Willingness to communicate during study abroad in Spain

Date

2021-05

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Abstract

The present study explored Willingness to Communicate (WTC) during a short-term study abroad (SA) program utilizing the Heuristic Model of Variables Influencing WTC provided by MacIntyre, Clément, Dörnyei, and Noels (1998). In the last few decades, WTC has been the topic of discussion in second language learning, especially in a classroom setting and although there are several studies that have examined students’ WTC before and after SA (D’Amico, 2012; Liu, 2017; Lee, 2018), previous research has not specifically focused on WTC during SA creating a gab in the research. The current study focused on WTC during SA of a second language learner of Spanish in a case study of a student who spent five weeks in Spain through a SA program at her university. The goal was to examine how levels of WTC are affected by using the Heuristic Model of Variables Influencing WTC during the student’s SA sojourn. The corpus data was qualitatively analyzed by coding data from transcribed interviews, journals, and Language Contact Reports (LCR) using the antecedents found in the Heuristic WTC Model (MacIntyre et al., 1998). The results of the present study support the model proposed by MacIntyre et al. (1998) in that the state influences: L2 use, Willingness to Communicate, Desire to Communicate with a Specific Person, and State Communicate Self-Confidence were more volatile and changing while the trait influences: Personality, Intergroup Climate, Communicative Competence, Social Situation, Intergroup Attitudes, L2 Self-Confidence, Intergroup Motivation, and Interpersonal Motivation were less volatile and more stable throughout the participant’s time during SA. Additionally, the participant’s level of WTC differed when in a classroom setting vs a real-world situation and she displayed lower levels of WTC while in the classroom versus a real-world situation.

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Keywords

Study Abroad, Willingness to Communicate, Short-term Study Abroad

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