Motivational changes and their affecting factors among students from different cultural backgrounds

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University students (N = 140) learning second or foreign languages in Australia were investigated to find whether their learning experience in a 12-week course changes their motivational intensity and their perceptions of classroom factors affecting their motivation. The study also attempted to detect any differences among the students from four different cultural/regional backgrounds; Europe & North America, North East Asia including China, Taiwan, Korea & Japan, Australia & New Zealand, and the rest. Questionnaire surveys were conducted twice, at the beginning and the end of the courses on the students learning English, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese to observe how their learning experiences affect their motivations and if they come to perceive the affecting factors differently. Results showed some significant differences in motivational intensity among the groups and also after the learning experience. The results identified the learning experience has either beneficial or detrimental influences on motivation and can alter the students’ perceptions of affecting factors. The study claims that students’ cultural and/or regional backgrounds can be an important factor to validate the discussion about motivation and also the learning experience may affect learners’ perceptions in different ways, depending on where the learners come from, where they learn what target language.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of CLaSic 2012
PublisherNational University of Singapore
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventClaSIC 2012: The Fifth CLS (Centre for Language Studies) International Conference - National University of Singapore, Singapore , Singapore
Duration: 6 Dec 20128 Dec 2012
Conference number: 5th


ConferenceClaSIC 2012
Abbreviated titleClaSIC 2012

CLaSIC 2012 – Culture in Foreign Language Learning: Framing and Reframing the Issue

The National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University de­fines culture as an integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thoughts, communications, languages, practices, beliefs, values, customs, courtesies, rituals, manners of interacting and roles, relationships and expected behaviors of a racial, ethnic, religious or social group; and the ability to transmit the above to succeeding generations. This de­finition of culture makes it obvious that language is more than just a means to express a culture; it is in fact an integral part of that culture. Language and culture are therefore closely intertwined and it is hardly possible to teach a language without culture, for culture provides the necessary context for language use. It is therefore not surprising that the US National Standards in Foreign Language Education lists the understanding of the target language culture and its perspectives, practices and products as a key objective of foreign language education.

In making the study of the role of culture in foreign language learning the theme of CLaSIC 2012, the Organizing Committee acknowledges its undoubted importance and encourages participants to actively contemplate and debate this essential issue. Through scholarly and critical interactions with a diverse range of subthemes, ranging from “culture, identity and motivation” to “intercultural language teaching” and “ethnographic approaches to language teaching,” it is hoped that a keener understanding of the multi-faceted relationship between culture and foreign language education can be achieved.


Culture and culture awareness in foreign language learning
Instructional approaches for culture teaching
Intercultural language teaching
Culture, identity and motivation
Acculturation and language socialization
Heritage language education
Assessment and evaluation in the teaching of culture
Curriculum and materials development for culture teaching
Educating teachers for culture teaching
Ethnographic approaches to language teaching
Study abroad and language contact
Transculturalism in foreign language learning
Sociolinguistics and foreign language teaching
Other topics
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