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L.J. Zhang1, Y. Zeng2

1Nanyang Technological University, National Institute of Education (SINGAPORE)
2Yangtze University (CHINA)
One of the fundamental goals of education is to teach students to become motivated and efficacious learners who seek to acquire new knowledge and skills independently. The high degree of resonance of emerging self-regulated learning theories with Singapore's bilingual educational policy and the recent "Teach Less, Learn More”(TLLM) initiative makes it imperative that empirical research be conducted to help make this happen in language (English/Chinese) classrooms in Singapore. The essence of TLLM lies in making students more efficacious and motivated in learning effectively on their own.

This paper reports the survey (N=677) findings of a two-year project funded by Ministry of Education, Singapore, which aims at promoting primary school children’s self-regulated bilingual learning ability (English/Chinese). More specifically, the survey investigates Singaporean primary four students’ knowledge systems in terms of motivation and self-efficacy beliefs and examines how these systems are related to their actual performance in reading two languages (English/Chinese).

Through factor analysis we extracted four factors for both the English and Chinese Reading Motivation Surveys. The four distinct factors are: intrinsic goal orientations, extrinsic goal orientations, control of learning beliefs and self-efficacy for learning and performance.

Reliability coefficients of motivational variables from the 677 sample in the study range from relatively low alpha level of .55 to moderate alpha level of .79. in the English Reading Motivation Survey and from .53 to .76 in the Chinese Reading Motivation Survey respectively.

Results lend further support to research evidence consistently reported in educational psychology that reading motivational beliefs correlate with the reading performance that correspond to those beliefs. Beta coefficient (R2=.34) on regression model suggests that motivational beliefs predicted one third of students' reading score, which is in line with findings of Pintrich and associates, Paris and associates, and Pajares and associates.

The survey study confirms researchers' hypothesis and paves way for a larger intervention study, which comprises using tools and training packages with the assistance of school teachers as collaborators in teaching students to become motivated and self-regulated bilingual learners.