Motivational factors in learning English of Hong Kong vocational students

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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Motivation is a complex and multifaceted concept. It is one of the main elements directly related to success in developing a second/foreign language (L2). The study employed the approach of self-completion questionnaire, semi-structured interview, diary notes and informal talk as research tools. This paper discusses the themes that emerged from the questionnaire and the analysis of the motivation for English language learning of Hong Kong vocational students. The findings show that participants regarded English as a functional language which was tied up with their careers. This is the same as that of previous research on attitudes towards learning English of Hong Kong students. Data also reveal that the participants have intrinsic and strong instrumental motivations. Some learn English for their own interest and others for pragmatic reasons. Students are intrinsically motivated; instrumentally-oriented; goal-oriented and socially motivated. In addition, participants’ motivational factors involved in learning the English language was found to be influenced and encouraged by many factors, namely: influences of significant others like parents, teachers and peers; educational influences; and self-achievement and selfesteem. These themes will be discussed in the context of Hong Kong. Motivational change is one of the important features, of which a discussion is included in this paper as well. The most important agent is, in fact, the students’ own ability of learning. To succeed, students need to learn to maintain interest, set goals, exercise self-efficacy and manage their own learning responsibilities. The role of others, like teachers is to present a quality and strategic instruction which can encourage the less motivated students to improve their English learning behavior; and promote an active learning environment. The present study will enable English teachers to better improve teaching strategies and teaching materials; and, thus, enhance more effective learning of English in the vocational setting of Hong Kong.

Source Publication

The International Symposium on Social Sciences (TISSS) and Hong Kong International Conference on Education, Psychology and Society (HKICEPS), 2013 Dec, Hong Kong

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