The socioeducational model, for about four decades, had dominated the research agenda of second language (L2) learning motivation. However, through a variety of scientific studies, scholars found it was necessary to develop the model in order to accurately and sufficiently interpret motivation of L2 learners. In response to this need, Dörnyei (2005) proposed the L2 motivational self system to address L2 motivation from the perspective of L2 self. The validity of the system has been verified with English as a foreign language learners, yet unknown with learners of other languages. This study, as first-ever, investigates Chinese heritage and nonheritage learners to examine if the L2 motivational self system can be expanded to learners of a language other than English. The ?ndings demonstrate that the perspective of L2 self provides new insights into the motivation of general foreign language learners, and heritage and nonheritage learners’ comparison. Useful pedagogical implications are provided corresponding to the ?ndings. This study should be helpful for researchers of L2 motivation and acquisition, and instructors of Chinese and other languages.