Willingness to communicate in English among Iranian EFL engineering students

Document Type: Original Article

Author

Sharif University of Technology

Abstract

 
 The ability and willingness to verbalize feelings and thoughts are partly dependent on situational and external variables, and students naturally differ in this aspect. The present study investigated the extent to which willingness to communicate (WTC) model (MacIntyre, 1998) could explain the relationship between social-psychological and communication variables in the EFL context. The participants in this study were 45 Iranian engineering students who took the TOEFL and subsequently filled out a WTC questionnaire (MacIntyre, 1998). For data analysis, in addition to descriptive statistics, point-biserial correlation and ANOVA were run. The results revealed that university students’ WTC functions as a trait, and it is low both in and out of the classroom because the students do not need to communicate in English for their basic needs. The results also indicate that no relationship exists between sources of support and components of orientation. Furthermore, in terms of orientation, the learners displayed more integrative than instrumental motivation. Among social support factors, teachers had the main role. Moreover, among all skills, learners were more interested in reading, and the reason they are not willing to communicate in classes is that they might fear being evaluated. Therefore, we need more authentic L2 communication and foster more friendly relationships between learners and teachers. Besides, Language instructors should cover a wide range of areas, from making teaching materials relevant to learners by setting specific learning goals to increasing learner satisfaction.

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