'Asian learners' re-examined: An empirical study of language learning attitudes, strategies and motivation among mainland Chinese and Hong Kong students

Zhengdong GAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although cultural stereotypes of Asian students as being prone to rote learning, passive and teacher-dependent have been under criticism, the issue of the extent to which Asian heritage culture impacts on Asian students' learning attitudes and behaviour warrants further investigation. This paper reports on an empirical study which compares self-directed language learning attitudes, strategies and motivation among university students in mainland China and Hong Kong. In doing so, the author aims to investigate: (1) whether there are any differences/similarities in learning attitudes, strategies and motivation between these two groups of Asian students; (2) how these differences/similarities could be explained in terms of the cultural (i.e. Confucian) traditions or situational factors such as institutional contexts and social environments. Data were collected through both questionnaire and interviews. The findings of this study suggest that institutional contexts and social environments rather than cultural traditions tend to determine students' attitudes towards, strategies in and motivation for learning English. Implications for illuminating the validity of Littlewood's (1999) 10 predictions about the forms of learner autonomy in East Asian traditions are then discussed. Copyright © 2009 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-58
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009

Citation

Gan, Z. (2009). 'Asian learners' re-examined: An empirical study of language learning attitudes, strategies and motivation among mainland Chinese and Hong Kong students. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 30(1), 41-58.

Keywords

  • Asian learners
  • Confucian traditions
  • Cultural stereotypes
  • Language learning attitudes
  • Strategies and motivation

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