The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Second Language Learning Motivation and Cooperative Learning: Does it Enhance ESL Chinese Students Critical Thinking?

Leah Li Echiverri, Wenzhou Kean University (China)


A descriptive-correlational study examined the influence of second language (L2) learning motivation and cooperative learning on enhancing critical thinking skills among Chinese ESL students in Wenzhou and Ningbo. Using convenience and snowball sampling, a cross-sectional study obtained an overall representation of the 400 respondents' perspectives: 197 students from Sino-foreign universities and 203 from Chinese traditional institutions. A quantitative approach was used to analyze the data.
L2 learning motivation and critical thinking were found to be strongly positively correlated. Chinese ESL students who are integratively motivated, aspiring to travel, build friendships, and connect with English-speaking people demonstrate high self-regulation skills in critical thinking. They can self-consciously monitor their cognitive activities, the components involved, and the results obtained. Similarly, Chinese ESL students who are instrumentally motivated, aiming to fulfill university learning requirements and gain a competitive advantage in their career prospects through English proficiency, tend to have a highly open mindset and systematic approach. They continually seek out information relevant to problem-solving and use a collection of data that has been systematically organized. Cooperative learning and critical thinking were found to be strongly positively correlated. Students who are good at group dynamics and possess the ability to identify which behaviors to maintain or modify conducive to goal achievement and foster effective working relationships tend to demonstrate high evaluation abilities. They utilize supportive evidence, including references, and engage in re-evaluation to draw logical conclusions. Furthermore, students who are good at recognizing individual performance and accountability in creating cooperative learning tasks and reward structures also tend to have a high disposition toward fairness and objectivity. They are willing to accept proven truths even if they hold different perspectives during their thinking process.

KeywordsSecond Language Learning Motivation, Cooperative Learning, Critical Thinking, Critical Thinking Cognitive Skills, Critical Thinking Disposition


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