Recognized as an essential component of 21st century skills, self-regulation, also as a robust and vibrant theory, has been extensively researched in the field of education psychology for many decades. However, it is an area of research whose theoretical principles that drive the research work have not been sufficiently applied to the field of second language acquisition (SLA), applied linguistics, or foreign language education. Inspired by the heated discussion on self-regulation and language learning strategies in recent years (Rose et al. 2018; Griffiths 2020), this brief article presents a critical review of how self-regulation has been applied to second/foreign language learning and teaching in the past 15 years. By taking stock of conceptual and methodological issues, we highlight the state-of-the-art research and propose key foci for future studies. We conclude that self-regulation principles, measurements, and practices have a solid ground for enriching second/foreign language learning and teaching, and thus offer a complex and broad range of research possibilities.

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