Motivation, strategy, and English as a foreign language vocabulary learning: A structural equation modelling study
British Journal of Educational Psychology
© 2016 The British Psychological Society
Reason for embargo
Background In spite of considerable advancements in our understanding of the different factors involved in achieving vocabulary-learning success, the overall pattern and interrelationships of critical factors involved in L2 vocabulary learning – particularly, the mechanisms through which learners regulate their motivation and learning strategies – remain unclear. Aims This study examined L2 vocabulary learning, focusing on the joint influence of different motivational factors and learning strategies on the vocabulary breadth of adolescent learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) in China. Sample The participants were 107 tenth graders (68 females, 39 males) in China. Methods The data were collected via two questionnaires, one assessing students' motivation towards English-vocabulary learning and the other their English vocabulary-learning strategies, along with a test measuring vocabulary breadth. Results Structural equation modelling (SEM) indicated that learning strategy partially mediated the relationship between motivation (i.e., a composite score of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation) and vocabulary learning. Separate SEM analyses for intrinsic (IM) and extrinsic motivation (EM) revealed that there were significant and positive direct and indirect effects of IM on vocabulary knowledge; and while EM's direct effect over and above that of learning strategies did not achieve significance, its indirect effect was significant and positive. Conclusions The findings suggest that vocabulary-learning strategies mediate the relationship between motivation and vocabulary knowledge. In addition, IM may have a greater influence on vocabulary learning in foreign-language contexts.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Wiley via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 87, Iss. 1, pp. 57 - 74