Language learning strategies and self-efficacy beliefs among EFL Indonesian primary school students

  • Syafi'ul Anam

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    While there has been a great deal of research on learning strategies, little attention has been given to the strategy use of young children learning English as a foreign language. The role of self-efficacy also remains under-researched in the second/foreign language field, despite its importance and the recognition given in other research domains. The current study sought quantitative and qualitative evidence primarily on whether strategy use and self-efficacy for English and self-regulated learning are related, and whether these components of self regulation are related to proficiency among young EFL learners in the Indonesian context. The study adopted a sequential mixed methods design. The quantitative phase involved 522 sixth graders enrolled in twelve primary schools in the Indonesian province of East Java. They completed an Indonesian Children’s Strategy Inventory for Language Learning, a Children’s Self-Efficacy in Learning English Questionnaire and sat an English test. The data analysis used descriptive statistics, parametric and non-parametric tests. In the qualitative phase, twelve students with different proficiency and self-efficacy levels were interviewed. The interview data were analysed using cross-case analyses. It was found that students with a higher proficiency level used learning strategies more frequently, used more complex and practice-oriented strategies and were more thoughtful and flexible in their strategy choices than students with a lower proficiency level. Strategy use and self-efficacy varied between girls and boys and between students in rural, suburban, and urban schools. Self-efficacy in learning English was shown to be a significant predictor of proficiency. Students with higher self-efficacy displayed stronger interest, effort, and persistence in the course of foreign language learning. Moreover, students who held strong belief in their ability to do English tasks and to self-regulate their learning were more likely to exercise learning strategies more frequently than students possessing lower self-efficacy. Broadly speaking, these findings provide empirical evidence that the use of learning strategies depends on students’ belief in their ability to use the strategies. The qualitative dimensions of the research add to a better understanding of the roles the two self-regulation components play in young learners’ EFL learning. For practitioners in EFL teaching, the findings underscore the necessity of making young students more aware of learning strategies and training them in using the strategies more flexibly and persistently. EFL teachers should also consider nurturing students’ belief in their ability to regulate their own learning and perform English tasks.
    Date of Award2016
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorElke Stracke (Supervisor) & Jeremy Jones (Supervisor)

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