The instruments involved in the case study were an interview and a diary. The interview was related to the questionnaire items concerning motivational-regulation strategies examined in the survey study. The subjects were asked to answer the questions such as “Did you encounter any motivational problems in your English learning?” “What were the main motivational problems that you encountered in your English learning?” and “How did you try to regulate your motivation to make yourself continue working on the tasks when you encountered motivational problems?” A list of main interview questions is presented in Appendix 1. In addition to the interview, all the subjects were required to write a two- week-long diary. The diary instructions were given, explicitly stating the aspects that should be included in the diaries:
- • whether he or she finished the English learning tasks for that day;
- • what was the psychological state while doing the tasks;
- • what kind of motivational problems he or she encountered;
- • whether and how he or she tried to sustain or increase his or her motivation to make himself or herself keep working on the tasks; and
- • what was the effect of regulation of motivation on learning.
The instructions also emphasized that the subjects could use any language they like (that is, Chinese, English or mixed-code) to write the diary. The diary instructions are presented in Appendix 2.