International Journal of Education, Learning and Development (IJELD)

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The English Learning Motivation of Chinese High School Students: Cross-grade Survey Analysis


Existing literature indicates that motivation is the most powerful determining factor that influences the rate and success of second language learning (Jiang, 2016; Kramsch & Yin, 2018; Li & Edwards, 2017; Liu et al., 2016; Liu, 2016; You & Dörnyei, 2016; Zhi & Wang, 2019). Currently, there is a growing body of empirical research indicating the changes in second language learning motivation in different grades at the same or different schools (Chambers, 1999; Kim, 2011, 2012a, b; Lamb, 2007; Williams et al., 2002). The findings of previous studies have mostly shown that student second language learning motivation increases with increasing school grades. Do¨rnyei (2000) suggested that concentrating on the time dimension of second language motivation is crucial for comprehending the second language motivation of students. However, the temporal variations of second language motivation, particularly motivational changes at different Chinese high school grades, have not been sufficiently emphasized by second language motivation researchers, therefore, this quantitative research investigated the changes in Chinese high school students’ English learning motivation from Grade 10 to Grade 12. An English learning motivation questionnaire was used and administered to 3000 students from Grades 10 to 12 in public high schools across mainland China, and employed the reliability analysis and analysis of variance to analyze quantitative data. The statistical results revealed that Grade 12 students ranked highest in English learning motivation, followed by Grade 11 and Grade 10 students. Furthermore, the college entrance examination had a positive impact on Grade 12 students’ motivation to learn English.

Keywords: Chinese high school students, English learning motivation, ccollege eentrance eexamination, cross-grade analysis

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