Language Learning Motivation: A Comparative Study between English and Mandarin Language Learners
English as a Second Language (ESL) is a term which is broadly used in Malaysia’s educational system. Mandarin, on the other hand, is only used among Chinese community and not many non-Chinese know and use Mandarin language as their communication tools among themselves. However, due to the rapid development of economy in China, the interest in Mandarin language learning is becoming prominent. In Malaysia, a country which has developed a tight diplomatic and economic relationship with China since 1976, the interest in learning Mandarin as a Foreign Language (MFL) among the non-Chinese learners is also growing where there is a quantum leap of Mandarin learners at tertiary level (Teow, Ismail, Foo & Ho, 2016). Students in Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) are offered with both English as a Second Language (ESL) and Mandarin as a Foreign Language (MFL) courses. It means that students must learn English and Mandarin simultaneously especially for Diploma students and Degree students. Understanding how the motivation to learn each language might vary within a certain socio-political context is worth exploring, as it may help lecturers working within that context to motivate their students to learn the language more effectively. Moreover, it is reasonable to assume that the different languages learned might trigger different emotional responses from learners (Humphreys & Spratt. 2008). In relation to this, it is important to examine the differences of students’ ESL and MFL learning motivation. This study employed a quantitative research design which emphasized on data collection from students who studied ESL and MFL.