Attitude, Motivation and Chinese Language Learning Proficiency in an Arabic Context: An Empirical Case Study of Khartoum University Students

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Zhang, Mei
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It is argued that attitudes play a key role in SL/FL learning and motivation has been shown to have a significant impact on language learning, thus, numerous researches have been conducted on this area from different perspectives. However, little literature explored attitudes to and motivations for Chinese language learning in an Arabic context. The aim of this study is to describe and examine Arabic undergraduate students' attitudes and integrative and instrumental motivation toward learning Chinese as a foreign language and their influences on Chinese language proficiency. In order to determine the students‟ tendency towards attitudes and the two kinds of motivation, a modified 40- closed-item survey was administered to 186 Chinese- major students from University of Khartoum in Sudan. The results have shown that Sudanese students had very high motivation and positive attitudes towards learning Chinese and they were more integratively motivated. Further, the findings reveal a positive relationship between higher proficiency level and positive attitudes to learn Chinese but no relation between language proficiency and motivation orientations. In addition, gender differences have low correlation on students‟ attitudes and motivational orientations. Significant differences exist in the participants' instrumental motivational orientations due to the length of learning Chinese. Finally, based on the findings some suggestions and recommendations for teachers have been highlighted.
attitudes; integrative and instrumental motivation; Chinese language learning proficiency; Arabic students