A Study of the Relations of the Learning Process and Learning Outcomes in Chinese Students of English
|School||Northeast Normal University|
|Course||Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics|
|Keywords||Structural Equation Model Social Support Expectancy&Value Achievement Goals Engagement|
This dissertation reports a study that examines a theoretical construct of middle schoolclassroom English learning process (context, learner and engagement) and its relations tostudent achievements in a large representative sample of1803students in NortheastChina.Specifically, it uses a quantitative approach to explore the interrelations of context,learner variables, engagement and the effects on students’ achievements within the process ofclassroom English learning. Three research questions are addressed in this study:1) What are the constructs of learning context, learner variables and engagement?2) What are the relationships between learning context, learner variables andengagement?3) How does engagement directly affect the learning achievements?The literature review on individual differences research both in SLA and educationpsychology reveals that second language learning is a complex and dynamic system, whichconsists of three interrelated subsystems, including context, learner variables and engagement.Based on the literature review, the theoretical model in this study includes the followingcategories and variables: Learning Context (social support), Expectancy and Value(self-efficacy and task values), Achievement Goal (master goal, performance-approach goaland performance-avoidance goal), Cognitive Engagement (surface learning and deeplearning), and Behavioral Engagement (individual engagement, group engagement andpersonal work avoidance).The conceptual model of EFL classroom learning process proposed in this study assumes1) that Learning Context affects Expectancy-Value and Achievement Goal,2) thatExpectancy-Value predicts Achievement Goal,3) that Achievement Goal influences CognitiveEngagement and Behavioral Engagement,4) that Cognitive Engagement predicts BehavioralEngagement, and5) that Cognitive Engagement and Behavioral Engagement predict students’achievements.To test the conceptual model, a quantitative approach was used. A sample of1083students (247Year-7students,1300Year-8, and256Year-9) participated in this study. Theywere from18schools (3secondary schools in village,6secondary schools in county,6secondary schools in city, and3key secondary schools in city) in northeast part of China. Thequestionnaire used in this survey consists of two parts. The first part contained items probingparticipants’ demographic information, including name, gender, age, school type, address andparents’ educational background. The second part comprised sets of items measuring learningcontext, learner variables and engagement. The questionnaire was in Chinese. Based on the students’ responses to the questionnaire items, the proposed model of EFL classroom learningprocess was tested by an AMOS17.0statistical package.The structural equation model shows,1) that social support predicted task value,self-efficacy, master goal, performance-avoidance goal positively, and performance-approachgoal negatively,2) that task value predicted master goal and performance-approach goalpositively,3) that self-efficacy predicted master goal and performance-approach goalpositively, and performance-avoidance goal negatively,4) that master goal andperformance-approach goal were positive predictors of deep learning, critical learning,surface learning, individual engagement, group engagement,5) that performance-avoidancegoal was a positive predictor of surface learning and personal work avoidance,6) that deeplearning was positively associated with individual engagement and group engagement,7) thatcritical learning was positively associated with group engagement and negatively withindividual engagement,8) that surface learning was positively associated with personal workavoidance,9) that deep learning, critical learning, surface learning, individual engagementand group engagement predicted achievements positively, while personal work avoidancepredicted achievements negatively.In conclusion, the findings of this study are basically consistent with the findings in theprevious studies in the field of SLA and education. This study has significant implications fortheory construction, research method and foreign language teaching in China.