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Volume 17 Number 2, Summer 2020, Pages 319-757   


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Examining the Relationship between EFL University Students' Goal Orientations and Self-Regulation in Writing

    Husain Abdulhay, Moussa Ahmadian, Hooshang Yazdani & Majid Amerian


The recent trend in foreign language education research is turning toward self-regulated learning and its linkage with goal orientations. Self-regulated learning is the learning propelled by self-induced thoughts, feelings, strategies, and behaviors toward goal attainment (Schunk & Zimmerman, 1998). Goal orientations attempt to identify personal and contextual reasons lying behind an action (Wolters, 2004). This study sought to examine the relationship between goal orientations (mastery-approach, mastery-avoidance, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance goals) and writing self-regulation of Iranian university EFL learners. Survey instrument, designed by Lichtinger, Kaplan, and Gorodetsky (2006), was administered to a sample of 116 sophomore students, attending essay writing courses. Pearson product-moment correlation and regression technique were used for data analysis. The strongest correlation was found between personal performance-approach and performance-avoidance goals. Personal mastery and performance goals and mastery goal structure were associated significantly and positively with self-regulation in writing. Efficacy was significantly related to goal orientation measures. Goal orientations contributed to the prediction of self-regulation in writing. Moreover, performance-approach goal structure was only found to predict positively the writing achievement. Overall, the findings imply that understanding the nature of goal orientations enables writing self-regulation and achievement to be aligned.

Keywords: EFL learners, academic writing, goal orientations, writing self-regulation