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Title: Many languages, many motivations : a study of Hong Kong students' motivation to learn different target languages
Authors: Humphreys, G
Spratt, M
Keywords: Attitudes to English, Putonghua, French, German, Japanese
Hong Kong students' language attitudes
Language learning motivation
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ltd
Source: System, 2008, v. 36, no. 2, p. 313-335 How to cite?
Journal: System 
Abstract: This article reports the findings of a 2003 study involving 526 Hong Kong tertiary students, aiming to explore their motivation towards the learning of English, Putonghua and a chosen third language (French, German or Japanese). Based on Dörnyei's and Csizér's (2002) work [Dörnyei, Z., Csizér, K., 2002. Some dynamics of language attitudes and motivation: results of a nationwide survey. Applied Linguistics 23 (4), 421-462] on varying motivation towards different foreign languages among Hungarian school children, this study used an amended version of their questionnaire to examine possible varying motivation among Hong Kong respondents. Follow-up focus group interviews were also conducted; however, this paper focuses on the quantitative phase of the study. The results reveal quite distinct patterns of motivation towards the various languages, with the compulsory languages, English and Putonghua, being perceived as having a greater instrumental value than the chosen languages; but with English and the chosen languages being regarded more positively than Putonghua in affective terms. The paper describes these patterns, discusses the variables underlying them with suggested explanations from both inside and outside the socio-linguistic context of Hong Kong, and raises possible pedagogic implications. It also highlights similarities and differences between the findings of this study and those of Dörnyei and Csizér in a bid to contribute to the debate on models of motivation for L2 learning.
DOI: 10.1016/j.system.2007.09.010
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