The Relationship between Language Learners’ Willingness to Communicate and Their Oral Language Proficiency with Regard to Gender Differences

Amir Valadi, Afshin Rezaee, Parisa Kogani Baharvand


Willingness to communicate (WTC), which is defined as the intention to communicate given a choice, continues to establish itself as a determining construct in bringing about success or failure in  learning a second language (Dӧrnyei, 2005, Peng & Woodrow, 2010). The majority of studies done on the issue are oriented towards ESL contexts leaving us with a gap in English as a foreign language (EFL) context literature. The paucity of studies in EFL contexts caused us to investigate whether WTC and language learners’ oral proficiency were related in an Iranian context. To this end, 70 male and female intermediate language learners learning English at a private institute were chosen as the participants of the study. The WTC questionnaire was given to the participants and a standard speaking test was administered. Also, individual semi-structured interviews with some of the participants were used to obtain supportive data. The results of correlational analyses revealed that there was a strong relationship between learners’ WTC and their oral proficiency with no significant gender difference. The possible reasons for the correlation are discussed with regard to different motivational, contextual, and attitudinal factors.



Willingness to communicate, EFL/ESL contexts, Individual differences, Speaking proficiency

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