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LiBRI Journal – Changes in Motivation Among Chinese English-Major Students in Different Academic Years and the Relationship Between their Motivations and Strategies

The challenge of mastering another language can affect the students’ motivation and learning approach in several ways during the learning process and depending on their language level. In the paper Changes in Motivation Among Chinese English-Major Students in Different Academic Years and the Relationship Between their Motivations and Strategies, author Guo Xinhua prepares a questionnaire survey to investigate the changes that occur in the motivation of Chinese English-major students, as well as the connection between their motivations and strategies.

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262 students from the Xi’an International University were invited to complete the survey before class, and the participants submitted their answers online after the completion of the questionnaire. The results aimed to answer the following research questions:

  1. Are there any differences in the use of learning strategies among students in different years?
  2. Are there any differences in motivation among students in different academic years? If yes, how does the motivation change as students study in different years?
  3. Are there any differences in use of learning strategies among students with different overall motivation?
  4. Which learning strategy is most closely related to motivation among Chinese English-major students?

After investigating the differences of strategies use and motivation through descriptive analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA), it was found that there is no significant difference in the use of strategies among students in different years. Furthermore, cognitive and metacognitive strategies are usually preferred by Chinese English-major students, rather than memory strategy.

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These results are followed by the analysis of changes of the motivation in different years, as well as the difference in use of learning strategies among students with different strength of motivation and the correlation between motivation and strategies among students. Seven different motivations were examined, out of which the learning situation motivation stood out across the different years, by showing the greatest difference. It is also important to notice not only that the survey conducted by the author showed an increasing motivation with the advancement of academic years, but also that the more motivated students were, the more frequently learning strategies were used.

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Even though the study had some limitations which will be improved in future research (such as interviews, autonomy, a larger number of participants), the author was able to put forward three pedagogical suggestions that include the importance of group activities, finding out what are the students’ favorite teaching materials and using them in class, introducing effective learning strategies to less motivated students, etc.

You will be able to learn more about the methodology, results, and conclusions of this study in the upcoming issue of LiBRI, this month.