A qualitative investigation of Chinese students’ willingness to communicate in English in the graduate school EMI classroom

Yaming MA, Shulin YU, Barry Lee REYNOLDS, Lianjiang JIANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

While it is not difficult to see why beginner English as a second/foreign language (L2/EFL) learners’ willingness to communicate (WTC) may be inhibited, it remains an intriguing issue why many advanced L2/EFL learners, such as postgraduates, still exhibit low levels of WTC in content classrooms where English is used as a medium of instruction. The present study addressed this gap by exploring what factors contributed to four Chinese postgraduate students’ WTC in English during classes that were lectured in English. Through the qualitative analysis of data gathered from individual interviews, focus group interviews, and class observation field notes, the results showed that individual, environmental, social-cultural, and educational dimensions jointly influenced the students’ WTC in English during class. The findings highlight the value of adopting a situational perspective to understand WTC and call for attention to the difference between WTC in using English for general communication and WTC in English Medium Instruction (EMI)-mediated academic classrooms. This article concludes with implications on how postgraduates’ WTC in English can be better promoted.
雖然不難理解L2或EFL初學者使用英語溝通的意願可能會有所抑制,但為什麼許多高階的L2/EFL學習者,如研究生,在以英語授課的課堂上依然展現出低落的溝通意願,這仍舊是令人感到好奇的議題。本研究藉由探究哪些因素影響四位中國研究生在以英語授課課堂上的英語溝通意願,來探討此議題。透過個人訪談、焦點小組訪談和課堂觀察記錄的質性分析,結果顯示,來自個體、環境、社會文化和教育四個層面的因素,共同地影響了學生在課堂上以英語溝通的意願。研究發現突顯了採取情境觀點以瞭解溝通意願的價值,並且呼籲關注於一般溝通時使用英語以及在英語授課學術課堂上使用英語的溝通意願的差異性。本文最後提出如何能促進研究生英語溝通意願的教學啟示。 Copyright © 2021 National Taiwan Normal University.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnglish Teaching & Learning
Early online date01 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 01 Jun 2021

Citation

Ma, Y., Yu, S., Reynolds, B. L., & Jiang, L. (2021). A qualitative investigation of Chinese students’ willingness to communicate in English in the graduate school EMI classroom. English Teaching & Learning. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s42321-021-00087-1

Keywords

  • Willingness to communicate (WTC)
  • Master’s students
  • English studies
  • English as a foreign language (EFL) .
  • English Medium Instruction (EMI)
  • 溝通意願 (WTC)
  • 碩士生
  • 英語學習
  • 英語為第二外語 (EFL)
  • 英語授課 (EMI)
  • Alt. title: 中國學生在以英語為授課用語的研究生課堂使用英語進行溝通意願之質性研究

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