Welcome to Francis Academic Press

Frontiers in Educational Research, 2024, 7(4); doi: 10.25236/FER.2024.070419.

The relationship between attitude and English speaking skills of Chinese college students


Su Dongying

Corresponding Author:
Su Dongying

School of Foreign Languages, Yinchuan University of Energy, Yinchuan, China


Among various factors influencing English learning, affective variables such as attitudes, motivation, and anxiety are highly significant. Among these factors, learners' attitude towards learning English is considered a key element in inspiring learners to acquire proficiency in the language. This study investigates the correlation between attitude and speaking proficiency in the Chinese context of learning English as a foreign language (EFL). The study sample comprises 90 sophomore students majoring in non-English disciplines from Yinchuan Energy College in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of China. Data were collected using Gardner's Attitude/Motivation Test Battery questionnaire and a speaking proficiency test to assess the level of English speaking proficiency. Mean values, standard deviations, percentages, Pearson product-moment correlations, and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test were employed to analyze the data. The results indicate that Chinese college students exhibit a highly positive attitude towards learning English, and there is a positive correlation between students' attitudes and their English speaking proficiency. The paper also discusses some insights derived from the study.


Attitude; Chinese college students; English speaking skills

Cite This Paper

Su Dongying. The relationship between attitude and English speaking skills of Chinese college students. Frontiers in Educational Research (2024) Vol. 7, Issue 4: 111-117. https://doi.org/10.25236/FER.2024.070419.


[1] Gardner M P. Mood states and consumer behavior: A critical review[J]. Journal of Consumer research, 1985, 12(3): 281-300. 

[2] Tang M, Tian J. Associations between Chinese EFL graduate students' beliefs and language learning strategies[J]. International journal of bilingual education and bilingualism, 2015, 18(2): 131-152.

[3] Gardner R C, Lambert W E. Attitudes and motivation in second-language learning[J]. Newbury House Publishers, Inc., 1972. 

[4] Edwards S. Exchange rate market efficiency and new information[J]. Economics Letters, 1982, 9(4): 377-382.

[5] Ahmad Rizal A R, Nordin S M, Ahmad W F W, et al. How does social media influence people to get vaccinated? The elaboration likelihood model of a person’s attitude and intention to get COVID-19 vaccines [J]. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2022, 19(4): 2378.

[6] Pan H, Liu C, Fang F, et al. “How is my English”: Chinese university students’ attitudes toward China English and their identity construction[J]. Sage Open, 2021, 11(3): 21582440211038271.

[7] Zhao J, Cheng L. 14 Exploring the Relationship between Chinese University Students’ Attitudes towards the College English Test and their Test Performance[J]. English language assessment and the Chinese learner, 2010: 190.

[8] Gardner R C, Lalonde R N, Moorcroft R. The role of attitudes and motivation in second language learning: Correlational and experimental considerations[J]. Language learning, 1985, 35(2): 207-227.

[9] Xu H. College students’ attitudes toward English-medium instruction and the English language [M]// English-medium instruction in Chinese universities. Routledge, 2017: 59-75.

[10] Choi L J. English as an important but unfair resource: University students’ perception of English and English language education in South Korea[J]. Teaching in Higher Education, 2021: 1-15.

[11] O’Sullivan B, Motteram J, Skipsey R, et al. The importance of the four skills in the Japanese context [J]. British Council. Retrieved December, 2022, 26.

[12] Kim T Y, Kim T Y. Recent advances in EFL (de) motivation theory[J]. Historical development of English learning motivation research: Cases of Korea and its neighboring countries in East Asia, 2021: 215-268.

[13] Schmidt R, Watanabe Y. Motivation, strategy use, and pedagogical preferences in foreign language learning [J]. Motivation and second language acquisition, 2001, 23(1): 313-359.

[14] Pan L, Sun D, Zou Y, et al. Psycho-linguistic and educational challenges in Teaching Chinese (Mandarin) Language: voices from None-Chinese teachers of Mandarin language[J]. BMC psychology, 2023, 11(1): 390.

[15] Wen Q, Zhang H. China going global: Challenges and responses in English as a foreign language teaching and teacher education[J]. English language teaching and teacher education in East Asia: Global challenges and local responses, 2020: 1113-1134.

[16] Eldho E, Kumar R. Sociolinguistic Variation and Change of Enunciative Word-Final Schwa in Tamil English Spoken in Chennai, India[J]. English as International Language Journal, 2021, 16(2): 23-47.

[17] Johnson Y. Attitudes towards EFL learning and extensive reading in Japanese engineering students [D]. Muroran Institute of Technology, 2012.

[18] Jahin J H, Idrees M W. EFL major student teachers’ writing proficiency and attitudes towards learning English[J]. Umm Al-Qura University Journal of Educational & Psychologic Sciences, 2012, 4(1): 10-72.

[19] Dehbozorgi E. Effects of attitude towards language learning and risk-taking on EFL student's proficiency [J]. International Journal of English Linguistics, 2012, 2(2): 41.