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More than meets the ear: Individual differences in trait and state willingness to communicate as predictors of language learning performance in a Chinese EFL context

Zhang, J.; Beckmann, N.; Beckmann, J.F.

More than meets the ear: Individual differences in trait and state willingness to communicate as predictors of language learning performance in a Chinese EFL context Thumbnail


Authors

J. Zhang



Abstract

Chinese students are frequently seen as passive learners because of their apparent reluctance to speak, particularly in English classrooms. However, this impression seems to reflect a stereotype which is likely to confound willingness to communicate (WTC) and communication behaviour. In this article we argue for more attention to be paid to individual differences to complement culture-related explanations of differences in WTC. Self-report data on WTC at both trait and state levels and personality characteristics were analysed in relation to L2 language learning performance in a sample of 103 university students. Individual differences in WTCL1 were found to be strongly related to extraversion; whilst individual differences in WTCL2 were associated with openness to experience, conscientiousness, and agreeableness, rather than extraversion. Moreover, this study differentiates state WTCL2 from communication behaviour, and provides evidence for both trait and state WTCL2 being important predictors of L2 learning performance despite being differently related to personality. Our results overall suggest that exclusively relying on observable communication behaviour is likely to overlook effective antecedences of learning and performance. This study pleads for a more differentiated perspective on WTC and its personality correlates at both trait and state levels. It provides further evidence that WTC is a useful construct in working towards a better understanding of language learning processes.

Citation

Zhang, J., Beckmann, N., & Beckmann, J. (2023). More than meets the ear: Individual differences in trait and state willingness to communicate as predictors of language learning performance in a Chinese EFL context. Language Teaching Research, 27(3), 593-620. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168820951931

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 31, 2020
Online Publication Date Sep 16, 2020
Publication Date 2023-05
Deposit Date Sep 3, 2020
Publicly Available Date Sep 18, 2020
Journal Language teaching research.
Print ISSN 1362-1688
Electronic ISSN 1477-0954
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 3
Pages 593-620
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168820951931

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Copyright Statement
Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. DOI: 10.1177/1362168820951931







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