Understanding Chinese learners' willingness to communicate in a New Zealand ESL classroom : a multiple case study drawing on the theory of planned behavior

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Zhong, Qunyan (Maggie)
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Journal Article
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Chinese learners
willingness to communicate (WTC)
learner beliefs
classroom context
theory of planned behavior
Zhong, Q. (2013). Understanding Chinese Learners' Willingness to Communicate in a New Zealand ESL Classroom: A Multiple Case Study Drawing on the Theory of Planned Behavior. System. 41(3) : 740-751.
Current approaches to second language teaching place a great emphasis on the development of learners’ communicative competence. However, teachers are frequently bewildered by some learners’ reluctance to communicate and wonder what impedes their oral participation. To understand this phenomenon better, I conducted a naturalistic inquiry to investigate five Chinese immigrant learners’ willingness to communicate in both teacher-led and collaborative learning situations in L2 classrooms. In the study, a number of instruments (in-depth interviews, classroom observations, stimulated recall interviews, learning logs) were used to collect data about the learners’ oral participation over eighteen weeks. The results revealed that the participants’ WTC was context-dependent and varied in two different classroom situations. Drawing on Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior, the variations were accounted for in each context. While their WTC in the collaborative context was related to different attitudes toward working collaboratively, four factors, linguistic factors, socio-cultural factors, self-efficacy, learner beliefs, had joint effects on their WTC in the teacher-led context. Based on these findings, I propose a model that aims to capture the pertinent factors mediating learners’ oral communication in classrooms. The paper concludes with pedagogical implications
Pergamon Press
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Elsevier Ltd
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© 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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