This study investigated learners’ conceptions of learning English and their online self-regulation in a web-based learning environment among. Two questionnaires, Conceptions of Learning English (COLE) and Online Self-regulation of English Learning (OSEL) were administered to 843 university students in China. Based on their different conceptions of learning English, participants were clustered into four groups. Two groups of students considered the process of learning English as understanding and seeing in a new way or being test-oriented. Another two groups consisted of students with high commitment to or low engagement in learning English. The results of ANOVA analysis and Scheffé’s test revealed significant differences among the profiled participants in four groups. Students who considered learning English as understanding and seeing in a new way tended to have the strongest online self-regulatory competence. However, students who were test-oriented reported poorly in all aspects of online self-regulation. Our findings echoed previous studies on the relationship between conceptions of learning English and online self-regulation, particularly the negative association between learners’ test-oriented conceptions of learning English and their online self-regulation. This research enables us to better understand English language learners in China, particularly in the era of information technology.
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