A Model of Community College Students’ Self-Regulated Language Learning

Date of Award

May 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Tiffany A. Koszalka


community college education, instructional design, Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM), Second Language Acquisition, self-regulated learning, Skill Acquisition Theory

Subject Categories



Self-regulated learning has been shown to be a significant predictor of success in higher education. It has also been proposed as an important individual difference in instructed language learning. Although many correlational and experimental studies have demonstrated a relationship between self-regulated learning and increased language learning outcomes in higher education, few studies have investigated how community college students or learners studying a language at the novice level self-regulate their learning. In addition, an explanation for how self-regulated learning impacts language acquisition is still not clear. This dissertation research study tested a hypothesis that community college students in an introductory-level language course who were more self-regulated were more likely to be successful language learners. This study also hypothesized that the self-regulated language learning process could be explained by Skill Acquisition Theory (DeKeyser, 1998). Four models of self-regulated language learning were tested using Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling. Each model was based on a general model of self-regulated language learning that hypothesized that Self-regulating capacity for language learning (SRClang) would have a significant effect on Self-regulated learning strategy use (SRLstrat); that SRLstrat would have a significant effect on both Declarative knowledge of a language (DECL) and Procedural knowledge of a language (PROC); and that DECL would have a significant effect on PROC. The use of form-focused learning resources (FORM_LR) and meaning-focused learning resources (MEAN_LR) was hypothesized to moderate the relationships between SRLstrat, DECL and PROC. To test the model, data were collected from community college students studying in an introductory-level Spanish course in both online and face-to-face learning environments. The results of the study indicated that there was a significant path from SRClang to SRLstrat, as well as a significant path from DECL to PROC. With the exception of a significant negative effect from SRLstrat to PROClisten, there was no evidence of a relationship between SRLstrat and either DECL or PROC. Furthermore, there were no moderating effects detected, nor were there any multigroup differences for online and face-to-face learners. These results provide support for Skill Acquisition Theory, as well as support for the relationship between the capacity to self-regulate and the eventual ability to take part in self-regulated learning behavior. It did not, however, provide evidence that community college students who are more self-regulated will achieve greater levels of either declarative or procedural knowledge of a language. Implications for the design of instruction, including instruction for second and foreign language students, as well as future research that may be conducted, are provided.


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