Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Personal Self-Regulated Learning Strategies on Vocabulary Learning by Impulsive vs. Reflective Efl Learners

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Personal Self-Regulated Learning Strategies on Vocabulary Learning by Impulsive vs. Reflective Efl Learners

Article excerpt

1.1 Introduction

The concept of learning a foreign language has commonly been misunderstood as just being able to speak in that language. In fact, learning a foreign language is not only a matter of speaking, but also a matter of reading, writing, and listening as well. Each of these skills has its own place and none of them should be neglected. On the other hand, "learning is not something that happens to student; it is something that happens by students". (Zimmerman,1989,P.19). The process of personal self-regulated learning requires that students monitor and adjust their learning strategies independent of the teacher and peers in that monitoring activities include checking content of study, judging learning difficulties, assessing progress and predicting learning outcomes (Chong, 2001).

The topic of how students become self-regulated learners has attracted researchers for decades. Initial attempts to measure self-regulated learning (SRL) using questionnaires and interviews were successful in demonstrating significant predictions of students' academic outcomes.

There are multiple definitions of self-regulated learning. Self-regulated learning strategies can be defined in different ways by various scholars and researchers, but most of them are defined similarly, or with very little differences. For example, self-regulated learning strategies could be defined as techniques through which learners participate in the process of active learning and take responsibility for encouraging themselves to understand materials they deal with, to accomplish tasks, to monitor what they do, to assess their strengths and weaknesses, and to take corrective actions based on self-evaluation reports(Good & Brophy, 1995). This definition parallels Zimmerman's (2000) definition of self-regulated learning that puts emphasis on the interaction of three major elements: (a) personal regulation strategies, which refer to goal setting, planning, transforming information, keeping records, controlling emotion etc., (b) behavioral self- regulation strategies that mainly takes into account the process of self-observation, self-evaluation, task analysis, questioning, self-feedback and modifying performance, and (c) environmental self-regulation strategies that mainly involve analyzing learning context, asking others for help, seeking information for different sources, and making adaptations in a way that optimizes performance.

Another important aspect which this study is going to deal with is the issue of Reflectivity/impulsivity of learners. Accordingly, definition of reflective and impulsive learners is necessary.

Reflectivity and impulsivity are defined as a conceptual tempo, or decision time variable, representing the time the subject takes to consider alternative solutions before committing to one of them in a situation with high response uncertainty. (Doughty & Williams, 1998).

Reflectivity/Impulsivity is the extent to which a person reflects on a solution to a problem for which several alternatives are possible. The impulsive learners reach decision and report them very quickly with little concern for accuracy; others are more concerned with accuracy and consequently take more time to reach a decision. Impulsive students answer responses quickly whereas those who are reflective think about their answers. Reflective students make fewer mistakes and are more analytical. The reflective learners spend extra time analyzing the structure of the problem and the details. Reflective learners perform better when learning required inductive reasoning. Reflective students are more likely to benefit more in learning, because they can use the knowledge base and rule system related to academic problems better than impulsive learners. In the case of simple tasks, impulsive students benefit more, while in cases of tasks demanding analytical purposeful problem-solving the reflective learners perform better than impulsive learners. …

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