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Self-regulated vocabulary learning in ESP


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Bošnjak Terzić, Brankica. (2018). Self-regulated vocabulary learning in ESP. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij glotodidaktike) [mentor Pavičić-Takač, Višnja].

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Background Self-regulated learning is important for successful language learning in which students consciously plan and control their own cognitive, behavioural and affective processes important for successful accomplishment of academic activities (Schunk, 2001). Bandura’s (1986) socio-cognitive approach to self-regulated learning (SRL) emphasizes the importance of cognitive processes and motivation and their key roles in learning and is based on reciprocal interaction between inner personal factors, behaviour and environment. The most prominent socio-cognitive approach is Pintrich's (2002) which defines SRL as an active process in which learners set learning goals, control and regulate their cognition, motivation and behaviour. Pintrich's model (2004) relates learner’s self-regulating process with the specific learning experience and identifies processes by which SRL and better academic achievement are achieved: the perception of self-efficacy, the use of strategies and goal orientation. Even though the importance of SRL has been recognized in the area of FLL (Tseng et al., 2006) there are not so many findings regarding the relationship between the use of strategies, goal orientation and the perception of self-efficacy in the field of ESP vocabulary learning. Since vocabulary acquisition is extremely important in ESP, for students need to develop habits of learning vocabulary autonomously, it is essential to develop self-regulation in vocabulary learning (Tseng et al., 2006). Aims The aim of the study is to closely examine the relationships between perception of selfefficacy, goal orientation, self-regulated learning strategy use and academic performance. Furthermore, the purpose of the study is to investigate which self-regulated components can predict success in learning ESP vocabulary and whether quantitative and qualitative change of vocabulary influences the perception of self-efficacy and the use of strategies. The study also aimed to adapt MSLQ questionnaire (Pintrich et al., 1993) to specific field of ESP vocabulary learning. Methods The study was conducted at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture in Zagreb in two phases, preliminary phase and main research. The preliminary phase was conducted with the aim to translate and adapt MSLQ questionnaire to the specific field of ESP vocabulary learning and to investigate the validity of the questionnaire among 211 third-year undergraduate students. The main research was conducted at two different points in time, after the second semester but before taking the vocabulary test and after the third semester and before taking the vocabulary test. The research was conducted among the same students (N=199). Students filled MSLQ questionnaire which measures goal orientation, self-efficacy and strategy use. The research also included 15 undergraduate students who volunteered to write semistructured diaries in the second and third semester. The aim was to get a more detailed insight into which components of self-regulated learning facilitate successful ESP vocabulary learning and to gain a deeper understanding of the quantitative results. Results The research results show that the most successful students at both vocabulary tests use strategies more frequently and that there is statistically significant correlation between strategy use, perception of self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation and vocabulary tests scores. Also, perception of self-efficacy has been proven to have a moderator effect on the relationship between strategy use and academic performance on vocabulary test scores. Furthermore, regarding goal orientation, the results also show that the students at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture are mostly intrinsically motivated and that there is an even bigger group of those who are both intrinsically and extrinsically motivated (‘completely motivated group’). Descriptive statistics has shown that the group of students who are completely motivated show better results at vocabulary tests, use more strategies on average and have higher perceptions of self-efficacy than intrinsically motivated group. The quantitative and qualitative change in vocabulary cause no change in perception of selfefficacy and strategy use either among the least successful or the most successful students. Conclusion The findings of this study will have important implications for teaching ESP vocabulary. Teachers can better understand factors that influence performance while encouraging learners to effectively self-regulate their behaviour in terms of preparing tasks that will encourage students to more frequent strategy use. Furthermore, they have to emphasize the importance of self-efficacy and engage students in tasks that have demanding, specific and short-termed goals which consequently raise students’ self-confidence. With greater language confidence and clearly defined goals student develop awareness of the importance of using strategies and by doing so, teacher can help in developing autonomous and independent learners who will be able to participate in highly demanding professional surrounding and be prepared for life-long learning. The findings of the present study are quite important since there is a growing need for lifelong learning. Today’s competitive labour market expects an expert not only to be formally educated but to be an individual who is able to apply his knowledge in the best way and who will autonomously and continuously improve and adapt to changes in the workplace. It is therefore important to educate students in the sense of linking information, critically rethinking new and old knowledge, regulating their motivation and cognition, conducting independent research to store new knowledge in long-term memory and apply it in different situations.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: goal orientation, self-efficcy, self-regulated learning, learning strategies, ESP vocabulary
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Pavičić-Takač, Višnja
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij glotodidaktike
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2018 10:33
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2018 10:33

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