Volition is Key : Self-Perceived Willingness to Communicate and Actual Willingness to Communicate among Swedish EFL Learners

Detta är en Uppsats för yrkesexamina på avancerad nivå från Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för språk (SPR)

Sammanfattning: It is generally assumed that in order to learn a language, learners need to master reading, writing, listening and speaking. However, merely possessing the skills and abilities to communicate is not sufficient; one must have the will to use the language. In order to formulate a model that can accurately describe the willingness to communicate, Mac-Intyre et al. (1998) formulated a model that attempts to do just this. The goal of this study is to verify the veracity of the Willingness to Communicate (WTC) model in terms of to what extent students’ self-reported WTC correlate with their actual WTC in the class-room. To accomplish this, this study utilized interviews with Swedish EFL students in southern Sweden, based on the WTC framework, and classroom observation in order to collect data on said connection. The results of this study showed that self-reported WTC and actual WTC do not necessarily correlate with one another; for some students, they spoke English more than they reported, some spoke less, and others’ WTC reflected their self-assessed WTC. Although the WTC model could account for the students’ actual WTC, it could not account for this discrepancy. However, this discrepancy may not be due to the model itself, but rather to the situational factors that, to a certain degree, influenced the outcome of this study. Based on this study, teachers are recommended to consistently speak English, as this raises the students’ own WTC, and to encourage English usage among students themselves. For future research, it is therefore recom-mended that non-linguistic factors be taken into account, possibly through factor analysis, in order to produce more nuanced data, as well as conducting a longitudinal study.

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