Motivation to learn English and school grade level: The case of newly arrived Hong Kong students

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Numerous studies have investigated how motivation relates to various individual differences. However, research did not uncover any previous studies investigating how school grade level impacts second language learning motivation. This study therefore focuses on how different school forms are related to motivation to learn English – this subject is particularly important in the Hong Kong school context because the English proficiency of Newly Arrived Hong Kong (NAHK) students is assessed once they arrive Hong Kong and the results will determine which school grade level they will attend. It is hoped that this investigation into the relationship between school forms and motivation for this group will have implications for improvements in current teaching and learning practices, based on the adopted motivational theory. It is further hoped that the results will enhance NAHK student motivation to learn English even as they adjust to and integrate with their new learning environment. This study adopted both qualitative and quantitative approach of investigation. The questionnaire included items on different motivational constructs at different levels, based on the conceptual framework of Dornyei (1998). To clarify any gaps in data appearing after analysis of the statistical results, interviews were conducted with 10 randomly chosen respondents. This study established that Hong Kong upper secondary school students overall have stronger motivation, very likely because of their need for further studies and career aspirations. Copyright © 2014 Departamento de Didáctica de la Lengua y la Literatura.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-50
JournalPorta Linguarum
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Hong Kong
school grade
career aspiration
learning motivation
secondary school
learning environment
Grade Level


Wong, R. M. H. (2014). Motivation to learn English and school grade level: The case of newly arrived Hong Kong students. Porta Linguarum, 21, 37-50.


  • Motivation to learn
  • English
  • Newly arrived Hong Kong students