for one year. She has been learning English for approximately ten years and spent a significant period of time in the US. At one time her German was better since she had attended a special grammar school where she had learnt German intensively, and she had even preferred German to English. The time spent in the United States changed this, and now she likes English very much. Recently she started to attend German classes again. Due to her stay abroad, her English is at a very high level: her pronunciation and communication skills are excellent, and her vocabulary is wide. Not surprisingly, it is grammar where she needs more practice, but her ability in this area is appropriate for the level (upper intermediate). In class she likes to practise the language areas in which she, in her opinion, lags behind, and at the same time she likes to keep the class `light', that is, having a chat about issues unrelated to business is welcome when she is tired or has had enough of work. She likes the classes, but tends to skip them for work-related and sometimes personal reasons. Unlike Lбszlу, Betti has rather more intrinsic reasons for learning the language: she likes it, and likes learning it for the sake of the language. However, her secondary reason is somewhat pragmatic, namely, to be able to communicate effectively and smoothly like a native speaker according to her sense. The two learners can be characterised on the basis of the data gained from the motivational/attitudinal questionnaire (see Section 3.2.3 and Appendices C and D). They show striking similarities in their motivational and attitudinal disposition in the case of four scales: vitality of the language community (both students 4.5 points in the case of the United Kingdom, and 5 points in the case of the United States), interest in the L2 culture (4.5 points for Lбszlу and 5 points for Betti in the case of the United Kingdom, and 5 points in the case of the United States for both students), milieu (5 points for Lбszlу and 4.75 points for Betti), and
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linguistic self-confidence (4.33 points for both students). They differ though in their attitudes to native speakers. Lбszlу consistently scored lower points on the integrativeness scale (2 points as opposed to Betti's 5 points), and the attitude towards native speakers scale (3.33 points vs. 4 points in the case of the United Kingdom, and 1 vs. 4.33 points in the case of the United States). The difference in integrativeness can be explained with the help of Dцrnyei's (2005, in press) L2 Motivational Self System, which holds that the Ideal Self does not necessarily comprise an identification aspect with a given language community (cf. global English). The differences in attitudes towards native speakers, on the other hand, might originate from differences in personality and life experiences in the sense that Lбszlу has never spent a longer period of time abroad, while Betti has. The 0.75 point difference in the case of instrumentality (4.25 points for Lбszlу and 5 points for Betti), however, cannot be accounted for on the basis of a sole questionnaire. Lбszlу's need for a good command of English is more pressing, still, he is the one who scored lower on this scale, which, in fact, can be considered high enough. This issue would require further qualitative investigation to reveal hidden reasons. The English version of the motivational/attitudinal questionnaire can be found in Appendix C, while the results are presented in Appendix D.
3.2 Instruments and data analysis 3.2.1 Interview with the students In this study the way students regulate their learning and also the strategies the students apply are in focus; therefore, the interview was the main instrument in order to gain an insight through the students' own words. A list of questions, which Patton (2002) calls an interview guide, was devised on the basis of the literature, and also the participants' context was taken into consideration. The main source of the interview guide was Pintrich's Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ, Pintrich & De Groot, 1990). The three motivational factors (self-efficacy, intrinsic value and test anxiety) and the two cognitive scales (cognitive strategy use and self-regulation) they identified served as the basis for the questions, which were first worded and ordered on an intuitive basis. After this stage, an expert was consulted, who gave useful advice as to how to change certain questions to enhance efficiency. The first interview also helped to refine the guide for the second round and only slight wording changes were made in order to elicit information more easily. The first interview conducted with the advanced level student lasted 36 minutes, while the second one with the pre-intermediate level student lasted 41 minutes. Both interviews were carried out in Hungarian and covered the following main issues: perceived language competence, way of learning and preparing for tests, sources the students draw on to learn English, and future plans to learn English (see Appendix A for the interview guide). The interview was the main instrument used in this study. However, only self-report data could be obtained to account for the students' behaviour in terms of self-motivation and self-regulation in the interview. To balance out this weakness, and to strengthen validity, the classmate was asked about the students in each case and observations were made (see below).
3.2.2 Questionnaire to the students' group mates An invaluable insight into the English learning habits, processes and sources of the participants was expected from group mates. For organisational and personal reasons, an
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interview was not possible in either case, but the group mates agreed to write down their opinion. As a matter of fact this instrument could not yield as much and as rich data as an interview would have provided but it contributed to the understanding of the processes in question nevertheless. The questions drew on four sources: (i) the MSLQ as referred to in the previous section, (ii) the student interviews, (iii) the literature review, and (iv) the researcher's intuition. The questions concern the English language knowledge of the main participants, that of the respondents (that is, the classmates, who filled in this instrument), a comparison between them, a question about the attitude of the main participants and the possible source of their knowledge. The five questions were introduced with a short presentation of the project, and anonymity and confidentiality were guaranteed on several occasions. The questionnaire was in Hungarian. (See Appendix B for the questions.)
3.2.3 Motivational/attitudinal questionnaire The motivational/attitudinal questionnaire is a standardised and validated instrument in the Hungarian context (Dцrnyei, 2001b). Although it was used in studies in a secondary school environment for a large number of students for statistical purposes, it seemed suitable for use in this study for orientation, that is, to gain an approximate picture about the participants' motivational and attitudinal disposition. Only the first two sections were used: the first one is a 5-point Likert-type scale about five target languages (German, French, Russian, English and Italian) consisting of 14 questions, and the second section is about six target cultures, which are the same as the languages above, but the United Kingdom and the United States are separated. This part consists of 14 questions using a 5-point Likert-type scale. There are eight further questions about issues not related to languages and cultures per se. Seven scales were aggregated: integrativeness, instrumentality, attitudes towards native speakers, vitality of the language community, interest in the L2 culture, milieu, and linguistic self-confidence. It must be stressed again here that this questionnaire was used for orientation only. The questionnaire was administered in Hungarian. Its English version can be found in Appendix C, while the results are summarised in Appendix D.
3.2.4 Observation The purpose of the observation was twofold. One reason was `traditional', that is, prolonged observation is advised for qualitative researchers (e.g., Golnhofer, 2001; Dцrnyei, 2007), and this requirement was met since at the time of the research I had been teaching these students for more than one year. A secondary reason was to `replace' the teacher interview. As the researcher-observer and the teacher were the same in this project (c.f. participant observation in Dцrnyei, 2007), no interview was available with the teacher. Prolonged observation, however, ensured rich data. No systematic researcher diary was kept but notes about the students' behaviour, learning strategies used and quotes were taken on a regular basis, and a general overview was gained. This also allowed for a richer description of the participants and a more profound understanding of their actions and behaviour. The data gained with the help of this instrument was used to support results from the other instruments.
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3.2.5 Data analysis
Data were gained from student interviews, group mate questionnaires with open-ended questions, a motivational/attitudinal questionnaire and observation. Data triangulation was thus ensured (Szabolcs, 2001; Szokolszky, 2004). For analysing the data, Molnбr's (2002a) framework, which was discussed in Section 1.2, was adapted. It can be seen in Table 2, along with the sources of data which can help answer the questions.
Aspect of self-regulation 1. Is learning student-initiated? Does the student know what he/she should do to become more efficient? 2. Is the student autonomous? Does he/she find (efficient) learning strategies? 3. Does the student reflect on his/her learning? Is he/she aware of his/her knowledge/level? 4. Is the student interested in learning? Does he/she have intrinsic goals? 5. Is the student realistic? Self-confident? Diligent? Persistent?
Evidence from Interview, observation Interview Interview Interview, motivational/attitudinal questionnaire, observation Interview, group mates' opinion, motivational/attitudinal questionnaire
Table 2. Molnбr's (2002a) adapted framework for data analysis, and the sources of data to answer the questions
The information that can be gained from answering the questions in Table 2 can shed light on the participants' self-regulatory system (research question 1). The sources of these strategies are various, which is something the students talked about in the interview (research question 2). Observation is of help when analysing how the system and the strategies affect language learning behaviour (research question 3). The constant Comparative Method, as suggested by Maykut and Morehouse (1994), was used to further analyse data. With the help of this technique, categories can be established on reading the interviews thoroughly and several times. Emerging categories can be added and previous categories can be merged if necessary. Categorising data ends when re-reading leads to no more changes in the categories, which cover the raw interview data.
4 Results and discussion In this section, a thick description of the language learners will be provided in order to answer the research questions. Thus, the way the students self-regulate their learning, the source of self-regulating strategies, and also their language learning shaped by these strategies will be described. 4.1 Self-regulation In this section the strategies Lбszlу and Betti used in learning English will be described with the help of Molnбr's (2002a) adapted framework (see Table 2) along with how they regulate their English learning behaviour. 1. Learning is self-initiated and the student knows what to do and how to do it in order to become more efficient
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The fact that adults are not forced into a language learning situation is a good indicator of whether their learning a language is self-initiated or not. The two participants both mentioned in the interviews that they were learning for themselves and they were not forced to be in the English class: Lбszlу said, "I do it for myself.", while Betti stated, "This class is for me." Lбszlу's case, as he is not a fluent communicator yet, is slightly different in that he has an external pressure as well, namely, that sooner or later he will need to demonstrate that he has improved quite a lot. During the interview this issue kept recurring ("I should be able to speak here", "I don't know how soon the big boss wants results. He didn't know I didn't speak English", etc.). Betti clearly expressed her view about efficiency: "[the class the way it is] is much more efficient this way." In addition, she was clear as to what she should do to become more efficient: "I know learning would be much more efficient if I could sit down to study at the weekend." She contemplated the issue for longer, and she had a ready answer as to how to organise learning: I would like to prepare [for the tests] like I will sit down at home, revise the tasks, and yes, I need to cram a bit, learn the words, it's like going back to secondary school. I'm sure it would be easier to learn smaller amounts ... so I will try to sit down and study regularly. The fact that they attend an English course at their company was definitely selfinitiated in both cases, the way they study at home is according to their wishes, and Betti seems to be more knowledgeable as to what to do to become more efficient. This was also visible in Lбszlу's replies of "I don't know" to various questions in the interview, which occurred far more often than for Betti. 2. The student is autonomous and finds (efficient) learning strategies The students talked about what they do and how they do it when learning or preparing for learning throughout the whole interview. Betti was more satisfied with her level and knowledge of English, which might be indicative of her being more proficient. They find various sources they can exploit to learn; these include colleagues, e-mail, TV, films, and clients. (This issue is described in more detail in Section 4.2.) The question "How do you learn?" in the interview can shed some light on their autonomy. What was common in both interviews regarding this issue is as follows: neither of them reported the ability to cram or sit for long hours and learn words for instance; they need a relaxed environment for studying at home: Lбszlу feels comfortable with some background noise, and Betti likes to smoke; they first try to do the homework and if they need to, they check their notebook only afterwards; if they understand something quickly, they tend not to deal with it any more; they both need examples rather than rules for better understanding; they do not think there are boring parts in learning English; they are visual types and that is how they can find what they look for in their notebook, so they do not use any special organising principles or keep separate notebooks and a vocabulary book. What is different, on the other hand, is that Lбszlу was not forced to learn a language in secondary school and he blames the teacher for this, while Betti achieved a very high level of German in secondary school. Although they have gone through different life experiences, they both realise that a good command of a language is important and they have seized the
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opportunity to learn English at the company. The strategies they use are detailed in Section 4.2. 3. The student is self-reflective and aware of his/her knowledge Lбszlу talked about what he does with past tests: "I try to understand the mistake. But often I immediately realise what was wrong when you say it ... several times it's a sudden realisation." He keeps the tests and checks what was wrong, that is, he analyses his learning process and knowledge. However, he is not realistic about his knowledge. Betti, on the other hand, is perfectly aware of her strengths and weaknesses: "I know very well what [areas] I need to improve". She even gave specific examples: conditionals, and business-related words. There was one example of Lбszlу reflecting on language rules and not his own knowledge. As he asked his friend about these, this case will be described in Section 4.2. An example of rehearsal was also present in his account of his preparation for class. 4. The student is interested in learning and has intrinsic goals Both students have both intrinsic and extrinsic goals1. What is interesting is that on the basis of the overall impression about them through observation, and the motivational/attitudinal questionnaire (cf. Appendix D), it is intrinsic goals that seem to bear more importance, but more instances were found in the interviews of extrinsic, rather than intrinsic aspects, and sometimes a mixture of these. The following quotes give examples of all three variations from the interviews. Lбszlу gave evidence of extrinsic motivation: "if I learned the job well here and I were good at English, I would find a similar [and good] place with a similar position." He demonstrated intrinsic motivation when he said: "I'm interested in [English]. As I said I would love to deal with [English] all day long for days." Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can be observed in this quotation: "I do it for myself, and on top of that the company pays for it ... I would mess it up for myself [if I didn't come] and if they asked why I didn't know [English] I could say I was here at least." Betti showed extrinsic motivation: "I'd like to take a business English exam;" and intrinsic motivation: "I fell in love with English." Some of these quotes also show how far the students are interested in learning the language. 5. The student is realistic, self-confident, diligent, persistent Lбszlу, the pre-intermediate level learner, is not very realistic about his knowledge, whereas Betti is. Lбszlу used expressions such as "I'm not at all [satisfied with my knowledge]", "I would like to know everything as soon as possible", "I don't know anything", and so on. Betti said, "[I think my knowledge] is good but there are some problem areas." Classmates supported these opinions: Betti's classmate said, "she's really hardworking and it's not difficult for her because this is almost like her second mother tongue", and Lбszlу's classmate highlighted "his thirst for knowledge". Also, the interview question about how long they would like to go on learning English reassured me that they are not likely to give up any time soon but would like to carry on as long as possible and as long as they do not judge their English knowledge to be `good enough.' Their linguistic self-confidence is 4.33 out of 5 in the case of both of them (see Appendix D) according to the motivational/attitudinal questionnaire; this figure is considerably high. In conclusion, it can be said that these students are self-regulated learners to varying degrees (cf. Winne, 1997; Zimmerman, 2000). However, a pre-intermediate level student is 1 Goal structures and properties are a complex issue, which is reduced to this dichotomy for the sake of simplicity.
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not necessarily completely conscious, autonomous and self-regulating in effect. Molnбr (2002a) also emphasised that the characteristics she outlined in her article are typical features only, not necessarily characteristic of all self-regulated learners. On the basis of observation and a holistic view in the interviews, Betti, the upper intermediate level learner, is close to complete self-regulation as opposed to Lбszlу, who is on the way to becoming a fully selfregulated student. In the next section, a more detailed picture of self-regulatory processes and strategies will be developed.
4.2 The source of self-regulatory strategies Both students use relatively common sources for regulating their language learning behaviour, but it has to be noted that despite the fact that these sources are not unusual in any sense, a wide range of them are at their disposal and they are happy to make use of these sources. Four sources were mentioned by both learners: colleagues, the internet, a computerbased dictionary, and e-mails. It is very interesting that Lбszlу mentioned his colleagues as sources in connection with formulaic language. He put it in the following way: "These basic communicative things. They work very well with me, like you're welcome ... they are very easy for me ... nothing extra." Other examples of larger chunks of language he memorised are "Thank you for your cooperation" or "It's done." He recalled the story of how he memorised the latter one: Well, it has a story, some guy sent a letter [e-mail] from New M. when I had been here for a month, and I should have transferred something somewhere, and I should have written back that I had done it, and L. P. was sitting opposite me, he's left since then, but he spoke English slowly but well, and I: hey, how do you say "megvan" in English? And he said "It's done." And that was that, I replied the e-mail: Hi, A. It's done. And that was that. From time to time when he arrives for class in the morning, he uses a pre-prepared chunk of language to greet me, for instance: "Hi, how are you?" He admitted that he loves using these pieces of language: "and I say You're welcome to everyone if they say Thank you. And Pleasure." Both students use the internet to look for concrete information, for example Betti checks grammar, or Lбszlу looks up sports results because they are in English. A computerbased dictionary is of great help for both of them because it is comfortable and at hand. Emails are not surprising sources in today's globalized world: Lбszlу's case was mentioned above and an interesting story happened to Betti, too. In contact with foreign clients, she realised that some words and expressions are used differently in different countries (e.g., contract vs. agreement), and it happens to her from time to time that she consults colleagues or her boss to learn about unknown vocabulary items. She says that she builds these new words into her mental lexicon, both in English and in Hungarian. Lбszlу also mentioned the following sources: music, especially songs, sports events (baseball, ice hockey, etc.), his friend at the company, subtitled films and in general anything that is subtitled. He started to listen to music in the spring and asked me to bring some music to class where we could listen to the songs, translate them and learn some new words. He is
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most interested in slang and spoken items of English (e.g., gonna, wanna). The reason why he can learn new words from sports events is that he loves them and says that "It's easy. During a match. There's not much talk." He also mentioned his attitude towards learning new words in general: "they [the words] stay if I do it with pleasure, like entertainment, then they stay." When asking colleagues about something in English, he differentiates between them and his friend. Colleagues were mentioned above, but with his friend it is different because he really trusts him. There is a routine Lбszlу practices only with his friend: Sometimes I come up with a sentence and I try to, mentally, it goes in my head, I'm travelling or something and I try to say it in English. Simple things, don't think of anything extra, and when I get to work, I tell these in English to D., my buddy, and I ask him whether he understood. And he corrects me. Regarding subtitled films, he admitted that he never writes down new words because that would reduce the entertainment. Rather he concentrates on what is being said: "I try to pay attention and I'm very happy if I understand some words." There is another more curious source which Lбszlу used. He used to read the signs and writings on BKV (Budapest Transport Ltd.) vehicles regularly but he gave up this habit after I warned him about the potential dangers of incidentally memorising something that is incorrect: "I don't read things any more on the bus because you told me to forget it unless I want to memorise something really stupid." Betti's additional sources are the following: books, newspapers/magazines, TV, foreign friends, text messages, and clients. She thinks that books and magazines, as well as reading in general are a great source of learning: "Now, after the language exam [intermediate level], I feel very motivated to read English books because I can learn a lot from them." She prefers to watch CNN to BBC as she spent a year in the United States. It is easier for her to understand American English as a matter of fact. Betti is a sociable person, which means that she has several foreign friends she met either abroad or in Hungary, and with whom she regularly keeps in touch. She says she likes `provoking' situations in which she can speak in English. As she puts it: I always learnt German and I loved the German language and I never wanted to learn English and when I was in the US, I started English and I fell in love with it. I've always looked for occasions to speak with somebody and it's like this now, I love speaking. Also, she learns a lot from text messages too and from foreign (i.e., British or American) friends. Sometimes she shares these instances with me in class. One case with clients was mentioned above, and she talks to clients in English on the phone and via telephone conferences quite often. One more interesting form of how Betti learns new words is by way of hearing an intriguing word she later checks in the dictionary. The students' classmates could partly reinforce the interview data in connection with the resources used. Betti's classmate supported the interview data by stating that she uses emails and native speaker friends as sources of language learning, while Lбszlу's classmate could only partly identify his sources. He also mentioned TV as a source but not the press in general. As a matter of fact, the classmates cannot list the whole spectrum of these students' resources, which is realistic as much of the learning takes place outside class.
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Comparing the two students, however, leads to some interesting claims, one of which is that the higher level learner seems to be more aware of the sources she uses, and seems to use them more consciously. Additionally, she is much better at articulating both the sources and the way she exploits them. Of course, this might be due to individual differences, namely that Betti is a good communicator, as was also mentioned by her classmate. In sum, the students use various sources to learn the new language more or less consciously, Betti more actively, Lбszlу maybe more passively, but what is important is that he does not avoid getting in contact with the language.
4.3 Language learning shaped by self-regulation Self-regulation does not seem to be a dichotomous concept, rather it can be imagined as a continuum (Zimmerman, 2000), which was shown by describing these students' selfregulated learning. They are going through the steps Zimmerman (2000) hypothesises to be the Developmental Levels of Regulatory Skills (p.29), from observation, through emulation and then self-control, to full self-regulation. The rehearsal strategy Lбszlу showed is an example of the observation/emulation level. Using adaptive resources to find the meaning of a word with the help of an online dictionary, native friends or comparing and contrasting languages are examples of the self-control level, and paraphrasing in the case of the upper intermediate student can be considered to be on the self-regulation level. Sections 4.1 and 4.2 showed what steps, techniques or strategies these students take and use to move towards the self-regulatory end of this continuum. The fact that they initiated their learning, they more or less know how to become more efficient language learners, they possess and use strategies to make use of their potential, they have goals, they are more or less realistic about their possibilities in connection with English, and that they are self-confident and persistent all point towards one conclusion: their prospects are very promising. Their behaviour, capacity and learning and self-regulatory strategies all shape them in a positive way: they persist and want to improve their skills. Zimmerman (2000) also notes that "[n]o self-regulatory strategy will work equally well for all persons, and few, if any, strategies will work optimally for a person on all tasks or occasions" (p.17) (cf. Dцrnyei & Csizйr (1998) and Section 1.3). This is in line with how Pintrich (2000) describes self-regulated learning: it is dynamic and cyclical (with four phases), but the phases are not necessarily separable or linear. Zimmerman (2000) concludes that "self-regulated individuals must continuously adjust their goals and choice of strategies" (p.17), which is exactly what the two students described in this study are doing.
5 Conclusion This paper aimed to show how two language learners at different levels of English motivate themselves to learn and regulate their own language learning behaviour. On the basis of the analysis I arrived at the following tentative conclusions: · The higher-level learner is more conscious about the processes of her learning, and also of how to regulate her learning behaviour. · The lower-level learner is less realistic about his knowledge, and the whole language learning process seems to be more vague to him.
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· The higher-level learner seeks opportunities to meet the language, whereas the lower level learner happens to meet them (but definitely does not avoid them). · In business contexts, extrinsic reasons (e.g., to be able to talk to foreign colleagues) seem to be a very strong motivational factor even at a higher level. However, the main limitation of the study is that only one student from each proficiency level was observed and interviewed. A researcher's diary could have been kept to enhance the validity and reliability of the study. The ability to verbalise thoughts might be different in each case, rather than the level of English proficiency being the variable that differentiated between the two learners. This conclusion is in line with Pintrich's (2000) claim about the role of potential moderating factors in self-regulation. However, this study was a useful step towards understanding more about how students regulate their learning as this has been a neglected research area in Hungary (Molnбr, 2002a, 2002b). Future research needs to clarify whether the above-mentioned differences are due to individual differences or whether a pattern can be observed according to, for instance, proficiency level or individual difference factors. The following aspects seem to be potentially fruitful directions for further enquiry: · level of proficiency, · individual difference factors, e.g., ability to self-regulate, · the possibility that learners have different self-regulatory capacities in learning different languages. More classroom-based studies are needed to determine how students can start to become self-regulating and autonomous, and how far this capacity is teachable because, according to McKeachie (2000), "new self-regulatory skills are difficult to perfect. But with practice these skills can become habitual" (p.xxiii). Teachers can be of assistance to students in various ways: either with the help of motivational strategies (Dцrnyei, 2001a), scaffolding their learning by teaching learners what self-regulation is through collaborative project work (Randi & Corno, 2000), or providing students with an ample amount of practice and feedback (Winne, 1997). Also, students need to be encouraged throughout the learning process so that they can become more self-regulated and autonomous ­ as Dцrnyei (2005) points out, it is not automatic for learners to take ownership of their actions; they need to be supported.
Proofread for the use of English by: Francis J. Prescott-Pickup, Department of English Applied Linguistics, School of English and American Studies, Eцtvцs Lorбnd University, Budapest
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Pintrich, P. R. (2000). The role of goal orientation in self-regulated learning. In M. Boekaerts, P. R. Pintrich, & M. Zeidner (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation (pp. 451-502). San Diego, CA: Elsevier Academic Press. Pintrich, P. R., & De Groot, E. (1990). Motivational and self-regulated learning components of classroom ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE. Journal of educational psychology, 82(1), 3340. Randi, J., & Corno, L. (2000). Teacher innovations in self-regulated learning. In M. Boekaerts, P. R. Pintrich, & M. Zeidner (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation (pp. 651685). San Diego, CA: Elsevier Academic Press. Rйthy, E. (2003). Motivбciу, tanulбs, tanнtбs. Miйrt tanulunk jуl vagy rosszul? Budapest: Nemzeti Tankцnyvkiadу. Rubin, J. (1975). What the "good language learner" can teach us. TESOL Quarterly 9(1), 4151. Sбntha, K. (2006). Mintavйtel a kvalitatнv pedagуgiai kutatбsban. Budapest: Gondolat. Stern, H. H. (1975). What can we learn from the good language learner? The Canadian Modern Language Review, 31(4), 304-318. Szabolcs, Й. (2001). Kvalitatнv kutatбsi metodolуgia a pedagуgiбban. Budapest: Mszaki Kiadу. Szokolszky, Б. (2004). Kutatуmunka a pszicholуgiбban. Metodolуgia, mуdszerek, gyakorlat. Budapest: Osiris Kiadу. Winne, P. H. (1997). Experimenting to bootstrap self-regulated learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(3), 397-410. Wolters, C. A. (1999). The relation between high school students' motivational regulation and their use of learning strategies, effort, and classroom performance. Learning and Individual Differences, 11(3), 281-299. Zimmerman, B. J. (2000). Attaining self-regulation. A social cognitive perspective. In M. Boekaerts, P. R. Pintrich, & M. Zeidner (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation (pp. 1339). San Diego, CA: Elsevier Academic Press.
WoPaLP Vol. 2, 2008 APPENDIX A
Student interview guide
· How would you describe your English language knowledge? How far do you think you have managed to learn what we have covered in class? · How efficient do you consider your English knowledge? Why? · How much do you know compared to your classmate? And how persistent/motivated are you compared to your classmate? And compared to others who you learnt with previously? · What and how can you use from what we learn in class? · You are never late, you don't miss classes. It's a rare phenomenon. How is it possible? ( Why do you like coming to the English class?) · How do you learn? · How do you organise in your notebook what we learn in class? How do you fix these things? · How do you go about learning? What does it look like when you're studying / how can I imagine it? (place, time, equipment, etc.) · How do you prepare for the tests? What do you do with the corrected tests? What do you do with the things you did wrong in the tests? · Apart from the English lesson, what sources do you draw on to learn English (words, etc.)? How do you manage to learn English outside the lesson? · How do you learn the boring parts? (e.g., the three forms of the verb, etc.) · If you have ever been demotivated by learning English, how did you get over it? Does it happen nowadays? Why? · How can you remain concentrated during the lesson? · How do you imagine yourself going on learning English? How long? Ultimate goal? · Would you like to add anything? Thank you very much.
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Mezei 100
Classmate questionnaire
Dear Participant, Please answer the following questions. You don't need to give long answers but you can help me write a paper for my doctoral dissertation. Your responses will remain anonymous. You can send this questionnaire to [email protected] Thank you for your help in advance. Mezei Gabi 1. In what areas of English do you think you are better than [classmate's name]? 2. In what areas of English do you think [classmate's name] is better than you? 3. In the areas [classmate's name] is better: what sources do you think s/he uses to learn these things, how does s/he manage to learn these things? 4. On the whole, how would you rate [classmate's name]'s knowledge of English? 5. On the whole, how would you rate [classmate's name]'s attitude to learning English? (diligence, persistence, enthusiasm, etc., etc.)
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Mezei 101
Motivational/attitudinal questionnaire
I would like to ask you to help me with my research programme. Please answer the following questions about learning foreign languages. This is a questionnaire, not a test, so there are no good or wrong answers. I am interested in your opinion. Please note that you can help me with my project only if you answer honestly. I promise that I will not show the questionnaires to anyone. Thank you for your help.
I. In this section, please, give a mark between 1 and 5. 5 = very much, 4 = much, 3 = so-so, 2 = not really, 1 = not at all.
For example, if you like hamburgers very much, you don't really like bean soup, and you
don't like spinach at all, answer this way:
hamburgers bean soup spinach
How much do you like the following foods?
Please, write an integer (one only!) in each and every box, and don't leave any boxes empty. Thank you.
5 = very much, 4 = much, 3 = so-so, 2 = not really, 1 = not at all. German French Russian English Italian 1. How much do you like these languages? 2. How much do you think knowing these languages would help you to become a more knowledgeable person? 3. How important do you think these languages are in the world these days? 4. How important do you think learning these languages is in order to learn more about the culture and art of its speakers? 5. How much effort are you prepared to expend in learning these languages? 6. How much do you think knowing these languages would help you when travelling abroad in the future? 7. How much do you think knowing these languages would help your future career? 8. How well does your mother speak these languages? 9. How well does your father speak these languages? 10. How much would you like to become similar to the people who speak these languages?
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German French Russian English Italian 11. How useful do you think it would be to have an intermediate language certificate in the following languages? (Write 9 if you already have one.) 12. How much would knowing these languages help you in pursuing you hobby or pastime? 13. How important would it be for you to learn these languages so that you can talk with the natives? 14. How much do your parents encourage you to learn these languages? 5 = very much, 4 = much, 3 = so-so, 2 = not really, 1 = not at all. France England Russia Germany USA Italy 15. How much would you like to travel to these countries? 16. How rich and developed do you think these countries are? 17. How important a role do you think these countries play in the world? 18. How much do you like meeting foreigners from these countries? 19. How much do you like the films made in these countries? (Write 9 if you don't know them.) 20. How much do you like the TV programmes made in these countries? (Write 9 if you don't know them.) 21. How much do you like the people who live in these countries? 22. How often do you see films / TV programmes made in these countries? 23. How much do you like the magazines made in these countries? (Write 9 if you don't know them.) 24. How often do you meet foreigners (e.g. in the street, restaurants, public places) coming from these countries? 25. How much do you like the pop music of these countries? (Write 9 if you don't like it.)
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26. How much would you like if someone from these countries moved to your neighbourhood? 27. How much would you like to live in these countries? 28.How interesting do you think the culture of these countries are?
5 = very much, 4 = much, 3 = so-so, 2 = not really, 1 = not at all. Have you written a number in each box? Thank you.
In this section you will find statements that hold true for some persons, and don't
hold true for others. I would like to know how much these statements reflect your feelings and
circumstances. Please put an X in the box that most describes how much the statement is true
in your case. For example, if you like skiing very much, put an X in the last box:
I like skiing very much.
Not at all Not really Partly
partly not
More or less true
Absolutely true X
There are no good or wrong answers ­ I am interested in your opinion.
Not at all Not really Partly More or
true, less true
partly not
29. I am sure I will be able to
learn a foreign language well.
30. I think I am the type who
would feel anxious and ill at
ease if I had to speak to
someone in foreign
32. People around me tend to
think that it is a good thing to
know foreign languages.
33. I don't think that foreign
languages are important
school subjects.
34. I often watch satellite
programmes on TV.
35. My parents do not
consider foreign languages
important school subjects.
36. Learning foreign
languages makes me fear that
I will feel less Hungarian
because of it.
37. Learning a foreign
language is a difficult task.
Absolutely true
WoPaLP Vol. 2, 2008 APPENDIX D
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Results on the motivational/attitudinal questionnaire on seven scales (In each case, the maximum points were 5.)
Integrativeness Instrumentality Attitude towards native speakers Vitality of the language community Interest in the L2 culture Milieu Linguistic selfconfidence
Lбszlу 2 4.25
UK: 3.33
US: 1
UK: 4.5
US: 5
UK: 4.5 5 4.33
US: 5
Betti 5 5
UK: 4
US: 4.33
UK: 4.5
US: 5
UK: 5
US: 5

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