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Motivation and Self-Evaluation in High-Achieving Girls in the Context of English Speech Production
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Girls generally achieve higher results in Swedish schools but also experience higher levels of stress and anxiety than boys. This study aims at investigating how high-achieving girls might experience success and failure in school and what strategies they use to cope with those feelings. The focus for the study is how the girls feel about these topics in English speech production.

Three high-achieving girls in a secondary school were asked and agreed to participate in the study. The study was qualitative, and observations and interviews were conducted in order to answer the research questions. The theories used to inform the study were Dweck's theories about mindsets (Dweck, 2001). Theories about contingencies in self-worth, perfectionism and self-handicapping were also used (Baldwin & Sinclair, 1996; Burns, 1980; Frost, Marten, Lahart & Rosenblate, 1990 Berglas & Jones, 1978; Hirt, Deppe & Gordon, 1991). These theories functioned as framework for the study as well as being connected to the data that was analysed.

The result has shown that the girls use various approaches and strategies in relation to achievement. Due to social expectations, the participants never stated that they knew how good they were at English. Expressions about their success and ambition were always modest. In contrast to those statements, the girls spent extensive energy and time on schoolwork and two of the girls were rarely pleased with their performances. When they were not satisfied with their achievements they used strategies to blame external factors, in order to not feel worse about themselves. This study has also shown that the strategies around success and failure, as well as achievement goals and feelings of self-worth are highly entangled and cannot be viewed as isolated traits.

In conclusion, teachers have to pay attention to this group of girls in order to limit the amount of pressure put on these students. To better understand this phenomenon, more research is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 36
Keywords [en]
High-achieving girls, motivation, gender differences, second language learning, perfectionism, mindsets
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-12543Local ID: EXE601OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-12543DiVA, id: diva2:1225231
Subject / course
English
Educational program
Teacher Traning Programme
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-26 Created: 2018-06-26 Last updated: 2018-06-26Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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