Case Study on Motivational Regulation

The present study explores whether and how Chinese college students regulate their motivation as well as the impact of motivational regulation on EFL learning. It consists of a survey study and a case study. The purpose of the case study is to reveal the differences in motivational regulation between high and low English achievers. This chapter first formulates the research questions, and then describes subjects, instruments, and procedures for data collection and data analysis for the case study. Finally it reports the results of the qualitative case study.

Research Questions

The qualitative study addresses the following questions:

  • 1. What are the main motivational problems encountered by high and low English achievers?
  • 2. How do high achievers differ from low achievers in regulating their motivation?



Six students were selected for the qualitative case study from two classes of one institution located in Zhejiang: four female, two male. They were © The Author(s) 2017

K. Li, Motivational Regulation in Foreign Language Learning, DOI 10.1057/978-1-349-93118-7_6

selected according to their CET4 scores. Three of them (subjects 1, 2, and 3) were high English achievers whose CET4 scores were above 600 (the full mark is 710), and three (subjects 4, 5, and 6) were low English achievers whose CET4 scores were below 425. The six students had a law or computer science background.

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