Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Motivation for English language learning: a study of Hong Kong vocational students

By Siu May Yvonne Yeung

Abstract

The aim of the present study is to explore the motivational factors of Hong Kong vocational students in learning English. A qualitative case study approach was employed with a combination of surveys with self-completion questionnaire, semi-structured interviews and diary notes.\ud The research, which was carried out in two phases from September to June 2005-6 in one academic year, had the objective of examining whether there was any change of motivation for learning English. Ten students from a vocational institute were selected for the interviews, each were interviewed twice. They were also invited to write diaries, and to record their daily English activities. The data collected were used to triangulate with the interview findings when analyzing the results.\ud The study was initiated by students’ differences in learning attitudes and the variations in their standard of English. Research on motivation for, and attitudes towards learning\ud English reveal that instrumental and intrinsic motivations often apply to secondary school and tertiary-level learners, but prior to this study the research did not extend to vocational students in Hong Kong.\ud The findings show that vocational students not only have strong instrumental motivation for learning English but also have intrinsic motivation. It was apparent that in the process of their learning English, participants regarded English as a functional language which was tied up with their career. This finding is the same as that of previous research on attitudes towards learning English of Hong Kong students. In addition, vocational students’ motivation for learning English was found to be influenced and encouraged by many factors, particularly significant others, such as parents. The present study will enable English teachers to have a greater understanding of vocational students’ motives for learning English. This could help to improve teaching strategies, teaching materials and language policies; and, thus, enhance more effective learning of English in the vocational setting of Hong Kong

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/9280

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (1976). A Hong Kong perspective: English Language Learning and the Chinese Students,
  2. (1988). Achievement goals in the classroom: students’ learning strategies and motivation process”, doi
  3. (2003). Action Plan to Raise Language Standards in Hong Kong”, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Seidman, I.
  4. (1992). adaptation, and adjustment: Theory, research, and application,
  5. (1986). An attributional theory of motivation and emotion, doi
  6. (2004). An Exploration of the Role of Integrative Motivation in the Achievement of English Language Learners in Hong Kong”, Karen’s Linguistics Issues,
  7. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory, doi
  8. (2006). Becoming qualitative researchers: An introduction,
  9. (1994). Classroom motivation from an attributional perspective”,
  10. (2005). Competence motivation in the classroom, doi
  11. (2005). Competence perceptions and academic functioning”,
  12. (1974). Cultural factors in learning and education,
  13. (1997). English as a medium of instruction in post-1997 Hong Kong: What students, teachers and parents think”, doi
  14. (1998). English in Hong Kong & Reversion to Chinese Sovereignty”, Perspectives, Working Papers, 10,
  15. (1982). English in Hong Kong: functions and status”, doi
  16. (2002). Handbook of qualitative research (3rd edn.), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, doi
  17. (1996). Hong Kong Tertiary Students’ Attitudes and Proficiency in Spoken English”, doi
  18. (1992). Human motivation: metaphors, theories, and research,
  19. (2000). Implementing the medium of instruction policy in Hong Kong schools”, doi
  20. (1987). Interviewing in educational research,
  21. (2002). Interviews: An introduction to qualitative research interviewing,
  22. (1991). Intrinsic motivation and second language attainment: A first report on a survey of tertiary students
  23. (2005). Introduction to social research: quantitative and qualitative approaches, doi
  24. (1980). Language social psychological perspectives: doi
  25. (1992). Language-based bifurcation of Secondary schools in Hong Kong”, doi
  26. (2003). Learner autonomy in the foreign language classroom: teacher, learner, curriculum and assessment, Dublin: Authentik Language Learning Resources Ltd.
  27. (1998). Learning English in Hong Kong: Making Connections Between Motivation, Language Use, and Strategy Choice,”
  28. (2003). Learning in the field: An introduction to qualitative research, doi
  29. (1997). Medium of instruction: Guidance for secondary schools, Hong Kong: Hong Kong Government. doi
  30. (1954). Motivation and personality, doi
  31. (2008). Motivation for achievement: possibilities for teaching and learning, doi
  32. (1994). Motivation in foreign and second language learning: An interactive perspective”,
  33. (1991). Motivation: reopening the research agenda”, doi
  34. (2001). Motivation: where does it come from? Where does it go?”, doi
  35. (1994). Motives and methods: motivation, strategy choice, and language use among secondary school students learning
  36. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry, doi
  37. (2000). Peer groups as a context for the socialization or adolescents’ motivation, engagement, and achievement in school”, doi
  38. (2005). Qualitative case studies”,
  39. (1996). Qualitative research design: An interactive approach, Thousand oaks: doi
  40. (2004). Qualitative Research: theory, method and practice, doi
  41. (1981). Racial prejudice”, in doi
  42. (2007). Reading essential to the learning process: decline in English standards ‘alarming’, South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), Saturday,
  43. (1997). Second language acquisition, doi
  44. (1988). Self-regulation of motivation and through goal systems”, in doi
  45. (1997). Social factors and adult learner’s motivation in re-entering higher education”, doi
  46. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory, doi
  47. (1994). Strategies for assessing and enhancing motivation: keys to promoting self-regulated learning and performance”,
  48. (1992). Tapestry of language learning: doi
  49. (1996). Teacher cognition in language teaching: beliefs, decision-making and classroom practice, Cambridge: doi
  50. (1990). Teaching Children to Think,
  51. (1967). The antecedents of self-esteem, doi
  52. (2003). The development of competence-related and motivational beliefs: an investigation of similarity and influence among friends”, doi
  53. (1998). The enlightened eye: Qualitative inquiry and the enhancement of educational practice, Upper Saddle River, doi
  54. (1973). The interpretation of cultures, doi
  55. (2002). Using human learning strategies in the classroom, Lanham: MD, Scarecrow Education.
  56. (1997). Using Semi-structured interviews in small-scale research: a teacher’s guide, Edinburgh: The Scottish Council for Research in Education 129.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.