Design and Perception of an Approach to Improving Chinese as a Foreign Language Learners’ Self-Regulated Learning Strategies

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Zhang, Shenglan
Zhang, Shenglan
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World Languages and Cultures
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World Languages and Cultures

This study investigates the effects of an approach to improving Chinese-as-a-Foreign-Language (CFL) learners’ Self-Regulated-Learning (SRL) in personally managed contexts using a flipped/blended course environment. In addition, the study examines student perceptions of the approach and how learners’ beliefs about language learning correlate with their use of SRL. Studies indicate that SRL has positive effects on students’ academic performance in face-to-face classrooms (Kramarski & Gutman, 2006; Kramarski & Mizrachi, 2006; Lan, 1996; Orange, 1999; Schunk, 2005) and in online classes (Lynch & Dembo, 2004); therefore, different models and methods have been proposed and implemented to improve college students’ SRL. These models vary in scope, content, timeframe, and design (Hofer, Yu, & Pintrich, 1998; Lan, 1998; Winne & Stockley, 1998; Lin, Lai, Lai, & Chang, 2015; Stoeger & Ziegler, 2008; Schimtz & Wiese, 2006). However, SRL is context specific (Schunk, 2005), and no previous approach has been tested for improving foreign language learners’ SRL, especially when applied to a flipped/blended course.

The conceptual framework used in this study is based on the social-cognitive model of motivation and cognition (Garcia & Pintrich, 1994; Zimmerman, 1998). The approach incorporates two groups of strategies: 1) domain-specific cognitive learning strategies and metacognitive and self-regulatory strategies, and 2) self-knowledge, self-efficacy, and motivational strategies. The intervention, a 20-minute person conference with the instructor/researcher, lasted 3 weeks and was integrated into a CFL flipped/blended course. During the individual meetings, the instructor/researcher gave each student individualized instruction to improve SRL based on learning situation, strengths, and weaknesses. Additionally, students were encouraged to focus on one area of their Chinese study with which they had challenges while applying the SRL strategies. Each week the students wrote structured diaries to help them self-regulate their learning.

Nineteen CFL learners participated in the study. Data were collected in three different ways. First, a questionnaire was administered at three time points: before implementation of the approach, right after implementation of the approach, and three weeks after implementation of the approach. This questionnaire was adapted from the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ by Pintrich, Smith, Garcia, & McKeachie, 1993), the Online Self-Regulated Learning Questionnaire (OSLQ by Barnard, Lan, To, Paton, & Lai, 2009), and the Belief About Language Learning Inventory (BALLI BY Horwitz, 1988). All three questionnaires included items asking about students’ use of SRL which measured learners’ self-reported perception of their use of cognitive strategies, meta-cognitive self-regulatory strategies, resource management strategies, and motivation. In addition, the questionnaire at the second time point included nine open-ended questions about students’ perceptions of the approach. The questionnaire at the third time point included a survey regarding learners’ beliefs about language learning. Second, students kept a structured diary (Schmitz & Wiese, 2006). The diary was structured with the intent to a) Depict the entire self-regulation cycle; b) Support self-regulated learning, and c) Capture the intervention effects. The third way of gathering data was a reflection paper written by the participants.

The data have been collected and entered and are currently being analyzed.


This proceeding is publshed as Zhang, Shenglan. Design and Perception of an Approach to Improving Chinese as a Foreign Language Learners’ Self‐Regulated Learning Strategies. In Simons, Mathea & Smits, Tom F.H. (Eds.) (2018) Language Education and Emotions. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Language Education and Testing. Antwerpen: University of Antwerp, pp. 79-87. Posted with permission.