Chinese university students' beliefs about second language acquisition
Xitian, Fu. 2015. Beliefs about Second Language Acquisition from Chinese University Students. Master's Thesis in Education. University of Jyväskylä. Department of Education. Beliefs about second language acquisition (SLA) have intrigued pioneer investigators for more than 30 years. However, until quite recently, most studies have been conduced in the Western school context. This study aims to investigate Chinese university students’ beliefs about second language acquisition (SLA) originating from a completely different social context. This study attempts to obtain new insights of English language learning as experienced by Chinese university students within a specific social cultural context. Two research questions were investigated in this study: 1) What beliefs about second language acquisition (English) do Chinese university students hold? 2) What differences are there in the beliefs about second language acquisition between Chinese and Finnish university students? The data consisted of self-portraits and their written interpretations from 81 students majoring in English, foreign language department from a university of center China. The data collection instrument used to collect data from Finnish language majors in a series of studies by Kalaja, Alanen and Dufva (Kalaja, Alanen & Dufva, 2008) was the same. In the task, students draw a self-portrait of themselves as English language learners, as well as an interpretation of their drawing on the reverse side of the paper. The findings of the study are compared with the results of the earlier studies on Finnish students. Both Finnish and Chinese students rely on the inner intelligence and intend to make use of learning tools in foreign language learning. While culturally constructed education, social contexts and past learning experiences resulted in the difference Chinese and Finnish students’ beliefs, including different feelings towards foreign language learning, different value of interaction to people from target language community, and different foreign language strategies etc. The reasons behind the different beliefs have been explored in depth. ...
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