Cross Language Transfer and Foreign Language Learning Motivation in English and Chinese
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This dissertation investigated two issues: cross-language transfer among three typologically distant languages—Korean, English, and Chinese—and the language learning motivation of Korean students as it relates to two foreign languages—English and Chinese. The study participants were Korean-speaking 9th graders who studied English and Chinese as foreign languages for seven years and one year, respectively. In the first of this dissertation’s two articles, the author examined the nature of morphology-based cross-language transfer from Korean to reading and writing in English and Chinese. Utilizing the body of recent morphological awareness research as a potent point of reference, the author investigated whether the skill of morphological awareness in Korean can be transferred to reading and writing in English and, by extension, whether morphological awareness skills in Korean and English can be transferred to reading and writing in Chinese. While this inquiry found no significant transfer of morphological awareness from Korean to writing in English or Chinese, it did ultimately link morphological awareness in Korean with a significant contribution to reading comprehension in the two target languages. This study also served to underscore the unique morphology-based transfer that can facilitate reading comprehension across different orthographies and the importance of proficiency in the target language. The second article investigated the motivation for learning a foreign language by exploring the potential relationship between motivation orientation, expectancy, and language performance. In particular, the author analyzed the primary motivations for Korean-speaking students in learning English as a second language (L2) and Chinese as a third language (L3), respectively, and whether expectancy for L2 and L3 mediated the relationship between motivation orientation and language performance. A mediating effect of expectancy between motivation orientation and language performance was, indeed, observed in a significant way for both English and Chinese, while the magnitude of the mediation was found to differ between the two target languages. This latter discrepancy can be interpreted as resulting from the different types of influence of required motivational orientation and instrumental motivational orientation and their discrete scopes of influence in English and Chinese learning. In the final analysis, this dissertation studied the interdependence among three typologically distant languages, focusing on morphological awareness; it also compared the motivational effect as it affects learning in two foreign languages. Results from both lines of inquiry strongly suggest that the diverse cross-language transfer effect and motivational factors in foreign language skills are directly tied to the target language, proficiency in the target language, and the socio-educational context in which the language is learned.
Cho, Eunhee (2014). Cross Language Transfer and Foreign Language Learning Motivation in English and Chinese. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from