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Title: EFL learning motivation in Shanghai upper-secondary students and the influence of important others
Author: Zhu, Die
ISNI:       0000 0001 3577 782X
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2007
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This study aims to investigate the extent and styles of English learning motivation and how it is influenced by three types of important others - parents, teachers and peers - for upper-secondary-level students in Shanghai, one of China's leading cities currently spearheading many of her English reform initiatives. A survey strategy has been used involving seven academic schools of varying status. In the main study, 610 'usable' questionnaire responses were obtained, followed by 64 'usable' interviews. The research design has been mainly informed by two influential perspectives from the field Gardner's social-educational theory and Deci and Ryan's (1985) self-determination theory. The main results from this study are as follows. (1) On a six-point Likert scale ranging from 'very high' to 'no motivation at all', 4.4% of the survey respondents reported their overall strength of English-learning motivation was 'very high', 28.4% 'fairly high' and 46.7% 'medium'. (2) Their regulation was predominantly 'external regulatory', followed by 'identified regulatory'. (3) A factor analysis produced a threefactor solution of the reasons for learning English: integrative, life/career aspects and external pressure. These serve as evidence that the more traditional orientations (integrative and instrumental) can be relevant to a wide range of EFL contexts including the city of Shanghai; additionally, the exam-tied Eastern cultures may have elements unique to that situation. (4) The influence of important others was positive but small, with teachers being viewed as most influential, which is followed by parents and peers. Those groups of people generally illustrate positive but limiting English-related attitudes or reasoning, which is in tune with a collective understanding of the society. (5) Additionally, prevalent means of parental, teacher and peer influences have been identified; specifically in the cases of parents and teachers, the gap between prevalent practices and the 'wanted' strategies has been highlighted. (6) Finally, in the aspect of value transmitting, SDT-based data illustrate that parents, teachers and peers appear to have varied degrees of influence on the students' orientations, regulatory styles and certain types of motivated behaviour. The findings have a number of implications for practice, future research and policy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available