Motivational Orientations and Selected Learner Variables of East Asian Language Learners in the United States


  • Jean Sook Ryu Yang

    1. Defense Language Institute
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      Jean Sook Ryu Yang (PhD, University of Kansas) is Assistant Professor at the Asian School II Defense Language Institute, Monterey, California.


ABSTRACT: In this study 341 college students enrolled in East Asian language classes were surveyed about their language learning motivational orientations (MOs). MO was classified and measured on seven subscales, as follows: integrative, instrumental, heritage-related, travel, interest, school-related, and language use. East Asian language learners were highly influenced by interest, language use, and integrative MOs. Integrative motivation was more important than instrumental motivation. The students had a stronger desire to learn speaking and listening skills than to learn reading and writing. The language of study, gender, heritage learner status, requirement, and language proficiency variables had statistically significant effects on students' MOs. Heritage learner status was the most important variable; MO differed remarkably depending on whether a student was a heritage learner or a nonheritage learner. Korean learners were more strongly motivated than Chinese or Japanese learners. Heritage learners fulfilling a requirement were the most strongly motivated group. Implications for East Asian language educators and administrators are discussed.