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The Positive Psychology of Chinese Students Learning English at UK Universities

Mak, Winfred (2015) The Positive Psychology of Chinese Students Learning English at UK Universities. PhD thesis, University of York.

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The main aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between positive psychology (PP) variables, namely, self-regulation, mindset, psychological well-being and psychological adjustment, in a sample of Chinese master’s students studying in the UK on the one hand, and the English language learning activities in social and educational settings that they reported using to improve their English language proficiency on the other hand; and how the scores on the variables and the relationships between the variables changed between the beginning of the academic year (time 1) and mid-way through the academic year (time 2). A mixed-method research approach was adopted. Questionnaire and interview data were collected at time 1 (T1) and time 2 (T2). 152 and 167 participants completed questionnaires at T1 and T2 respectively, and face-to-face interviews were conducted concurrently with sixteen and fourteen participants at T1 and T2 respectively. SPSS and NVivo were the statistical tools used for questionnaire and interview data analyses. Analyses of the data indicated that there was a significant decrease in growth mindset and psychological adjustment scores (p<0.01) between T1 and T2. Concerning English language learning activities, there was a significant increase in scores of ‘I join social activities where English is used’; and a significant decrease in scores of ‘I keep a notebook of new vocabulary that I have learned’ between T1 and T2. Regarding perceived language proficiency, however, there were no significant score changes between T1 and T2. In terms of the relationship between scores of PP variables and English language learning activities, more correlations (≧0.2) were found at T2 than T1. Similarly, more correlations (≧0.2) were found between scores of PP variables and perceived language proficiency at T2 than that at T1. In conclusion, this study contributes to our understanding of the complex relationship between PP variables and language learning activities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.698313
Depositing User: Miss Winfred Mak
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2016 14:17
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2020 13:03
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15516

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