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Determinants of international students’ adaptation: examining effects of integrative motivation, instrumental motivation and second language proficiency

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This study examined the influence of integrative motivation, instrumental motivation and second language (L2) proficiency on socio-cultural/academic adaptation in a sample of two groups of international students studying Chinese in China. Results revealed that the non-Asian student group reported higher levels of integrative motivation, socio-cultural adaptation and Chinese language proficiency than the Asian student group, who reported a higher level of instrumental motivation. No significant difference was found in academic adaptation between the two groups. Moreover, the relationships between study variables are the same across Asian and non-Asian student groups. Further evidence from this research indicated that socio-cultural adaptation was influenced more by integrative motivation and less by L2 proficiency. Integrative motivation was found to be the only significant predictor of academic adaptation. Implications for future research are discussed.

Keywords: L2 proficiency; academic adaptation; instrumental motivation; integrative motivation; international students; socio-cultural adaptation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Publication date: 2012-10-01

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