Understanding willingness to communicate in a second language: a Taiwanese perspective

Plumb, Andrew (2009) Understanding willingness to communicate in a second language: a Taiwanese perspective. MA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Taiwanese and Chinese learners have often been seen to be reticent learners. This has been hypothesized to be the result of shyness, the culture, Chinese philosophy and the influence of the education system. In order to become better language learners Taiwanese students need to develop their Willingness to Communicate (WTC). This study examines communication variables and their affect upon WTC in order to determine how to assist Taiwanese students who are not naturally disposed to WTC. The study sampled 65 students in their freshman year majoring in English at a prestigious University in Taichung. The study uses the socio-educational model and the WTC model as a framework. Students were asked to complete self-report questionnaires about their motivation, anxiety, self perceived competence and willingness to communicate. It was found that anxiety was negatively correlated with WTC, self perceived competence was positively correlated with WTC and self perceived competence was negatively correlated with anxiety. Motivation was high amongst this sample but it was not found to be significantly correlated with the other communication variables. International posture was found to be a significant motivator. Low levels of anxiety and high levels of self perceived competence were found to be the ideal conditions for WTC to occur, supporting the work of Baker and MacIntyre (2000), MacIntyre (1994) and MacIntyre, Baker, Clement and Conrad (2001). The study also focuses on the specific cultural context and considers Wen and Clement’s, “A Chinese Conceptualisation of Willingness to Communicate” (2003) arguing that many of their conceptual ideas fall under the theme of anxiety. It is argued that lowering anxiety and creating a comfortable classroom with a focus on the group is the key to foster WTC in a Taiwanese classroom.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:15
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/743

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