Understanding change in Chinese undergraduate students’ language learning motivation : during the transition to UK higher education

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10547/134962
Title:
Understanding change in Chinese undergraduate students’ language learning motivation : during the transition to UK higher education
Authors:
Zhang, Qian
Abstract:
This thesis investigates changes in Chinese undergraduate students’ language learning motivation during the transition from their home cultural setting to the host cultural setting, while studying on a China-UK 2+1 collaborative programme at the University of Bedfordshire. Since the 1990s, there has been growing attention to research on L2 motivation in classroom or other educational settings. To bridge the gap between general and L2 motivational theories, a number of theoretical frameworks have been developed. The most comprehensive of these is Dörnyei’s (1994a) three-level motivational framework. However, there is as yet little empirical evidence to verify this. The study employed mixed methods. Firstly, in order to identify whether these students’ language learning motivation changed over time, a two stage questionnaire survey was carried out with 158 students. Questionnaires were first administered in October shortly after students arrived in the UK to begin their courses and again in May when they were close to completing their degrees. Factor analysis was used to verify the structure of the questionnaire. Paired t-tests were used to evaluate whether significant changes had occurred in each of the motivational dimensions addressed. Secondly, in-depth face-to-face interviews were conducted with 14 of the questionnaire respondents. The interviews explored motivational change in more open-ended fashion and in greater depth. Students’ comments were transcribed, translated and categorised on the basis of Dörnyei’s (1994a) framework. The conclusions, triangulated by both the key findings and the interview results, indicate that Chinese students have strong instrumental orientations and that their language learning motivation changes significantly at the Learner Level and Language Learning Situation Level of the framework. Some patterns underlying these changes were also discovered. The research findings additionally served to support the applicability of the Dörnyei (1994a) framework. Based on the empirical research findings, some practical recommendations are offered respectively for Chinese students and academic staff. These include: 1) The university should provide more information, or relevant training, about the British academic system and culture. 2) Academic staff need to understand Chinese students more fully and might adjust their teaching style to accommodate them. 3) There is a need for the university to redesign the academic English module to help students efficiently cope with their studies in the UK.
Publisher:
University of Bedfordshire
Issue Date:
Oct-2008
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10547/134962
Type:
Thesis or dissertation
Language:
en
Description:
A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the University of Bedfordshire
Appears in Collections:
PhD e-theses

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorZhang, Qianen
dc.date.accessioned2011-06-30T12:24:35Z-
dc.date.available2011-06-30T12:24:35Z-
dc.date.issued2008-10-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10547/134962-
dc.descriptionA thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the University of Bedfordshireen
dc.description.abstractThis thesis investigates changes in Chinese undergraduate students’ language learning motivation during the transition from their home cultural setting to the host cultural setting, while studying on a China-UK 2+1 collaborative programme at the University of Bedfordshire. Since the 1990s, there has been growing attention to research on L2 motivation in classroom or other educational settings. To bridge the gap between general and L2 motivational theories, a number of theoretical frameworks have been developed. The most comprehensive of these is Dörnyei’s (1994a) three-level motivational framework. However, there is as yet little empirical evidence to verify this. The study employed mixed methods. Firstly, in order to identify whether these students’ language learning motivation changed over time, a two stage questionnaire survey was carried out with 158 students. Questionnaires were first administered in October shortly after students arrived in the UK to begin their courses and again in May when they were close to completing their degrees. Factor analysis was used to verify the structure of the questionnaire. Paired t-tests were used to evaluate whether significant changes had occurred in each of the motivational dimensions addressed. Secondly, in-depth face-to-face interviews were conducted with 14 of the questionnaire respondents. The interviews explored motivational change in more open-ended fashion and in greater depth. Students’ comments were transcribed, translated and categorised on the basis of Dörnyei’s (1994a) framework. The conclusions, triangulated by both the key findings and the interview results, indicate that Chinese students have strong instrumental orientations and that their language learning motivation changes significantly at the Learner Level and Language Learning Situation Level of the framework. Some patterns underlying these changes were also discovered. The research findings additionally served to support the applicability of the Dörnyei (1994a) framework. Based on the empirical research findings, some practical recommendations are offered respectively for Chinese students and academic staff. These include: 1) The university should provide more information, or relevant training, about the British academic system and culture. 2) Academic staff need to understand Chinese students more fully and might adjust their teaching style to accommodate them. 3) There is a need for the university to redesign the academic English module to help students efficiently cope with their studies in the UK.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherUniversity of Bedfordshireen
dc.subjectlanguage learningen
dc.subjectESOLen
dc.subjectmotivationen
dc.subjectChinese students in UK higher educationen
dc.subjectacademic Englishen
dc.subjectEnglish language teachingen
dc.subjectQ330 English as a second languageen
dc.titleUnderstanding change in Chinese undergraduate students’ language learning motivation : during the transition to UK higher educationen
dc.typeThesis or dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhDen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Bedfordshireen
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