Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published by The Modern Language Journal 96:2 (2012), pp. 153-169, doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4781.2011.01231.x


Copyright ©2011 The Modern Language Journal; published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Used by permission.


The connection between goals and student motivation has been widely investigated in the research literature, but the relationship of goal setting and student achievement at the classroom level has remained largely unexplored. This article reports the findings of a 5-year quasi-experimental study examining goal setting and student achievement in the high school Spanish language classroom. The implementation of LinguaFolio, a portfolio that focuses on student self-assessment, goal setting, and collection of evidence of language achievement, was introduced into 23 high schools with a total of 1,273 students. By using a hierarchical linear model, researchers were able to analyze the relationship between goal setting and student achievement across time at both the individual student and teacher levels. A correlational analysis of the goal-setting process and language proficiency scores reveals a statistically significant relationship between the goal-setting process and language achievement (p < .01).