Predicting roles of linguistic confidence, integrative motivation and second language proficiency on cross-cultural adaptation

Baohua YU*, Huizhong SHEN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reported on the results of a questionnaire survey conducted with 198 Mainland Chinese international students across five different faculties in an Australian university studying for their bachelor, master and doctorate degrees. This research investigated the predicting effects of linguistic confidence in a second language (L2), integrative motivation and L2 proficiency on cross-cultural adaptation of Mainland Chinese international students in Australia. Results indicated that linguistic confidence in L2 was particularly important and L2 proficiency and integrative motivation were additionally important for both socio-cultural and academic adaptation for Mainland Chinese international students. In addition, differences in major study variables between faculties were examined and results indicated that students from the Faculty of Engineering and Information and those from the Faculty of Economics and Business respectively reported the highest and the lowest level of linguistic confidence, L2 proficiency and socio-cultural adaptation among the five faculties sampled. Implications to host institutions, host faculties, international students and future research were also considered in the paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-82
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Issue number1
Early online date13 Jan 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The initial report of this study was presented at TESOL Research Network Colloquium 2009 on September 5, 2009, at the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. This research was supported by 2007 Endeavour Australian Cheung Kong Awards from Australian government. The authors would like to express their deepest appreciation to Professor Barbara Fawcett, Dr. Kevin Laws and Dr. Lindy Woodrow for their professional support and advice on this research project, the students from the University of Sydney for their voluntary participation, and the Faculty of Education and Social Works for the technical support in establishing an online survey for this research.

The authors would also like to deeply thank the Editor, Professor Dan Landis, and two anonymous reviewers for their very constructive and invaluable comments that helped enhance the quality of this manuscript.


  • Cross-cultural adaptation
  • Integrative motivation
  • International students
  • L2 proficiency
  • Linguistic confidence in L2


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