Making Asian learners talk : encouraging willingness to communicate

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Authors
Vongsila, Vatsana
Reinders, Hayo
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Date
2016
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Type
Journal Article
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
willingness to communicated (WTC)
teachers' beliefs
interaction
teachers' perceptions
output
Asian students
Citation
Vongsila, V., & Reinders, H. (2016). Making Asian learners talk: Encouraging willingness to communicate RELC Journal, 43(3), pp.1-17. DOI: 10.1177/0033688216645641
Abstract
Developing English for communicative purposes is a key objective of language classes in many parts of the world. As a logical prerequisite to communication practice, learners need to have Willingness to Communicate (WTC) before they will engage in L2 interaction (Macintyre et al., 1998). Teachers can play an important role in helping learners to develop WTC (Dörnyei, 2007), however, since research into this topic is relatively recent, not much is known about how teachers go about this process. For this reason, the present study investigated teachers’ perceptions of their role in fostering WTC through interviews and questionnaires and compared these with observations of their classroom practices. The research was conducted in New Zealand ESOL class that focused predominantly on communicative skills, catering mostly to Asian learners. The results showed that teachers believed they play a key role in helping learners to develop WTC and identified a range of strategies they used in class. Classroom observations confirmed the use of some strategies although no explicit encouragement of language practice outside the classroom was made. This paper identifies some possible reasons for this mismatch and concludes with practical recommendations for ESOL teachers who wish to support learners’ WTC.
Publisher
AGE Publications for Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO), Regional Language Centre (RELC)
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