The Relationships among Motivation, Learning Styles and English Proficiency in EFL Music Students

  •  Yuanjun Dai    
  •  Zhiwei Wu    
  •  Lili Dai    


This paper reports a study on the relationships among motivation, learning styles and English proficiency in a Chinese context. 308 students who studied English as a foreign language (EFL) were sampled from seven departments in Xinghai Conservatory of Music. Quantitative data were collected through an on-line survey to address three questions: 1) Do music students have a particular learning style preference? 2) What are the relationships among motivation, learning styles and English proficiency? 3) How could EFL teachers better accommodate students’ motivation and learning styles to improve their English proficiency? Nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis tests showed that music students varied a lot in their preferences of learning styles, thus problematising the practice of using one learning style to gloss over the preferences of music students. Correlation analyses demonstrated that a) motivation and English proficiency was moderately correlated; b) none of the learning styles was correlated with English proficiency, except that active students performed slightly worse in the final exam; c) students who favoured the visual style were found to be less motivated. In light of these findings, we discuss the methods of grouping students and revamping EFL course content from English for General Purposes to English for Specific Purposes for music students.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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