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Durham e-Theses
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Context and impact of medium of instruction on attitudes, motivation and academic performance: Secondary school children in Hong Kong

Chan, Rita Lai-ying (2007) Context and impact of medium of instruction on attitudes, motivation and academic performance: Secondary school children in Hong Kong. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The thesis is an investigation of how medium of instruction (MOI) as a factor interacts with relevant socio-cultural contextual factors to create impacts on the attitudes, motivation and academic performance of secondary school children studying in two branches of the same school, one with Chinese as MOI and one with English as MOI, called MOI bifurcation. It attempts to use both quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques to investigate the impacts of the streaming of students to learn either in their first language or the second language on the attitudinal, motivational as well as behavioural development of students of the two respective MOI streams. The setting for the thesis was the secondary sector of Hong Kong, a city of People's Republic of China with the unique presence of two dominant languages, namely, Chinese, the first language of the majority of the population, and English, the socially and economically powerful second language. Subjects were 213 male and 188 female students from three secondary schools with Chinese as the medium of instruction (CMI), who were allocated to either the Chinese stream or the English stream (EMI) upon transition to Secondary 4 being the penultimate year of the 5 year secondary system. The subjects shared similar cultural and educational backgrounds, all with at least 12 years of education learning through the Chinese medium. Results revealed that differences were consistently identified between the students of the two MOI groups, both immediately upon and some time after the transition to the bifurcation settings, in their attitudinal as well as behavioural development, and in their self-reported academic performance. It was also found that the differences identified were found to either continue or grow in strength in the course of time, though some of the differences only emerged at a later stage. Findings also indicated that in a context where the differences between the two learning media are substantial in terms of status and educational values, the MOI streaming had a unique and more positive impact on students studying through the high power second language (i.e. English), e.g. more favourable attitudes towards English, higher level of L2 motivation, better self-concept and an inclination to a higher level of internality. On the other hand, those studying in their native but low status mother-tongue were found to be more susceptible to less favourable development in the above aspects, in comparison with their EMI counterparts.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Thesis Date:2007
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:56

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