Motivational and cultural correlates of second language acquisition: An investigation of international students in the universities of the people's Republic of China

Baohua YU, David A. WATKINS

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16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study investigates the relationships among motivational factors, cultural correlates and second language proficiency. The participants, from both Western and Asian backgrounds, were learning Chinese at university level in the People's Republic of China. 115 students (35 Western students and 80 Asian students) ranging from beginning to advanced levels of proficiency were surveyed.
The results of the study indicated that the degree of integrativeness into Chinese culture and motivation was significantly and positively related to Chinese language proficiency, while language anxiety was significantly and negatively correlated to such proficiency. However instrumental orientation was found to have no statistically significant relationship with such proficiency. Multiple regression analysis indicated that integrativeness and gender were major variables predicting Chinese language proficiency. Significant differences between Western and Asian student groups were found in terms of motivational variables and Chinese language proficiency. Compared with the Asian student group, the Western student group tended to perform better in spoken Chinese proficiency as evaluated by their teachers and seemed to have higher levels of motivation and integrativeness but lower levels of instrumental orientation and language anxiety. Recommendations are made to enhance motivation and second language acquisition. Copyright © 2008 AUSTRALIAN REVIEW OF APPLIED LINGUISTICS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17.1-17.22
JournalAustralian Review of Applied Linguistics
Volume31
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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language acquisition
China
university
language
student
anxiety
Group
cultural factors
International Students
Proficiency
Second Language Acquisition
regression analysis
Asian Students
Chinese Language
Language Proficiency
gender
teacher
learning
Language Anxiety

Citation

Yu, B., & Watkins, D. A. (2008). Motivational and cultural correlates of second language acquisition: An investigation of international students in the universities of the people's Republic of China. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 31(2), 17.1-17.22.