Changes of Goal-Setting in Japanese Language Learning
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Goal-setting is one of the effective ways to maintain motivation in Learning a language. Language learners often have various goals. However, it is difficult to maintain a high engagement in a certain goal during the long learning process. Also, the goal-setting may change according to the learners' progress and learning environment. Based on literature reviews ( c.f. Locke 1968), this study has created a set of criteria that classify the Japanese learners' various goal-settings, which includes Long-term Specific Goal, Short-term Task Oriented Goal, Culture-Oriented Goal, and Language-Oriented Goal. Using the criteria, my study examined the changes of goal-settings of the learners from data collected over two years at a liberal art college in the United States. The results from the data provided effective patterns of changes in goals. It shows that Long-term Specific Goal has a positive significant correlation with grades. This study also demonstrates that the learners who hold Long-term Specific Goal in the freshmen year tend to change their goals to Language-Oriented Subdivided Goals for reasons such as "focus," "time," and "experience." Therefore, imaging a long-term vision such as a career path at an early stage in college motivates the Japanese students to connect their daily language learning experiences with their future language career.
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