Exploring Oral English Learning Motivation in Chinese International Students with Low Oral English Proficiency





academic acculturation, Chinese students, oral English learning motivation


This study employed narrative inquiry to understand the oral English learning motivation of Chinese international students with low oral English proficiency through their academic acculturation stories. Expectancy-Value Theory served as the theoretical framework to inform the study design and the interpretation of results. Findings suggest all participants’ motivation for oral English learning increased as a result of the newly acquired high subjective value of spoken English during their academic acculturation. However, they experienced high levels of psychological stress during their academic acculturation due to their low oral English proficiency. Further, participants’ perceived expectancy of success for learning oral English declined as their academic acculturation progressed, negatively influencing their oral English learning motivation. Implications for various stakeholders are discussed.

Author Biographies

Deyu Xing, Queen's University, Canada

DEYU (CINDY) XING, MEd, is a recent graduate in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University, Canada. She earned both her BEc and BA at Beijing Foreign Studies University in China prior to Queen’s. She has worked in various educational settings, from language education centers to universities. Her current research interests include international students’ academic acculturation, second language acquisition, arts-informed research, at-risk youth, child development, and parenting.

Benjamin Bolden, Queen's University, Canada

BENJAMIN BOLDEN, PhD, music educator and composer, is an associate professor and the UNESCO Chair of Arts and Learning in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University, Canada. His research interests include arts education systems around the world, the learning and teaching of composing, creativity, arts-based research, preservice music teacher education, teacher knowledge, and teachers’ professional learning. As a teacher, Ben has worked with preschool, elementary, secondary, and university students in Canada, England, and Taiwan. Ben is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre and his compositions have been performed by a variety of professional and amateur performing ensembles. In 2016 he won the Choral Canada Competition for Choral Writing. Ben was editor of the Canadian Music Educator, journal of the Canadian Music Educators’ Association/L’Association canadienne des musiciens éducateurs, from 2007–2014. He is the proud father of three rascally boys.


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How to Cite

Xing, D., & Bolden, B. (2019). Exploring Oral English Learning Motivation in Chinese International Students with Low Oral English Proficiency. Journal of International Students, 9(3), 834–855. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v9i3.749



Research Articles (English)