Self-Regulated Learning and Sociodemographic Factors in Students’ L1/L2 Writing Proficiency
Background: Academic writing is a complex and demanding activity in which students have to regulate their (meta)cognitive, motivational, and linguistic processes and self-regulatory writing strategies might serve as a tool to accomplish writing tasks. The research was done as part of a verification of Zimmerman & Risemberg’s (1997) model of self-regulation in writing. Previous research on the relationships between students’ self-regulated learning (SRL) and writing performance has suggested their positive impact.
Purpose: This paper provides insights into Croatian university students’ first/second language (L1/L2) writing performance regarding the SRL strategy use.
Method: Students’ written performance in both L1 (Croatian) and L2 (English) was checked, and the contributions of SRL and sociodemographic factors were explored. A total of 104 students from the initial and final years of teacher education study were included in the research. A quantitative research method was used including the following instruments: The learning orientation scale, the Perceived academic control scale, the Croatian version of the values subscale, Writing strategies questionnaire.
Results: Descriptive analyses revealed that students’L1/L2 writing proficiency was on average. There was no difference between L1 and L2 writing proficiency. Furthermore, the study showed that students mostly initiated learning goal orientation, writing tasks were valuable to them and they had more results of academic control over the mentioned tasks. Participants mostly used the most effective writing strategy - checking and correcting the text. The final study year students had better L1 writing proficiency compared to the initial study year students. Such results were expected since students were exposed to the extensive L1 academic experience, which was not the case with the exposure to learning English as a foreign language (EFL learning), resulting in a lower level of L2 essay writing proficiency. Success in L1 writing proficiency was explained more by cognitive and less by sociodemographic and motivational factors. The greater academic control over writing assignments and the lower goal orientation on avoiding effort was shown, the greater success was achieved. Success in L2 writing proficiency was mostly explained by cognitive factors, but also significantly by some sociodemographic and motivational factors. The higher GPA in L2 and the less asking for help and writing by the model strategy was employed, the greater success in writing assignments was achieved. The study indicated the importance of mastering SRL, especially cognitive factors in both L1 and L2 learning.
Implication: The implications of the study were discussed which may benefit L1/L2 teachers to teach their students SRL writing strategies by which students could self-regulate their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours throughout the writing process to achieve academic success.
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