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ERIC Number: ED564853
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 213
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3036-5711-5
Qualitative Perspectives of Factors Influencing Community College Students' Stated Motivation to Enroll in Future Foreign Language Programs
Smith, Stephen
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University
The qualitative research describes the experience of an instructor, participants, and researcher in a community college-based Chinese language class. Tse's (2000) Foreign Language Autobiographies (FLA), classroom observations, student vignette interviews and observations accompanied by field notes were the sources of data for this study. Demographic data and previous foreign language experiences were derived from the surveys. Lawler's (1981) revised Expectancy Theory was used as a framework informing thematic analysis. Research data was analyzed individually in Chapter Four and then collectively in Chapter Five. Single source analysis identified findings and trends arising from each data collection method. The cross source analysis of the research's questions and sub-questions grouped data sources to identify findings and trends that cut across multiple data sources. The single and cross source analysis added depth to the present research and suggests future research design possibilities. Analysis and interpretation supported Lawler's (1981) assertion that effort-to-performance and performance-to-outcomes expectancies influenced an individual's level of motivation. The findings supported Lawler's research and added language learning context to further clarify the impact Lawler's expectancies play on larger motivational characteristics and future enrollment preferences. Where the present study described Level One outcomes (post course), additional study could reveal similar findings for Lawler's Level Two and Level Three sequences. The analysis identified trends supporting previous research and possible disconnects between funding sponsors' and participants' intents and opinions. The disconnects appear to be caused by policy maker's strategic perspectives and local practitioner's focus on the day-to-day requirements of teaching novice learners. Aligning policy makers with the day-to-day logistics could be the research's unintended outcome. Eleven out of twenty two students who started the Introduction to Chinese class indicated that they would enroll in future formal Chinese Language programs. Reasons given by those who did not intend to pursue additional formal foreign language study ranged from an increased understanding regarding how much effort was required to learn the Chinese language, the lack of vision beyond the next semester regarding formal foreign language class enrollment, or a belief that the student's language needs had been met by participating in the Introduction to Chinese Language class. An experienced instructor, who retired from teaching after the class, led the class I studied. The findings from the instructor's interview and classroom observations identified approaches to teaching that drew the participants in and built off of the participants' backgrounds and interests. Connecting the participants to Chinese language learning and building on the participants' diverse backgrounds enhanced the traditional classroom experience. Future research could widen the findings beyond the present study's classroom experience focus. The research design could be applied to experiences beyond learning the Chinese language towards other classroom and community college improvement initiatives. Expanding the research across other community colleges could enhance the value delivered and applied by educational institutions often underrepresented in the field's research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A