Affective variables and willingness to communicate of EFL learners in in-class, out-of-class, and digital contexts

Ju Seong LEE, Jun CHEN HSIEH

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study explores the relationship between affective variables (L2 self-confidence, L2 anxiety, L2 motivation, and grit) and willingness to communicate (WTC) in in-class, out-of-class, and digital contexts. Drawing on a quantitative research design and a sample of 261 Taiwanese EFL undergraduate students, two major findings were identified. First, students with higher levels of grit and L2 confidence had higher L2 WTC in all three communicative settings. It suggests that 1) if EFL students remain steadfast and persistent in learning and using English despite setbacks, and 2) if they are confident about communicating in English, they tend to initiate English communication in both digital and offline settings. Second, lack of L2 anxiety was a significant predictor of students’ L2 WTC in non-digital environments (in-class and out-of-class contexts), but not in the digital setting. This suggests that contemporary EFL students may feel more comfortable with digital methods of communicating than conventional offline approaches, whether they use L1 or L2. The study also implies that digital environments may provide social support and additional psychological benefits, which potentially contribute to creating less L2 anxiety-provoking environment for EFL students. Drawn from these findings, pedagogical implications for ELT are also provided. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-73
JournalSystem
Volume82
Early online date11 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

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student
anxiety
self-confidence
quantitative research
research planning
Willingness to Communicate
Affective
EFL Learners
social support
confidence
communication
lack
Anxiety
learning
Undergraduate
Self-confidence
Psychological
Social Support
Conventional
Communication

Bibliographical note

Lee, J. S., & Chen Hsieh, J. (2019). Affective variables and willingness to communicate of EFL learners in in-class, out-of-class, and digital contexts. System, 82, 63-73. doi: 10.1016/j.system.2019.03.002

Keywords

  • Affective variables
  • Willingness to communicate
  • Communicative contexts