The Changing Language Learning Motivations of Learners from Mainland China Studying English in New Zealand
This study investigates the motivations to learn English of Chinese second language students studying in New Zealand. It also examines their views of the New Zealand language learning (LL) environment and explores the influence of Confucian Heritage Culture (CHC) and educational background on these views. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, and essays from two male and two female students at three points during their first six months of study in New Zealand. The main findings about motivation are: they had both instrumental and integrative motivations for learning English; the instrumental and integrative paradigms were inadequate for describing the motives that they exhibited; these motives changed over time; culture played an important role in shaping motivation; environmental prejudice had a negative impact on motivation. It is concluded that previous process models of motivation are inadequate to account for the variety of motivations and motivational influences described by participants. The main findings about the New Zealand LL environment are: they had both positive and negative views of the New Zealand LL environment; their views tended to become more positive as they saw the utility of this environment in supporting their learning goals. Qualitative data of this kind could be complemented by classroom observations. Implications for teachers, theorists, and New Zealand schools are discussed in the conclusion.
Advisor: Feryok, Anne
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Linguistics
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: second language teaching; motivation; Chinese; English; China; phases; motivational change; language learner; L2; psychological aspects; social aspects; student attitudes; academic achievement; study and teaching
Research Type: Thesis