The main objective of this study is to investigate the motivation patterns of the two groups of Hong Kong students with different cultural backgrounds and examine the relationship between their motivation to learn English and English attainment. This study adopts the motivation framework of Dornyei (2001) to investigate the extent each social specific motivation component affects respective group of students' motivation to learn English. Results suggest that peer is the most influential factor affecting students' motivation to learn while parents play the least significant role. Attempts are also made to see how specific motivational components relate to English attainment. Results indicate that both groups of students' English attainment are positively correlated to course-specific motivation while teacher-specific motivation holds contrastive correlations with the two groups of students. With the results of this study, it is hoped that educators will be able to understand the fundamental differences between the two groups of students in terms of motivation and learning needs. Light can also be shed on shaping different teaching methodologies when teaching students with different cultural backgrounds.