A cross-linguistic comparison between Spanish and Dutch pre-university students' English writing motivation and English writing performance.

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The present study was of exploratory nature and compared Spanish and Dutch pre-university students’ English writing motivation and actual English writing proficiency. As research into English (as a foreign language) writing motivation for Dutch and Spanish pre-university students is generally lacking, the aim of this study was to contribute to the small but yet existing area. Students (Spain: N = 48, The Netherlands: N = 23) filled out an online questionnaire, which was adapted and translated to Spanish and Dutch, and performed a short English writing task at the end of the questionnaire (Spain: N = 36, The Netherlands: N = 16). Independent samples t-tests showed that although Spanish students scored lower on English writing Ideation self-efficacy beliefs than Dutch students, they scored relatively higher on both Mastery Goal and Performance Goal orientations. Furthermore, partial Pearson correlations showed that specifically for the Spanish students, but also for the two samples together, English writing academic achievement was a powerful mediator in the relationships between perceived competence in English writing and self-confidence in English writing, between perceived competence and English writing motivation, and between self-confidence and English writing motivation. Further research is needed to gain insight into the possible reasons behind the importance of English writing academic achievement for the Spanish students in particular. In addition, due to relatively small sample sizes, the generalizability of the study is limited, and future research should thus intend to recruit more participants to provide recommendations for Educational Psychology practitioners and pre-university teachers.
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