Scholarly article on topic 'Analysing University English Preparatory Class Students⿿ Self-regulation Strategies and Motivational Beliefs Using Different Variables'

Analysing University English Preparatory Class Students⿿ Self-regulation Strategies and Motivational Beliefs Using Different Variables Academic research paper on "Educational sciences"

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Abstract of research paper on Educational sciences, author of scientific article — Hakan Karatas, Bulent Alci, Mehtap Bademcioglu, Atilla Ergin

Abstract Learning English which is the most widely used foreign language has become a necessity in globalised world. Yet, in Turkey, some problems exist about it thanks to lack of motivation and knowledge about self-regulation strategies. In this study, it was tried to explore if the students⿿ self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs show significant differences in terms of gender, language level, receiving English preparatory training, and the kind of high school. The research group included 320 male (65.6%) and 168 female (34.4%) English preparatory students at Istanbul Technical University. Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire developed by Pintrinch and De Groot (1990) and adapted in Turkish by Uredi (2005) was used as the data collection tool. Data were analysed using independent samples t-test, one-way ANOVA and the Scheffe's test via SPSS 20.0 software program. T-test findings indicated female students⿿ cognitive strategies dimension score is higher. Yet, there are no significant differences in the students⿿ self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs according to receiving preparatory training. The ANOVA test's result demonstrated high school differentiation does not affect self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs. However, the Scheffe's test results revealed the students⿿ self-regulation, cognitive strategies and intrinsic value perception change over depending on language level.

Academic research paper on topic "Analysing University English Preparatory Class Students⿿ Self-regulation Strategies and Motivational Beliefs Using Different Variables"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 232 (2016) 403 - 412

International Conference on Teaching and Learning English as an Additional Language, GlobELT 2016, 14-17 April 2016, Antalya, Turkey

Analysing University English Preparatory Class Students' Self-Regulation Strategies and Motivational Beliefs Using Different

Variables

Hakan Karatas^*, Bulent Alcia, Mehtap Bademcioglub, Atilla Erginc

aYildiz Technical University, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences bYildiz Technical University, Graduate School of Social Sciences cIstanbul Technical University, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

Abstract

Learning English which is the most widely used foreign language has become a necessity in globalised world. Yet, in Turkey, some problems exist about it thanks to lack of motivation and knowledge about self-regulation strategies. In this study, it was tried to explore if the students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs show significant differences in terms of gender, language level, receiving English preparatory training, and the kind of high school. The research group included 320 male (65.6 %) and 168 female (34.4 %) English preparatory students at Istanbul Technical University. Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire developed by Pintrinch and De Groot (1990) and adapted in Turkish by Uredi (2005) was used as the data collection tool. Data were analysed using independent samples t-test, one-way ANOVA and the Scheffe's test via SPSS 20.0 software program. T-test findings indicated female students' cognitive strategies dimension score is higher. Yet, there are no significant differences in the students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs according to receiving preparatory training. The ANOVA test's result demonstrated high school differentiation does not affect self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs. However, the Scheffe's test results revealed the students' self-regulation, cognitive strategies and intrinsic value perception change over depending on language level.

© 2016 The Authors.PublishedbyElsevierLtd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of GlobELT 2016 Keywords: Self-Regulation Strategies; Motivational Beliefs; Foreign Language.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +90-212-383-3145; fax: +90-212-383-3149. E-mail address: hkaratas@yildiz.edu.tr

1877-0428 © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of GlobELT 2016 doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.10.056

1. Introduction

The goal of language learning is described by MacIntyre (2002) as an authentic communication between persons of different languages and cultural backgrounds. Language learners need to set their learning goals, make their learning plans, choose their learning strategies, and evaluate their learning outcomes in order to achieve this goal. That is to say, learners are expected to use self-regulation strategies. On the other hand, many researchers such as Gardner (1972), and Wigfield and Wentzel (2007) suggest that motivational beliefs can influence language learning outcomes independently from language aptitude. Because of this, the role of motivational beliefs is an interesting question that deserves to be studied as well as using self-regulation strategies in language learning which is influenced by complex factors. Therefore, an examination not only of using self-regulation strategies among students, but also of their motivational beliefs about language learning is certainly relevant in improving language education for all students.

2. Literature review

2.1. Self-regulated learning andforeign language learning

Self-regulation is stated as a vital issue in teaching and learning process by many researchers such as Steffen (2006) and Zimmerman and Schunk (2001). Since many researches have been conducted on this topic, there are different definitions of self-regulation. For instance, while it is described as a process for achieving personal goals where thoughts, feelings and actions of an individual are adjusted into means to the end by Zimmerman (2000), Wolters, Pintrich and Karabenick (2003) identify it as a process where the individual is in supervision of his or her motivation and behaviours. In accordance with these, three point arise. First of all, students participate in the learning process readily. Second point is that they decide their own way of learning. And the last point is that students control their learning.

There are various self-regulated learning structures such as Oxford (2011), Paris, Byrnes and Paris (2001), Pintrich and Garcia (1991). The basic items of the different self-regulated learning models are summarised using three groups: planning which includes goal setting, assessment of internal and external resources, and selection of appropriate strategies, execution and monitoring which is an implementation of strategies, tracking their success, and altering strategies as needed and evaluation of the learning outcome (Pintrich & Garcia, 1991). In a cycle in Zimmerman's (1998) model, similar components are involved. As stated in this, learners first evaluate their learning. Then, they set learning goals and plan appropriate strategies. After carrying out them, they monitor their performance and finish by evaluating learning outcomes.

Over the last few decades, besides psychological and other educational studies, self-regulation has been discussed in the foreign language teaching field. Andrade and Bunker (2009), Andrade and Evans (2013), Gunning and Oxford (2014), Ma and Oxford (2014), and Zimmerman and Risemberg (1997) have studied on this issue. And, these studies have demonstrated that self-regulated learning's efficacy at improving foreign language learning. As used effectively and regularly, self-regulation strategies ease foreign language learning (Andrade & Bunker, 2009; Oxford, 2003). Moreover, they lead to deeper learning and higher performance in language skills such as speaking (Ma & Oxford, 2014); reading comprehension (Ehrman, 1996); writing (Andrade & Evans, 2013); and vocabulary (Rasekh & Ranjbary, 2003).

2.2. Motivational beliefs and foreign language learning

Motivational beliefs are student's thoughts, attitudes or judgements about the environment around him/her. He or she forms motivational beliefs through exposure to learning experiences first-hand. And, they are required for academic achievement. Moreover, these beliefs are closely connected with each other (Pintrich, 2000; Zimmerman & Schunk, 2012). Self-efficacy and test anxiety are some fundamental elements in motivational beliefs. It is emphasized that motivational beliefs can be both positive and negative. Yet, it is quite hard to change them when learners have adopted these beliefs (Boekearts, 2002).

Self-efficacy may differ in various domains. And, it is usually about evaluation by students regarding their future performance. Because of these, self-efficacy should be evaluated from various aspects (Bandura, 1997). The results

of study which was conducted by Zimmerman, Bandura, and Martinez-Pons (1992) revealed self-efficacy levels in self-regulated learning was equivalent to their academic self-confidence. According to Pajares (2012), students' selection of activities, effort and perseverance can be predicted through self-efficacy. Hardworking students are those who are self-efficient and they usually put extra effort in learning without being exposure to an external push. But, the other students who don't have enough confidence in their abilities and skills are extrinsically motivated. And, they set their goals to complete the activity from the drive outside. Also, Pintrich (1999) has determined students enjoyed better academic achievement as they had higher intrinsic motivation.

Test anxiety which can be defined as predicting adverse results in exams is another important factor having an effect on motivation. And, it includes cognitive, emotional, physiological, and behavioural states (Bembenutty, 2008). The studies of Cassady and Johnson (2002), Schunk, Pintrich, and Meece (2008), and Zeidner and Matthews (2005) have displayed poor test performance is characteristic which is shared by students with test anxiety. Nevertheless, Schunk, Pintrich, and Meece (2008) highlighted that motivation, self-regulation, and achievement can be improved through controlling test anxiety with appropriate interventions. Many researches have shown academic success is directly proportional with motivational strategies in such a way that high level of motivational strategies lead to great academic achievement (McWhaw & Abrami, 2001; Wolters & Rosenthal, 2000). In addition to this, the researches implemented by Hwang and Vrongistinos (2002), Kahraman and Sungur (2011), Pintrich and De Groot (1990), Uredi and Uredi (2005) have showed self-regulatory strategies increase academic achievement.

Motivation has been broken for language learning into three parts: the desire to learn the language, exerting effort and having positive attitudes towards the language learning process (Gardner, 1985). And, it is suggested that integrative motivation and instrumental motivation are two types of motivation for language learning. If a learner motivates himself/herself, he/she learns for the sake of learning a language. Apart from these, a number of studies have revealed that motivation has a significant impact on language learning (Dornyei, 1990; Gardner, 2001; MacIntyre, 2002). Therefore, the current study aims to find out if gender is an influential factor on the students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs and identify if the students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs demonstrate significant differences with regards to their language level, receiving English preparatory training, and the kind of high school they graduated from. For these purposes, following research questions are the frame for this study:

1. Is there a significant difference between female and male students in terms of self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs?

2. Is there any significant difference in students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs in terms of receiving English preparatory training?

3. Does difference exist in students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs in terms of their language levels?

4. Is there a significant relationship between students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs and the kind of high school they graduated from?

3. Method

3.1. Participants and setting

The current study was conducted during 2015-2016 academic year with the participation of 320 male (65.6 %) and 168 female (34.4 %) English preparatory students at Istanbul Technical University. All participants took part in the study voluntarily. The distribution of the sample with respect to their receiving English preparatory training, the kind of high schools, and language levels are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. University students participating in the survey by receiving English preparatory training, the kind of high schools, and language levels

Demographic variables

Receiving English preparatory training

Yes No Total

Anatolian high school

16.39 83.61 100

The kind of high school

Proficiency level

Science high school

Anatolian teacher training high school

Open high school

Vocational high school

Intermediate

Pre-intermediate

95 47 9 11 488 55 259 174 488

19.48 9.63

I.84 2.25 100

II.27 53.07 35.65 100

3.2. Data collecting instrument

This study is based on survey design. Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire developed by Pintrinch and De Groot (1990) and adapted in Turkish by Uredi (2005) was used as the data collection tool. Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire consists of 44 items for a total. For each item, respondents were asked to rate themselves on a seven-point Likert scale (1 = strongly agree, 7 = strongly disagree). The questionnaire includes two dimensions: self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs. In self-regulation strategies dimension, there are two scales. The first one is using cognitive strategies (13 items). And, the second one is self-regulation (9 items). There are also three scales in the motivational beliefs dimension: self-efficacy (9 items), intrinsic value perception (9 items), and test anxiety (4 items).

3.3. Analysis of data

Data acquired by means of the applications of Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire was analysed using independent samples t-test, one-way ANOVA and the Scheffe's post-hoc test via SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) 21.0 software program. The analysis of independent samples t-test was used to specify whether there was a significant difference in university students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs according to gender and receiving English preparatory training. Also, the analysis of one-way ANOVA was administered to examine whether there were differences in university students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs in terms of their foreign language levels and the high school differentiation.

To explore gender, language level, receiving English preparatory training, and the kinds of high school they graduated from differences in university students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs, the data was analysed in this section. In this section, it was given the results of these analyses.

Table 2 summarizes the following findings which include descriptive statistics on university students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs.

4. Findings

Hakan Karatas et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 232 (2016) 403 — 412 Table 2. Means, standard deviations and maximum scores

Dimensions Sub-Dimensions N Mean Min. Max. Std. D. Std. Er.

Self-regulation strategies UCS 488 56.60 13.00 87.00 12.12 .54

SR 488 33.29 9.00 57.00 7.20 .32

Motivational beliefs SE 488 36.67 9.00 81.00 8.61 .39

IVP 488 41.01 9.00 63.00 9.50 .43

TA 488 12.01 4.00 28.00 5.58 .25

UCS (Using Cognitive Strategy) SR (Self-Regulation) SE (Self-Efficacy) IVP (Intrinsic Value Perception) TA (Test Anxiety)

The mean of using cognitive strategies scores of university students is 56.60, which is the highest one. Also, the students get the highest score from using cognitive strategies dimension. As it can be seen in Table 2, the mean of intrinsic value perception scores is 41.01, the mean of self-efficacy scores is 36.67, and the mean of self-regulation scores is 33.29. The students get the highest score from test anxiety dimension.

Table 3 focuses on the students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs in terms of gender.

Table 3. T-Test analysis about university students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs according to gender

Dimensions Sub-Dimensions Gender N M Std. D. Std. E. t P

Self-regulation UCS Male 320 55.45 12.40 .69 2.90 .00*

strategies Female 168 58.78 11.28 .87

SR Male 320 33.55 7.28 .40 -1.08 .28*

Female 168 32.80 7.05 .54

Motivational beliefs SE Male 320 36.36 8.33 .46 1.10 .27*

Female 168 37.27 9.11 .70

IVP Male 320 40.83 9.70 .54 .57 .56*

Female 168 41.35 9.12 .70

TA Male 320 11.69 5.56 .31 1.71 .08*

Female 168 12.60 5.58 .43

* The mean difference is significant at the .05 level

UCS (Using Cognitive Strategy) SR (Self-Regulation) SE (Self-Efficacy) IVP (Intrinsic Value Perception) TA (Test Anxiety)

As it is observed in Table 3, for using cognitive strategy dimension, the female students' arithmetic mean is 58.78; male students' arithmetic mean is 55.45, which indicate that there is a difference in favour of female students (t=2.90, p<.05). Yet, it can be seen that there are no significant differences between self-regulation, self-efficacy, intrinsic value perception, test anxiety dimensions and gender. And, it can be said that gender is a significant variable on students' using cognitive strategy dimension.

Table 4 addresses the students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs according to receiving English preparatory training.

Table 4. T-Test analysis regarding university students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs according to receiving English preparatory training

Dimensions SubDimensions Receiving preparatory training N M Std. D. Std. E. t P

Self-regulation strategies UCS Yes No 80 408 54.97 56.82 12.19 12.12 1.39 .60 -1.22 .22*

SR Yes 80 33.81 8.19 .94 .64 .52*

No 408 33.23 7.03 .34

Motivational beliefs SE Yes 80 35.63 9.45 1.08 -1.14 .25*

No 408 36.86 8.49 .42

IVP Yes 80 39.65 9.06 1.04 -1.31 .18*

No 408 41.22 9.58 .47

TA Yes 80 13.02 5.94 .68 1.85 .06*

No 408 11.74 5.46 .27

* The mean difference is significant at the .05 level

UCS (Using Cognitive Strategy) SR (Self-Regulation) SE (Self-Efficacy) IVP (Intrinsic Value Perception) TA (Test Anxiety)

Table 4 shows that there is no significant difference between students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs in terms of receiving English preparatory training (t=-1.31; p>.05; t=-1.14; p>.05; t=1.85; p>.05; t=-1.22; p>. 05; t=.64; p>.05). Regarding these results, it can be said that receiving English preparatory training is not a significant variable on students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs.

One-way ANOVA test was conducted to find out if there was a significant difference in the students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs in terms of the kind of high school they graduated from and their language level. Table 5 includes the descriptive statistics of the students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs according to the kind of high school.

Table 5. The descriptive statistics of the university students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs in respect to the kind of high school they graduated from

Dimensions

Sub- Groups

dimensions

Sum of squares

Degrees of Mean f p

freedom

Self-regulation strategies

Between groups 893.63 4

Within groups 70735.25 484

223.40 1.52 .19*

146.45

71628.88 488

Motivational beliefs

Between groups 253.51 4

Within groups 24935.82 484

Total 25189.33 488

Between groups 477.01 4

Within groups 35595.02 484

63.37 1.22 .30* 51.84

119.25 1.61 .16* 73.84

Total 36072.03 488

Between groups 681.42 4

170.35 1.90 .10*

Within groups 43019.53 484

43700.95 488

Between groups Within groups Total

15104.96

15158.95

484 488

13.49 31.33

UCS (Using Cognitive Strategy) SR (Self-Regulation) SE (Self-Efficacy) IVP (Intrinsic Value Perception) TA (Test Anxiety)

As presented in Table 5, it is noticed that there is no significant difference in the students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs in terms of the kind of high school (t=1.52; p>.05; t=1.22; p>.05; t=1.61; p>.05; t=1.90; p>.05; t=.43; p>.05). The result of the ANOVA test shows that high school differentiation does not influence on their self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs. It is also confirmed that there were no differences between groups.

Table 6 includes the descriptive statistics of the students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs in view of their foreign language level.

Table 6. The Descriptive Statistics of the University Students' Self-Regulation Strategies and Motivational Beliefs according to Their Foreign Language Level

Dimensions Subdimensions Groups Sum of squares Degrees of freedom Mean f p

Sef- UCS Between groups 2195.58 2 1097.79 7.66 .00*

regulation Within groups 69433.28 486 143.16

strategies Total 71628.87 488

SR Between groups 612.36 2 306.18 6.01 .00*

Within groups 24576.96 486 50.88

Total 25189.33 488

Motivational SE Between groups 382.48 2 191.24 2.59 .07*

beliefs Within groups 35595.02 486 73.73

Total 36072.03 488

IVP Between groups 816.26 2 408.13 4.58 .01*

Within groups 42884.68 486 88.97

Total 43700.95 488

TA Between groups 110.95 2 55.47 6.01 .00*

Within groups 15047.99 486 31.09

Total 15158.95 488

* The mean difference is significant at the .05 level

There are significant differences in the students' score of using cognitive strategies dimension (F=7.66; p<.05), self-regulation dimension (F=6.01; p<.05), intrinsic value perception dimension (F=4.58; p<.05), and test anxiety dimension (F=6.01; p<.05) according to their foreign language level, which is demonstrated in Table 6. It is confirmed that there were differences between groups. But, it is observed that there are no significant differences in the students' score of self-efficacy dimension (F=2.59; p>.05). Owing to this result, it was accepted that there were no differences between groups. That is to say, university students' foreign language level does not influence on self-efficacy dimension, while it influences on using cognitive strategies, self-regulation, intrinsic value perception, and test anxiety dimensions.

Owing to ANOVA test results, it was concluded that there were significant differences in the students' score of using cognitive strategies dimension (F=7.66; p<.05), self-regulation dimension (F=6.01; p<.05), intrinsic value perception dimension (F=4.58; p<.05) and test anxiety dimension (F=6.01; p<.05) according to their foreign language level. In order to find out the significant differences from which foreign language levels arise, the Scheffe's post-hoc test was conducted. The Scheffe's test results shows there is a significant difference between intermediate and pre-

intermediate levels (p=.01, p<.05) within using cognitive strategies dimension. And, it is determined there is a significant difference between upper and pre-intermediate levels (p=.00, p<.05) in self-regulation dimension. Also, within intrinsic value perception dimension, there is a significant difference between upper and pre-intermediate levels (p=.01, p<.05). But, it is approved that there is no differences between groups in the students' score of test anxiety dimension.

5. Discussion

The students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs were analysed in terms of gender, language level, receiving English preparatory training, and the kind of high school in the current study. One of the findings of the study is that gender is a significant variable on students' using cognitive strategy, which is consistent with the previous studies in this area. For example, Oxford and Nyikos (1989) highlighted that gender has a significant effect on the frequency of self-regulation strategies use. Their research results show women more frequently use cognitive strategies. Also, Kaylani (1996) has found that female learners use cognitive strategies more frequently than male students. Yet, it was found out there are no significant differences between self-regulation, self-efficacy, intrinsic value perception, test anxiety dimensions and gender in the present study, while Mills, Pajares and Heron (2007) found out girls have higher self-efficacy in French learning process.

Another finding of the study is that there is a significant difference in using cognitive strategies, self-regulation, intrinsic value perception, and test anxiety dimensions' scores of the students when their foreign language level is taken into consideration. Using cognitive strategies dimension scores of intermediate students are higher than pre-intermediate students. And, self-regulation dimension scores of upper students are higher than pre-intermediate students. Furthermore, upper students have higher intrinsic value perception dimension scores than pre-intermediate students. As the literature is reviewed, it is seen that there are similar studies which claim self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs differs by students' foreign language proficiency levels. For instance, Matsumoto (2009) carried out a study in order to reveal how English learning motivation is influenced by teacher care and help which are perceived by the student. And, it was concluded that English proficiency level is one of the important factors affecting motivation. In accordance with this finding, it can be said the level of the motivation increases when the level of foreign language proficiency increases.

In order to be able to follow the changes in technology, science, communication, and commerce, learning English in Turkey has become an increasingly important issue especially since the 1950s (Yanar, 2008). Although Anatolian High Schools became to provide training in 1975 to meet the growing needs of foreign language learning, general high schools were transformed into Anatolian High School in 2005 (Sahin, 2013). With this change, preparatory classes are removed from high schools. And also, English teaching hours are reduced. And, teacher high schools, general and vocational high schools were also subjected to these changes. (Erguder, 2005). These are considered as negative effects in terms of quantity of foreign language learning (Demirpolat, 2015). Despite these negative changes, in accordance with the current study's results, it was seen that there are no significant differences in the students' self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs according to receiving preparatory training and high school differentiation does not affect self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs.

6. Recommendations

As the findings of the study take into consideration, it can be suggested some ideas for the researchers for further research. Firstly, this study investigated and evaluated the information of the students by the questionnaire. For this reason, more qualitative data may be collected through observation or interview techniques. Secondly, this study conducted with the participation of 488 English preparatory students. Because of this, further studies may be carried out with a larger sample group. And, lastly, in further studies, the relationship between motivational beliefs and intrinsic or extrinsic motivation may be examined.

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to express their sincere appreciation to the students of the School of Foreign Languages at Istanbul Technical University, who assisted in data collection. The authors contributed equally to this article.

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