Career Goals and L2 Motivation:An Investigation of Chinese College English Major’s L2 Motivational Drives

| January 2, 2014
Career Goals and L2 Motivation:An Investigation of Chinese College English Major’s L2 Motivational Drives

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Gareth Morris

This dissertation is presented to the Faculty of Education in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Masters in Education, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages degree programme

Exeter University
September 2011

This dissertation focuses on Chinese college English majors’ language learning motives from a Career Goals perspective. To realise this, the most prominent motives which have been found to influence Chinese college students in their English language learning endeavours are assessed and compared in relation to the Career Goals motive. In addition, the effect that different year groups attribute to the prominence of this motive is also considered.

To collect the required information, an established, contextually appropriate motivation questionnaire was adopted, modified and ultimately utilised after a period of relatively robust testing. It was administered to 143 students enrolled at a well regarded university in Suzhou, a city in Eastern China. Coverage was afforded to eight motivational drives, with the specific focus being on the participants’ language learning motives at this specific juncture in their academic studies.

The subsequent results have indicated that Career Goals are a leading motivational force for action regarding English majors’ academic endeavours, and that this is true for all year groups. It was also illustrated that year group plays no significant role in determining to what extent this is the case, with results suggesting a generic universal strength of appeal. These are findings that also indicate that the motivational construct upon which this research was based has now become dated and, as such, is in need of a re-evaluation.

Based on the relevant literature, the personal experiences of the researcher and recent developments within China, the implication is that the language learning motives of the participants are inextricably bound up within the present day socio cultural environment. The recommendation therefore is that in the best interests of this particular cohort of students pedagogic changes are required, with more being done to aid learners to further channel their language learning efforts to the best effect.

Category: Thesis