Kenyan Mandarin Learners’ Motivations, Beliefs & Strategies

Stephen Ondago Oduor


As one of the six official working languages of the United Nations, Mandarin Chinese plays an important role in international communication. China as the world’s largest developing country with a strong economic performance, Mandarin has increasingly become a popular language in the world. In Africa, Kenya’s exchanges with China have also expanded over the years and bilateral relations have reached the level of a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. Therefore, having a good command of Mandarin language and culture is a prerequisite to ensure that Kenyans participate in global competition.

This quantitative study involved a 26-item-modified questionnaire aimed at investigating the situation of Mandarin learning in the Kenyan higher education context. The objectives of the current research including analysis of learning motivations, description of learning beliefs and strategies of Mandarin learners, are further discussed. The results indicated that students had six different categories of motivations, held a variety of perceptions and beliefs, and adopted diverse learning strategies. Last but not least, implications and future contributions will be provided.

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