Mapping the relationships between adaptation and Chinese language acquisition in the universities of China

Baohua YU, David WATKINS

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

Cross-cultural adaptation of international students has been widely studied in Western countries like America, Australia, Sweden, etc., but there has been little research on this issue in China. This paper reviewed sojourner adaptation in acculturation, academic adaptation in higher education and motivation for second language acquisition, aiming at finding out the relationships and significant predictors of international students’ socio-cultural adaptation, academic adaptation, Chinese language acquisition and persistence. The authors conducted two pilot studies: Two teachers were interviewed by e-mail, twenty-five students were invited to answer open-ended questionnaires in study 1; One hundred and fifteen students ranging from beginning to advanced levels were surveyed in study 2. Content analysis was used to analyze e-mail interviews and open-ended questionnaires in study 1 and results indicated that motivation for learning Chinese may be the most crucial factor influencing students’ language achievement and persistence in language learning; Ethnic background does stand out as an important factor which may vary difficulties for students from different countries; Besides previous learning and living experience in both overseas and China, more support of host country and its people including academic staff and local people seem to help international students a lot in their adjustment to the living in PRC. The authors performed statistical analysis in study 2: One-way ANOVA demonstrated that the Western group seemed to show much more motivation, higher level of integrativness and better Chinese language proficiency but less language anxiety, less instrumental orientation and lower level of socio-cultural adaptation than the Asian group. But there were no significant differences in academic adaptation and persistence between those two cultural groups. Multiple regressions indicated time of studying Chinese and integrativeness contributed to the prediction of socio-cultural adaptation; Number of friends in China contributed to the prediction of academic adaptation; Cultural group and language anxiety contributed to the prediction of Chinese language proficiency; Integrativeness and academic adaptation contributed to the prediction of persistence. Copyright © 2006 XVIII Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006

Citation

Yu, B., & Watkins, D. (2006, July). Mapping the relationships between adaptation and Chinese language acquisition in the universities of China. Paper presented at the XVIII Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP 2006): From Herodotus' Ethnographic Journeys to Cross-Cultural Research, Anargyrios and Korgialenios School of Spetses, Isle of Spetses, Greece.

Keywords

  • Alt. title: Cross-cultural adaptation and second language acquisition: A study of international students in the universities of the Public Republic of China

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