A Study of Chinese learners’ Beliefs, Strategy use and Proficiency in Learning Chinese as a Foreign Language

Chinese language learners, learning beliefs, learning strategies, Chinese proficiency

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January 19, 2022

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This research is a mixed-methods study that examined Chinese learners' beliefs and strategies used in language learning in the context of their achieved proficiency. To investigate the relationship existing between these variables, two survey questionnaires, a Chinese proficiency test (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi: HSK 4), and an interview item were constructed. In total, one hundred and twenty international students were conveniently sampled for the BALLI and SILL questionnaires, as well as a Proficiency Test, and six out of the one hundred and twenty were selected to respond to the interview. The results revealed that learning beliefs about learning and communication strategies and metacognitive strategies in learning strategies were frequently used among these participants. The study also showed that a strong positive correlation exists between learning beliefs and the strategies used, while a weak positive and statistically significant correlation exists between their Chinese proficiency, learning beliefs about the language, and the strategies used. However, the regression analysis conducted showed that the regression model is statistically significant (F=70.63, p<0.05), indicating that the beliefs and strategies used have the potential to statistically predict their learning proficiency. The study concluded with suggestions on how to address negative learning beliefs and build adequate learning strategies to improve their Chinese proficiency.