Factors Influencing Willingness to Communicate: A Model Proposed Using a Mixed-Methods Approach

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Morteza Amirsheibani et al.


A common concern experienced by language teachers in English language classrooms is the learners’ unwillingness to speak. The current study is an attempt to investigate Iranian English as a foreign language (EFL) learners’ perception of factors contributing to their willingness to speak English in language classrooms. For this purpose, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 4language learners to determine the recurrent themes in their opinions about underlying factors contributing to L2WTC. Using themes, a second language willingness to communicate (L2WTC) model was proposed by researchers based on WTC theory (MacIntyre, Clement, Dörnyei, & Noels, 1998) and empirical studies and was then modified through an extensive search in the literature to account for direct or indirect effects of factors on the WTC construct. Having found the factors and building a hypothesized model, six questionnaires for measuring the variables were administered among 127 subjects at the intermediate level of language proficiency in 4 private language institutes in Mashhad and Tabas. The proposed model was tested using structural equation modelling (SEM) in AMOS to see if the obtained data in the quantitative phase of the study supported the model built on the basis of the qualitative data. The proposed SEM model adequately fitted the data after some modifications. Results of the SEM indicated that learning climate and communication confidence could be considered as predictors of L2WTC among EF intermediate learners. The findings contribute to a better understanding of the nature and role of WTC in language pedagogy and suggest implications for an effective language teaching and learning.

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