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Reading motivation and reading comprehension in Chinese and English among bilingual students

by Dan Lin, Ka Ki Wong, Catherine McBride-Chang
Reading and Writing ()

Abstract

One hundred four Hong Kong Chinese fifth graders completed a ques- tionnaire on eight separate motivational subscales related to reading separately for Chinese as a first language (L1) and English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to measures of both Chinese and English reading comprehension. Motivations related to self-efficacy, curiosity, involvement, recreation, and social-peer attitudes were significantly higher for L1 as compared to EFL reading. No difference across EFL and L1 was found for the motivational subscales in the areas of school grades, instrumentalism, and social-family attitudes. Furthermore, instrumentalism was particularly strongly correlated with EFL reading comprehension, whereas recrea- tion had the highest association with L1 reading comprehension. The eight subscales collectively explained 16% variance in Chinese and 12% variance in English reading comprehension. Results underscore the importance of different types of motivation for reading comprehension and the different roles each motivational aspect may play in L1 and EFL reading.

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