The Impact of Regulatory Focus on Second Language Learners’ Oral Productıon and Motıvatıon
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The present study aims primarily to find out whether different instructional framing conditions named as promotion and prevention and learners’ inherent regulatory orientations affect second language (L2) learners’ speaking task performance in individual speaking tasks. The general design of the study is based on regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997, 1998) and regulatory fit theory (Higgins, 2000). A total of 70 B2 level English learners studying at an English preparatory unit of a foundation university in Ankara participated in the study. A mixed method research design consisting of quantitative and qualitative data collection procedures was implemented. For the quantitative part, initially, survey methodology was used. As a part of the experimental design, L2 learners were assigned to the promotion and prevention instructional conditions to carry out the speaking tasks. Semi-structured interviews and teacher diary keeping methods were implemented as parts of the qualitative data collection. The results showed that L2 learners’ regulatory foci influenced their performance in the speaking tasks in the prevention experimental condition. However, this result was not clear in the promotion experimental condition. Some performance differences were realized between students in the prevention and promotion conditions in terms of pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, fluency and comprehensibility. It was found out that students in the prevention condition had better performance in terms of vocabulary usage and grammatical accuracy, whereas students in the promotion condition had better performance in terms of fluency. The implications of the study are applicable to the areas of L2 curriculum, syllabi and material preparation processes, individual learner differences, L2 testing and assessment.