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Dynamics of variables underlying Willingness to Communicate (WTC) in English (L2): A case study of postgraduate business students at a university classroom in Sukkur, Pakistan

Syed, Hassan Ali Shah (2016) Dynamics of variables underlying Willingness to Communicate (WTC) in English (L2): A case study of postgraduate business students at a university classroom in Sukkur, Pakistan. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Modern approaches to second language (L2) pedagogy emphasise authentic L2 use for successful L2 learning. However, it has been a common observation L2 contexts that despite possessing years of experience in L2 learning, sometimes even students with higher L2 proficiency shy away from communication, while others plunge themselves in a conversation involving L2. It has been argued that in order for learners to become successful L2 users they not only have to have competence and motivation but a higher willingness to communicate in the target language as well. The present study was, therefore, designed to explore the situational variables and their interaction determining the willingness to communicate (WTC) in English (L2) of six postgraduate business students in a university classroom in Pakistan. While much research has been undertaken to examine trait-like psychological antecedents, only a few studies have examined the nature of the interaction between situational variables affecting L2 WTC in a classroom context. Adopting the Dynamic Systems Theory (DST) framework, the present study utilised classroom observations, learners’ diaries, stimulated recall interviews and biographic questionnaires to collect the data over ten weeks. The study results showed that participants’ L2 WTC emerged as a result of the complex, dynamic and non-linear interaction between contextual, psychological, linguistic and physiological factors. Most notably, the study revealed that while learners’ L2 use was a manifestation of their willingness to talk, their silence was not always a reflection of their un-willingness but involved an active cognitive engagement in L2 communication. The current study, therefore, reinforces the need for teachers to be aware of the multiple factors which affect learners’ L2 WTC and silence in L2 classroom. Owing to the complexity and non-linearity of interaction of variables, the current study proposes pre-service and in-service teacher training for English language teachers in Pakistan.  

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.701470
Depositing User: Mr Hassan Ali Shah Syed
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2017 10:57
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 15:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15743

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