Self-Efficacy and Self-Regulated Learning Strategies for English Language Learners: Comparison between Chinese and German College Students

Chuang Wang, Götz Schwab, Pete Fenn, Mei Chang


Two hundred Chinese and 160 German college students completed two surveys about their self-efficacy beliefs and self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies learning English in China and Germany. All participants took an English language test to measure their English proficiency. Cronbach’s alpha was used to check the internal consistency of the surveys, and confirmatory factor analysis was employed for the construct validity. Factorial invariance of the self-efficacy survey was tested between Chinese and German students. Both surveys turned out to be reliable and valid with satisfactory goodness-of-fit indices. The self-efficacy survey was found to have the same latent structure between Chinese and German students. The SRL strategy survey, however, was found to have a different latent structure. Mean differences between Chinese and German students were compared with multivariate analysis of variance, and relationships between self-efficacy, SRL strategies, and English proficiency were examined with structural equation modeling. Chinese students reported a lower level of self-efficacy beliefs but their English proficiency was not significantly different in comparison to German students. Their use of SRL strategies was not significantly different, either. Statistically significant relationships were noted between self-efficacy, use of SRL strategies, and English language test scores. Female students reported higher levels of self-efficacy beliefs but gained lower scores on the English language test in both countries. Implications of the results are discussed for English language instruction in both countries. Future studies are recommended to use the same English language test in two countries and to use a balanced sample between male and female students.

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Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology   ISSN 1927-0526 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0534 (Online)

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