Motivation, motivation intensity, use Of Chinese and self-rated Chinese competence.
As an important affective variable, motivation has been extensively researched in second/foreign language (SL/FL) learning (Crookes & Schmidt, 1991; Dornyei, 2005; Liu & Zhang, 2013; Spolsky, 2000; Wesely, 2009; Yamashita, 2015). These studies have revealed that motivation plays an important role in SL/FL learning and that motivation is closely related to motivational intensity but higher motivation does not necessarily mean greater motivation intensity. In addition, though the initial motivation theory proposed by Gardner and his associates (Gardner & Lambert, 1972; Gardner, 1985; Tremblay & Gardner, 1995) was based on research in second language acquisition (SLA) contexts where the target language (TL) was mastered either through direct exposure to it or through formal instruction accompanied by frequent interaction with native speakers of the TL, motivation of learners studying in the native language speaking environment such as study abroad (SA) contexts has not been so much studied, especially for learners of SLs/FLs other than English (Hernandez, 2010b; Martinsen, 2008).
Meanwhile, it is generally endorsed that SA provides a rich context for learners to have the maximum exposure and access to the TL to improve their competence in the TL (DeKeyser, 2007; Magnan & Back, 2007; Perez-Vidal & Juan-Garau, 2011). Nevertheless, not much research has been conducted on the relationship between language contact and motivation and their roles in competence of the TL in SA contexts (Dewaele & Regan, 2002; Hernandez, 2010b; Martinsen, 2008). This is exactly the focus of the present research, which examined the associations between motivation, motivation intensity, use of Chinese outside of class and self-rated Chinese competence of international students studying in a Chinese university in Beijing.
As an important affective variable, motivation has been extensively researched in SL/FL learning (Crookes & Schmidt, 1991; Dornyei, 1994, 2005; Liu & Zhang, 2013; Spolsky, 2000; Ushioda, 2011; Wesely, 2009; Yamashita, 2015). Based on research in SLA contexts where the TL was mastered either through direct exposure to it or through formal instruction accompanied by frequent interaction with native speakers of the TL, Gardner and Lambert (1972) formulated their psychological theory on motivation. They (1972) believed that a student's motivation to learn a SL was determined by both his/her attitudes and the type of orientation he/she had toward learning the language. They also made a distinction between integrative motivation and instrumental motivation. Gardner (1985; Tremblay & Gardner, 1995) extended the theory to be a socio-educational model of motivation, which hypothesized that a student's level of motivation was influenced by his/her attitudes towards the specific language community and the learning context. According to this model, motivation involved "three components, attitudes toward learning the second language, desire to learn the langue, and effort expended in learning the langue" (Gardner, Lalonde & Pierson, 1983, p.2).
Subsequent research has found that integrative and instrumental motivation are not opposite ends of a continuum but are positively related, that better achievements in a SL/FL can also lead to higher motivation, and that SL/FL learning goals can break up into different orientation clusters (Dornyei, 1994; Tremblay & Gardner, 1995; Ushioda, 1993). Thus more motivation theories have been proposed (Crookes & Schmidt, 1991; Dornyei, 1994, 2005). Even so, the concepts of integrative and instrumental motivation are widely accepted and studied in various SL/FL contexts (Allen, 2010; Belmechri & Hummel, 1998; Liu & Zhang, 2013; Wesely, 2009; Yamashita, 2015; Zhao & Li, 2014). For example, Wesely's (2009) mixed-method study of young learners showed that students were both integratively and instrumentally motivated to study the TL and that relationships with teachers and peers were influential factors in shaping their motivation. Liu's (2012) analyses of 1431 questionnaires and 215 reflective journals showed that the participants from different Chinese universities had high Integrative and Instrumental Motivation to learn English. In Liu and Zhang's (2013) study of foreign language anxiety and motivation, 1697 Chinese university students answered the questionnaires, which revealed that external motivation, intrinsic motivation, motivation intensity, academic achievement were powerful predictors of students' performance in English.
Dornyei and his associates did a series of large-scale and longitudinal studies on language attitudes and motivation, involving various languages (Dornyei & Csizer, 2006; Csizer & Dornyei, 2005). These studies revealed that attitudes towards a SL/FL were significantly correlated with motivation to learn that language, that various variables (e.g., gender, graphic variation, contextual variables, and intercultural contact, etc.) influenced language learning motivation, and that motivation was dynamic and situation-specific. Inspired by these studies, Humphreys and
Spratt (2008) investigated 526 Hong Kong university students' motivation to learn different target languages (English, Putonghua, and French/German/Japanese). Analyses of the questionnaires and follow-up interviews indicated that affective and integrative motivation was the greatest for students learning English and the third FL but instrumental motivation was the greatest for students learning Mandarin Chinese, and that a significant correlation existed between effort and affective and integrative motivation. Csizer and Kormos's (2008) study with 1777 Hungarian primary school children English and German indicated that motivation intensity rather than the language being studied affected how much energy students were willing to invest in language learning.
Contact with the TL
An array of research has demonstrated the crucial role of interaction with native speakers for SL/FL acquisition (Dewaele & Regan, 2002; Krashen, 1982; Long, 1981; Martinsen, 2008, 2011). In particular, the study abroad (SA) context constitutes a rich environment for the learning of the TL and its culture (Alcon-Soler, 2015; DeKeyser, 2007; Magnan & Back, 2007; Perez-Vidal & Juan-Garau, 2011). For example, in a study of the effects of several factors on language acquisition, Dewaele and Regan (2002) found that interaction with native speakers had the most influential effect on acquisition of the TL. This is because greater interaction improves competence in the TL which in turn increases interaction with native speakers of the TL (Church, 1982; Gullahom & Gullahom 1966).
Hernandez's (2010a, 2010b) study of twenty 1-semseter SA students showed that motivation and interaction were important factors in shaping the development of speaking proficiency in the TL in both at home and SA contexts. The study also revealed that students improved their oral proficiency in the TL while abroad and that student contact with the TL had a significant effect on their speaking improvement. Thus, the researcher considered it important to focus on learning activities that enhance students' integrative motivation and interaction with the TL people and culture in both at home and SA contexts. Martinsen (2011) measured students' cultural sensitivity before and after a six week SA program and found that time spent interacting with native speakers while abroad predicted the increase in students' cultural sensitivity. The researcher thus suggested that an optimal amount of interaction with native speakers might be beneficial for gaining cultural sensitivity for students abroad.
As reviewed above, motivation plays an important role in SL/FL learning (Csizer & Kormos, 2008; Dornyei, 2005; Gardner, 1985; Liu & Zhang, 2013), the SA context may enhance the effect of integrative motivation on achievements in the TL (Hernandez, 2010a, 2010b; Oxford & Shearin, 1994), and provides an ideal situation for learners to maximally access and use the TL (DeKeyser, 2007; Perez-Vidal & Juan-Garau, 2011). Nevertheless, studies on the relationship between motivation, contact with the TL and competence in the TL have been far from adequate (Dewaele & Regan, 2002; Hernandez, 2010a, 2010b; Martinsen, 2008). Targeting international students studying in a Chinese university in Beijing, the present research aimed to examine the associations between motivation, motivation intensity, use of Chinese outside of class and self-rated Chinese competence. The following questions were of particular interest:
1. Do the students demonstrate integrative and instrumental motivation to study Chinese as a SL?
2. To what extent are the students motivated to study Chinese?
3. To what extent do the students use Chinese outside of class?
4. How do motivation, motivation intensity, use of Chinese, and self-rated Chinese competence correlate with each other?
5. Do motivation, motivation intensity and use of Chinese predict self-rated competence in Chinese?
The Present Study
Participants. The participants were 162 (51 male and 88 female) international students studying in a university in Beijing, who came from various countries like America, Canada, Australia, Britain, Korea, Japan, Russia, Cambodia, and Malaysia. With an age range of 17 to 36 (mean = 22.23), they had studied Chinese for an average of 5.75 years (SD = 4.88) before coming to China. Of 162 participants, 18(11.1%) had never lived or studied in China before, 20 (12.3%) for 1-3 months, 15 (9.3%) for 4-6 months, and 92 (56.8%) for more than 1 year, when the present study was conducted. When studying in the Chinese university, the language of instruction for courses was predominantly Chinese (91/56.2%), followed by English (28/17.3%) and a mixture of Chinese and English (43/26.5%). When studying in the Chinese university, 124 (76.5%) of the 162 participants lived on campus, but in international students' residents, 34 (21%) rented apartments outside, and the rest lived either on or outside campus at different times.
Interviewees. In order to elicit more inside perceptions of the learning of Chinese, 17 survey respondents were recruited for semi-structured interviews. The interviewees were at different Chinese proficiency levels and spoke various native languages, generally reflecting the characteristics of the survey population.
Instruments. The data were gathered via questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, as detailed below.
Background Information Questionnaire. This questionnaire intended to gather such information about the participants as gender, age, nationality, length of stay in China, time for learning Chinese, accommodation, and language of instruction.
Self-rated competence in Chinese. This 5-item questionnaire required students to self rate their competence in listening, speaking, reading, writing and overall Chinese on a scale of 1-5, respectively.
The Chinese-Learning Motivation Questionnaire. This 15-item Chinese-Learning Motivation questionnaire (CLMQ) was adapted from that used in Hernandez (201 Ob), consisting of two subscales: (a) an 11-item Integrative Motivation scale, and (b) a 4-item Instrumental Motivation scale. Using a 5-point Likert scale, the informants indicated the extent to which different reasons for studying Chinese were important to them.
The Chinese Learning Motivation Intensity Scale. This 7-item Chinese Learning Motivation Intensity Scale (CLMIS) was adapted from the 9-item Spanish Learning Motivation Intensity Scale developed by Martinsen (2008). To better suit the present study, 2 items were deleted either because "it was hard and impossible to understand all the Chinese we see and hear here [in China]" reported in an earlier informal talk with some international students (T make a point of trying to understand all the Spanish I see and hear') or because the item was more concerned with attitudes towards Chinese ('Being a person who knows Spanish is important to me'). Then, the word 'Spanish' in all the items was changed to be 'Chinese'.
Use of Chinese Outside of Class Profile.
The 8-item Use of Chinese Outside of Class Profile (UCOCP) was developed to measure the quality and nature of the students' contact with Chinese while studying in China, with reference to that in Martinsen (2008) and Hernandez (2010b). For each question, participants provided the average number of hours per day they were engaged in a particular activity.
Preliminary statistical analyses revealed high internal consistency for the measures (see Table 1).
Semi-structured interview. As discussed in Spolsky (2000), motivational and identity patterns are complex, which cannot be discovered by questionnaires alone. Consequently, semi-structured interviews were held for 17 survey respondents to elicit more inside perceptions of their learning of Chinese. The interview guide covered such issues as reasons for learning Chinese, attitudes towards Chinese and its people, and experiences of learning Chinese.
Procedure. The questionnaires in both Chinese and English were distributed to international students in class by their course teachers during the 14th week of the 16-week term. Then, 17 survey respondents were randomly chosen for the semi-structured interview during the following week, each of which lasted 30-45 hours. All the interviews were conducted in Chinese or English as preferred by the interviewees and tape-recorded.
Data analyses. All the survey data were analyzed using SPSS 20. Means and standard deviations were computed to determine motivation and motivation intensity levels as well as the frequency of the use of Chinese outside of class; correlation analyses were conducted to examine the associations between the measured variables; multiple regression analyses were run to identify the predictors for self-rated Chinese competence. All the interview data were transcribed, double-checked, and then subjected to open coding to identify reasons for learning Chinese and frequency of using Chinese outside of class (Richards, 2009). The results were integrated into the findings of survey data.
Self-rated competence in Chinese
The students' self-rated competence in different aspects of Chinese is reported in Table 2, which indicates that they self rated their competence in listening, speaking, reading and overall Chinese slightly above 3 (mean = 3.04 ~ 3.24) and competence in writing Chinese as 2.90. This means that the participants generally believed themselves to be intermediate in the four aspects of Chinese as well as overall Chinese.
Meanwhile, Table 2 shows that all the self-ratings in Chinese competence were highly positively correlated to each other, with coefficients ranging from .749 to .894 (P [less than or equal to] 001). This means that a student self-rated his/her competence in one aspect of Chinese higher tended to do so in other aspects of Chinese. Motivation to learn Chinese
Analyses of the Chinese Learning Motivation Questionnaire (CLMQ) data revealed that the respondents scored 46.32 (SD = 6.94) with an actual score range of 26 to 55 on 11-item Integrative Motivation (possible score range = 11-55) and scored 17.02 (SD = 3.23) with an actual score range of 5 to 20 on 4-item Instrumental Motivation (possible score range = 4-20).
The mean and standard deviation (SD) of each individual CLMQ item are reported in Table 3, which shows that the students scored 4.03 to 4.49 on nine Integrative Motivation items and around 3.8 on two Integrative Motivation items. The two highest scored Integrative Motivation items were "I ... speak more languages than just my mother tongue" (mean = 4.49, SD = .84) and "I ... understand all the Chinese I see and hear" (mean = 4.46, SD = .86). Meanwhile, the students scored 4.09 to 4.52 on the four Instrumental Motivation items. The two highest scored Instrumental Motivation items were "... Chinese may be helpful in my future career" (mean = 4.52, SD = .77) and "Chinese may make me a more qualified job candidate" (mean = 4.21, SD = 1.02). All these findings indicate that the students had a fairly high integrative and instrumental motivation to study Chinese.
The finding reported on CLMQ was generally consistent with that of the interview data. The interview data showed that the interviewees studied Chinese because of such reasons as parent encouragement and support, being interested in the Chinese culture, being ethnically Chinese, China being powerful in certain fields, and Chinese being important in future career and personal development. For example, Kerstin (German, female) studied Chinese because "China is getting very important in the world and also I want to learn more about China to get a better job. Of course, 1 like it more after learning". Lin (Tajikistan, female) confided that "... My parents decided for me to come to china. China is developing fast. And if I study Chinese, it is better for my future or my job". To Xin (Japan, female), knowing more Chinese characters meant being more intellectual in Japan because it was so difficult to learn Chinese. Rouluo (Korea, female) studied Chinese because "I'm interested in international relations, especially the relations between North and South Korea. China plays a very important role on this issue". Lingao (Cambodia, male) studied Chinese because "my family has been doing business with the Chinese. It is important for me to learn Chinese".
Chinese Learning Motivation intensity
Analyses of the 7-item CLMIS (Chinese Learning Motivation Intensity Scale) data showed that the respondents scored 7 to 35 (mean = 25.32, SD = 5.04) (possible score range 7 to 35) on the CLMIS. As shown in Table 4, the participants scored 3.17 to 4.14 on the CLMIS items. The two highest ranked CLMIS items were "I ... trying to learn until I reach the skill level ..." (mean = 4.14, SD = .97) and "I ... improve my Chinese ..." (mean = 3.93, SD = 1.05). The two lowest ranked items were "... I ignore distractions and stick to the job at hand" (mean = 3.17, SD = 1.09) and "I learn Chinese ... almost every day" (mean = 3.29, SD = 1.27).
Use of Chinese outside of class
The sum of the eight UCOCP (Use of Chinese Outside of Class Profile) items represented the number of hours per day that the students were involved in speaking, listening, reading and writing activities in Chinese outside of class. Analyses of the data showed that the students generally spent 0 to 65 hours per day (mean = 11.18, SD = 8.98) participating in activities using Chinese in different ways. To be more specific, they generally spent an average of 1.228, 3.532, 1.374 and 1.063 hours listening to, speaking, reading and writing Chinese respectively every day. This largely conformed to what was reported in the interviews. All the interviewees reported being willing and trying to use Chinese in various situations as much as possible outside of class to improve Chinese proficiency, to know more native-like expressions, and to know more about China and the Chinese culture. For example, Zhenzhong (Chile, female) reflected that "I am willing to use Chinese outside of class. I participated in many extracurricular activities like charity selling-tutoring, New Year Party, and International Students Carnival. I improved my Chinese and bettered my understanding of China. Now I like China pretty much".
As presented in Table 5, the highest ranked UCOCP item was speaking (mean = 3.532, SD = 2.09), followed by writing homework assignments (mean = 1.72, SD = 1.53). The lowest ranked UCOCP item was writing e-mails, personal notes or letters (mean = .94, SD = 1.46), followed by filling in forms or questionnaires (mean = .053, SD = .83).
Correlations between motivation, motivation intensity, use of Chinese and self-rated Chinese competence
To explore the associations between motivation, motivation intensity, use of Chinese and Chinese competence, correlation analyses were run between UCOCP, the CLMQ, MIS, and self-rated competence in Chinese (To avoid Type I error, p values were lowered from .05 to .0056 and from .01 to .001) (see Table 6).
As seen from Table 6, Integrative Motivation was significantly positively correlated with Instrumental Motivation with a large effect size (r = .756, p [less than or equal to] 001); both Integrative (r = .236, p [less than or equal to] .0056) and Instrumental Motivation (r = .355, p [less than or equal to] 001) were significantly positively correlated with the CLMIS, with a medium effect size; and UCOCP was significantly positively related to Integrative Motivation (r = .223, p [less than or equal to] .0056). These findings suggest that a student who reported greater Integrative Motivation tended to be more instrumentally motivated, have more use of Chinese outside of class and greater motivation intensity, and that a student with higher Instrumental Motivation tended to have greater Motivation Intensity to learn Chinese, or vice versa.
Integrative, Instrumental Motivation and UCOCP were positively while the CLMIS was negatively related to self-rated competence in listening, speaking, reading, writing and overall Chinese. Of all the coefficients, only the coefficients between UCOCP and SCLC (r = .280, P [less than or equal to] .001) and between the CLMIS and SCLC (r = -.222, P [less than or equal to] .0056) were statistically significant, with a medium effect size. These findings indicate that a student who used Chinese more often outside of class tended to self-rate higher his/her competence in listening Chinese, and that a student who reported greater motivation intensity tended to self-rate lower his/her competence in listening Chinese, or vice versa.
Predictors for self-rated competence in Chinese
To explore the predictors for self-rated competence in Chinese, multiple regression analyses were conducted in the study, with Integrative Motivation, Instrumental Motivation, the CLMIS and UCOCP being independent variables and each of the five self-ratings in Chinese competence being the dependent variable, respectively. The results are summarized in Table 7.
As seen from Table 7, 2 models were yielded with the change in [R.sup.2] being all significant for self-rated listening Chinese competence (SCLC): .078 for model 1 (UCOCP) and .055 for model 2 (UCOCP & CLMIS); 2 models were produced with the change in [R.sup.2] being all significant for self-rated competence in speaking Chinese (SCSC): .047 for model 1 (CLMIS) and .028 for model 2 (CLMIS & UCOCP); 1 model was generated with the change in [R.sup.2] being significant for self-rated competence in writing Chinese (SCWC): .039 for model 1 (UCOCP); 2 models were produced with the change in [R.sup.2] being all significant for self-rated competence in overall Chinese (SCOC): .037 for model 1 (UCOCP) and .037 for model 2 (UCOCP & CLMIS); and no model was yielded for self-rated competence in reading Chinese. Table 8 also shows that UCOCP ([beta] = .166 ~ 2.90, t = 2.170 ~ 3.898) was a positive and CLMIS (P = -.234 ~ -.194, t = -3.147 ~ -2.527) a negative predictor for self-rated competence in Chinese, with a medium effect size.
Motivation to learn Chinese. The present study revealed that the participants had high Integrative and Instrumental Motivation to learn Chinese, as found in Wesely (2009) and Hernandez (2010b) in other SA contexts. The participants were motivated to learn Chinese mainly because of the desire to speak more languages than the mother tongue and understand all the Chinese they encountered and the importance of Chinese to their future job/career. This was not surprising considering that they were in the native language environment in which they normally had enough contact with Chinese to form attitudes towards Chinese and understand its culture, as found in studies in SL or native language contexts (Allen, 2010; Gardner et al., 1983; Hernandez, 2010a, 2010b; Humphreys & Spratt, 2008). Similar to their counterparts in Allen (2010) who reported high linguistic and career-oriented motives and saw the choice to study abroad as either a critical step to achieving fluency in French or a means of travel and cultural learning, the participants in the present research considered it important to understand Chinese and its culture and communicate in Chinese and were aware of the importance of Chinese in their future job/ career. In addition, the interviewees reported being motivated to study Chinese for family reasons (e.g., parent support and encouragement, being ethnically Chinese, and family business) and being intellectual, meaning that more orientations should be added to their motivation continuum.
Chinese learning motivation intensity. As found in Humphreys and Spratt (2008), the participants reported high motivation intensity to learn Chinese in the present study. Nevertheless, compared with Integrative and Instrumental Motivation, the reported motivation intensity was not high, as the mean CLMIS score was only 25.32 and the mean score of only one CLMIS item exceeded 4 (mean = 4.14) in the present study. This might be because they did not intentionally make special efforts to learn Chinese since they were in the language environment every day. This finding, however, also implies that high motivation does not necessarily lead to great efforts to learn the TL.
Use of Chinese outside of class. The results of the present study indicate that the participants generally made a good use of the opportunities to use Chinese. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the standard deviations of the UCOCP items were fairly high, indicating a significant variation in the number of hours per day spent in listening to, speaking, reading, and writing Chinese. This suggests that though some informants spent much time participating in various activities involving Chinese, some or even many participants did not take advantage of the opportunity provided by the SA context to get involved in various use-of-Chinese activities (Kinginer, 2010; Magnan & Back, 2007).
Correlations between motivation, motivation intensity, use of Chinese and self-rated Chinese competence. The present study, as found in many others (Dornyei, 1994, 2005; Gardner, 1985; Humphreys & Spratt, 2008; Liu & Zhang, 2013; Spolsky, 2000; Tremblay & Gardner, 1995), revealed that Integrative Motivation, Instrumental Motivation, and Motivation Intensity were significantly positively correlated. This was not surprising in that different theories conceptualize Integrative and Instrumental Motivation to be closely related and accompanied by motivation efforts (Dornyei, 2005; Gardner, 1985; Gardner & Lambert, 1972; Tremblay & Gardner, 1995).
As discussed by Gardner and his associates (Gardner, 1985; Gardner et al., 1983; Tremblay & Gardner, 1995), Integrative Motivation is determined by more general attitudes and beliefs towards the TL, involving an interest in the TL and its people, the cultural and intellectual values it conveys, as well as the new stimuli arising during the process of learning/using the language. Consequently, it was not surprising that use of Chinese outside of class was significantly positively related to Integrative Motivation in the present study.
Consistent with the general belief that language contact facilitates competence in the TL, especially oral competence in the TL (DeKeyser, 2007; Perez-Vidal & Juan-Garau, 2011), the present research revealed significant positive correlations between use of Chinese outside of class and self-rated competence in Chinese. Contrary to the assumption that motivation helps enhance competence in the TL (Allen, 2010; Dornyei & Csizer, 2006; Liu & Zhang, 2013; Wesely, 2009; Yamashita, 2015; Zhao & Li, 2014), the present research found that Motivation Intensity was significantly negatively correlated with self-rated competence in Chinese. This might be because students who self-rated their competence in Chinese lower made greater efforts to study Chinese while those self-rated their competence in Chinese higher made lower efforts to study Chinese. Nevertheless, whether it is true needs further research.
Predictors for self-rated competence in Chinese. Different from Martinsen (2008) and Segalowitz and Freed (2004) who found that interaction was not a significant predictor for changes in students' oral skills, the present study showed that use of Chinese outside of class was a critical predictor for self-rated competence in listening, speaking, writing and overall Chinese, partially consistent with the finding in Hernandez (2010b) and Du (2013). This substantiates the crucial role of interaction and socialization in SL/FL learning, even in the SA context (Alcon-Soler, 2015; Dewaele & Regan, 2002; Goldoni, 2013; Hernandez, 2010b; Martinsen, 2011). As found in Du (2013), the amount of time that the participants spent using Chinese was the most influential factor in determining fluency development in China.
Surprisingly, though neither Integrative nor Instrumental Motivation was a good predictor for self-rated competence in Chinese, Motivation Intensity was a good negative predictor for self-rated competence in listening, speaking and overall Chinese. This not only further attests to the belief that motivation efforts are more determining in SL/FL learning (Csizer & Kormos, 2008) but supports the previously discussed assumption that students with lower self-rated competence in the TL make greater efforts to study the TL and those with higher self-rated competence in the TL make lower efforts to study the TL.
Conclusions and Implications
The present research examined the relationships between motivation, motivation intensity, use of Chinese outside of class and self-rated competence in Chinese. The study revealed the following findings:
1. the participants reported having high Integrative Motivation, Instrumental Motivation and motivation intensity to learn Chinese, and having a high use of Chinese outside of class,
2. Integrative Motivation, Instrumental Motivation and Motivation Intensity were significantly positively correlated; use of Chinese outside of class was significantly positively related to Integrative Motivation; use of Chinese outside of class was significantly positively and Motivation Intensity significantly negatively correlated with self-rated competence in listening Chinese,
3. use of Chinese outside of class and Motivation Intensity were powerful predictors for self-rated competence in Chinese.
These findings indicate that contact with the TL is crucial in enhancing motivation and competence in the language, even in the SA context.
As discussed in Martinsen (2008), repetitive and simple interaction may not provide the experiences students need to improve their oral skills, it is necessary for language instructors to assign various tasks to learners of Chinese and encourage them to participate in a multitude of activities both in and outside class so that they have more use of complex Chinese in written and/or oral forms, as found in Knight and Schmidt-Rinehart (2010). University administrators can also create (more) opportunities for learners to participate in various activities with the local students/people, as suggested in Du (2013) and in Young, Johnson, Hawthorne and Pugh (2011) which found that perceived social support was a predictor of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
Meanwhile, it is better for learners themselves to be willing to engage in various activities involving the use of Chinese. Only in this way can they have more real use of Chinese in diverse forms. With more use of Chinese to varying degrees in various situations, they will naturally become more competent in Chinese, understand more of the culture and the differences between the Chinese culture and their home cultures, as found in Du (2013) which revealed that students who consistently spoke Chinese in and outside of class helped improve fluency in Chinese. Moreover, consistent and meaningful contacts with the TL and its culture help develop an appreciation for diversity through the language, as discussed in Kinginger (2010). During the process, learners may gradually form more objective or even positive attitudes towards Chinese, its people and culture. Gradually, they may become more interested in Chinese culture and more integratively motivated to study Chinese, as discussed in Gardner (1985), Dornyei (1994, 2005) and Tremblay and Gardner (1995). As they come to realize the importance of Chinese in their future life, they may become more instrumentally motivated to learn the language as well, because being intrinsically interested in a language definitely involves some knowledge about the nature of the language: its power and its role in one's personal life (Ramage, 1990).
Concurrently, as they understand more about the Chinese culture and become more aware of the differences between the host culture and their home cultures, they may become more culturally sensitive. As discussed in Martinsen (2008), a more culturally sensitive learner may learn more from his/her interactions in Chinese because of a better understanding and appreciation of cultural differences.
Finally, though the present study revealed interesting findings about the associations between motivation, motivation intensity, use of Chinese and self-rated Chinese competence, certain limitations exist due to various constraints. For example, the present study did not examine the role of individual differences such as personality, anxiety, and willingness to communicate, all of which might have affected students' motivation to learn Chinese, as discussed in Du (2013) and Goldoni (2013). Thus, further research should better cover these variables as well as contextual factors as suggested in Ramage (1990) and Dornyei (1994, 2005). Further research can also examine the relationship between motivation and identity, because SA creates a rich context to link motivation to studying the TL (Ushioda, 2011).
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Dr. Meihua Liu
People s Republic of China
Table 1: Characteristics of Instruments (N = 162) No. of Reliability Mean item-total items correlation (p = .01) Use of Chinese Outside of 8 .734 .50 Class Profile (UCOCP) Integrative Motivation 10 .841 .54 Instrumental Motivation 5 .801 .60 Chinese-Lcaming Motivation 15 .892 .57 Questionnaire (CLMQ) Chinese Learning Motivation 7 .799 .54 Intensity Scale (CLMIS) Table 2: Means, Standard Deviations, and Association between Self-rated Competence in Chinese (N = 162) Mean SD SCSC SCRC SCWC SCOC SCLC 3.24 1.25 .865 ** .810 ** .749 ** .841 ** SCSC 3.04 1.27 1 .851 ** .831 ** .894 ** SCRC 3.20 1.17 1 .877 ** .888 ** SCWC 2.90 1.28 1 .866 ** SCOC 3.07 1.16 1 Notes: ** = p < .01; SCLC = self-rated competence in listening Chinese SD = standard deviation; SCSC = self-rated competence in speaking Chinese SCRC = self-rated competence in reading Chinese SCWC = self-rated competence in writing Chinese SCOC = self-rated competence in overall Chinese Table 3: Means and Standard deviations of CLMQ Items (N = 162) CLMQ items Subscale Mean SD 32. I want to be able to speak more Integrative 4.49 .84 languages than just my mother tongue. 26. I want to understand all the Chinese Integrative 4.46 .86 I sec and hear. 38. I want to be able to communicate with Integrative 4.40 .92 native speakers of Chinese. 31. I want to be able to use it with Integrative 4.39 .89 Chinese-speaking friends/acquaintances. 33. I want to learn about another culture Integrative 4.27 .93 to understand the world better. 36. I feel that Chinese is an important Integrative 4.27 .97 language in the world. 35. I think foreign language study is Integrative 4.15 .98 part of a well-rounded education. 27. I want to use Chinese when I travel Integrative 4.10 1.16 to a Chinese-speaking region. 40. Being a person who knows Chinese is Integrative 4.03 .98 important to me. 29. I am interested in Chinese culture, Integrative 3.895 1.15 history, or literature. 28. I want to be able to converse with Integrative 3.86 1.27 Chinese speakers in my country. 30. I feel that Chinese may be helpful in Instrumental 4.52 .77 my future career. 34. Chinese may make me a more qualified Instrumental 4.21 1.02 job candidate. 37. I feel that knowledge of Chinese will Instrumental 4.19 1.10 give me an edge in competing with others. 39. I feel that Chinese will enhance my Instrumental 4.09 .97 resume or C.V. Table 4: Means and Standard Deviations of CLMIS Items (N = 162) CLMIS items Mean SD 47. I will not stop trying to learn until I reach 4.14 .97 the skill level in Chinese that I seek. 45. I intend to improve my Chinese as much as 1 3.93 1.05 can. 46. I am willing to dedicate time and effort to 3.78 .94 learning Chinese even if it is not convenient. 42. When I have a problem understanding something 3.68 1.02 we arc learning in a Chinese class, I always try to find the answer (Think back to your most recent class). 43. 1 really work hard to learn Chinese. 3.32 1.10 41. I learn Chinese by working on it almost every 3.29 1.27 day. 44. When I am learning Chinese, I ignore 3.17 1.09 distractions and stick to the job at hand. Table 5: Means and Standard Deviations of UCOCP Items (N = 162) Mean Standard Minimum Maximum deviation 18 Speaking in Chinese 3.532 2.09 0 13 outside of class 20 reading emails, Web 1.58 2.00 0 10 pages, schedules, announcements, menus and the like in Chinese outside of class 23 writing homework 1.72 1.53 0 10 assignments in Chinese outside of class 22 listening to Chinese 1.21 2.17 0 20 movies or music outside of class 21 listening to Chinese 1.15 1.93 0 12 television or radio programs outside of class 19 reading Chinese 111 1.61 0 12 newspapers, novels, and or magazines, outside of class 24 writing e-mails, personal .94 1.46 0 10 notes or letters in Chinese outside of class 25 filling in forms or .053 .83 0 5 questionnaires in Chinese outside of class Table 6: Correlations between the UCOCP, CLMQ, CLMIS, and Self-rated Chinese competence (N = 162) InteM InstM CLMIS SCLC SCSC SCRC SCWC UCOCP .223 * .165 .044 .280 ** .156 .136 .199 InteM 1 .756 ** .236 * -.009 .040 .032 .050 InstM 1 .355 ** .038 .054 .089 .061 CLMIS I -.222 * -.217 -.135 -.118 SCOC UCOCP .193 InteM .051 InstM .072 CLMIS -.185 Notes: InteM = Integrative Motivation; InstM = Instrumental Motivation CLMIS = Chinese learning Motivation Intensity Scale; * = P <.0056, ** = P <.001 coefficient of determination: small = r < 0.1; medium = r = 0.3; large = r > 0.5 (Cohen, 1988) Table 7: Predictors for Self-rated Competence in Chinese (N = 162) P t P VIF Cohen's [f.sup.2] SCLS UCOCP .290 3.898 .000 1.002 .079 CLMIS -.234 -3.147 .002 1.002 .133 SCSC CLMIS -.224 -2.927 .004 1.002 .048 UCOCP .166 2.170 .032 1.002 .076 SCSC UCOCP .199 2.556 .012 1.000 .040 SCSC UCOCP .201 2.626 .009 1.002 .037 CLMIS .194 -2.527 .012 1.002 .076 Notes: effect size of Cohen's [f.sup.2]: small = [f.sup.2] [less than or equal to] .02; medium = [f.sup.2] = .15; large = [f.sup.2] [greater than or equal to] .35 (Cohen, 1988)
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|Author:||Liu, Dr. Meihua|
|Publication:||College Student Journal|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2017|
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