Motivation to Study a Second Foreign Language: A Case of Chinese University Learners of German

Meihua Liu (Tsinghua University)

Article ID: 1333

Abstract


Not much research has been done on motivation to study a second, third or even fourth foreign language though learners of such languages have been increasing. To contribute to this, the present study examined German learning motivation of Chinese university students at different proficiency levels. A total of 297 German learners at three different proficiency levels at a university in Beijing filled in the questionnaires, of whom 191 answered the open-ended question and 50 were informally interviewed. Analyses of the data revealed the following major findings: (1) most respondents at each proficiency level had limited access to and little chance to use German, liked the language, studied it (very) hard and did not think the language was difficult, (2) students at different proficiency levels studied German for similar reasons such as major study/research, further education, future career, interest in foreign language learning and German, and (3)students at higher proficiency levels perceived German to be more difficult and worked harder on it. Students at higher proficiency levels were both integratively and instrumentally more motivated to study German and had greater motivation intensity as well. It is clear that students at different proficiency levels were motivated to study German and that students at the advanced level tended to be more integratively motivated than those at the beginning level. Based on these findings, some suggestions are discussed.


Keywords


Motivation, Foreign language, German

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30564/jiep.v2i4.1333

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