Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Relationship between Efl Learners' Willingness to Communicat and Their Writing Proficiency

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Relationship between Efl Learners' Willingness to Communicat and Their Writing Proficiency

Article excerpt

Introduction

English is defined as an international language, used by more than one and a half billion people as a first, second, or foreign language for communication purposes (Strevens, 1992). The ultimate goal of language learning is currently defined as "authentic communication between persons of different languages and cultural backgrounds" (McIntyre, Clement, Dornyei, & Noels, 2002, p.94). The concept of learner's characteristics should therefore have a place in our language teaching theory and both cognitive and affective factors should be included. An analysis of affective and personality characteristics indicate how the individual is likely to respond to emotional, motivational, and interpersonal demands of language learning (Stern, 1983).

Literature Review

Willingness to Communicate

Many researchers have demonstrated the influence of affective variables on achievements and other behavioral measures (Ellis, 1989). A recent addition to the affective variables coming from the field of speech communication is "Willingness to Communicate" (WTC) (MacCroskey 1992, p.146). WTC model has been developed by MacIntyre, Clement, Dornyei & Noels (2002). As they explain, individuals display consistent tendencies in their predisposition toward or away from communicating, given the choice. In first language, WTC is a fairly stable personality trait, developed over the years and resulting in a "global, personality-based orientation toward talking" (p.196). However, the situation is more complex with regard to L2 use, because here the level of one's L2 proficiency, and particularly that of the individual's L2 communicative competence, is an additional powerful modifying variable.

According to WTC model, both trait and situational factors affect one's willingness to communicate in a second language. Trait influences are identified as the personality of the language learner, the social context in which she or he lives, intergroup attitudes between native speaker and second language groups, general self-confidence of the learner, her motivation to learn English and Emotional Intelligence of learner. Situational influences are identified as one's desire to communicate with a specific person, and the self-confidence that one feels in a specific situation. In other words, WTC integrates psychological, linguistic, and communicative variables to describe, explain, and predict second language communication.

Since writing in English has a great role in communication, it is important to acquire how to communicate effectively. The use of the target language is one of the main purposes of second language learning and it is an indicator of success in learning the second language. Seliger (1977) has shown that it plays a significant role in learning L2. Willingness to communicate (WTC) was originally introduced with reference to L1 communication but it was extended to L2 communication as well (MacIntyre, Clement,Dornyei, & Noels, 2002). The role of the learners' willingness to communicate seems to have been ignored.

The chance of students to take part actively in the classroom communication may be different by quantity and quality of the verbal behavior of the teacher. As Lei (2009) states, there is no agreement on what "good teacher talk" is. For offering the students with more chances to talk, some scholars think that the amount of time allotted to student talk has to be increased and the amount of time for teacher talk has to be decreased (Harmer, 2000; Zhou & Zhou, 2004). Lei (2009, p. 75) asserted that "good teacher talk" is more a matter of quality than quantity and it should be assessed by how effectively it can make learning possible and improve communicative interaction in the classroom.

According to McGraw (2005), the most general classroom communication pattern begins with teachers' questions or directions which elicit answers on which the teachers provide evaluation. This exchange is called "IRF". …

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