Type of Document Dissertation Author Yu, Miao Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-03242009-133306 Title Willingness to Communicate of Foreign Language Learners in a Chinese Setting Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Middle and Secondary Education, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Susan Wood Committee Chair Alysia Roehrig Committee Member John Keller Committee Member Gretchen Sunderman Outside Committee Member Keywords
- Self-Perceived Communication Competence
- Foreign Language Learner
- Willingness to Communicate
- Communication Apprehension
Date of Defense 2008-12-12 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis study examined willingness to communicate (WTC) of language learners who were studying English as a foreign language in a Chinese college setting by adapting variables from four theoretical sources: McCroskey and Richmondís (1987) WTC construct, Gardnerís (2001a) Socio-Educational model, MacIntyre et al.ís (1998) WTC model, and Wen and Clťmentís (2003) conceptualization of WTC in a Chinese setting.
Three objectives guided this study: 1) to examine the relationships among willingness to communicate, communication apprehension, and self-perceived communication competence in Chinese and English language contexts respectively; 2) to examine the relationships between integrativeness, attitudes toward the learning situation, motivation, and instrumental orientation with WTC in English; 3) to test the proposed relationships among communication variables (i.e., communication apprehension and self-perceived communication competence), affective variables (i.e., integrativeness, attitudes toward the learning situation, motivation, and instrumental orientation), teacher immediacy, and WTC in English.
Two hundred and thirty-five (235) sophomores and juniors majoring in English at a public university in China participated in this study. A quantitative research method using self-report questionnaires was employed to collect data that addressed ten different aspects or variables concerning the participantsí communication and affective orientations, as well as the perceived teacher immediacy behaviors. Pearson correlation coefficient, multiple regression, and a path model were utilized as statistical analysis methods in line with each research question.
The results of the study showed that all of the communication variables were significantly correlated with each other at the .01 level in both Chinese and English communication settings. Moreover, the correlations between Chinese and English for communication apprehension, self-perceived communication competence, and willingness to communicate were all positive and statistically significant, indicating their trait-like predisposition which remained constant across languages used in communication settings.
All of the four affective variables (i.e., integrativeness, attitudes toward the learning situation, motivation, and instrumental orientation) and the variable of willingness to communicate in English were significantly correlated with each other at the .05 level. However, only attitudes toward the learning situation and motivation contributed significant predicative power to WTC in English.
Communication apprehension and self-perceived communication competence were the only two direct effects on WTC in English. Communication apprehension also had indirect effect on WTC in English through its negative effect on self-perceived communication competence. Teacher immediacy had direct positive effect on communication apprehension and negative effect on self-perceived communication competence. WTC in English was indirectly dependent on teacher immediacy through the mediation of communication apprehension and self-perceived communication competence.
Motivation had direct effect on communication apprehension and self-perceived communication competence. The hypothesized predictive relationships from attitudes toward learning situation, integrativeness, and instrumental orientation to motivation were supported. Motivation could indirectly predict WTC in English through the mediation of communication apprehension and self-perceived communication competence.
The importance of this study lies in its theoretical contributions to the WTC research and the pedagogical implications for second language teaching and learning.
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