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Volume 14 Number 3, Autumn 2017, Pages 380-586 PDF Download

Modelling the Relationship among Prior English Level, Self-efficacy, Critical Thinking, and Strategies in Reading Performance

    Mu-Hsuan Chou

Considerable evidence indicates that self-efficacy, self-regulated learning, and academic performance are related. However, insufficient research has investigated the relationship between self-efficacy and different types of learning strategies (deep and surface processing strategies), as well as their influence on reading in EFL contexts. This study aims to investigate the effect of students' prior English proficiency on current English reading performance in school through the mediation of self-efficacy, critical thinking, and three types of language learning strategies. Moderation effects of gender and subject specialization were also examined. A large-scale questionnaire was distributed to 780 senior high school students in Taiwan. The findings from structural equation modelling showed that students' prior English level had a significant, direct impact on current English reading performance without a mediator, and significant, indirect effects on current English reading performance via the mediation of self-efficacy, critical thinking, and learning strategies. Deep processing involving critical thinking and metacognition are found to be positively related to surface processing strategies in English reading. Finally, these results suggest the generality of the overall model between males and females as well as between EFL high school students specializing in social science and science in Taiwan.

Keywords: self-efficacy, memory strategy, cognitive strategy, metacognitive strategy, critical thinking