Integrativeness, motivation and the learning of English for ethnic Chinese students in Sydney and Hong Kong

Chi Keung KAM

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Gardner’s (1983) socio-educational model proposes that second language acquisition should be considered within the social context in which it takes place. The rationale of learning foreign language, whether it is out of integrative orientation, instrumental orientation, interest in foreign language learning, or attitudes towards the people of the target language, will affect the learner to take an active or passive role in language learning. His attitudes, motivational intensity and readiness to learn the target language determine whether the learning process is effective or not. Giles and Bryne (1982) defined motivation to learn language in terms of identification with the target language community. The affection of target language culture determines the persistence of language learning process. 181 students of ethnic Chinese in Sydney metropolitan area who were studying in weekend Chinese schools (age 8 to 16 with mean age of 12.1) and 604 Hong Kong students who were studying in main stream primary and secondary schools (age 8 to 16 with mean age 11.6) were sampled. While the results for students in Sydney showed no significant correlation between the socio-psychological variables and their performance in Chinese and English, significant correlations were found for their counterparts in Hong Kong. The study also discusses the effect of cultural identification of ethnic Chinese students on their integrativeness and motivation to learn English.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999


Hong Kong
foreign language
learning process
interest orientation
language acquisition
primary school
agglomeration area
secondary school


Kam, M. C.-K. (1999, December). Integrativeness, motivation and the learning of English for ethnic Chinese students in Sydney and Hong Kong. Paper presented at the MERA-ERA Joint Conference 1999: Educational Challenge in the New Millennium, Malaysia.