This study employed the L2 Motivational Self-System (Dörnyei, 2005) as a framework to compare differences in the types of motivation reported by Chinese learners of English in a foreign language context (China) and a second language context (USA). It followed up on studies by Taguchi, Magid, and Papi (2009) and You and Dörnyei (2016). The participants consisted of 61 current students at an American university who come from Mainland China. This study adopted a mixed-method approach, using an internet-based questionnaire followed by an individual interview. The investigation aimed to explore what types of English learning motivation Chinese students have in different contexts, as well as to compare the shift in Chinese students' motivation when they move from an EFL (China) to an ESL (USA) context. A recent study conducted by You & Dörnyei (2016), provided a solid empirical description of the main features of language learning motivation in China. The detailed information presented in You & Dörnyei's study serves as a baseline to further explore the differences in English learner motivation in different settings. The findings of this study can be used as a reference to align English language learners' motivational self-system with their own pattern of development.
College and Department
Humanities; Linguistics and English Language
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Li, Rui, "Differences in the Motivations of Chinese Learners of English in Different (Foreign or Second Language) Contexts" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 6299.
L2 motivational self system, EFL, ESL, variation of motivation, different settings