• The effects of affective variables and kanji growth on L1 Chinese JSL learners' kanji learning

      Ross, Steven, 1951-; Beglar, David; Kozaki, Yoko; Banno, Eri; Sick, James (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)
      Learning kanji (i.e., the Chinese characters utilized in the Japanese writing system) is unique for learners of Japanese who speak Chinese as their first language (L1) due to their ability to transfer their knowledge of L1 hanzi (i.e., the Chinese characters utilized in the Chinese writing system). The present study is a longitudinal investigation into the effects of affective variables and kanji growth on kanji learning utilizing the self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2002). L1 Chinese learners of Japanese as a second language (L2) responded to a questionnaire designed to measure eleven affective variables and took kanji tests three times over one academic semester (N = 229-340). In addition, interviews were conducted with 12 participants to further explore the affective variables influencing kanji learning. The data were analyzed using univariate and multivariate latent growth modeling, multiple regression analyses, and path modeling to answer six research questions. The results showed that: (a) there were no associations between the initial affective status and the initial kanji proficiency; (b) intrinsic motivation and introjected regulation exerted significant positive and negative influences on short-term kanji growth, respectively; (c) growth in kanji proficiency did not cultivate intrinsic motivation, nor did intrinsic motivation lead to growth in kanji proficiency; (d) perceived competence was significantly associated with both the initial status of intrinsic motivation and changes in intrinsic motivation; (e) perceived competence was not associated with either the initial level or the development of kanji proficiency; (f) perceived competence positively affected four variables, intrinsic motivation, identified regulation, external regulation, and mastery goals; (g) perceived autonomy led to lower amotivation and higher intrinsic motivation, but caused lower external regulation; (h) peers' positive influences positively affected all six variables, cultivating higher intrinsic motivation, identified regulation, introjected regulation, external regulation, and mastery goals, as well as causing lower amotivation; (i) peers' negative influences led to lower identified regulation and higher amotivation, and higher introjected regulation, and; (j) attitudes toward L2 community/speakers did not influence any of the SDT kanji learning motivation and mastery goals. The results of the interview study revealed that (a) the participants felt various types of enjoyment in kanji learning, including intrinsic motivation-knowledge, intrinsic motivation-stimulation, and intrinsic motivation-accomplishment; (b) ideal L2 self guided intrinsic motivation; (c) introjected regulation was channeled by ought-to L2 self and feared L2 self, and; (d) feared L2 self was uniquely formulated as a result of the complex interactions of various factors such as pride as L1 hanzi knowledge holders and normative pressure from Chinese peers. Evidence gathered in research targeting English learners is not necessarily applicable to the learning and motivation for learning other languages. The present study contributes to a better understanding of the universality as well as the individuality of the roles of motivation in L2 learning.