Koenig, Eric; Guertler, Katherine (2021):
"One Size Does Not Fit All: Individuality and Perceptions of Improvement and Satisfaction Among TE Students." Individual Differences in Second Language Learning: The Road Ahead. Special issue of English Teaching & Learning 45.3: 303-324.
Journal Article

Academic self-regulation is a key factor for motivation and learning achievement. Yet with the large range of individual factors, this is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. This study of L2 Technical English students at two German universities explored learners’ expectations and motivations, in particular regarding self-regulation and self-efficacy via the individual’s time investment in self-led study. In an initial survey, learners (N=1646) reported on their English skill levels and anticipated learning habits. Complementarily, the retrospective survey investigated learners’ (N=796) actual behavior during the course, their perceptions of language skill improvement, and their satisfaction. The initial survey indicates a clear understanding that time investment in self-regulated study will lead to greater improvement, an outcome confirmed in the retrospective survey. Additionally, students who invested more time in their coursework were more satisfied with their achievement, although most learners acknowledge they should have studied more. The results verify that learners recognize the nexus between self-regulation and language skill improvement, yet university students are not satisfied with their capacity to self-regulate their language learning strategies. While differences in students’ skill levels and academic self-efficacy result in divergent degrees of progress, students of all types report benefits to their language skills when motivated to self-regulated study.