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  • 2019wilbyphd

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The development of international students' motivation, self-regulation, and writing from source texts

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2019
Number of pages246
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This mixed methods study was conducted over the course of a four-week EAP course and examined the development of L2 international students’ motivation, self-regulation, and writing from source texts. Data regarding motivation and self-regulation were collected using a questionnaire at the beginning and end of the EAP course. Furthermore, the participants completed an integrated writing task at the beginning and end of the course and the resulting data were analysed for writing quality and use of sources. Interviews were conducted in the first and final weeks of the course. Descriptive statistics and t-tests showed motivation and self-regulatory strategy use to remain stable over time, except for self-efficacy measure which increased significantly. In addition, scores on the integrated writing task and use of paraphrases increased significantly, while use of direct quotations and percentage of borrowed words remained stable. Correlation analysis confirmed the strong inter-relationship between self-efficacy and self-regulation at both times. At the end of the course, mastery goals, performance goals, and utility value were found to be significantly correlated to essay scores.
A number of theoretical implications are highlighted in the study. First, the findings indicate that there was learning transfer due to of the EAP instruction as the participants could apply their recently acquired knowledge to a test taken under timed conditions. It can therefore be assumed that attendance on a pre-sessional course can help students to develop in their cognitive processing of completing tasks that involve writing from sources. Second, the current research found various developmental trajectories for participants in terms of paraphrasing from source texts, Third, a model of EAP students’ motivation from Confucian heritage cultures is hypothesised in which achievement goals and utility value directly impact on writing achievement. Finally, a model of international students’ academic adjustment over the course of an EAP programme is posited that highlights the unique adjustment journey of novice L2 academic writers.