Self-regulated second language learning: a review of types and benefits of strategies, modes of teacher support, and pedagogical implications

Ruofei ZHANG, Di ZOU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsReview articleOther Review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Self-regulated learning has been frequently investigated and reported to be effective for second language education, so increasingly more researchers and educators have been interested in cultivating self-regulated second language learners. To assist researchers and educators, it appears beneficial to review previous studies concerning the strategies and teacher support conducive to self-regulated second language learning. Accordingly, we reviewed 58 relevant SSCI articles extracted from Web of Science databases. Findings revealed metacognitive strategies as the most frequently investigated strategy among the articles. Three main modes of teacher support were also uncovered: in-class instruction, guidance in authentic settings, and instruction-plus-guidance. The application of self-regulated language learning strategies was effective in academic (i.e. vocabulary, grammar, writing, reading, listening, speaking, and integrated language knowledge and skills) and affective (i.e. self-efficacy, motivation, and learning attitudes) domains. Specifically, metacognitive strategies could assist students in error identification, reduce procrastination, and strengthen their sense of control. Cognitive strategies could facilitate knowledge internalisation. Motivational strategies could increase learner efforts and persistence and improve their emotions. Behavioural strategies could encourage knowledge input and output and optimise the learning experience. To help students’ self-regulated second language learning, the reviewed articles recommended that teachers provide them with explicit strategy instruction, monitor and offer help in their learning progress, and give technological support. Based on the results, we identified the interactions among learners, strategies, learning tasks, and learning environment in self-regulated second language learning and provided implications for future investigations concerning the effectiveness of various strategies, the frequency of students’ use of SRLL strategies in authentic settings, and the effects of self-regulated learning on various aspects of language development.

Original languageEnglish
JournalComputer Assisted Language Learning
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This research is supported by the Internal Research Grant (RG 15/2020-2021R), The Education University of Hong Kong.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Learning strategy
  • second language
  • self-regulated learning


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