Motivation, Gender, and Learner Performance of English as an L3 in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

Rayhangül Ahåt


Gender is considered as one of the important variables that effects learner motivation in second or foreign language acquisition. It is also believed that learner motivation has an impact on learner performance as well. Using the expectancy-value theory model of achievement motivation, this study aimed at exploring (1) the impact of gender differences on motivation and (2) motivational variables that predict learner performance in the context of English as an L3. The participants in this study were ethnic minority students (mainly Uygur) of a university in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. Results of both quantitative and qualitative analyses showed that female students held greater attainment and intrinsic values than male students; the study results also revealed that expectancy and cost are motivational variables that better predict the minority students’ EFL performance in the context of English as an L3. These findings support the notion that females are more interested in the target culture and interaction with its speakers than males in EFL learning. On the basis of these results, the author discusses possible factors that influence ethnic minority learners’ motivation in learning English as an L3 and provides suggestions on how to motivate male students and help them to improve performance in the process of English teaching in the context of bilingual education in Xinjiang.

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Copyright (c) 2013 Rayhangül Ahåt

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English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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