Preadolescent EFL learners’ self-efficacy expectancies before and after completion of a grammar task
Multivariate analyses of grade level, gender, and performance effects
Learners’ task-specific self-efficacy expectancies have gained increased attention in the EFL context. Across various competence areas they have been demonstrated to substantially affect learners’ motivation, learning approach, and performance. However, certain research gaps still exist – particularly concerning younger learners’ grammar self-efficacy. Furthermore, though conceptually assumed to play an essential role in learners’ self-efficacy formation and calibration accuracy, little is empirically known about task completion effects. The same applies to the role of grade level and gender differences in lower secondary EFL classrooms. Against this background, the present study addressed the effects on preadolescent learners’ self-efficacy expectancies before and after completion of a grammar task. In a sample of 212 preadolescent learners at secondary grade 5 and 6 their self-efficacy expectancies were analyzed before and after task completion. ANOVA results and post hoc analyses indicated task completion effects to exist in a most differentiated manner – and to substantially depend on an interaction between learners’ grade level, gender, and task performance. Fifth-graders’ but not sixth-graders’ self-efficacy expectancies were more accurate after task completion. Most remarkably, it was the male fifth-graders in the high performing group who initially overestimated their grammar performance and perceived their capabilities more realistically after task completion. Thus, it is a matter of careful differentiation for teachers to support effective self-efficacy cognitions of EFL learners during secondary grades. In research, repeated measurement of individual self-efficacy estimates before and after task completion can help to reveal more about the ongoing process of self-concept development.