The goal of this paper is to find out causal relationships among Korean elementary school students' achievements of English capacity, their motivation and attitude for study, their self-directed methodology, the level of self-esteem, and such parent factors as parental education. For this, we used the Korean government's official survey data of 5,059 4th graders and their parents in the year of 2010. The questionnaire for students comprises 190 detailed questions about each home/school environments, psychological factors like the level of self-esteem, academic performances of English. Likewise, the questionnaire for parents comprises 94 questions about their education, socio-economic status, and general thoughts about life and education. Using the survey data, we built up a causal model for Korean elementary school students' English capacity, where parents' educational background affects the level of parental support, the level of parental support affects the children's self-esteem, the children's self-esteem affects their motivation for study, the motivation affects their attitude and study methods, (5) the attitude and study methods affect their English capacity. The proposed model includes several causal chains or paths, and is called a path model. We analyzed the path model using the structural equation modeling technique, and found out that children's level of self-esteem played an important role in boosting up their positive attitude and self-directed methods of study, that the attitude made a significant contribution to their English capacity, but that the self-directed method did not explain much of the children's English capacity.
Jongsup Jun, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, South Korea
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