The results showed that Chinese students, like their western counterparts, were motivated to read if they were presented with materials matching their personal interests and choices. When compared with low reading achievement students, high reading achievement students were found to place greater value on grades and social recognition. They also had stronger self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation. The results also suggested that external social and cultural factors impacted the students'' motivation to read. In particular, teachers'' and parents'' expectations strongly influenced the students'' motivation to read. The study has important implications for Chinese reading instruction. Chinese reading teachers should de-emphasize reading for grades and external factor. They should adopt instruction practices that promote intrinsic motivation and develop lifelong engaged readers who truly love reading.