An investigation of English learning motivation disposition in Chinese universities

Yao Mengxi, Peter Crosthwaite


The study reported in this paper employed Dörnyei’s L2 motivational self system to investigate the correlation between motivational variables and L2 English learning, both within and between undergraduates and postgraduates. 210 university students (including undergraduate and postgraduate students) from two mainland Chinese universities completed online questionnaires and 7 of them were interviewed based on the L2 motivational self system. The results showed that students at both undergraduate and (post)graduate levels of study had a generally favourable disposition toward English learning, although the higher the education level of the student, the higher the importance of the ideal L2 self domain (and the notion of instrumentality-promotionwithin this domain) for English learning. Significant correlations were also found for undergraduate students between English learning achievement and ideal L2 self, as well as English learning achievement and attitudes to L2 learning, suggesting the clearer L2 self-image and more positive L2 learning attitude an undergraduate has, the higher the level of achievement in English learning they are likely to obtain.



L2 motivational self system; Chinese English language learners; motivation disposition; differences of English learning motivation, motivational variables; English learning achievement; China

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