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Volume 17 Number 3, Autumn 2020, Pages 758-1157   


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Self-Regulated Learning Processes Outside the Classroom: Insights from a Case Study of Japanese EFL Students

    Tomoko Yabukoshi


This study attempted to delve into out-of-class self-regulated learning processes of students with different English proficiency levels, focusing on their goal-setting and self-evaluation processes as well as their motivational beliefs. Four Japanese university students, two higher and two lower proficiency learners engaged in English self-study outside the classroom for 15 weeks. Their self-regulated learning processes were examined through a weekly English language learning journal kept by the participants. Goal-setting and self-reflection sheets were collected as supplemental data to gain insights into the descriptions in the journal. The textual data were analyzed using systematic content analysis procedures. Students' English proficiency levels and learning progress were measured by the TOEIC Listening and Reading test. Their motivational beliefs (i.e., goal orientations) were investigated through their statements reported on the goal setting sheet. The analyses revealed that the two higher proficiency students, who had both instrumental and international orientations, were more metacognitively aware of their self-regulated learning processes and more actively engaged in self-regulatory processes than the two lower proficiency students, who had only instrumental orientations. In particular, the higher proficiency student showing the most learning progress exhibited effective self-regulatory cycles. Finally, pedagogical implications are discussed based on these findings.

Keywords: self-regulation, L2 proficiency, goal orientation, out-of-class learning setting, qualitative approach