International Journal of English Language Teaching (IJELT)

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Chinese secondary school students

The English Learning Motivation of Chinese Secondary School Students: Cross-grade Survey Analysis (Published)

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 at different school levels 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 levels. 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 secondary school levels, have not been emphasized by second language motivation researchers, therefore, this quantitative research investigated the changes in Chinese secondary school students’ English learning motivation from junior high to high school. An English learning motivation questionnaire was used and administered to 3000 students from Grades 7 to 12 in public secondary schools across Mainland China, and employed the reliability analysis and analysis of variance to analyze quantitative data. The statistical results revealed that Chinese high school students ranked highest in English learning motivation, followed by junior high school students. Furthermore, the college entrance examination had a positive impact on high school students’ motivation to learn English.

Keywords: Chinese secondary school students, English learning motivation, college entrance examination, cross-grade analysis

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