Exploration of a technology-enhanced self-regulation training model for enhancing EFL students’ academic writing skills and self-regulated writing capacities in the Vietnamese tertiary context

Thi Thanh Thao TRAN

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses


In recent years, the widespread integration of technology in higher education has afforded English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners numerous opportunities, such as multicultural learning environments, authentic learning resources, learning support, and the facilitation of positive learner identity construction (Thorne et al., 2009; Zhao & Lai, 2007). Nevertheless, the abundance of online learning tools and students' proficiency in digital skills do not necessarily correspond to heightened learning motivation, engagement in new learning spaces (Stockwell & Hubbard, 2013), or the sophisticated and successful use of technology for language learning (Lai & Gu, 2011; Winke et al., 2010). It has been posited that language learners may fully capitalize on the wealth of online materials when guided to develop their self-regulation capacities in technology-supported language learning.

This thesis presents a self-regulation training model designed to augment learners' self-regulatory capacities in a technology-supported academic writing course. It also assesses the impact of the technology-enhanced self-regulation training program, which is based on this model, on (1) learners' writing performance and (2) writing self-regulation capacities in technology-assisted language learning environments. The proposed training model encapsulates three key components of support related to self-regulated learning in writing skills, delineating the nature of the self-regulation process as it transitions from other regulation to self-regulation levels. These components consist of (1) affective support, (2) learning support, and (3) collaborative learning support.

The research was conducted at the University of Foreign Languages and International Studies in Vietnam, employing a mixed-methods approach. A total of 78 English-major students participated in the 15-week training program. Initially, the participants were categorized into experimental and control groups, after which they completed a pre-test and post-test of essay writing in weeks 1 and 15, respectively. Additionally, they were required to complete to pre- and post-Likert-type self-regulated learning questionnaires to assess their perceived changes in writing self-regulation skills. Subsequently, 20 students from the experimental group were selected for focus group interviews to corroborate the quantitative findings.

Quantitative data gleaned from the pre-tests and post-tests demonstrated the effectiveness of the technology-enhanced self-regulation training course in enhancing EFL students' writing competence in overall writing scores, sub-scores of writing performance, and three dimensions of lexical richness. Furthermore, the quantitative data from the pre- and postquestionnaires showed participants' perceptual changes in writing self-regulation across specific constructs within the three main phases of the self-regulated learning approach.

According to the qualitative data from the face-to-face focus group interviews, the training activated other factors necessary for self-regulating learning in writing skills, including the development of writing confidence, motivation, individual writing strategies, and technology autonomy, as well as the creation of a diverse and personalized learning space in the computer-assisted language learning (CALL) setting for students. However, some negative perceptions and challenges faced by certain participants emerged from the interviews, with the most common categories being problems related to group work, the sufficiency and quality of online learning devices, as well as training activity design.

Ultimately, the findings illuminate the mediating role of self-regulation training in fostering self-regulated writing capacities, offering valuable insights for future research or teaching practice in learner training within technology-enhanced language learning. Several pedagogical implications were provided for EFL teachers to increase the impact of the self regulated writing training model. Recommendations for further research consist of implementing self-regulated strategy training in other language skills, or in the integration of the four language skills and employing multiple data collection instruments. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • MA, Qing 馬清, Supervisor
  • WANG, Lixun 王立勛, Supervisor
  • CHEN, Hsueh Chu 陳雪珠, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2023.


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