Learning Chinese abroad: The role of language attitudes and motivation in the adaptation of international students in China

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Abstract

The objectives of this study are to investigate the interrelationships of a number of affective variables related to studying Chinese as a second language (L2); to examine the relationships between affective variables in second language acquisition (SLA) and the indices of adaptation; and thirdly, to assess the changes over time in the attitudes and motivation of international students and their sociocultural and academic adaptation during their nine-month Chinese studies at a tertiary level. The results show that integrative motivation plays a very important positive role while language anxiety plays a very important negative role in both sociocultural adaptation and academic adaptation. Moreover, academic adaptation, long being ignored in the literature of crosscultural psychology and SLA, is found to be closely and positively related to sociocultural adaptation in this study. The conclusions are drawn accordingly in respect of longitudinal research design and the importance in relating language-related variables to the adaptation of L2 learners. Suggestions to host institutions and international students are also made in the paper. Copyright © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-321
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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China
language
learning
student
language acquisition
research planning
psychology
anxiety

Citation

Yu, B. (2010). Learning Chinese abroad: The role of language attitudes and motivation in the adaptation of international students in China. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 31(3), 301-321. doi: 10.1080/01434631003735483

Keywords

  • Attitudes and motivation
  • Second language acquisition
  • Sociocultural adaptation
  • Academic adaptation
  • International students