نقش پیش بینی اعتماد به نفس زبانی، انگیزش یکپارچه و مهارت در زبان دوم در تطابق میان فرهنگی
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Volume 36, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 72–82
This paper reported on the results of a questionnaire survey conducted with 198 Mainland Chinese international students across five different faculties in an Australian university studying for their bachelor, master and doctorate degrees. This research investigated the predicting effects of linguistic confidence in a second language (L2), integrative motivation and L2 proficiency on cross-cultural adaptation of Mainland Chinese international students in Australia. Results indicated that linguistic confidence in L2 was particularly important and L2 proficiency and integrative motivation were additionally important for both socio-cultural and academic adaptation for Mainland Chinese international students. In addition, differences in major study variables between faculties were examined and results indicated that students from the Faculty of Engineering and Information and those from the Faculty of Economics and Business respectively reported the highest and the lowest level of linguistic confidence, L2 proficiency and socio-cultural adaptation among the five faculties sampled. Implications to host institutions, host faculties, international students and future research were also considered in the paper.
Studying in a multicultural environment has become overwhelmingly popular all over the world. Higher education in well-developed countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, have been receiving increasing numbers of international students mainly from Asian countries, particularly Mainland China in the past two decades (Marginson & McBurnie, 2004). Among English-speaking destinations, Australia was ranked as the third largest recipient of overseas higher education students behind the United States and the United Kingdom (Reserve Bank of Australia, 2008). Moreover, Australia hosted the highest proportion of international students in higher education tertiary type A programs in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which accounted for one-tenth of the world market for international higher education (Bradley, Noonan, Nugent, & Scales, 2008). The population of international students in Australian higher education has been increasing with a tremendous speed, growing from 21,000 in 1989 to over 250,000 in 2007, among which over 80% of international students are from Asia, including 21% from Mainland China (Bradley et al., 2008). While international students made great contributions to overseas academic communities (i.e. enriching culture diversity and bringing financial income), they often encountered challenges in adaptation to new learning contexts, with many facing daunting linguistic and academic challenges (Devos, 2003, Leder and Forgasz, 2004 and Skyrme, 2007). In a recent study of international students in Australia, Sawir (2005) identified a number of problems (e.g. linguistic confidence, English proficiency and motivation) international students had in coping with second language (L2) and highlighted that the lack of confidence in speaking L2 was one of the more serious learning difficulties facing international students. L2 research (cf. Dörnyei, 2005, Noels et al., 2001 and Noels et al., 2000) consistently supported that motivation was a vital factor determining a learner's success in learning languages. Moreover, integrative motivation was often believed to be more powerful than instrumental in a successful Second Language Acquisition (SLA) ( Dörnyei, 1990, Gardner and Lambert, 1959 and Gardner and Lambert, 1972). Research on motivation and adaptation also showed that integrative motivation played a very important and positive role in determining a successful socio-cultural/academic adaptation (Yu, 2010). Previous research identified that difficulties with L2 and the target culture affected both academic and social-cultural adaptation (cf.Robertson, Line, Jones, & Thomas, 2000). However, there was little empirical research identifying what kinds of L2 variables were critical in cross-cultural adaptation, and even fewer showing how L2 variables affected cross-cultural adaptation. This research, for the first time, examined three L2-related variables in a single study, namely linguistic confidence, integrative motivation and L2 proficiency, and tested their predicting relationships with cross-cultural adaptation of Mainland Chinese international students in Australia.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
5.1. Linguistic confidence in L2 as a major predictor of cross-cultural adaptation Linguistic confidence in L2 was found to be a critical predictor of both socio-cultural and academic adaptation. Previous research documented that increased linguistic confidence in L2 was associated with increased identification with the L2 group and increased psychological adaptation (cf. Noels and Clément, 1996 and Noels et al., 1996), but there was no direct empirical evidence on the relationships between linguistic confidence in L2 and socio-cultural/academic adaptation. This study confirmed that linguistic confidence in L2 was a strong predictor for cross-cultural adaptation, and further indicated that it was a better predictor of cross-cultural adaptation than integrative motivation and L2 proficiency. Self-confidence in using English as L2 was related to linguistic acculturation and might also be related to cultural acculturation in certain contexts ( Dion et al., 1990 and Pak et al., 1985). That might help explain why linguistic confidence was so crucial for effective socio-cultural adaptation of international students sampled. The best predictor of academic adaptation was linguistic confidence in L2 too. The possible reason was as follows. The ability to communicate with academics and fellow students was essential to trans-cultural adaptation in an academic setting (Zimmerman, Ramirez-Valles, Washienko, Walter, & Dyer, 1996). Linguistic confidence in L2 was found as the strongest predictor of WTC in many studies (cf. Baker and MacIntyre, 2000, MacIntyre et al., 2001 and McCroskey and Richmond, 1991). Therefore, it was through communication that international students learnt to relate to the learning environment and were able to fulfil various academic tasks. Consequently, harmonious academic adaptation occurred when international students were capable of communicating with L2 group (Kim, 1988) including academics and peers, which was facilitated by an enhanced confidence in L2. 5.2. Integrative motivation as a significant predictor of cross-cultural adaptation Integrative motivation turned out to play a significant role in the process of cross-cultural adaptation in the students sampled. It was found to be a significant predictor of both socio-cultural and academic adaptation and a better predictor of academic adaptation than L2 proficiency. According to Dörnyei (2003), the core aspect of integrative disposition laid in identification with the L2 community psychologically and emotionally. For the Mainland Chinese international students in this research, the L2 community was mainly local community off campus and the faculty staff and their classmates on campus. A high degree of integrative motivation would directly determine a high degree of interaction with local people and faculty members and classmates. Such a high level of interaction could enhance cross-cultural adaptation (Yu, 2010), especially academic adaptation (Tinto, 1993 and Yu, 2010). 5.3. Faculty differences in study variables This study found significant differences in the major study variables except for integrative motivation. Post-hoc comparison suggested that students from the Faculty of Engineering and Information reported significant higher level of linguistic confidence while those from the Faculty of Economics and Business reported significant lower level of L2 proficiency and socio-cultural adaptation than the rest. On the whole, students from the Faculty of Engineering and Information and students from the Faculty of Economics and Business scored highest and lowest in major study variables except for integrative motivation. It should be noted that the majority of the student sample was from the Faculty of Economics and Business, which suggested that majors relating to Economic and Business were very popular among Mainland Chinese international students. However, students from that Faculty seemed not satisfied with their socio-cultural adaptation and not confident in their L2 competence, and they reported low level of L2. The above findings could be interpreted in two perspectives. Firstly, L2-related variables turned out to play predicting roles in academic/socio-cultural adaptation. Previous studies found that international students faced many challenges elicited by new cultural and academic tasks, and those challenges were often related to difficulties with the English language and culture, which affected both academic and social-cultural adaptation (Robertson et al., 2000). This study appeared to agree on the positive relationships between L2-related variables and academic/socio-cultural adaptation, and further proposed that the differences in L2-related variables might account for the differences in academic/socio-cultural adaptation between faculties. Secondly, the differences between the faculties suggested that students’ academic/socio-cultural adaptation might vary with different degrees of understanding and support from the different faculties. Faculty often misinterpreted the behaviour and attitudes of international students (Andrade, 2006). For example, international students often attributed their lack of participation to the difficulty with the L2, anxiety and lack of confidence (Robertson et al., 2000). Professors, conversely, perceived this lack of involvement to be cultural rather than linguistic. In such a way, faculty academics might not be fully prepared for teaching international students by the most effective approach. In order to help international students’ adaptation, it would be very useful to have a deep understanding of international students’ needs in and outside of the classroom, and provide relevant training or tailor-made programs for international students.