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Motivation in second language acquisition in Chinese research students in the UK

Li, D. (2006) Motivation in second language acquisition in Chinese research students in the UK. Evaluation and Research in Education, 19 (1). pp. 38-58. ISSN 1747-7514

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/09500790608668324


The present study sets out to examine motivation to learn English by Chinese research students in an informal setting. Data were collected, using semi-structured interviews, from four research students at two points in time during their first year in the UK. The main findings are: they believed that learning English was important; their main goal orientations were instrumental and extrinsic; they set learning goals and persisted to attain them; they valued their current learning environment in general and saw it as supportive of their goals; they held both positive and negative attitudes towards the British, which had differential effects on their motivation; their self-perceived support seemed to have a positive impact on their motivation and the development of self-confidence; they tended to attribute their success to stable causes such as the environment and failure to unstable but controllable causes such as effort. It is concluded that qualitative data of this kind may complement insights from quantitative research. Implications for target country institutions in the provision of support are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Language and Literacy in Education
ID Code:25976
Uncontrolled Keywords:Chinese learners, informal setting, qualitative methodology, secondlanguage learning, second language motivation
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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