Home Language & Literature Motivational Regulation in Foreign Language Learning
Students’ ability to regulate their motivation is regarded as an important aspect of self-regulated learning (SRL) (e.g., Boekaerts, 1995, 1997; Pintrich, 2000; Wolters, 1998, 2003). Zimmerman (1986) perceived students to be self-regulated learners to the extent that they are metacognitively, motivationally, and behaviorally active participants in their own learning processes. According to Corno (1987), self-regulated learners are self-starters who are able to sustain self-motivation and who seem to make learning easier for themselves. Researchers have also examined motivational regulation from different perspectives, such as volition (e.g., Corno, 1989, 1993; Kuhl, 1984, 1985), personality (Heiby, 1981; Sansone, Wiebe, & Morgan, 1999), and social cognitive perspective of SRL (e.g., Boekaerts, 1995, 1997; Garcia & Pintrich, 1994; Pintrich, 2000; Wolters, 1998, 1999, 2003). Research in the field of volition has highlighted the effort to increase persistence on a learning task. Models of SRL also presume that students manage the motivational aspect in the learning process. For instance, the six-component model of SRL presented by Boekaerts (1995, 1997) emphasized both motivational and cognitive selfregulation. Motivational self-regulation in this model involves the components of motivational beliefs, motivational strategies, and motivational regulatory strategies. Cognitive self-regulation contains such components as content knowledge, cognitive strategies, and cognitive regulatory strategies. Motivational self-regulation has also been incorporated into the conceptual framework proposed by Pintrich (2000) in which regulatory processes are organized according to four phases, that is, forethought/ planning, self-monitoring, control, and evaluation. In each phase, selfregulation activities fall into four areas: cognitive, motivational/affective, behavioral, and contextual. We can see that motivational regulation is now part of the theories and models of SRL.
There have also been findings about the importance of motivational regulation in students’ achievement or performance in academic settings. In research motivational regulation is associated positively with persistence and effort (Sansone et al., 1999; Wolters, 1999). In addition, the regulation of motivation is positively associated with the cognitive and metacognitive engagement (Wolters, 1998, 1999). Consistent with these positive relations, the regulation of motivation has been tied to adaptive performance outcomes. For instance, previous research has indicated that students who use motivational regulation strategies are more likely to get better grades than students who do not regulate their motivation (Cherng, 2002; Wolters, 1998, 1999).
We can see that students can regulate their motivation in academic learning. In SRL students’ ability to regulate motivation, can seriously affect the learning process and determine ultimate achievement.
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