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影响国际学生汉语水平的因素

作者:admin1 日期:2022-09-08 16:11:31 点击:21

ABSTRACT:Learning multiple foreign language has become essential to interact with different cultures and get a good job. Recognizing the influential role played by China in international economic and political community, many students have shifted their attention to learning Chinese language. Researchers examined the different factors affecting the acquisition of foreign language with emphasis on English language and western contexts. This study focuses on examining the fundamental factors related to language proficiency. More specifically, this research examines the impact of educational context, social context, and attitude on the foreign students' proficiency level of Chinese language. Quantitative research method was employed using survey questionnaires to collect data from students living and studying Chinese language in China. Convenience sampling was adopted to collect a total of 120 completed questionnaires using Wechat. Structural equation modeling was used to report research findings. The results of the study indicated a positive significant impact of educational context, social context and attitude toward Chinese language on the foreign students' proficiency level of Chinese language. In addition, none of the students' characteristics: age, year of study, and English proficiency had been statistically related to their Chinese language proficiency level. A set of concluding remarks and implications were drawn as well as potential areas of future research.

Key words: Educational Context, Social Context, Foreign Students' Attitude, Chinese Language Proficiency.

摘要

学习多种外语已成为与不同文化互动并找到一份好工作的必要条件。许多学 生认识到中国在国际经济和政治界的影响力,将注意力转移到学习汉语上。研究 人员研究了影响外语习得的不同因素,重点是英语和西方语境。本研究侧重于研 究与语言能力相关的基本因素。更具体地说,本研究考察了教育背景、社会背景 和态度对外国学生汉语水平的影响。采用定量研究方法,通过调查问卷收集在中 国生活和学习汉语的学生的数据。采用方便抽样的方式,通过微信共收集完成问 卷 120 份。结构方程模型用于报告研究结果。研究结果表明,教育背景、社会背 景和对汉语的态度对外国学生的汉语水平有显着的正向影响。此外,学生的年龄、 学习年份和英语水平等特征都与他们的汉语水平没有统计相关。得出了一系列结 论性意见和影响以及未来研究的潜在领域。

关键词:教育背景,社会背景,留学生态度,汉语水平

CONTENTS

ABSTRACT............................................................................................................  III

摘 要.......................................................................................................................  IV

CONTENTS................................................................................................................. V

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION......................................................................... 1

1.1      Background........................................................................................................ 1

1.2      Problem Statement............................................................................................. 2

1.3      Research Questions............................................................................................ 4

1.4      Research Objectives........................................................................................... 4

1.5      Significance of the study..................................................................................  5

1.6      Thesis Organization.........................................................................................  5

CHAPTERT TWO LITERATURE REVIEW........................................................  7

2.1      Introduction........................................................................................................ 7

2.2      Theoretical Framework...................................................................................... 7

2.2.1      Social Cognitive Theory............................................................................. 7

2.2.2      Proficiency Theory....................................................................................  8

2.3      Foreign Language Acquisition.......................................................................... 9

2.4      Attitude toward Foreign Language................................................................  11

2.5      Hypotheses Development...............................................................................  13

2.5.1      Educational context and Attitude toward Foreign Language Learning  13

2.5.2      Social Context and Foreign Language Proficiency................................... 16

2.5.3      Attitude and Proficiency of Foreign Language.......................................  19

2.5.4      Learner's Characteristics and Proficiency of foreign Language..............  20

CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY......................................... 22

3.1      Introduction...................................................................................................... 22

3.2      Research Design.............................................................................................  22

3.3      Target Population & Sampling Technique.....................................................  23

3.4      Data Collection...............................................................................................  24

3.5      Variables Measurement................................................................................... 24

3.6      Data Analysis & Presentation........................................................................  25

CHAPTER FOUR RESEARCH FINDINGS........................................................  26

4.1      Introduction...................................................................................................... 26

4.2      Interview Results............................................................................................  26

4.3      Employees Profile............................................................................................ 27

4.4      Analysis of Research Model..........................................................................  28

4.4.1      Assesment of Measurement Model.........................................................  28

4.4.2      Results of the Structural Model ............................................................... 31

CHAPTER FIVE DISCUSSION............................................................................  33

5.1      Discussion........................................................................................................ 33

CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSION............................................................................  41

6.1      Implications....................................................................................................  41

6.2      Research Limitations......................................................................................  43

6.3      Future Research..............................................................................................  44

References................................................................................................................ 45

List of Appendices..................................................................................................  57

Appendix 1: Interview Questions...........................................................................  57

Appendix 2: Survey Questionnaire.......................................................................... 57

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT......................................................................................... 62

DECLARATION............................................................................................ 62

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background

In today's environment, learning foreign multi languages have become a vital demand for seeking jobs and interacting with other cultures especially with the rapid and accelerated globalization rates. With the emergence of China as economic and political player, many foreign students began to learn Chinese language. Foreign students may face some difficulties during their study and this may affect their attitude and success. This thesis tends to contribute to this issue by examining the determinants affecting foreign students' proficiency toward Chinese as a foreign language. Chapter one presents the macro view of this research. It begins with a brief background on research topic, determines research objectives and problem statement. Further, this chapter highlights the significance of the study and organization of the overall thesis.

Globalization has increased demand for high-level foreign language talent, particularly multilingual talent (Sadikoglu, & Oktay, 2017), and higher education institutions, as essential participants in language education, have a responsibility to assist this (Ying & Ying, 2018). For example, all English major students at Chinese institutions must learn a second foreign language (Higher Education Steering Committee of the Ministry of Education). Higher Education Press: Beijing, China, 2018; National Standard for Teaching Quality of Undergraduate Majors in General Institutions of Higher Education (Part I); National Standard for Teaching Quality of Undergraduate Majors in General Institutions of Higher Education (Part II); National Standard for Teaching Quality of Undergraduate Majors in General Institutions of Higher Education These mandatory courses have received a lot of time and attention

from universities, teachers, and students. Despite its relevance, however, academic emphasis to acquiring a third or additional languages is minimal.

The Chinese language is spoken by the world's largest population. However, the Chinese language is regarded as one of the most difficult to learn in terms of second language acquisition. This is possibly due to the language's origins in one of the world's oldest cultures (Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, 2009, p. 3) and its distinct characteristics from Roman and Germanic languages (Liu, 2009; Zhang, 2010b). As a result, it's not surprising that students of Chinese as a foreign language face challenges and obstacles while learning the language (Liu, 2009; Zhang & Slaughter-Defoe, 2009).

According to Gardner, Lambert, and Burstal (1985), there is a connection between learning outcomes and motivation to learn a second or foreign language. The researcher believes that examining the influence of educational and social background on students' attitudes toward Chinese language can lead to foreign students being able to afford themselves with different circumstances while learning Chinese, allowing them to achieve higher levels in various fields of study. International students must cultivate a constructive attitude toward the Chinese language in order to accomplish this. As a result, we might argue that attitude is a major predictor of foreign language learning performance or failure.

1.2    Problem Statement

Chinese, like any language, has its own characteristics and unique rules that distinguish it from others. Everything that is new will not be easy at first, but if you look at the positive aspects of it, you will soon find it easy and simple. You may find it somewhat difficult at first, but if you want to learn it, it will not be impossible, so many aspects make it easier than you think. The main skills in learning any language, especially a foreign language, are reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Foreign

language learners, on the other hand, find it difficult to develop these skills. Brown (2009) discovered that learners' views and interpretations of language acquisition had a significant impact on their progress. As a result, proper solutions to these learners' language problems could be identified and later suggested to improve the teaching and learning of Mandarin by first understanding their attitudes and perceptions toward learning Mandarin as a foreign language course, as well as their efforts to improve their mastery of the language in the future.

The majority of related research on foreign languages has focused solely on English. Many students study Chinese language because they recognize China's growing and influential position as an emerging economic and political force. The aim of this study is to look into the major factors that influence foreign students' attitudes and proficiency levels with the Chinese language. I focused on educational and social factors in this study and ignored the student-related aspect. I assume that students from various countries have distinct personalities, motivations, and cultures. Accordingly, I focused on the factors pertaining to foreign language provider and surrounding social context. The main logic behind this emphasis is that educational and social context are important and can be improved while student personality is difficult to be changed. Therefore, this study is mainly concerned with examining social factors: students' peer group, and educational factors: learning situation, teacher, and teaching materials on the undergraduate students' who study Chinese language in Chinese universities. In addition, this research tends to examine the impact of foreign students' attitude on their Chinese language proficiency.

1.3      Research Questions

This research tends to provide answers to the fundamental question: what are the main factors influencing international students' proficiency level of Chinese language? The specific research questions are listed as below:

1.      Is there a relationship between educational context and international students' proficiency of Chinese language?

2.      What is the impact of social context on international students' proficiency of Chinese language?

3.      What is the influence of international students' attitude toward Chinese language learning on their proficiency level of Chinese language?

4.      Is there a relationship between international students' characteristics: age, gender and English proficiency, and their Chinese language proficiency?

1.4      Research Objectives

This research seeks to examine the major factors affecting the proficiency level of Chinese language as perceived by foreign students. The specific research objectives are:

1.      To examine the relationship between educational context and foreign students' attitude toward learning Chinese language

2.      To study the influence of social context on international students' proficiency of Chinese language

3.      To examine the effect of international students' attitude toward Chinese language learning on their proficiency level of Chinese language

4.      To identify the association between international students' characteristics: age, gender and English proficiency, and their Chinese language proficiency.

1.5    Significance of the study

Many elements influence the second language learning process, including the language learning environment, learning mode, learning methods and strategies, learning language, and differences in thinking between the two languages, particularly the instructors' and learners' affective factors. Human affections are tightly linked to cognitive processes, and any cognitive process is accompanied by certain affections, according to studies; affections have both a positive and negative function in human cognitive behavior (Ramazani, Aghajani, Alipanahi et al., 2013). Recognizing the fundamental aim of this study which is examining the influence of educational and social context on Chinese language proficiency of learners, some researchers stressed the importance of psychological demotivation concept. This concept refers to some external forces that reduce or impair the motivation of learners (Dornyei, 2014).

1.    To provide recommendations to Chinese language teaching and institutions and universities on enhancing and improving the teaching process.

2.    To develop a model explaining foreign students' attitude and proficiency level toward learning a foreign language.

1.6    Thesis Organization

This thesis is divided into six subsequent chapters. Chapter one introduces the general overview of conducting this research. This involves a brief background on the study topic: factors related to identifying foreign students' attitude and proficiency level of Chinese language. In addition, chapter one presents the research objectives, significance of the study and thesis outline. Chapter two presents the theoretical framework used to guide this research and a review and synthesis of current literature on educational context factors, social context factors, and attitude and proficiency

level of foreign language. Chapter three presents the adopted research methodology with the explanation of research design, data collection method, sampling and data analysis techniques. Chapter four presents the research findings in relation to predetermined research hypotheses. Descriptive statistics are used to report students' background information using means and standard deviation. Research hypotheses were tested using regression analysis. Chapter five presents the discussion of research findings in relation to relevant literature. Chapter six presents the research limitations and a set of recommendations to Chinese teaching universities and institutions, concluding remarks and proposed areas of future research.

CHAPTERT TWO LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1     Introduction

Chapter two presents the underpinning theory used to guide this research. In addition, this chapter presents the definitions and a review on the relationships among study variables, hypotheses development, and visualizes the proposed conceptual framework.

2.2     Theoretical Framework

2.2.1   Social Cognitive Theory

Social cognitive theory (SCT) indicates a reciprocal relationship between three components: environment, demeanor, and personal factors such as physiological, cognitive, and affective aspects (Bandura, 1986). Humans, rather than reacting passively to their environment, have the ability to change and modify it, according to this view. Individuals' beliefs in their abilities to execute a task (e.g. self-efficacy) determine the effort and engagement they put forth for the task, based on the interaction of the three forces (personal, environmental, and behavioral) (Bandura, 1999; Schunk 2003).

Cognitive style is another name for learning style. It is a learner's attempt to learn something in a specific method. Different learners may prefer different solutions to learning challenges when learning a second language or a foreign language. Some students may prefer auditory explanations of grammatical rules, while others may believe that writing down words and sentences helps them remember them (kinesthetic learners). Others (visual learners) may discover that they remember things better if they are paired with an image (Richards: 1985, p. 45). Learning style

or strategy, according to Ellis (1986, p. 299), determines how learners acquire new L2 rules and automate current ones.

“The typical cognitive, affective, and physiological behaviors that serve relatively stable indications of how learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment,” according to Ellis (1994, p. 499). Many factors influence students' learning styles, including their genetic origin, culture, and past learning experience. According to popular belief, pupils will be more successful and interested in the language if teachers fit their teaching methods to their students' learning styles.

2.2.2    Proficiency Theory

This study is based on the Proficiency Theory, which was created by (Cummins 1980, 1981). According to this theory, if a learner masters one language, they are automatically capable of learning others. This theory proposes that the collection of skills and metalinguistic information developed during the acquisition and development of the first language can be easily extended to aid the acquisition and development of the second language. Social interactionists argued against such arguments, stressing the importance of interaction in learning a second language and the social context (Bruner 1983; Farrar 1990). Despite the fact that these two theoretical viewpoints which clash, the current study is designed to emphasize the importance of both cognitive growth through language-related influences and active social interaction in the acquisition of a second language, which aligns with claims made in a number of related studies and sources (Harley 2014). The most important step in language acquisition, according to Hou and Beiser (2006), is to consider the factors that contribute to foreign language acquisition and effective integration into a new society. Many variables, according to Viet (2017), affect successful second language learning. One of these has been defined as essential: attitude. Language teaching programmers, school administrators, and educators would be better able to

implement strategies to enhance students' learning outcomes if they have a deeper understanding of their students' attitudes.

In the field of language instruction, failure to acquire a language is linked to psychological demotivation (Wang, 2017). In light of these circumstances, the purpose of this research is to look into the effects of educational context, social context, and foreign students' attitudes on their Chinese language competency.

Teachers' personalities, students' confidence, learners' attitudes, English learning environment, learning partners, and curriculum arrangement were all investigated by Dornyei (2014) as factors affecting "psychological demotivation." Sakai and Kikuchi (2009) used an open questionnaire to survey “psychological demotivation” among English learners in middle schools. One of his results, that students complain about too much homework and rarely participate in class activities, has piqued our interest. This could be linked to the learning methodologies utilized in Asian schools.

2.3    Foreign Language Acquisition

Due to the relevance of language to human life (Cook 2016) and the importance of learning at least one more language in the globalized, socially interactive world, foreign language acquisition has been a pivotal field of language science. Knowing a second language is a normal part of human existence; it may be unusual to know only one,” writes Cook (2016: 209). First language interference, discrepancies between the mother tongue and the second language, and the degree of complexity of the second language are all factors that may obstruct foreign language acquisition (Gass & Selinker 2008).

Second language acquisition (SLA) is the process by which people study a second language as a separate discipline. It's a complicated language, psychological, physiological, and even social process (Lenahan, 2015), involving many variables

such as the learning environment, learner factors, acquisition process, and the interaction between language and language acquisition. The attachments described in foreign language learning refer to two characteristics of people: personality traits and feelings about themselves (Rastelli, 2018). In human cognition, affections have the functions of stimulating, motivating, regulating, infecting, and empathizing; among these, the stimulating and dynamic functions are particularly significant in the Second language acquisition process. The operating system of cognitive processes includes learners' intellectual behaviors such as sensation, perception, memory, imagination, and reasoning (Selvi & Martin-Beltran, 2016). Affective factors influence the status of the operating system; positive affective factors will improve the system's performance.

Second language acquisition motivation refers to a learner's desire and driving power to learn a second language as a psychological condition that allows them to initiate and maintain activity (Maftoon & Ziafar, 2013). It is generally divided into integrative and instrumental motivation; the former refers to learners' special interest in the target language community and their expectation to participate in or integrate into society's social life; the latter refers to learners' desire to learn a target language using the target language as a tool. Instrumental motivation is dominant among second language learners in the mother tongue environment.

Reid (1987) established four different types of learning modalities: visual (seeing), auditory (hearing), kinesthetic (moving), and tactile (touching). Visual learners learn by looking at things. They would rather observe a teacher during a lecture and learn through visuals such as photos, wall displays, diagrams, and videos. They take notes and use lists to organize their thoughts during lectures. Listening is how auditory learners learn. They prefer verbal instructions, such as conversations, talks, and plays, and they solve problems by talking about them. They also use rhythm and tone to help them remember things. Kinesthetic learners learn through moving

about and doing things. They learn best when they are actively involved in the learning process.

2.4    Attitude toward Foreign Language

One of the most important factors assessing progress or failure is the learner's attitude toward language learning. Attitude is characterized as a mental state that includes beliefs and feelings and is considered an important concept in understanding human behavior (Latchanna & Dagnew, 2009). In language learning, one of the most significant factors measuring success is one's level of belief. If learners believe they are incapable of learning a language, this assumption will be a big impediment to their success (Lennartsson, 2008). Negative attitudes can make it difficult to understand. A negative attitude, on the other hand, can be modified and transformed into a positive attitude, resulting in a positive outcome. Language learning is thought to be influenced by one's attitude. A positive attitude toward language learning is a good place to start when learning a language. According to (Crystal, 1997), language attitudes are people's thoughts towards their own or other people's languages. Addisu (2020) looked at the factors that influence grade 10 students' attitudes toward learning English as a foreign language in Ethiopia. Personal traits such as self-confidence, risk-taking, and anxiety, according to Addisu, had a positive effect on his or her attitude toward learning English. Furthermore, he stated that the teaching background, which included the English instructor, teaching materials, and the learning environment, had a major impact on students' attitudes toward English as a foreign language. Furthermore, according to Addisu, social factors such as parents, peers, and culture play a significant role in influencing students' attitudes toward English as a foreign language in Ethiopia. Addisu concluded that lowering psychological variables for foreign language learners would help with language learning, and he suggested that teachers and communities work together to improve the physical learning environment.

 principle in social psychology is attitude. Attitudes about language are thoughts towards one's own and other people's languages (Crystal 1997). Language attitude may be used to describe linguistic actions. According to Baker (1992), the reconstruction, preservation, or death of a language's existence is largely determined by people's attitudes toward it. The three components of attitude, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral, have been the subject of numerous research. The "cognitive" component refers to any material, reality, or knowledge related to an attitudinal topic, which includes a language's thoughts, beliefs, and values. Comments (positive or negative) about the language are part of the "emotional" or "feelings" component (Baker, 1992). The language's third component is "behavior," which refers to a behavioral purpose or an action that can be performed (possible acts). These three elements have a symbiotic relationship (Wenden, 1991).

Al Masri and Abu-Ayyash (2020) investigated the difficulties in learning a second language that 45 Syrian refugees and asylum seekers faced in nine countries (Germany, Turkey, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, France, Malay, Austria, and Romania). Economic, personal, social, linguistic, temporal, and psychological factors all played a role in the study's findings. The difficulties in learning a second language differed depending on the language and the region, and were classified into six categories: economic, personal, social, linguistic, temporal, and psychological. The language, its structure, grammar, and pronunciation, however, proved to be the most difficult challenge for almost all of the participants.

Attitude has recently gotten a lot of attention from scholars in both first and second languages. The majority of studies on the subject have concluded that a student's attitude is an important aspect of learning and, as a result, it should be incorporated into second or foreign language learning pedagogy. There are a number of reasons why studying students' attitudes toward language learning is crucial. First, Kaballa and Crowley (1985) conclude that attitudes toward learning affect habits such as book selection and reading, as well as speaking in a foreign language. Second,

there has been evidence of a connection between attitudes and performance or achievement. According to Weinburgh (1998), there is evidence that attitudes affect achievement rather than achievement influencing attitudes. The explanation for this is that one's attitude has an impact on one's actions, inner mood, and thus learning. As a result, it is apparent that language learning and the world in which the student grows up are intertwined. Both negative and optimistic behaviors have a significant effect on language learning performance.

According to Ellis (1986, p. 292), attitude is a set of ideas regarding things such as the target language culture, their own culture, and, in the case of classroom learning, their teachers' culture, as well as the learning task they are assigned. Language attitudes refer to how speakers of other languages feel about each other's languages or about their own. Positive or negative attitudes for a language may reflect perceptions of linguistic difficulty or simplicity, ease or difficulty in learning, degrees of importance, social standing, and other factors (Richards, 1985, p. 155). Gardner and Lambert have looked into a variety of viewpoints. Stern (1983) investigated a number of different attitudes and categorized them as attitudes toward three entities:

1)      Community and people who speak L2,

2)      Learning and language concerned,

3)      Languages and language learning in general.

2.5    Hypotheses Development

2.5.1 Educational context and Attitude toward Foreign Language Learning

The learning situation, which is how language is taught, the English language teacher, who takes into account variables such as physical, social, and cultural disparities that affect the learning-teaching process, and the teaching-learning materials are all examples of educational contexts. Researchers believe that the 13

learning environment has an effect on students' attitudes and performance. Various researchers have created taxonomies of factors that influence second/foreign language learners' attitudes, which in turn influences their language proficiency, such as personality factors, educational factors, social factors, and others such as age and sex (Ehrman, 1996;Van Ells et al., 1984). Furthermore, Conteh (2002) supports the view of some applied linguists that social context, learner personality (self-confidence, risk-taking, and anxiety), learning environments, learning process, and learning outcomes affect students' attitudes and the way they learn language.

Apart from informal circumstances in which the learner will have the ability to study and speak the target language in the group, school provides the learner with formal instruction in the target language. According to Conteh (2002), “the general environment of the learning, the classroom dynamics, opportunities for student-student and student-teacher interaction, and students' understanding of the teacher's commitment to their learning” are all factors that influence learners' attitudes and learning situations.

Anxiety and rage, according to Ehrman (1996), can influence students' attitudes and motivations, especially in situations where English is a required subject. According to Littlewood (2001), there is a correlation between learners' attitudes and teachers' authority, as well as learners' willingness to participate in the classroom, in a country where English language is a compulsory subject. In such circumstances, the teacher has complete power over the class, and students are not free from this dominance, which leads to demotivation and unwillingness among the students, and failure. In addition, there is another critical aspect in the teaching-learning situation that must be emphasized: time. The number of hours available to study and teach the language would certainly have an effect on the level of achievement. Positive feelings and interactions with the teacher, classmates, and materials can help students develop positive attitudes about learning a second language (Day & Ford, 1998). A learner with more contact with his instructor is more likely to cultivate a positive attitude

toward the target language than one with less interaction. “There would be no chance of successful education without contact between teachers and students” (Spolsky, 1972).

Personality, technical experience, enthusiasm, engagement, and professional classroom management skills all have clear and numerous effects on learners' desire to learn. According to Dornyei (2001), through the channels of teacher communication of values, expectations, and attitudes, students adopted similar beliefs, attitudes, and expectations, as well as related behaviors. If the teacher possesses all of the attributes mentioned above and invites his students in a comprehensive manner, the students would have a greater chance of developing a positive attitude toward learning the language. The stock of tools that the teacher is able to exploit is the final educational aspect to consider when it comes to learners' attitudes and learning and teaching English as a foreign language. According to Wilkins (1974), resources are an integral part of the learning situation, not an add-on, and therefore insufficient resources hinder language achievement. The presence or absence of tools such as textbooks, workbooks, writing paper, pens/pencils, chalk, blackboard, wall-paintings, recordings, video recorder, television, radio, reading material, and a library all have an effect on learners' attitudes and the learning situation (Wilkins, 1974).

Tomlinson (1998) states that materials should take learners' different affective attitudes into an account, and suggests that positive feelings towards the target language, teachers, and the learning materials would enhance the learning situation. Alongside this recognition of the importance of affective factors and the use of authentic texts in learning, Guariento and Morley (2001) argue that there has been a growing awareness that simplicity of tasks to maintain or increase learners' motivation does not sacrifice authenticity. Similarly, the affective strategy that needs to be taken into an account is the use of materials that tap into or stimulate learners' interest, in order to increase motivation and positive attitude in the learning of English language. By embedding learners' interest and willingness in materials, learners 15

practice to activities that will naturally elicit their curiosity and desire for understanding (Wlodkowski, 1993, p. 158). Motivated learners are more cooperative and psychologically open to learning which may enhance information processing.

H1: Learning educational context has a significant impact on foreign students' proficiency level of Chinese language

2.5.2     Social Context and Foreign Language Proficiency

Spolsky (1989) views that languages are primarily social mechanisms since languages are learned in social contexts. He further indicates that while the language learning is individual, it takes place in society, and though social factors may not have direct influences, they have strong and traceable effects on the attitudes and motivation of the learners. Similarly, Van Lier (1996, pp. 35—36) argues that language use and language learning are the parts of the world in which learners live, therefore, any activity undertaken in the classroom must be understood in context, and has its own effect on the learners' beliefs, attitudes as well as their shaped behaviour. The social contextcomprisesthefamilyorhome, the learners'peer groups, the community or target language speakers and their cultures (Spolsky, 1989, pp. 25-26). Aggarwal and Goodell (2015) argued in their study of teaching international business that it is critical to account for and consider the role of context, emphasizing the importance of social and cultural influences. History, according to this argument, forms structures over time in path-dependent encounters with historical events and incidents in local political, economic, and social environments (Licht, Goldschmidt, and Schwartz, 2007). Teaching and learning international company, according to Aggarwal and Goodell (2012), must go beyond the simple transmission of facts and concepts due to its contextual richness and behavioral dimensions. Experiential elements that contribute to a student's personal evolution and change in ways of thinking and understanding, as well as significant changes in student mind-sets, are included in an

accurate, systematic, and meaningful teaching. Self-reflection, interaction with diverse communities, and the occasional experiential conflict with the socially and personally demanding are all necessary components of such shifts and evolutions of mindsets.

Learner peer group has a remarkable influence on his or her attitude towards learning a foreign or second language. Concerning their role, Morgan (1966, p. 601) reports, “whatever the reason operating in any given case, the outcome is that an individual's peer may shape views as well as behavior more than his/her parents do”. Furthermore, Brown (1994) says the following in pointing out the role of the learner's peer group:

Attitudes are like aspects of the development of cognition and affect in human Beings, develop early in the childhood and are the result of parents' and Peers' attitudes, contact with people who are different in any number of ways, and interacting affective factors in the human experience. These attitudes Form a part of one's perception of self, of others, and of the culture in which one is living. (p. 168)

Membership and acceptance in particular groups is often contingent upon the attitudes one expresses peer groups such as class, unions, sororities, fraternities, and churches differentially reinforce the expression of certain attitudes relevant to the group (Morgan, 1986, p. 390).

According to Spolsky (1989, p. 26), the social context influences second lan-guage learning into two indirect but important ways. Firstly, it plays a vital role in the development of the learners' attitudes towards the target language, its speakers, and the language learning situation which includes the learners' expectations and perceptions of the learning and its probable outcomes. These expectations and perceptions lead to the development of the learner's attitude and motivation. In this respect, Wilkins (1974) indicates that in communities where the target language is observed with “indifference or even hostility”, social and cultural attitudes have a

considerable influence on individual learners' attitudes and motivation. Secondly, the context establishes the social condition of the language learning situation (formal and informal) and the various opportunities for language learning. Formal situations are the provision of different educational institutions in society for language learning whereas informal situations reflect the potential opportunities in society for exposure to the target language (interaction with the speakers and writers of the target language). Studies suggest that there is a high correlation between the kind of exposure to the target language and the proficiency attained. In situations where learners have more opportunities to communicate with the target language speakers, the learning outcome is more favorable (Spolsky, 1989, p. 166). Thus, as different studies reveal, the community where the learners live with even from their own culture can influence the attitudes and motivation towards the language and an attainment too (Spolsky, 1989).

According to the results of Gardner's (1985) work, it was found that learners who have positive attitudes towards the speakers of the target language, culture of the target language, and towards the target language were more successful than those who have negative attitudes. He argued that because language is an integral part of culture, the learning of the second or foreign language depends on the learners' willingness to identify with the culture of the target language and to incorporate aspects of the target language culture including the linguistic repertoire, into his/her own behavior. Moreover, Fasold (1984) stressed the role of learners' attitudes in language growth or decay and he stated that the concept of language attitudes not only includes attitudes towards speakers of the target language but also includes all kinds of behaviors concerning language to be treated (attitude towards language maintenance and planning efforts).

Hansen et al (2020) presented a state-of-the-art analysis of studies on the social influences that have been found to influence how second language learners develop and use sound systems. Ethnic group identity, gender, and study abroad experience are

18

among these variables. Their findings revealed that second language pronunciation is improved not only through speaking practice, but also through meaningful engagement with the second language through reading, listening, and writing. Teachers may help students gain access to a variety of resources, such as podcasts, audiobooks, movies, and TV series, to give them opportunities to use the second language in a variety of contexts.

Hansen et al. (2020) presented a state-of-the-art analysis of studies on the social influences that have been found to influence how second language learners develop and use sound systems. Ethnic group identity, gender, and study abroad experience are among these variables. Their findings revealed that second language pronunciation is improved not only through speaking practice, but also through meaningful engagement with the L2 through reading, listening, and writing. Teachers may help students gain access to a variety of resources, such as podcasts, audiobooks, movies, and TV series, to give them opportunities to use the L2 in a variety of contexts.

H2: Social context has a significant influence on foreign students' proficiency level of Chinese language

2.5.3     Attitude and Proficiency of Foreign Language

Interestingly, success in learning second or foreign language depends upon the social relation among the first and second language communities. Wong (1991) suggests that success in learning second or foreign language is contingent on the existence of the following conditions: motivated students who realize the need to learn the target language. (b) The target language speakers who support the second language learners and (c) frequent social contact between target language speakers and learners. Concerning the effect of learning a second or foreign language on one's own culture, Kramsch (1995) writes about how language plays an important role not only in the construction of culture but also in the emergence of cultural changes. In 19

this regard, it is stated that social change occurs slowly but inevitably at the edges of dominant culture. This is true of the change that we might bring about by teaching people how to use somebody else's linguistic code in somebody else's cultural contexts. Teaching members of one community how to talk and how to behave in the context of another discourse community potentially changes the social and cultural equation of both communities.

H3: foreign students' attitude toward Chinese language Learning has a significant impact on their Chinese language proficiency

2.5.4     Learner's Characteristics and Proficiency of foreign Language

Gardner (1985) reported that age and sex of a learner have strong relationship with his/her attitudes towards learning the second language. Some scholars argued that females have more positive attitudes to learning a second or foreign language than males. Sex differences have been obtained on attitudes towards learning the language. For instance, girls tend to demonstrate significantly more positive attitudes than do boys learn. Gardner and Lambert (1972) reported that female learners of French as a second language in Canada were more motivated than male learners and also had more positive attitudes towards speakers of the target language. Bacon (1992) found that men reported using translation strategies more than women, while the women reported monitoring their comprehension more cited in Ellis (1994, p. 203). Girls may perceive a foreign language as having significant vocational value for them but boys do not. These beliefs may derive from the students' parents (Ellis, 1994, p. 2004).

The learners' age is one of the characteristics which determine the way in which an individual approaches second language learning. But the opportunities for learning (both inside and outside the classrooms) the motivation to learn, and an individual differences in aptitude for language learning are also important determining factors in

20

both rate of learning and eventual success in learning the target language (Lightbown and Spada, 1993). Chambers and Trudgill seek to explain this pattern by suggesting that younger speakers are subject to social pressures from their peer group. But the middle-aged speakers have less cohesive and social networks and are more influenced by social values. In retired old people, social pressure lessen and social network become narrow (Ellis, 1994). The research that addressed on the effect of age on learners' second language achievement is that adult learners have an initial advantage where the rate of learning. Ellis (1994, p. 484) states that there is a widely held lay belief that younger second language learners generally do better than older learners which is supported by the critical period hypothesis that (Spolsky, 1989, p. 90) claims. According to this theory, Ellis (1994) says that there is a fixed span of year during which language learning can take place naturally and effortlessly, and after which it is not possible to be completely successful.

H4: there is a statistical significance between students' characteristics: age, gender and English proficiency, and their Chinese language proficiency.

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Controls:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Age, Gender,and             —1
Figure1: Conceptual Framework

CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1     Introduction

This chapter explains the overall research methodology employed in conducting this research. This involved the design of this research, sampling technique, and data collection procedure and data analysis approach.

3.2     Research Design

This research can be described as a descriptive quantitative study. A research design represents the plan or an overall strategy for conducting a given research. According to Oso and Onen (2009), research design aims to ensure that a research process is systematic and scientific enough so that the findings obtained can be applied in real life. In addition, research design is essential to social research because it ties up the methodology as research map and research methods as steps to go through the research journey. This study is defined as theory oriented research as it aims to contribute to the theory testing (Dul and Hak 2008). Recognizing the research aim to finding out what is the relationship between particular elements, quantitative research method was employed measure empirically measure and analyse such relationship. Quantitative research method is suitable for answering the research question of this study through a systematic procedure of planning, implementing and examining a given phenomenon under the proposed model (Ghauri 2005). One of the great positive points of quantitative research is that it is very purposeful, and the

researcher's bias will not affect the study results at all because it will only measure the occurrence or occurrence of variables (Bryman & Bell, 2007).

Descriptive research focuses on describing the characteristics of a particular individual or characteristics of a group (Kothari 2004). While, Mugenda and Mugenda (2003) view descriptive research as a process of collecting data in order to test hypothesis or to answer questions concerning the current status of the subject of study. The descriptive survey strategy was chosen as the most appropriate method that would provide a broad overview of a sample representing university students. The researcher believed that using quantitative research and employing survey questionnaire is an effective method to gain a better understanding of how educational context, social context and attitude affect foreign students' Chinese language proficiency.

3.3    Target Population & Sampling Technique

This study focused on the international students undertaking Chinese language programs or studying academic degree in Chinese language. Recognizing the fundamental aim of this study which is to examine the impact of educational context, social context, and attitudes on international students' proficiency level of Chinese language, the main focus was directed to students residing and living in China and ignored students who study online.

This research uses non-probability technique and convenience sampling technique. This study used convenience sampling to identify target population. Bryman and Bell (2007) argued that convenience samples are very common and indeed are more prominent than samples based on probability sampling. This research employed a non-probability convenience sampling due to the pandemic of Corona-Virus and due to limited availability of time and financial resources.

3.4    Data Collection

This study uses online questionnaire to collect data from foreign students who study Chinese language in China. This study employs a mixed research method. At a preliminary stage, I conduct face to face and online interviews with 10 foreign students who currently live in China and study Chinese language program. The fundamental questions involve as in appendix (1).

In addition, this study uses online questionnaire to collect data from foreign students who study Chinese language in China as shown in appendix (2). Wechat application was used to gather data from students who currently live and study Chinese as second language in Chinese universities. The use of Wechat as a well-known and mostly used social network application in china and by foreign students have simplified data collection process and enhanced response rate. The student has relied heavily on close foreign friends to distribute and collect questionnaires.

The survey questionnaire was divided into two sections. First section required international students to reveal their personal information and their English proficiency level. The second section requested students to rate their perception of educational context, social context and their attitude toward Chinese language. The survey question was developed in simple and direct English language to ensure understanding and enhance response rate.

3.5    Variables Measurement

This study has three independent variables: educational context, social context, and attitude toward Chinese language and one dependent variable: Chinese language

proficiency. The adopted measurement scales for each study variable is identified in table 3.1.

Table 3.1 Variable Measurement Scales

Variable

No. of

Items

Source

Educational   Context

6

Addisu (2020)

Social Context

5

(Getahun, 1997;   Mohamed, 2004)

Attitude toward   Chinese language

4

Eshghinejad   (2016)

Chinese Language   Proficiency

4

Ying and Liese (   1991 )

 

3.6    Data Analysis & Presentation

This study employs Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) Using Smart-Pls software. SEM refers to an advanced statistical methods in the data analysis process, with the aim of testing the validity of the interlocking relationships between the study variables (research framework). According to these explanations, this study used descriptive research to investigate the impact of educational context, social context and attitude on foreign students' Chinese language proficiency.

The data analysis techniques used in this research include the use of descriptive
statistics such as mean scores and standard deviation. In order to assess the structural
model, the researcher assessed the reliability and validity of the survey questionnaire.
Reliability was assessed using Cronobach alpha and composite reliability. Validity
was assessed based on convergent and discriminant validity measures using factor
loading and correlation among study variables, as well as the average variance
extraction (AVE). In reporting the results of the proposed model, the research used

estimate path coefficient, R square (R2), t statistics and p value to explain the direction and strength of the relationship among the study variables.

CHAPTER FOUR RESEARCH FINDINGS

4.1     Introduction

Chapter four presents the results of the study. This research intended to examine the direct impact of educational context, social context and attitude toward Chinese language on foreign students proficiency of Chinese language. Descriptive statisctics using frequency and percentages were used to report the details of respondents profile. SEM was used to analyze the direct relationships among study variables.

4.2     Interview Results

Most of the students have been studying in China more than two years as many students have left China upon the COVID-19 pandemic at the beginning of 2020. In addition, some students were studying their courses in Chinese language, while other students have been doing master degree and need to study Chinese as an independent course. This study focused only on students living in China and attending classes.

Students stated that they study Chinese language for job seeking and building their own business in the future. Most of the students claimed that they can speak Chinese well. However, only few students can effectively read and write in Chinese. Further, most students maintain good listening skills.

Students revealed that the tune of Chinese letters and sounds need longer time to master it. Some students argued that they may have overload from lecturers especially those who study Chinese as independent course beside their main course which is delivered in English. All students believe that their universities provide a good atmosphere, infrastructure, material and equipment which facilitate the learning process, and claimed that they learn Chinese language not only in class but chatting and speaking to friends, local people and others. They believed that class is not sufficient to learn Chinese, they need to practice the language regularly with native speakers to improve their skills.

Most students maintained a negative attitude toward learning Chinese especially at the beginning months of their study. However, they began to have favorable attitude toward learning Chinese especially after communicating with local people and friends.

Students believed that students' attitude toward Chinese language have a significant impact on the proficiency level. They argued that upon marinating a positive attitude toward language, their speaking and listening skills have improved a lot. Most of the students agreed that they would advise foreign students to study Chinese language in Chinese universities and institutions.

4.3    Employees Profile

Table 4.1 lists the details of foreign students who returned completed questionnaires.

Table 4.1: Respondents' Profile


Frequency

%

Student Age

18-20

35

29





 


21-25

52

43


26-30

23

20


31 and above

10

8

Gender

Male

74

62


Female

46

38

Year of Study

First year

13

11


Second year

21

17


Third year

56

47


Fourth year

30

25

English

Proficiency

Poor

10

8

Average

23

19


Good

47

39


Very good

33

28


Excellent

7

6

 

4.4      Analysis of Research Model

This study employed a Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) method to test the accurate association between direct impact of three independent variables: educational context, social context and attitude toward Chinese language on foreign students proficiency of Chinese language. Smart-PLS, version 3.2.7 was used to report data analysis.

4.4.1 Assesment of Measurement Model

Researchers need to ensure the reliability and validity of constructs before

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embarking on data analysis. Guided by the use of SEM method through Smart-Pls, this research assessed construct reliability based on factor loadings, Cronobach alpha and composite reliability. Construct with a factor loadings Cronobach alpha, and composite reliability values of 0.7 or higher are considered reliable as indicated by (Hair et al 2016). In assessing construct validity, this study used convergent and discriminant validity as recommended (Ringle et al 2015). The convergent validity is recognized when each variable reported average variance extraction (AVE) is above 0.5 while discriminant validity is recognized when the correlation of a factor is higher than with any other construct on its scale (Fornell & Larcker, 198 1; Ringle et al 2015). Tables 4.2 and 4.3 report the reliability and validity of constructs.

Table 4.2: Reliability and Validity of Constructs

Reliability and Validity of Constructs

Construct

Items

FL

CA

rho_A

CR

AVE

Educational   Context (EC)

EC1

0.873

0.839

0.841

0.873

0.751

EC2

0.771

EC3

0.829

EC4

0.757

EC5

0.853

EC6

0.814

Social Context   (SC)

SC1

0.822

0.858

0.862

0.887

0.736

SC2

0.816

SC3

0.867

SC4

0.801

SC5

0.781

Attitude toward   Chinese Language

ATT1

0.808

0.813

0.820

0.843

0.711

29


 

 

(ATT)

ATT2

0.876





ATT3

0.779

ATT4

0.796

Chinese Language   Proficiency (CLP)

CLP1

0.743

0.821

0.839

0.857

0.763

CLP2

0.827

CLP3

0.757

CLP4

0.848

Note: FL=factor   loadings, CA=Cronobach Alpha, rho_A= reliability, CR=Composite reliability,   AVE= average variance extraction

 

The reported research findings showed that all constructs had factor loadings and Cronbach's alphas above 0.7. With regard to construct validity, the reported AVE and composite reliability are higher than 0.7 as well.

Tables 4 shows the results pertaining to discriminant validity for foreign students valid samples. It is evident that the correlation of a factor is higher than with any other construct on its scale and all factors had higher loadings than their loaded than corresponding factors on the same scale.

Table 4.3: Discriminant Validity


Age

Gender

English proficiency

CLP

EC

SC

ATT

Age

1

0.175

0.086

0.046

0.137

0.039

0.404

Gender


1

0.026

0.183

0.079

0.051

0.181

English

Proficiency



1

0.073

0.144

0.086

0.328

CLP




0.861

0.395

0.102

0.057

30


 

 

EC





0.824

0.063

0.032

SC






0.811

0.673

ATT







0.872

Note: CLP= Chinese language Proficiency,   EC= Educational Context, SC= Social context,

Att=   Attitude.




4.4.2 Results of the Structural Model

 

The results of structural model for both samples are introduced in tables 4.8 and 4.9. Path coefficient values were obtained using bootstrapping. Based on reported R2 reported value, it was shown that educational context, social context and attitude factors explain approximately 61% of variation in Chinese language proficiency of foreign students.

Table 4.4: Results of Hypotheses Testing


Path relationship

Path

Coefficient

t-Valu e

P

Values

Results

H1

Educational   Context -> Chinese

Language   Proficiency

0.332

5.753

0.000

Supported

H2

Social   Context -> Chinese Language

Proficiency

0.287

4.828

0.000

supported

H3

Attitude   -> Chinese Language

Proficiency

0.246

3.572

0.003

Supported

 


H4

1. Student             Age—

Chinese

0.083

0.889

0.342

Rejected



Language Proficiency







2.

Student   Gender —

Chinese







Language   Proficiency


0.043

0.670

0.420



3.

English   Proficiency—

Chinese







Language Proficiency


0.013

0.155

0.870


 

This study proposed four research hypotheses as follows:

The first research hypothesis aimed at testing the association between educational context and Chinese language proficiency. Research findings revealed that path coefficient value (0.332), t-value was (5.753), and p value (0.000). Accordingly, the first hypothesis is supported and this research concluded that educational context factors have a significant impct on foreign students' Chinese language proficiency.

The second research hypothesis examined the relationship between social context and Chinese language proficiency. Research findings revealed that path coefficient value (0.287), t-value was (4.828), and p value (0.000). Accordingly, the second hypothesis is supported and this research concluded that social context factors are positively related to foreign students' Chinese language proficiency.

The third research hypothesis examined the relationship between attitude toward Chinese language and foreign students' proficiency level of Chinese language. The results of regression revealed that path coefficient value (0.246), t-value was (3.572), and p value (0.003). Accordingly, the third hypothesis is supported and this research concluded attitude is positively linked with Chinese language proficiency.

Further, this research intended to identify whether there is a statistical significant difference between students' age, gender, and English proficiency and their level of


Chinese language proficiency. The research findings revealed that none of students' characteristics: age, gender and English proficiency had significant association with Chinese language proficiency (卩=0.083; t = 0.889; p= 0.342),(卩=0.043; t = 0.670, p= 0.420), and (卩=0.013; t = 0.155; p=0.870). Thus, hypothesis 4 is declined. Guided these findings, none of the students' characteristics: age, gender and English proficiency had significant association with their level of Chinese language proficiency.

CHAPTER FIVE DISCUSSION

5.1    Discussion

Research findings revealed a significant impact of educational context, social context, and attitude toward language on the foreign students' proficiency level of Chinese language. Khasinah (2014) underlined that learning second language is influenced by several factors such as motivation, attitude, age, and learning style. Zhang et al (2020) investigated senior English major students' learning of additional foreign languages in seven universities in Shaanxi Province, China, by using a questionnaire to examine the relationship between the participants' motivation and language proficiency, and the data was analyzed using hierarchical linear regression analysis. The findings show that the instrumental and integrative motivations of the participants had a favorable impact on their second foreign language competency. Further investigation demonstrates that foreign language enjoyment mediates the link between participants' motivation and language proficiency.

33

Findings showed that foreign students maintain a favorable attitude toward learning Chinese as a foreign language. Foreign students believed that speaking Chinese allow them to have good relationships with others and equip them with a vital skill to find a job. In addition, they seek to speak like a native Chinese and feel enthusiastic to prepare homework and attend Chinese language classes. Based on such findings, academic Chinese institutions providing Chinese language teaching programs need to keep favorable foreign student's attitudes and regularly measure it to motivate potential new international students to study Chinese Language. It deserves to mention that foreign students will transfer their experience with learning Chinese language with other students and positive word of mouth would significantly results in favorable decision toward learning Chinese language.

Yin and Abdullah (2014) investigated learners' attitudes and perceptions of learning Mandarin as a foreign language at a Malaysian public university, finding that the majority of respondents had positive attitudes toward Mandarin, such as willingness to recommend the course to their friends and determination to continue learning the language after graduation. The majority of the students, however, were shown to have anxiety when studying Mandarin.

According to Adwani and Shrivastava (2017), five elements influence second language acquisition: vocabulary, grammar, mother tongue interference, self-efficacy, and motivation. These aspects are critical to consider while researching the acquisition of a second language. Language is made up of vocabulary terms that are synced by first-language grammar. Self-efficacy is an important component of social cognition, and motivation is the driving force behind the acquisition of a second language. In terms of linguistic outcomes, motivation is also a significant factor to language achievement.

Zhang (2013) describes a study of a group of university students' perceptions

toward Mandarin Chinese and how learning the language helped them develop intercultural sensitivity. Learners believed that learning Chinese allows them to communicate and identify with Chinese people, according to Zhang (2013). Although CFL students perceived Chinese as more artistic, they also developed intercultural sensitivity by learning about appropriate behaviors in the collectivistic Chinese culture.

Motivation, attitude, age, IQ, aptitude, cognitive style, and personality, according to Khasinah (2014), are all elements that have a significant impact on someone learning a second language. Learning motivation, attitude, anxiety, empathy, inhibition, and personality all play a role in stimulating, regulating, maintaining, and directing learners' cognitive activities, affecting the speed and effectiveness of foreign learning, as well as the learners' overall development and long-term development of second language acquisition, according to Wang and Wu (2020).

Halimi et al (2020) investigated the social, psychological, and cultural dimensions of motivation involved in learning English as a second language in Kuwait revealed significant levels of integrative and instrumental motivation, emphasized by female students, which could be attributed to Hofstede's cultural dimensions of certainty, femininity, and collectivist society. Research on second language acquisition focus on socio-educational and psychological factors (Ulum, 2016). Adwani and Shrivastava (2017) provided an overview of five factors affecting second language acquisition: vocabulary, grammar, and interference of mother tongue, self-efficacy and motivation and argued that these factors are vital to research for the process of acquiring second language.

Motivation is the major push for beginning to acquire a second language and afterwards the driving force for sustaining the long and tedious cognition process; in fact, all of the other components involved in L2 acquisition require motivation to some degree (Huang 2007). The underlying factors for the involution or

noninvolvement of English as a foreign language learners in academic activities have been highlighted by research on motivation in second language learning (Muftah & Rafik-Galea, 2013). The inherent and extrinsic influences that account for the initiation, culling, and direction of demeanor towards a goal have been termed as "motivation" (Babaee, 2012). It refers to learner qualities that "initiate and maintain the cognition process, or that lead to learning avoidance or abnegation." Stern (1983) is a writer who is well-known for his work on the subject Motivation is one of the most important aspects that influence the success or failure of learning a second or second language, as well as the design and implementation of language ordinate dictation (Alamin & Ahmed, 2013).

Kim (2020) claimed that when we teach language, we should be assisting individuals in participating in various aspects of their lives. This is more than just subject matter knowledge, and it is more than just a feeling of well-being. Language teachers have long recognized that learning a second language necessitates knowing about a different culture. One of the key motivations for studying languages is to have firsthand experience of a foreign culture in order to sympathize with a wider range of people and to broaden one's ability to appreciate a variety of human situations.

Previous research has found that the vast majority of students' desire professors to correct their linguistic errors in a euphemistic manner, and that teachers' incorrect correction tactics might cause anxiety in students (Wang & Wu, 2020).). It is undeniably an auxiliary means of influencing and triggering learners' happy affections with teachers' positive affections. Learners are frequently responsive to teacher criticism, particularly negative feedback, during the learning process.

Positive affective feedback is required in the process of error correction if learners want classroom conversation to run successfully. This necessitates teacher control on three levels: first, distinguish between the various treatments; second, the timing of error correction, preferably after the completion of communication, and then

correct the error; and finally, the corrective method, and learner correction should be done in a euphemistic or indirect manner (Geeslin & Guijarro-Fuentes, 2006). Learners can be persuaded to detect errors on their own and correct them in a positive way in this way.

The learner's learning potential should be exercised when the learner's interest in learning has been stimulated. For independent learning, the learner's existing knowledge and senses should be used. Teachers can create settings that are familiar to students and enable them to communicate with teachers and other students using their prior knowledge, enhancing their capacity to learn independently. This technique has the potential to pave the path for new learning and knowledge. To make learning new information easier, teachers can place new information immediately in the context of learning, allowing students to engage in more direct and active language learning activities.

The findings of the aforementioned study could have a number of ramifications. To begin, English teachers in higher education institutions should improve their language skills and teaching levels, as well as create diverse and flexible classroom activities to increase students' enthusiasm in learning English. In particular, with China's higher education opening up at a faster pace and its level of internationalization rising. Teachers in the new period must have a global perspective, a contemporary knowledge structure, and an English level that allows them to stay up with the changes (Wang, 2019).

Furthermore, teachers must provide enough learning advice to students so that they understand that obtaining English knowledge in college comes not just from teachers, but also from a variety of current and diverse resources. Finally, teachers should provide specific recommendations to freshmen who have recently started college. Teachers could demonstrate some practical learning approaches to help pupils

adjust to college life more rapidly.

Lu (2014) investigated Chinese Language Speaking Anxiety and its associated factors among college-level students learning Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) in the United States and found that gender, but not proficiency level or elective-required status, had a significant effect on Speaking Anxiety. Furthermore, Lu discovered that perceived Chinese language difficulty, self-perceived language learning ability, and self-reported Chinese class accomplishment were all significant predictors of Speaking Anxiety, accounting for 21.4 percent of the variance in Speaking Anxiety.

Because of the significant differences between Chinese and English, it is widely acknowledged that Chinese is a difficult language to learn for foreigners. The Chinese language's high difficulty level may be a major source of anxiety for English-speaking Chinese learners (Luo, 2012). Chinese, in contrast to English, is a tonal language. When speaking a foreign language, the necessity to pay attention to tones might induce additional anxiety. Chinese teachers may need to discover new ways to expose students to the Chinese language. Involving students in the local Chinese community, establishing a Chinese Table, and creating a virtual Chinese community for students are all examples of excellent language exposure tactics. Because students who view the Chinese language to be easier are less worried in Chinese lessons, an orientation workshop demystifying the Chinese language before the start of Chinese classes may be able to mentally and emotionally prepare students for Chinese classes.

Furthermore, in Chinese classrooms, efficient tactics for teaching tones and characters, the two most difficult aspects of the Chinese language, should be implemented. Because anxiety levels were found to be negatively connected with CFL learners' self-perceptions of language learning capacity and achievement, it may be beneficial if Chinese teachers could encourage students and improve their confidence in Chinese lessons. Praise pupils in front of their classmates, continual 38

appreciation of their achievement, and regular individual sessions to track each student's obstacles and development are all effective techniques for encouraging students.

More colleges are now lacking a foreign language environment, requiring students to speak other languages only in the foreign language classroom. However, in the classroom, the teacher's scenes can direct students' oral practice, which helps them mobilize their initiative and excitement and pushes them to go from a passive to an active learning orientation. Learners will utilize foreign languages to communicate effortlessly as a result of self-exploration and learning in everyday life (Kung, 2019).

Wang and Guan (2020) used a multi-factor analysis of variance to look at the factors that affect Chinese students learning English as a foreign language at Henan University in China, and found that teacher-related factors, self-related factors, and institution-related factors are the main causes of psychological demotivation among Chinese EFL students. Furthermore, they discovered that an English test result has a substantial negative link with psychological demotivation intensity; the institution-related factor differed insignificantly between freshmen and sophomores.

Teacher-related factors, self-related factors, and institution-related factors all contribute to a lack of motivation in students' learning. This study's findings are similar with prior research (Xu Gao, 2014), indicating that the elements affecting students' "psychological demotivation" in such a Chinese-foreign cooperation program are numerous. After class, Chinese and foreign teachers might collaborate to evaluate their students' performance in order to offer an objective appraisal of their students (Gao, Xu, & Liu, 2018). The entire learning experience will present students with opportunities to communicate with international teachers, as well as further excite our learners' interest in exotic cultures, thinking processes, and rigorous academic integrity, all of which will aid in the development of their life-long learning. Further, motivational controlled tactics are important for EFL learners' English

learning (Xu & Gao, 2014), and they are divided into five categories: self-consequating, environmental control, mastery self-talk, performance self-talk, and interest augmentation (Wolters, 1998). Teachers should encourage pupils to motivate themselves, create suitable goals, and pursue their own interests when teaching. Last but not least, it is suggested that special education research institutes for sustainable development be developed in Chinese institutions. A complete sequence of fostering talents has yet to emerge in China. Students in China's higher education institutes are primarily self-reliant. It's worth noting that internationalized textbooks should be included in such Chinese-foreign cooperation initiatives. Effective learning would not be sustained without sufficient intelligible knowledge input as indicated by Wang (2017).

In addition to the scientific and cultural benefit provided by learning the Chinese language, Chinese will make you able to communicate with more than a billion Chinese people who do not speak any language other than Chinese more important opportunities. Following the dominance of globalization and the breaking down of barriers between countries and peoples of the world, people are arguing about everything that makes them similar and different, and we have noticed that this debate includes all fields such as economy, science and business, and all of this has led to a clear impact on language in a positive and negative way at the same time. In addition to the noticeable spread of languages and the desire of humans to learn in order to communicate with different others, we note the dominance of the most powerful and influential languages at the expense of the weaker languages, and given the tremendous growth of the Chinese economy and this country's invasion of the global market and its progress in the scientific, technical, cultural and artistic fields, experts expect that the language Chinese is the language of the twenty-first century, meaning that it will be able to cross and spread rapidly due to its economic and technical superiority.

CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSION

This chapter presents the concluding part of conducting this research. It begins by introducing a brief of key research findings. Based on the results of the study, this chapter withdraws a set of theoretical and managerial implications, identifies areas of further research and highlight some concluding remarks.

6.1    Implications

Learners with these motives want to improve their conversational skills, use foreign languages to get the information they need, and achieve the goal of successful communication with foreign languages. For educational context, foreign students reported that the surrounding educational environment is helpful and motivating to learn. They agreed that universities provide them with comfortable learning environment, teachers provide interesting teaching methods, more illustration, and class activities. In addition, students believe that classes have a reasonable size, comfortable light and temperature. Finally, they believe that class teachers use various material to help use learn Chinese (textbooks, cars, videos) and encourage them to speak Chinese inside and outside the classroom. Such findings illustrate that the educational context factors have a positive significant impact on students' proficiency level of Chinese language. Accordingly, universities should keep paying attention to maintaining such favorable environment and finding new ways to improve it. For instance, they can allow foreign students to rate their teachers, evaluate the available infrastructure and encourage them to provide their feedback and suggestions. This will help universities improve their educational environment which eventually results in satisfying foreign students and encourage new international students to join Chinese language programs.

Pertaining to social context, foreign students reported that surrounding social environment is favorable as it allow them to improve their Chinese language proficiency as most of the people around them communicate mainly in Chinese. Foreign students feel pleased to speak Chinese in class, get involved in group learning with classmates, and prefer to speak with native Chinese. Finally, they like and get more integration with the Chinese culture. Such findings give some good indications to Chinese universities. First, social context inside and outside classroom is essential to learning Chinese from the viewpoint of foreign students. Accordingly, universities should consider the internal and external learning environment. For instance, lecturers may ask students to do some sort of homework which involves integration and interaction with local people such as conducting and recording friendly interviews with some local individuals about culture and social events.

Culture and language are learned simultaneously by the most successful language learners, therefore teaching language and teaching culture cannot be separated (Ho, 2009). Of course, learning a language necessitates a thorough understanding of vocabulary and structure. However, language teachers frequently undervalue the importance of teaching culture, resulting in a failure to realize the promise of language acquisition to foster cultural understanding (Rao, 2002).

Language learners should be able to apply their understanding of phonology, lexicon, grammar, and pragmatics to empathically understand and interact with others, as full human beings engaging whole humans. Multilingual education, according to Hornberger (2009), is “the best opportunities for training future generations to engage in the construction of democratic societies in aglobalized and international world” (p. 197). According to research on intercultural communication, language learners must develop four skills in order to communicate effectively with people from different cultures: awareness of one's own cultural worldview, acceptance and appreciation of

others' cultural differences, knowledge of various cultural practices and worldviews, and cross-cultural skills (Byram & Feng, 2004). Huang et al (2017) explored the Chinese English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers' attitudes toward technology use and the factors that influence their technology acceptance and revealed that Chinese EFL teachers generally maintained a positive attitude toward technology use in teaching process. In general, learners who have a friendly attitude and a strong interest in the language and a native speaker will be willing to learn more about the language; on the other hand, if they have a negative attitude, they will psychologically oppose affections and inhibit language acquisition.

Recognizing the characteristics of Chinese language alphabets (Pinyin), Chinese universities should focus on finding new ways to enhance foreign students' writing and reading skills. In this regard, they can add more modules related to learning and improving both skills. In addition, they can develop some collective activities that emphasize writing and reading some Chinese languages passages such as competition among classes, involvement in some cultural and social events.

Finally, findings reported insignificant relationship between students' characteristics and their Chinese proficiency level. This indicates that existing social and educational environment are suitable for foreign students and there is no need to customize it to meet the need of a specific student group based on gender, race and age.

6.2    Research Limitations

This study has some limitations. First, the sample size was only 120 students. The drop in sample volume was due to many foreigners leaving China during COVID-19. The study focused only on students who still live and study Chinese language in different Chinese Universities.

6.3      Future Research

Based on the results of this research, future studies may consider the following research avenues:

Apply the current research model in different contexts and use qualitative research methods (case study and in-depth interviews)

Explainindetails theelements ofeducational andsocial contexts and their impact on enhancing foreign students' level of language proficiency.

Empirically examine students' attitude toward a foreign language and its direct potential impact on their proficiency level.

Develop and implement teaching strategy which is mainly related to improving and enhancing two fundamental Chinese language skills: reading and writing.

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