The impact of social psychological factors on Taiwanese adult learner's second language achievement and performance
Introduction/purpose of the study. Considerable research has demonstrated that achievement in a second language is related to attitudinal and motivational factors, as well as a growing interest that social psychological factors, such as parents' socio-economic status, language learning environment and a learner's internal mental state may also be related to second language achievement and competency (Gardner & Lambert, 1959, 1972, 1985; Clement, Gardner & Smythe, 1977; Gardner, 1985b; Gardner & MacIntyre, 1992, 1993). Studies that focus on the process of learning a second language as a social psychological phenomenon and on the importance of the situation under which language learning takes place are much needed. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of language achievement to three primary components of a socio-educational model (integrativeness, attitudes toward the learning situation, and motivation).
Research methods. Survey and demographic data including students' grade point averages, family annual income, computer-based TOEFL test scores, enrollment status, and parents' educational attainment were collected through a web-based survey questionnaire. A sample of 205 Taiwanese students from Taiwan participated in the study. Students were randomly drawn from 14 universities located at different geographic locations. The survey was administered during the Spring semester 2003.
Data analysis. To estimate the influence of both psychosocial and demographic/SES factors on second language performance, the following six blocks were entered in a hierarchical logistic regression equation: (1) Father's Educational Attainment, Family Annual Income, Self-reported Computer-based TOEFL, (2) Degree of Commitment to Learn English, (3) Motivation to Learn English, (4) Perceptions toward Second Language Teachers' Effectiveness, (5) Desire to Assimilate through English-Related Activities and (6) Focus on Learning English.
Two statistical analyses were applied to the data, exploratory factor analyses followed by logistic regression analysis. The factor analyses provided the identification of an internally consistent set of measures. Logistic regression was used in the current study to test the different models proposed. The use of logistic regression presumes a relationship between an outcome variable (performing well versus not performing well) and a set of predictor variables (demographic characteristics and motivational/attitudinal factors). The analysis examined the contribution of each of the six major dimensions (blocks) in explaining the criterion variable (second language performance). (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
Minority & ethnic groups;
0516: Adult education
0516: Continuing education
0279: Language arts
0631: Minority & ethnic groups