Relationship between Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners' Foreign Language Causal Attributions, Meta-Cognitive Self-Regulation and Their L2 Speaking Performance

Document Type: Research Paper


1 English Department, Faculty of Humanities, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran

2 Depatment of English Language, Faculty of Huminities, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran


This study aimed to investigate the relationship between foreign language causal attributions, metacognitive self-regulation and speaking performance of Iranian EFL learners. To this end, 202 intermediate EFL students, studying English at private language teaching institutes in three provinces of Hamedan, Golestan, and Khuzestan were selected based on the convenience sampling procedure. To collect data, Causal Dimension Scale II (CDS II) (McAuley, Duncan, & Russell, 1992) and Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) (Pintrich, Smith, Garcia & McKeachie, 1991) were employed. Moreover, the interview section of IELTS Exam was also used to measure speaking ability of the learners. The results of the study showed that there was a significant positive correlation between the participants’ L2 speaking ability and the locus of causality and the internal control dimensions of attribution theory. But, there was significant negative correlation between L2 speaking ability and the external control and the stability dimensions. There was also positive significant correlation between L2 speaking ability and metacognitive self-regulation. Moreover, it was found out that successful and unsuccessful EFL learners attributed their success and failure in L2 speaking performance mainly to internal factors. It was also found that among the independent variables of the study, meta-cognitive self-regulation was the stronger predictor of the participants' L2 speaking performance. The findings of this study are hoped to suggest a number of implications for EFL teachers, learners, syllabus designers, and parents.


Article Title [Persian]

رابطه بین اسناد علی زبان خارجی، خود تنظیمی فرا شناختی، و عملکرد صحبت کردن زبان‌آموزان ایرانی رشته زبان انگلیسی

Authors [Persian]

  • محمد هادی محمودی 1
  • فاطمه کرم پور 2
1 گروه زبان انگلیسی، دانشکده علوم انسانی، دانشگاه بوعلی سینا، همدان، ایران
Abstract [Persian]

هدف از انجام این تحقیق بررسی رابطه بین اسناد علی زبان خارجی، خود تنظیمی فرا شناختی، انگیزش و عملکرد صحبت کردن زبان‌آموزان ایرانی رشته زبان انگلیسی است. شرکت‌کنند گان در این تحقیق شامل 202 زبان‌آموز سطح متوسط رشته زبان انگلیسی در موسسات خصوصی در استان‌های همدان، خوزستان و گلستان هستند که بر اساس روش نمونه گیری در دسترس انتخاب شدند. برای اجرای این تحقیق، پرسش ابعاد علی (CDS II) )مک الی، دانکن، و راسل، 1992)، پرسش‌نامه استراتژی انگیزشی برای یادگیری (MSLQ)، (پینتریچ، اسمیت، گارسیا و مکگاشی، 1991) استفاده شد. همچنین بخش مصاحبه آزمون آیلتس برای اندازه گیری عملکرد صحبت کردن زبان آموزان به زبان انگلیسی استفاده شد. نتایج تحقیق نشان داد رابطه مثبت و معنا داری بین توانایی صحبت کردن به زبان انگلیسی و ابعاد مکان کنترل و کنترل درونی نظریه اسناد وجود دارد. اما رابطه معنا داری و منفی بین توانایی صحبت کردن به زبان انگلیسی و ابعاد ثبات و کنترل بیرونی این نظریه وجود دارد. همچنین، بین مهارت صحبت کردن به زبان خارجی و خود تنظیمی فرا شناختی رابطه مثبت و معنا داری وجود دارد. در نهایت اینکه، زبان آموزان موفق و ناموفق، موفقیت و شکست خود در عملکرد صحبت کردن به زبان انگلیسی را عموما به عوامل درونی نسبت می دهند و خود تنظیمی فراشناختی به عنوان پیش بینی کننده قوی عملکرد صحبت کردن زبان آموزان شناخته شد. امید است این تحقیق، برای رفع مشکلات زبان آموزان رشته زبان انگلیسی، راهکارهای مناسبی را به زبان‌آموزان، معلمان، برنامه ریزان درسی و پدر و مادرها ارایه دهد.

Keywords [Persian]

  • اسناد علی
  • خود تنظیمی فراشناختی
  • انگیزش
  • عملکرد صحبت کردن
  • زبان‌آموزان رشته زبان انگلیسی
Anderson, A., & Hamilton, R. (2005). Locus of control, self-efficacy, and motivation in different schools: Is moderation the key to success? Educational Psychology, 25(5), 517-535.

  Bouchaib, B., Ahmadou, B., & Abdelkader, S. (2018). High School Students’ Attributions of success in English Language Learning. International Journal of Instruction, 11(2), 89-102.

 Brophy, J.  (2004). Motivating students to learn (2nd Ed.).  Mahwah, NJ:  Erlbaum.

 Brown, A. L. (1987). Executive control, self-regulation, and other more mysterious mechanisms. In F. Weinert & R. Kluwe (Eds.), Metacognition, motivation, and understanding. (pp. 65-116). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Bulman, R. (1979). Character logical versus behavioral self-blame: Inquiries into depression and rape. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1798–1809.

 Cascio, M., Botta, V., & Anzaldi, V. (2013). The role of self-efficacy and internal locus of control in online learning. Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society, 9(3) 95-106.

 Chen, C. S. (2002). Self-regulated learning strategies and achievement in an introduction to information system course. Information Technology, Learning and Performance Journal, 20(1), 11-25.

 Corno, L. (1986). The metacognitive control components of self-regulated learning. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 11, 333-346.

 Corno, L., & Mandinach, E. (1983). The role of cognitive engagement in classroom learning and motivation. Educational Psychologist, 18, 88-100.

Darshani, R. K. N. D. (2014). A review of personality types and locus of control as moderators of stress and conflict management. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 4(2), 1-8.

 Dornyei, Z. (2001). Teaching and researching motivation. Essex: Longman.

  Duncan, T. G., & McKeachie, W. J. (2005). The making of the motivated strategies for learning questionnaire. Educational Psychologist, 40, 117-128.

 Eshel, Y., & Kohavi, R. (2003). Perceived classroom control, self-regulated learning strategies, and academic achievement. Educational Psychology, 23(3), 249–260.

 Farahian, M., & Avarzamani, F. (2018). Metacognitive awareness of skilled and less-skilled EFL writers. Asian-Pacific Journal of Second and Foreign Language Education, 3, 10,

 Gan, Z. (2004). Attitudes and strategies as predictors of self-directed language learning in an EFL context. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 14(3), 389-411.

 Gardner, R. C. & Lambert, W.E. (1972). Attitudes and motivation in second language learning. MA: Newbury House.

 Gobel, P., & Mori, S. (2007). Success and failure in the EFL classroom: Exploring students' attributional beliefs in language learning. EUROSLA Yearbook, 7(1), 149- 169.

 HakkıErden. I., & Burden, L. R. (2014). The relationship between academic self-concept, attributions, and L2 achievement. System, 42, 391–401.

 Haynes Stewart, T. L., Clifton, R. A., Daniels, L. M., Perry, R. P., Chipperfield, J. G., & Heider, F. (1958). The psychology of interpersonal relations. New York: Wiley.

 Krampen, G. (1991). Fragebogen zu Kompetenz- und Kontrollueberzeugungen (FKK), Handanweisung (1 Ed.). Goettingen: Hogrefe Verlag fuer Psychologie.

 Law, Y. K. (2009). The role of attribution beliefs, motivation, and strategy use in Chinese. Fifth-graders' reading comprehension. Educational Research, 51(1), 77-95.

 Lee, Y., & Choi, J. (2011). A review of online course dropout research: Implications for practice and future research. Educational Technology Research & Development, 59, 593-618.

 Lee, Y., Choi, J., & Kim, T. (2012). Discriminating factors between completers of and dropouts from online learning courses. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(2), 328–337.

 Lefcourt, H. M. (1992). Durability and impact of the locus of control construct. Psychological Bulletin, 112(3), 411–414.

 Lei, S. A. (2010). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: evaluating benefits and drawbacks from college instructors’ perspectives. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 37(2), 153-160.

 Lei, L., & Qin, X. (2009). An empirical study of success and failure attributions of EFL learners at the tertiary level in China. Asian EFL Journal, 11(3), 29-51.

 Mahadi, R. (2017). The relationship between the use of meta-cognitive self-regulated learning strategies (meta-SRLS) and achievement in English language learning. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

 Mahmoodi, M. H., & Doosti, M. (2018). Investigating the effects of attributional retraining procedures on high school students’ foreign language causal attributions and their foreign language achievement. The Journal of Language Teaching and Learning, 8(2), 28-44.

 McAuley, E., Duncan, T., & Russell, D. (1992). Measuring causal attributions: The revised Causal Dimension Scale (CDSII). Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18, 566-573.

 Moiinvaziri, M. (2018). Exploring the Role of Self-Regulatory Capacity in Vocabulary Learning of Iranian EFL learners. Research in English Language Pedagogy, 6(2), 241-256.

 Nakamura, S. (2018). How I see it: An exploratory study on attributions and emotions in L2 learning. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 8(3), 553-574

Ozturk, N. (2016). An analysis of pre-service elementary teachers’ understanding of metacognition and pedagogies of metacognition. Journal of Teacher Education and Educators, 5(1), 47–68.

  Oxford, R. L. (2017). Teaching and researching language learning strategies: Self-regulation in context (2nd Ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

 Paris, S. G., & Paris, A. H. (2001). Classroom applications of research on self-regulated learning. Educational Psychologist, 36(2), 89-101.

 Perry, R. P., Stupnisky, R. H., Daniels, L. M., & Haynes, T. L. (2008). Attributional (explanatory) thinking about failure in new achievement settings. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 23(4), 459-475.

Perussia. F., & Viano, R. (2008). Mini locus of control scale. Piccolo Manuale, con Tratti e Tipi, da una Scala psicometrica semplificata, in Di Nuovo S., Sprini G., Teorie e metodi della psicologia Italiana. Tendenze attuali. Franco Angeli Editore, Milano.

 Pintrich, P. R. (2004). A conceptual framework for assessing student motivation and self-regulated learning in college students. Educational Psychology Review, 16, 385– 40.

 Pintrich, P. R., & De Groot, E. V. (1990). Motivational and self-regulated learning components of classroom academic performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(1), 33-40.

 Pintrich, P. R., Smith, D. A. F., Garcia, T., & McKeachie, W. J. (1991). A manual for the use of the motivated strategies for learning questionnaire (Report No. NCRIPTAL-91-B-004). Ann Arbor, MI: National Center for Research to Improve Postsecondary Teaching and Learning. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED338122).

  Pintrich, P. R., Smith, D. A. F., Garcia, T., & McKeachie, W. J. (1993). Reliability and predictive validity of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). Educational and Psychological Measurement, 53, 801-813.

Pishghadam, R., & Zabihi, R. (2011). Foreign language attributions and achievement in       foreign language classes. International Journal of Linguistics, 3(1), 1-11.

 Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal vs. external reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80(1), 1-28.

 Rotter, J. B. (1990). Internal versus external control of reinforcement: A case history of a variable. American Psychologist, 45, 489-493.

 Saricam, H. (2014b). The effect of intolerance of uncertainty on happiness [Belirsizliğe tahammülsüzlüğün mutluluğa etkisi]. Kilis 7 Aralık Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, 4(8), 1-12.

 Schunk, D. H. (1989). Social cognitive theory and self-regulated learning. In B. J. Zimmerman & D. H. Schunk (Eds.), Self-regulated learning and academic achievement: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 83-110). New York: Springer-Verlag

 Schunk, D. H. (1991). Self-efficacy and academic motivation. Educational Psychologist, 26, 207-231.

 Schunk, D. H., & Ertmer, P. A. (2000). Self-regulation and academic learning: Self-efficacy enhancing interventions. In M. Boekaerts, P. R. Pintrich, & M. Zeidner (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation (pp. 631-649). San Diego, CA, US: Academic Press.

 Schunk, D. H., & Zimmerman, B. J. (2007). Influencing children’s self-efficacy and self-regulation of reading and writing through modeling. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 23, 7-25.

 Schwarzer, R. (1993), Measurement of perceived self-efficacy. Psychometric scales for cross-cultural research. Berlin, Germany: Freie Universität Berlin.

 Shores, M. L., & Shannon, D. M. (2007). The effects of self-regulation, motivation, anxiety, and attributions on mathematics achievement for fifth and sixth grade students. School Science and Mathematics, 107(6), 225-236.

 Tollefson, N. (2000), Classroom applications of cognitive theories of motivation. Educational Psychology Review, 12(1), 63-83.

Vispoel, W., & Austin, J. (1995). Success and failure in junior high school: A critical incident approach to understanding students’ attributional beliefs. American Educational Research Journal, 32(2), 377-412.

 Vockell, E. L. (2001). Educational psychology: a practical approach (Online Ed.), Retrieved Feb 5, 2009, from

 Weiner, B. (1972). Attribution theory, achievement motivation, and the educational process. Review of Educational Research42(2), 203-215.

 Weiner, B. (1977). An attributional approach for educational psychology. Review of Research in Education, 4, 345–366.

 Weiner, B. (1979). A theory of motivation for some classroom experiences. Journal of Educational Psychology, 71, 3–25.

 Weiner, B. (1985). An attributional theory of achievement motivation and emotion. Psychological Review, 92, 548–573.

 Weiner, B. (1986). An attributional theory of motivation and emotion. New York: Springer-Verlag.

 Weiner, B. (2000). Interpersonal and intrapersonal theories of motivation from an attributional   perspective. Educational Psychology Review, 12, 1–14.

 Weiner, B. (2006). Social motivation, justice, and the moral emotions: An attributional approach. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

 Weinstein, C., & Meyer, R. (1986). The teaching of learning strategies. In M. Wittrock (Ed.), Handbook of research on teaching (pp. 315-327). New York: Macmillian.

 Williams, M. & Burden, R. L. (1997). Psychology for language teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 Winne, P. H. (1996). A metacognitive view of individual differences in self-regulated learning. Learning and Individual Differences, 8, 327-353.

 Zimmerman, B. J. (1989). A Social cognitive view of self-regulated academic learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81(3), 329-339.

 Zimmerman, B. J., & Martinez-Pons, M. (1988). Construct validation of a strategy model of student self-regulated learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 284-290.

 Zimmerman, B. J., & Kitsantas, A. (2005). A. The hidden dimension of personal competence: Self-regulated learning and Practice. In A.J. Elliot, & C.S. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation (pp.509-526). New York: The Guilford Press.

 Veenman, M. V. J. (2016). Metacognition. In P. Afflerbach (Ed.), Handbook of individual differences in reading (pp. 26–40). New York: Routledge.