This study is to investigate the learning motivation of overseas students in Master of Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (referred as ‘MTCSOL overseas students’ below). Based on a social cognitive motivation theory, self-determination theory, it investigates and studies how the degree to which basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness of MTCSOL overseas students are satisfied affects the strength of their learning motivation and the degree to which their learning motivation is internalized. Also, interested in the learning behavior and learning experience of MTCSOL overseas students, it also investigates their ‘student engagement’ so as to study the correlations among three factors, namely the degree to which basicpsychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness are satisfied, learning motivation and student engagement.
A questionnaire including three scales, namely the Self-regulation Scale, the Basic Psychological Needs Scale, and the Student Engagement Scales is used in this study and 43 MTCSOL overseas students have filled in the questionnaire.
The result of the survey suggests that MTCSOL overseas students’ autonomous motivation is stronger than their controlled motivation and their need for relatedness is better satisfied than that for autonomy and competence. As forthe detail information of the three factors mentioned above among different groups, results tell that the degree to which learning motivation is internalized and the level of student engagement of ladies is higher than that of gentlemen. The degree to which learning motivation is internalized of students from South-east Asia and East Asia is weaker than that of other students. However, the degree of their student engagement is higher than average. The overall learning motivation and the degree to which learning motivation of the first-year graduates are higher than that of second-year graduates. The result of structural equation modeling test suggests that a strong bilateral interaction exists between the satisfaction of MTCSOL overseas students’ basicpsychological needs and the total strength of their learning motivation. In addition, the degree to which basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness of MTCSOL overseas students are satisfied and the total strength of their learning motivation are positive predictors of their student engagement. And the effect of competence satisfaction is the strongest among three basic psychological needs, with autonomy the next and relatedness the weakest. Also, the effect of autonomous motivation on student engagement is a little stronger than controlled motivation.