International posture, attitudes and motivation among mainland Chinese EFL learners in Singapore

Thurston, Matthew (2015) International posture, attitudes and motivation among mainland Chinese EFL learners in Singapore. Malaysian Journal of ELT Research, 11 (2). pp. 1-16.

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This study investigated the reasons behind the perceived poor motivation of mainland Chinese EFL learners in Singapore, analysing students’ International Posture (Yashima, 2002, 2009), and also their attitudes to the local Chinese (L1) community. The study investigated the hypothesis that students who are less successful language learners will have weak International Posture and also a more positive attitude towards the local Chinese community. To test this hypothesis a mixed methods approach was used, with learners completing a questionnaire with both quantitative and qualitative questions. In
order to follow up on trends identified through the questionnaire, a semi-structured interview was then carried out with selected participants. Analysis of the results from the questionnaire shows all students displayed strong International Posture, but also that attitudes towards the local Chinese Singaporean community are a factor in determining language learning success. On the basis of these findings, a new draft motivational framework is proposed for EFL language learners studying overseas. This framework utilises the International Posture concept, but also adds attitudes to the L1 community. Through application of this framework, educators will be able to greater understand the motivation of EFL learners in their specific contexts.

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