Exploring language learners’ self-generated goals: Does self-concordance affect engagement and resilience?

Henry A., Thorsen C., UZTOSUN M. S.

System, vol.112, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 112
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.system.2022.102971
  • Journal Name: System
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, Periodicals Index Online, Applied Science & Technology Source, Communication Abstracts, EBSCO Education Source, Educational research abstracts (ERA), Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database
  • Keywords: Academic buoyancy, Engagement, Goal effort, Goal progress, Idiographic methods, L2 goals, Self-concordance
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 The AuthorsDespite the importance that goals have for language learning (Lee & Bong, 2019), little is known about the effects on learner behaviours. Combining individualized (idiographic) and standardized (nomothetic) methodologies, this study investigated whether the self-concordance of learning goals formulated at the beginning of a program of language education affected engagement and resilience at the end of the first year. Following research demonstrating the mediating roles of goal effort and goal progress (Vasalampi et al., 2009), these variables were included in the study design. Participants were 41 teacher education students on a university program in Turkey. Data was collected on four occasions over two semesters. Analyses were carried out using path modelling. Results showed that starting the program with self-concordant goals had positive effects on engagement and resilience later in the year. Effects of self-concordance were mediated by goal effort and goal progress. For engagement, a direct effect of self-concordance was also found. Findings point to an important relationship between the quality of language learners’ goals and L2 learning behaviours. Further, the study highlights the value of idiographic methods in goal-focused research.