Developing Motivation in ESL Learning in the Chinese Context

By Paul Throssell and Yiyu Zhao.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Motivation is crucial and imperative in positively achieving language learning goals. Learning English as a second language (ESL) is a demanding and challenging task which often makes Chinese students stressed, anxious and consequently unable to perform well in the English language classroom. Recent research into motivation in language learning has revealed that motivation has considerable benefits to facilitating the learning process as a means of improving students’ confidence and promoting class participation. A positive motivation enables language learners to become more focused and proficient in learning the use of another language. This paper critically examines the significance of motivation in English language learning in the Chinese context, and argues that increasing motivation can provide learners with significant advantages in improving confidence and enhancing classroom involvement in the language classroom. It is suggested that motivation, through development of a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, can be harnessed for positive student outcomes.

Keywords: Motivation, ESL Learning, Language Learning

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp.21-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 733.081KB).

Dr. Paul Throssell

Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Paul Throssell, is a lecturer in TESOL and writer on educational change. He has presented internationally on areas related to lifelong learning and innovative ways to engage learners. His doctorate focused upon agelessness transformation.

Yiyu Zhao

University of Tasmania, Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Yiyu Zhao has presented at international conferences on a range of issues related to improving effectiveness of English teaching in Asian settings. She is completing a postgraduate degree at the University of Tasmania.


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