Crossing the Rubicon:An idiodynamic investigation into the relationship between willingness to communicate and learner talk


The ‘learning to talk, talking to learn’ paradigm is applied in language classes worldwide. In Japan, a lack of authentic practice opportunities; a focus on exams and exam-English; a fear of cultural degradation; and memory-focused, teacher-centered learning styles all hinder language acquisition efforts.To enable learners to interact and access more affordances for linguistic development, I undertook a study into willingness to communicate in the second language (WTC). I investigated the following three research questions:Q1. What factors impact WTC in the classroom?Q2. What, if any, are the differences between immediate-WTC and classroom talk?Q3. What factors facilitate or impede realisation of WTC into classroom talk?Using a novel idiodynamic methodology, I collected and triangulated video data;stimulated recall data; and trait-, class-, and idiodynamic WTC ratings to develop coherent explanations for cognitive and affective phenomena that influenced learners’ in-class actions.I categorised learner talk and conversational behaviours into themes, such as dominance and control, proactive turn-taking, and facilitative turn-sharing actions. Then, I juxtaposed learners’ talk with WTC ratings and found that multiple motivators of talk could coincide and be in conflict. I also found a talk—feedback effect that led to unpredictable changes in WTC ratings. In response, I reconceptualised WTC as a complex, dynamic WTC—talk system. I then delineated factors that promoted a desire to communicate from factors that acted as a prerequisite for talk, and I developed a model of WTC—talk realisation. Some of the findings are culturally specific, for example: compulsion to talk in the classroom, particular listening-only behaviours, and restrictive perceptions of turn-taking rules.To this end, I used Dörnyei and Tseng’s (2009) Motivational Task Processing System to investigate Wen and Clément’s (2003) cultural framework, ‘other-directedness’. Findings indicate that other-directedness is a valid construct, which acts as a culturally situated decision making framework.

Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Centre for Language Research at Aston (CLaRA)
?? 53981500Jl ??
Additional Information: If you have discovered material in Aston Research Explorer which is unlawful e.g. breaches copyright, (either yours or that of a third party) or any other law, including but not limited to those relating to patent, trademark, confidentiality, data protection, obscenity, defamation, libel, then please read our Takedown Policy and contact the service immediately.
Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: willingness to communicate,idiodynamic methodology,complex dynamic systems theory,affordances for language acquisition,,other-directedness
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2023 08:57
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2021 08:51
Completed Date: 2020
Authors: Ducker, Nathan


Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record