Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

A Correlational Study of Language Learning Motivation and Strategies of Chinese Undergraduate/UNE ÉTUDE CORRÉLATIVE SUR LA MOTIVATION DE L'APPRENTISSAGE DE LANGUE ET LA STRATÉGIES DES ÉTUDIANTS CHINOIS DU PREMIER CYCLE

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

A Correlational Study of Language Learning Motivation and Strategies of Chinese Undergraduate/UNE ÉTUDE CORRÉLATIVE SUR LA MOTIVATION DE L'APPRENTISSAGE DE LANGUE ET LA STRATÉGIES DES ÉTUDIANTS CHINOIS DU PREMIER CYCLE

Article excerpt

Abstract:

Since the 1960s the focus of research in second language acquisition has shifted from teaching to learning, and language learners become the center of language teaching and learning. As to learners, language learning motivation and language learning strategies are two main research topics. The present study investigates Chinese college students' motivation types and strategy use as well as the relationships between language learning motivation and language learning strategies. The study aims to show whether motivation is related to learning strategies, and to shed light on the study of learning motivation, learning strategies, and pedagogy.

Key Words: language learning motivation; language learning strategies; gender; correlation

Résumé: Depuis les années soixante, l'objet de recherche dans l'acquisition de deuxième langues est passé de l'enseignement à l'apprentissage et les apprenants deviendront le centre de l'enseignement et de l'apprentissage de langue. En ce qui concerne les apprenants, la motivation de l'apprentissage de langue et la stratégies d'apprentissage sont deux thèmes principaux de recherche. La présente étude examine les types de motivation des étudiants chinois et leur stratégie d'apprentissage ainsi que les relations entre la motivation de l'apprentissage de langue et la stratégie d'apprentissage. L'étude vise à montrer si la motivation est liée à des stratégies d'apprentissage, et à éclairer l'étude de la motivation d'apprentissage, les stratégies d'apprentissage et la pédagogie.

Mots-clés: motivation de l'apprentissage de langue; stratégie d'apprentissage; sexe; corrélation

1. INTRODUCTION

With the development of research on psycholinguístícs and foreign language teaching, more attention has been paid to the learners' characteristics. The reason lies in the fact that language learners vary in many ways, that they are affected by many social and psychological factors, and that language is a skill that can only be acquired through their efforts.

There is veritable plethora of individual learner variables that researchers have identified as influencing learning outcome. These variables mainly include three areas: learning styles, learning strategies, and affective variables (e.g. motivation, self-efficacy, tolerance of ambiguity, and anxiety). As for how language learning is affected by learners' differences, ElHs (1997: 473) provides a frame work for investigating individual learner differences (Figure 1).

From the framework, it can be seen that language learning outcomes, individual learner differences and learner strategies affect each other. Among the individual learner variables, language learning motivation and language learning strategies are two main factors that affect the study of foreign/ second language. Since the 1990s, many researchers have done some studies on the interrelationship between language learning motivation and the use of language learning strategies (Maclntyre and Noels, 1996; Schmidt, Boraie, and Kassabgy, 1996; Schmidt and Watanabe, 2001). The results indicate that motivation is significantly correlated with strategies. However, few, if any, studies have been conducted to investigate the relationships of the two among Chinese college students who learn English as a foreign language. In order to bridge this gap, an exploratory study is carried out to investigate the relationships between language learning motivation and language learning strategies.

2. METHODOLOGY

2.1 Participants

The participants of this study were 300 sophomores in Shandong Jianzhu University (SDJZU), a public university at the provincial level. They came from 6 classes with an average of 50 students in each class majoring in business, mechanics, electricity, environmental engineering, heat energy engineering, and civil engineering. All the participants had studied English for at least 6 years before entering the university in September 2008. …

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