The Influence of Formative Assessment in “Reading Critically” Course on English Major Students’ Self-regulated Learning of Academic Vocabularies in Linguistics


This study investigates the influence of formative assessment in “Reading Critically” course on English major students’ self-regulated learning of academic vocabularies in linguistics.

Reading Critically, the new course for English majors developed by Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), derives from many educators and policymakers’ recognition that mere language proficiency is insufficient for language majors to meet the needs of society. Therefore, it adopts a content and language integrated learning (CLIL) approach, using academic papers in humanities as reading materials to simultaneously enhance language proficiency and introduce relevant knowledge. The first semester of this course focuses on linguistics.

In this multiple-case study, data collected over one semester (where linguistics is the focus) were drawn from semi-structured interviews and stimulated recalls with 8 students at BFSU. Tseng et al.’s Self-Regulating Capacity in Vocabulary Learning (SRCvoc) was the analytical framework. The study highlighted the positive influence of formative assessment in helping students adjust learning goals, increase goal commitment, control concentration, curtail procrastination, and select conductive learning environment when learning academic vocabularies in linguistics. However, results also showed the students’ inability to control boredom, anxiety, and other disruptive emotions caused by the formative assessment when learning these vocabularies.

This study seems the first to apply SRCvoc to CLIL context in higher education. It is also the first to empirically investigate the influence of formative assessment in this curriculum, which may be adopted by other English departments in China in the near future. It provides a nuanced understanding that may help improve the curricular design.

Author Information
Yuyan Xue, Beijing Foreign Studies University, China

Paper Information
Conference: ACLL2019
Stream: Autonomy and self-regulation

This paper is part of the ACLL2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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