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The relationship between motivation and achievement in foreign language learning in a sixth form college in Hong Kong

By Chiu Yuet Chan

Abstract

Motivation is crucial in learning a foreign language as it probably determines one’s success in mastering the target language. This study attempts to unveil the relationship between motivation and achievement in learning English in a sixth form college in Hong Kong.\ud The methodological dimensions of the investigation were twofold. First, by means of questionnaires distributed to 33 Advanced-level students, their motivation intensity and orientations in learning English were explored. Pearson Product Moment Correlation was computed to examine the students’ motivation components and their English grades both in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination and the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination. Second, four high, four average and four low achievers of learning English, altogether 12 students aged 17 to 20, were invited to attend semi-structured interviews. Through the account of their English learning experience, the relationship between motivational factors and academic achievement in foreign language learning was investigated.\ud The findings indicated that there was a positive relationship between motivation and achievement among this sample of Hong Kong Advanced-level students in this sixth form college. The results also indicated that all the high, average and low achievers had strong extrinsic motivation, but this did not have any significant correlation with students’ English attainment. Instead, it was intrinsic motivation that had a positive correlation with students’ English grades.\ud The results further suggested that, in this sample, intrinsic and extrinsic motives did not inhibit each other as they had no significant correlation. Students pursuing both intrinsic and extrinsic orientations achieved better grades in English than those whose main motivation was extrinsic. Thus it might be necessary to create a learning environment where intrinsic and extrinsic values of learning English were equally emphasized. Finally, some suggestions on how to enhance Advanced-level students’ motivation in learning English were also offered

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/7812

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  1. continue learning English after I leave school.
  2. Do you have a sense of satisfaction in learning English?
  3. Do you think you have good ability in learning English?
  4. Do you want to improve your English proficiency? doi
  5. How do you rate your English proficiency? doi
  6. How I do in English is not a matter of luck.
  7. How much do your parents encourage you to study English?
  8. How much effort have you put in learning English?
  9. How often do you use English outside school?
  10. I always want to learn doi
  11. I am always attentive in my English lessons.
  12. I am always hardworking in studying English.
  13. I am usually happy with my grades in English.
  14. I do not have the feeling of being forced to learn English.
  15. I feel I am in control of my learning in English.
  16. I find it easy to learn English.
  17. I have good ability in learning English.
  18. I have never had the feeling of being forced to learn English.
  19. I often actively participate in the extra-curricular English activities.
  20. I often participate in the extra-curricular English activities.
  21. I often think about how I can learn doi
  22. I usually plan my schedule so that I can have enough time to study English.
  23. I want to gain better English proficiency than the other classmates.
  24. I would rather spend my homework time on English than the other subjects.
  25. I would study English in school even if it was not required.
  26. I would study English in school even if it were not required.
  27. If I do badly at the English test, I usually know how to do better next time.
  28. If I make a great effort, I can be good at English.
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  35. think secondary schools should use English as the medium of instruction? Why do you think so?
  36. think your English results will affect your interest in learning English?
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  38. What do you think the role of an English teacher in making you a successful or unsuccessful learner? Please give at least one example of learning experience to illustrate.
  39. What have you done to improve your English proficiency? doi
  40. Which language skill is more difficult to learn? Please rank the four core language skills according to their difficulties to you. Reading □ Writing □ Listening □ Speaking □
  41. Which language skill is more important to you? Please rank the four core language skills according to their importance to you. Reading □ Writing □ Listening □ Speaking □
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  43. Why do you put so much/ little effort in learning English?
  44. Why do you think you have good/ poor ability in learning English?
  45. Why do you use English so often/ rare outside school?
  46. Why do/ don’t you like to study English? doi
  47. Why do/ don’t you want to improve your English proficiency?
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  49. you rank the four language skills in such an order?

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