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Liem, Gregory Arief D.
This study aims to investigate the impact of the goal setting and goal striving strategy of Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions (MCII) on primary school students’ English Language (EL) writing-related motivation (mastery, achievement, and general) and engagement (behavioural, emotional, and cognitive), and performance. The impact of the MCII strategy on four related psychoeducational attributes (self-beliefs, expectations for success, writing anxiety, and personal best goals) will also be examined. Though there has been extensive research on EL writing processes and strategies, little focus has been given to student motivation and engagement, especially for primary school students. A self-report instrument was administered to a sample of 393 Primary-4 and -5 students (49.4% boys; Mage=11 years) in a Singapore primary school at three time points (i.e., Pre-Test, Post-Test 1, and Post-Test 2). The Pre-Test was used as the controlling variable for the study.
For Primary-4 students, the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) analyses at Post-Test 1, controlling for Pre-Test scores, revealed that students who participated in the MCII process aspired for higher personal best writing goals and were more motivated (i.e., performance and general) to write. At Post-Test 2, controlling for Pre-Test and Post-Test 1 scores, results indicated that students who participated in the MCII process were more behaviourally and
emotionally engaged in EL writing. Overall, students in the intervention group scored significantly better in EL writing performance (i.e., Content, Language, and Total marks).For Primary-5 students, the ANCOVA analyses at Post-Test 1, controlling for PreTest scores, revealed that students who participated in the MCII process were more emotionally engaged in EL writing. At Post-Test 2, controlling for Pre-Test and Post-Test 1 scores, results showed that students in the intervention group scored significantly better in EL writing performance (i.e., Content, Language, and Total marks).
The present study highlights the importance of goal setting (mental contrasting process) and making if…then… plans (implementation intentions process) during the extended course of writing. The mental contrasting process led to expectancy-dependent goals which motivated students. The implementation intentions process mentally prepared students to face and overcome their challenges, ensuring that they remained engaged. Hence, using the MCII strategy motivates and engages students in EL writing, leading to enhanced writing performance.
The study makes suggestions on how to effectively use the MCII strategy with younger students. Teacher guidance in terms of cognitive and metacognitive skills training like problem-solving becomes necessary. The study also revealed that different EL writing topics motivate and engage boys and girls differently. These findings have important implications on classroom practice, as well as, EL writing assessment.
In conclusion, the findings of the present study suggest that the MCII strategy has led to improvements in primary school students’ motivation, engagement, and writing performance. With appropriate teacher guidance, the MCII strategy is a viable strategy that can be used with primary school students. Finally, the study reminds educators that the psychological aspects of EL writing (i.e., student motivation and engagement) are important since writing instructions will only fall on deaf ears if students are not motivated nor engaged to write.
|Appears in Collections:||Doctor in Education (Ed.D.)|
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