Teachers’ Cognitions on Motivating Language Learners in Multilingual Hong Kong

  • Mairin Hennebry-LeungEmail author
Part of the Multilingual Education Yearbook book series (MEYB)


Rooted in data gathered from a large-scale study in Hong Kong, this chapter examines English language teachers’ cognitions on motivating learners in a multilingual context. In so doing it offers unique affordances to critically examine the mediating role of sociocultural context in language teacher education policy and practice. The chapter draws on observation and interview data from English language teachers across English, Chinese and mixed medium instruction secondary schools to explore their cognitions on language learning motivation and examine the role of sociocultural context in shaping their practices and beliefs. The data points to an ad hoc approach to motivating students that is reactive and not proactive, responding not to the multilingual needs of learners, but to immediate classroom events. The chapter suggests that while much is known about the nature of motivation, this knowledge has yet to be integrated into language teacher education curricula. The chapter argues the need for teacher education to incorporate an explicit focus on motivational teaching practice, equipping teachers with the tools to develop socioculturally responsive pedagogical frameworks that are sensitive to the needs of their learners as multilingual citizens rather than language learners.


Motivation Teacher cognition Medium of instruction 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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