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International Posture, L2 Motivation, and L2 Proficiency among South Korean Tertiary EFL Learners

Today, English is spoken by more non-native speakers than native speakers; current estimates by Graddol (2007) indicate five to one. With this transformation English has become the international language of business and intercultural communication. The emergence of English as Lingua Franca is apparent in Korean society where English plays a defining role in educational, career, social, cultural, and economic domains. Despite such inextricable links the acquisition of English in Korea has not been successful. This study examines the relationship between Korean university students' International Posture or non-ethnocentric attitude (Yashima, 2002, p. 57) and their L2 (Second Language) Learning Motivation, and L2 Proficiency in English, first described by Yashima (2002) in her study of Japanese EFL (English as a Foreign Language) tertiary students. The methodology used in this thesis was quantitative as it employed Likert scales in order to elicit students' International Posture, and L2 Motivation, and obtained L2 Proficiency from percentile grades in the TOEIC exam. With the use of path analysis software, AMOS 7, data from 118 university freshman (majoring in English literature) from Hannam University, South Korea were analyzed in order examine the relationship between International Posture, L2 Learning Motivation, and L2 Proficiency among South Korean EFL students. The results indicated a significant and very strong relationship between International Posture and L2 Learning Motivation and a significant and moderate relationship between L2 Learning Motivation and overall L2 Proficiency. The findings of the study conclude that EFL learner motivation can be understood by an agglomeration of integrative and instrumental motivational orientations. The findings in this study also suggest that the tendency for Korean EFL learners to approach, rather than avoid, interaction with people of different cultures is especially important to understanding Korean tertiary level students' attitude, motivation and performance in EFL. These findings could be implemented in the classroom by providing Korean EFL learners with safe and appropriate opportunities to interact with foreigners. Potential areas for further research include longitudinal studies (utilizing both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies) that look into the effect of EFL learner age, gender, and teaching pedagogy on International Posture, L2 Learning Motivation, and L2 Proficiency.
Type of thesis
Courtney, M. G. R. (2008). International Posture, L2 Motivation, and L2 Proficiency among South Korean Tertiary EFL Learners (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2256
The University of Waikato
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