Metacognition and Learning

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 213–240 | Cite as

Effects of motivational regulation strategies on writing performance: a mediation model of self-regulated learning of writing in English as a second/foreign language

  • Lin Sophie Teng
  • Lawrence Jun ZhangEmail author


Motivational regulation has long been recognized as an essential but insufficiently investigated aspect of self-regulated learning (SRL), especially in relation to learning English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) writing. This study intends to fill the gap by investigating the predictive effect of motivational regulation strategies on EFL students’ writing performance mediated by SRL strategies. Data were collected from undergraduate students in mainland China (N = 512) through self-report questionnaires and an English writing test. Results of structural equation modeling (SEM) confirmed a partial mediation model in which motivational regulation strategies, as a whole, not only had direct and indirect effects on students’ writing performance but were also significantly correlated with their reported use of SRL strategies relating to cognition, metacognition, and social behavior. In addition, only cognitive and metacognitive strategies were found to be significant mediators in the model while social behavior strategies were not. The findings suggest that cumulative knowledge of motivational regulation is an antecedent of the reported use of other SRL strategies in affecting EFL writing performance. The inclusion of SRL strategies in the mediation model also contributes to a clear understanding of L2 writing processes within the SRL mechanism for improving writing outcomes.


Motivational regulation strategies Self-regulated learning (SRL) Writing performance Mediation models 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that this paper was based on the first author, Lin Sophie Teng’s doctoral thesis, which was completed with the assistance of a scholarship from The University of Auckland, New Zealand. We both declare that there are no conflicts of interest whatsoever in connection with this publication. The doctoral scholarship does not have any strings attached to it for the recipient of the scholarship. It was awarded to worthy candidates purely for academic study that should lead to the award of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree. It is not commercially motivated whatsoever.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of European Languages and LiteratureHeilongjiang UniversityHarbinChina
  2. 2.Woolf Fisher Research Centre, Faculty of Education and Social WorkUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.Faculty of Education and Social Work, School of Curriculum and PedagogyUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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