Differences in Using Motivational-Regulation Strategies in terms of Language Proficiency

Language proficiency has been regarded as one important factor affecting strategy use (Green & Oxford, 1995; Magogwe & Oliver, 2007; Oxford & Nyikos, 1989), and the general pattern is that increased proficiency is linked to greater strategy use. One logical extension of the relations between language proficiency and strategy use is that language proficiency will also affect the use of motivational-regulation strategies. To examine the differences in using motivational-regulation strategies among students with different English proficiencies, the students were divided into three groups according to their CET4 scores. According to the scoring system of CET 4, if the CET4 score of a student is 559, he or she is above 80 % of the test takers; if the CET4 score of a student is 441, he or she is below 80 % of the test takers. In the present study, the high-proficiency group consisted of the students whose CET4 score was equal to or higher than 559. Eighty-four students were included in the high-proficiency group. The low-proficiency group consisted of the students whose CET4 score was equal to or lower than 441. Ninety-nine students fell into the low- proficiency group. The students whose score was between 442 and 558 were in the medium-proficiency group. The medium-proficiency group contained 370 students.

One-way ANOVA was performed to examine the differences in using motivational-regulation strategies among the three groups of students. The mean scores of the three groups for the eight types of strategies were all in medium to high level. The mean scores in the eight types of strategies for the high-proficiency group ranged from 3.18 to 4.09, for the medium-proficiency group from 2.93 to 3.73, and for the low-proficiency group from 2.74 to 3.51. The mean scores of the high-proficiency group were higher than those of either the medium-proficiency group or the low-proficiency group in all eight motivational-regulation strategies, and the mean scores of the medium-proficiency group were higher than those of the low-proficiency group in seven of the eight types of strategies with the exception of negative-based incentive. As for the total strategy use, the mean score of the high-proficiency group (M = 3.60) was higher than that of the medium-proficiency group (M = 3.36) and the low-proficiency group (M = 3.23), and the mean score of the medium-proficiency group was higher than that of the low-proficiency group.

In running the one-way ANOVA on the data, Levene’s test of Homogeneity of Variances was performed to see whether the variances for the three groups are homogeneous. The results of Levene’s test from the ANOVA indicated that the variances of the dependent variables were equal across groups. All Levene statistics for eight motivational-regulation strategies were nonsignificant (p > .05).

The results of ANOVA showed that there was a highly significant difference between the three groups in seven of the eight motivational- regulation strategies with the exception of negative-based incentive. To examine the differences in using the eight types of strategies between the three groups, the Post Hoc Tests of LSD was used. The results of Post Hoc Tests are in Table 4.3.

The Levene Statistic in the test of homogeneity of variance for the strategy of interest enhancement was .316 (p = .729). The results of ANOVA showed that there was a highly significant difference in using the strategy of interest enhancement between the three groups (F = 6.333, p = .002). The results of Post Hoc Tests of LSD indicated there was significant difference in using the strategy of interest enhancement between group 1 and group 2 (p = .001) and between group 1 and group 3 (p = .001); the high-proficiency group used the strategy of interest enhancement more frequently than either the medium-proficiency group or the low- proficiency group. The results also showed that there was no significant difference in using the strategy of interest enhancement between group

2 and group 3 (p = .480), which suggests that the medium-proficiency group and the low-proficiency group used this type of strategy with equal frequency.

The Levene Statistic in the test of homogeneity of variance for the strategy of performance self-talk was .680, which is nonsignificant (p = .507). There was significant difference in using this type of strategy between the three groups according to the results of ANOVA (F = 9.546, p = .000). The Post Hoc Tests of LSD showed that there was significant difference in using this type of strategy between group 1 and group 2 (p = .008), between group 1 and group 3 (p = .000), and between group 2 and group

3 (p = .004). The results suggested that the high-proficiency group used the strategy of performance self-talk more frequently than either the medium-proficiency group or the low-proficiency group, and the medium- proficiency group used it more often than the low-proficiency group.

The results of Levene test indicated that the variances of the dependent variable of mastery self-talk were homogenous across groups (p = .361). There was significant difference in using this type of strategy between the three groups (F = 15.363, p = .000). According to the results of Post Hoc Tests of LSD, there was significant difference between group 1 and group 2 (p = .000) and between group 1 and group 3 (p = .000) in using the strategy of mastery self-talk, implying that the high-proficiency group used this type of strategy more frequently than either the medium-proficiency group or the low-proficiency group. There was no significant difference between group 2 and group 3 (p = .072) in using the strategy of mastery

Table 4.3 Multiple comparisons of motivational-regulation strategies among the three groups

Dependent

variable

(I)

GROUP

(J)

GROUP

Mean

difference

(i-j)

Std. error

Sig.

95 % confidence interval

Lower

bound

Upper

bound

Interest

1

2

.2572(*)

.07844

.001

.1031

.4113

enhancement

3

.3092(*)

.09627

.001

.1201

.4983

2

1

-.2572(*)

.07844

.001

-.4113

-.1031

3

.0520

.07343

.480

-.0923

.1962

3

1

-.3092(*)

.09627

.001

-.4983

-.1201

2

-.0520

.07343

.480

-.1962

.0923

Performance

1

2

.2138(*)

.08067

.008

.0553

.3722

self-talk

3

.4315(*)

.09902

.000

.2370

.6260

2

1

-.2138(*)

.08067

.008

-.3722

-.0553

3

.2177(*)

.07553

.004

.0693

.3660

3

1

-.4315(*)

.09902

.000

-.6260

-.2370

2

-.2177(*)

.07553

.004

-.3660

-.0693

Mastery

1

2

.3665(*)

.07662

.000

.2160

.5170

self-talk

3

.4956(*)

.09404

.000

.3109

.6803

2

1

-.3665(*)

.07662

.000

-.5170

-.2160

3

.1291

.07173

.072

-.0118

.2700

3

1

-.4956(*)

.09404

.000

-.6803

-.3109

2

-.1291

.07173

.072

-.2700

.0118

Self-reward

1

2

.2440(*)

.09283

.009

.0616

.4263

3

.4372(*)

.11394

.000

.2133

.6610

2

1

-.2440(*)

.09283

.009

-.4263

-.0616

3

.1932(*)

.08691

.027

.0225

.3639

3

1

-.4372(*)

.11394

.000

-.6610

-.2133

2

-.1932(*)

.08691

.027

-.3639

-.0225

Negative-

1

2

.1033

.09287

.267

-.0791

.2857

based

3

.0812

.11399

.477

-.1427

.3051

incentive

2

1

-.1033

.09287

.267

-.2857

.0791

3

-.0221

.08695

.799

-.1929

.1487

3

1

-.0812

.11399

.477

-.3051

.1427

2

.0221

.08695

.799

-.1487

.1929

Task-value

1

2

.3570(*)

.09542

.000

.1696

.5445

enhancement

3

.5997(*)

.11711

.000

.3696

.8297

2

1

-.3570(*)

.09542

.000

-.5445

-.1696

3

.2427(*)

.08933

.007

.0672

.4181

3

1

-.5997(*)

.11711

.000

-.8297

-.3696

2

-.2427(*)

.08933

.007

-.4181

-.0672

(continued)

Table 4.3 (continued)

Dependent

variable

(I)

GROUP

(J)

GROUP

Mean

difference

(i-j)

Std. error

Sig.

95 % confidence interval

Lower

bound

Upper

bound

Volitional

1

2

.1406

.07955

.078

-.0156

.2969

control

3

.2600(*)

.09764

.008

.0682

.4518

2

1

-.1406

.07955

.078

-.2969

.0156

3

.1194

.07448

.109

-.0269

.2657

3

1

-.2600(*)

.09764

.008

-.4518

-.0682

2

-.1194

.07448

.109

-.2657

.0269

Self-efficacy

1

2

.2355(*)

.08459

.006

.0694

.4017

enhancement

3

.3619(*)

.10382

.001

.1580

.5659

2

1

-.2355(*)

.08459

.006

-.4017

-.0694

3

.1264

.07919

.111

-.0292

.2819

3

1

-.3619(*)

.10382

.001

-.5659

-.1580

2

-.1264

.07919

.111

-.2819

.0292

Total

1

2

.2397(*)

.05812

.000

.1256

.3539

strategy use

3

.3720(*)

.07134

.000

.2319

.5121

2

1

—.2397(*)

.05812

.000

—.3539

—.1256

3

.1323(*)

.05441

.015

.0254

.2392

3

1

—.3720(*)

.07134

.000

—.5121

—.2319

2

—.1323(*)

.05441

.015

—.2392

—.0254

Note: *The mean difference is significant at the .05 level

self-talk, suggesting that the frequency this strategy’s use was equal for the medium-proficiency group and the low-proficiency group.

The Levene Statistic in the test of homogeneity of variance for the strategy of self-reward was 1.38, which is non-significant (p = .252). Generally, there was a significant difference in using this type of strategy between the three groups (F = 7.366, p = .001). Post Hoc Tests of LSD suggested that there was significant difference between group 1 and group 2 (p = .009), between group 1 and group 3 (p = .000), and between group 2 and group 3 (p = .027). The results imply that the frequency in using the strategy of self-reward for the high-proficiency group was significantly higher than for either the medium-proficiency group or the low-proficiency group and that the frequency for the medium-proficiency group was higher than for the low-proficiency group.

The results of Levene test indicated the variances of the strategy of negative based incentive among the three groups were homogeneous

(p = .098). The results of one-way ANOVA showed that there was no significant difference between the three groups in using this type of strategy (F = .619, p = .539), implying that the three groups used the strategy of negative-based incentive with equal frequency.

The Levene Statistic in the test of homogeneity of variance for the strategy of task-value enhancement was .914 (p = .402). The results of one-way ANOVA showed that there was a significant difference in using this type of strategy between the three groups (F = 13.215, p = .000). In detail, there was significant difference in using this type of strategy between group 1 and group 2 (p = .000), between group 1 and group 3 (p = .000), and between group 2 and group 3 (p = .007). That is to say, the high-proficiency group used this strategy more often than either the medium-proficiency group or the low-proficiency group, and the medium-proficiency group used this strategy more often than the low-proficiency group.

The variances of the dependent variable of volitional control strategy among the three groups were homogeneous according to the results of Levene test (p = .491). There was a significant difference between the three groups in using this strategy (F = 3.546, p = .030). Specifically, there was significant difference between group 1 and group 3 (p = .008) in using this strategy, but there was no significant difference between group 1 and group 2 (p = .078) as well as between group 2 and group 3 (p = .109). The results suggest that the high-proficiency group used this strategy more frequently than the low-proficiency group but equally with the medium- proficiency group and the medium-proficiency group also used this strategy equally to the low-proficiency group.

The Levene Statistic in the test of homogeneity of variances for the strategy of self-efficacy enhancement among the three groups was .467 (p = .627), indicating the variances of the strategy of self-efficacy enhancement among the three groups were homogeneous. The results of one-way ANOVA showed that there was a significant difference between the three groups (F = 6.273, p = .002) in using this strategy. The Post Hoc tests imply that there was significant difference between group 1 and group 2 (p = .006) and between group 1 and group 3 (p = .001), but there was no significant difference between group 2 and group 3 (p = .111). The results imply that the frequency of use of the strategy of self-efficacy enhancement for the high-proficiency group was significantly higher than for either the medium-proficiency group or the low-proficiency group, but the frequency in using this strategy was equal for the medium-proficiency group and the low-proficiency group.

As for the total use of motivational-regulation strategies, the results of Levene test indicated the variances among the three groups were homogeneous (p = .743). The results of ANOVA showed that there was significant difference in the total use of motivational-regulation strategies between the three groups (F = 13.99, p = .000). The Post Hoc tests indicated that there was significant difference in the total use of motivational-regulation strategies between any two groups, suggesting that in the total use of motivational regulation, the high-proficiency group scored higher than either the medium-proficiency group or the low-proficiency group, and the medium-proficiency group scored higher than the low-proficiency group.

Generally speaking, means of the high-proficiency group were significantly higher than those of the medium-proficiency group in six motivational-regulation strategies, that is, interest enhancement, performance self-talk, mastery self-talk, self-reward, task-value enhancement, and self-efficacy enhancement. Means of the high proficiency group were significantly higher than those of the low proficiency group in seven of the eight motivational-regulation strategies with the exception of negative- based incentive. Means of the medium proficiency group were significantly higher than those of the low proficiency group in the three motivational- regulation strategies, that is, performance self-talk, self-reward, and task-value enhancement. As for the total use of motivational-regulation strategies, the high-proficiency group scored higher than the medium- or the low-proficiency group, and the medium-proficiency group scored higher than the low-proficiency group. Therefore, the results of this study indicate that language proficiency influences the use of motivational- regulation strategies. The higher the students’ language proficiency, the more frequent the students’ use of motivational-regulation strategies.

 
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