Date of this Version
In the last few decades there has been a shift from thinking less about teaching and more about learning. Such a paradigm shift from teacher-centered to student-centered instruction requires students to think about their own learning and to monitor their own learning development and language achievement. Researchers have identified goal setting and self-regulated learning as crucial factors that affect academic achievement. Goal setting improves student performance and enhances achievement by allocating attention, activating effort, increasing persistence and motivation which in turn leads to the development of self-regulation skills. With this belief, LinguaFolio was integrated into foreign language classrooms to support language learners in setting and achieving goals for learning languages and implementing self-regulated learning strategies.
The purpose of this study designed as an ex post facto examination of the relationship between goal setting and achievement was to determine whether foreign language study that included LinguaFolio participation led to increased student capacity for self-regulated learning that resulted in a difference in student academic achievement. This quantitative group comparison attempted to identify whether students who experienced LinguaFolio as an intervention in their second language classrooms had higher achievement and performed better in other subject content areas in comparison to students who were not exposed to LinguaFolio.
The population of the study included 618 students (LinguaFolio students = 454 and non-LinguaFolio students = 164) who graduated from three Nebraska high schools between 2006 and 2010. The performance of the students was measured by ACT scores (English, reading, math, science) and graduating GPA.
All statistical analyses were conducted via SPSS IBM version 21 software. Four statistical procedures were used to analyze the data. The overall effect of foreign language study that included LinguaFolio participation was students’ improved performance as measured by ACT scores and graduating GPA. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that LinguaFolio students had significantly higher GPA and ACT scores in math, science, English, and reading. Multivariate regression and simple linear regression analyses indicated that with each additional year of participation in LinguaFolio students’ graduating GPA and ACT scores were increasing. In addition, these findings supported the conclusion that foreign language study that included LinguaFolio goal setting intervention promoted the development of students’ self-regulation skills.
Adviser: Aleidine J. Moeller