English Learners' Self-Regulated Learning Strategies: A Comparison of Their Experiences in Face-to-Face and Online Education

English Learners' Self-Regulated Learning Strategies: A Comparison of Their Experiences in Face-to-Face and Online Education

Merve Vezir (Afyon Kocatepe University, Turkey) and Cahit Erdem (Afyon Kocatepe University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-4205-0.ch004
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This study investigates the relationship between self-regulated language learning strategies English learners use in online and traditional classrooms and their self-regulation experiences in both settings. An explanatory sequential design was used to make a comparison. A total of 106 students from a preparatory school at a Turkish state university took part in the study and seven students were interviewed to better understand their experiences. The results suggest that students had a higher mean of self-regulation in face-to-face classrooms than online. There is a significant positive relationship between their self-regulated learning in face-to-face and online classes. Language learners' self-regulation in face-to-face education accounts for 32% of their online self-regulated learning. The qualitative data supports quantitative data and reveals significant themes and categories to uncover students' self-regulation in face-to-face and online environments. The results are comparatively discussed. Implications and recommendations are provided.
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Self-regulation has gained worldwide popularity recently since learners need to be active participants in their learning due to the changing nature of learning needs and environments in the new century. With self-regulation, learners regulate their cognition, motivation, and behaviors (Demir, 2019) and navigate their learning experiences (Zumbrunn et al., 2011). In self-regulated learning (SRL), students use resources to accomplish academic tasks and overcome challenges in the learning process (Randi & Corno, 2000). SRL emphasizes student-related resources rather than those related to other stakeholders, such as teachers or schools. It is so vital for students that, in case of insufficient resources, they start to have negative thoughts about their achievement, and these negative thoughts, caused by the absence of resources, undermine their motivation while positive ones encourage them to step up in their accomplishments (Boekaerts, 2007).

SRL is also a significant capability for language learners. SRL allows us to understand the individual differences of foreign language learners (Su et al., 2018). Accordingly, an immense amount of literature has accumulated on the use and effects of SRL on language learning performance and promotion of different language skills (Abbasian & Hartoonian, 2014; Adiguzel & Orhan, 2017; Demir, 2019; Kırmızı, 2015; Mahmoodi et al., 2014; Vujnovic, 2017). With the recent technological advancements, SRL has become more important for language learners because technology offers opportunities for language learners to engage in language activities independently (Şahin Kizil & Savran, 2016). However, in language learning, learners sometimes get caught in fear of failure because there are different areas students need to master by themselves, such as managing time or setting a goal. They apply self-regulated learning strategies in these cases and overcome these problems (Zarrin et al., 2020).

SRL works as a toolkit for solving problems language learners confront during their journey of learning a foreign language. As of 2020, an additional new set of problems after the outbreak of COVID-19 has emerged for everyone, including language learners, which inevitably affected the education system. Governments and people worldwide started looking for solutions to destroy the effects of this trouble (OECD, 2020). At some point, schools were all closed to prevent the spread of the virus. Online learning as an alternative became somehow mandatory (UNESCO, 2020). Amid these extraordinary shifts, online learning activities may benefit undergraduate students, such as flexibility. Despite these advantages, teachers and college students may confront certain obstacles because online learning activities encourage students to participate in the learning process more autonomously and actively (Mahmud & German, 2021). In the same vein, language learners need to take responsibility for their learning processes, given the need for a guide in certain language learning skills, such as writing or speaking. Language learning has unique challenges in online environments because it requires interaction in the learning process, and providing authentic oral and meaningful interaction opportunities is difficult (Andrade & Bunker, 2009). Even though there are a plethora of studies on how the pandemic affected students’ self-regulated learning strategies, its effects and how it has changed students’ use of self-regulated strategies in language learning are not much researched (Kulusaklı, 2022). Particularly studies are needed to compare language learners’ SRL practices in face-to-face and online learning environments, how their SRL in face-to-face education contribute to their online SRL, and their experiences amid the Covid-19 pandemic. To this end, the current study explores how self-regulation differs in face-to-face and online education for learners of English as a foreign language in the context of tertiary-level English preparatory school students in Turkey who have both face-to-face and online language courses concomitantly. The results might provide hints for designing blended language learning environments in the post-pandemic period.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Self-Regulated Learning Strategies: Strategies learners use as a style of learning to be academically productive, in which learners are required to set objectives and monitor their learning.

Online Education: Any type of learning that occurs online and a flexible approach for delivering educational content.

Online Self-Regulated Learning: The control that students have, in online education, over their thinking, acting, feeling, and motivation via the employment of self-regulated learning strategies.

COVID-19 Pandemic: The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the infectious disease known as coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Blended Learning: A mixed learning approach combining traditional face-to-face education and online means of education.

Face-to-Face Education: Traditional learning environment where learners and teachers meet in a place such as schools and experience learning-teaching practices.

Self-Regulated Learning: A sequential procedure in which the student prepares for a task, keeps track of how they do, and then evaluates the results.

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