Differences in Using Motivational-Regulation Strategies in terms of Gender and Specialty

Gender has frequently been regarded as an important factor in L2 learning. The role of gender has also been studied in the field of SRL. Were there differences in using motivational-regulation strategies between male and female students in the present study? Independent samples t-test was run to compare the differences between male and female students in using motivational-regulation strategies. Table 4.2 presents the mean scores and standard deviations of motivational-regulation strategies reported by male and female students as well the results of t-test.

As shown in Table 4.2, the mean score of the total strategy use for female students (M = 3.44) was higher than for male students (M = 3.25) and the t-test also revealed significant differences between females and males in total motivational-regulation strategy use. Table 4.2 also shows that the mean scores of motivational-regulation strategies for female students were higher than for male students in all the eight types of strategies. The t-test statistics revealed statistically significant differences between male students and female students in using seven of the eight types of strategies with the exception of interest enhancement. This result suggests that female students tend to use motivational-regulation strategies more frequently than male students.

Table 4.2 T-test statistics comparing the use of motivational-regulation strategies in terms of gender

Gender

N

Mean

SD

T

Sig.

(2-tailed)

Interest enhancement

Male

Female

  • 185
  • 368
  • 3.0942
  • 3.1297

.72243

.61938

-.570

.569

Performance self-talk

Male

Female

  • 185
  • 368
  • 2.9884
  • 3.2473

.67990

.66080

-4.305

.000

Mastery self-talk

Male

Female

  • 185
  • 368
  • 3.2387
  • 3.4366

.66931

.63101

-3.409

.001

Self-reward

Male

Female

  • 185
  • 368
  • 2.8108
  • 3.0005

.83841

.73711

-2.612

.009

Negative-based

incentive

Male

Female

  • 185
  • 368
  • 3.3527
  • 3.5020

.76940

.76328

-2.165

.031

Task-value

enhancement

Male

Female

  • 185
  • 368
  • 3.6000
  • 3.8179

.83969

.78071

-3.019

.003

Volitional control

Male

Female

  • 185
  • 368
  • 3.4216
  • 3.6277

.71328

.62312

-3.493

.001

Self-efficacy

enhancement

Male

Female

  • 185
  • 368
  • 3.4797
  • 3.7351

.76119

.66217

-3.883

.000

Total strategy use

Male

Female

  • 185
  • 368
  • 3.2483
  • 3.4371

.50350

.47449

-4.325

.000

The results of the current study are consistent with that of previous studies that found female students scored higher than male students in frequency of using motivational-regulation strategies (Qu & Wang, 2005). The result of the present study also confirms the female dominance in various aspects of language learning (for example, learning strategies) documented in earlier research. This study reveals significant female dominance in motivational regulation. According to Gu (2002), women are generally expected to succeed in language learning in an Asian context, and failure in English for female students may well be more face-threatening than for male students. The results of the present study provide further support for expectation of female dominance in language learning. Research that investigated differences between males and females in language learning strategy use show that female students score higher than male students in terms of strategy choice and frequency of use (e.g., Nyikos, 1990; Oxford, 1993; Oxford, Nyikos, & Ehrman, 1988). Therefore, the findings of this study are also consistent with previous findings about the differences between females and males in using language learning strategies.

The differences in the use of motivational-regulation strategies in terms of specialties of the students were also examined by using independent samples t-test. Although a wide range of specialties was covered in the present study, all these specialties were classified into two broad categories: science and arts. The means of the eight motivational-regulation strategies for students specialized in arts and science were very close to each other. The independent samples t-test showed that there was no any difference between students specializing in science and arts in all eight strategies, suggesting that students with different specialties tend to use motivational-regulation strategies with equal frequency. However, more studies are needed to examine whether students’ specialties could be a factor affecting students’ use of motivational-regulation strategies.

 
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