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Willingness to Communicate in the Second Language: Proximal and Distal Influences Peter D. MacIntyre University College of Cape Breton.

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Presentation on theme: "Willingness to Communicate in the Second Language: Proximal and Distal Influences Peter D. MacIntyre University College of Cape Breton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Willingness to Communicate in the Second Language: Proximal and Distal Influences Peter D. MacIntyre University College of Cape Breton

2 A view of “time” Timeline Arrive at a point in time start finish “Then” (distal influences) “Now” (proximal influences)

3 Willingness to communicate The probability that one will choose to initiate communication, given the opportunity to do so. Decision point Intention to communicate One may be able but unwilling

4 WTC In The Second Language Range of influences on WTC Constructs are presented in a pyramid- shaped structure consisting of “layers” Immediate factors versus Distal factors Enduring influences versus Situational influences Top three layers = situational influences on WTC at a given moment in time Bottom three layers = enduring influences on the process

5 Social and Individual Context Affective-Cognitive Context Motivational Propensities Behavioural Intention Communication Behaviour Situated Antecedents Layer I Layer II Layer III Layer IV Layer VI Layer V Social Situation Intergroup Attitudes Intergroup Climate Personality Communicative Competence L2 Self-Confidence Interpersonal Motivation State Communicative Self-Confidence Desire to communicate with a specific person L2 Use Willingness to Communicate Intergroup Motivation Layer VI

6 Layer VI: The Societal And Individual Context Box 12. Personality Personality patterns predict reactions to communication, other people, stress, etc. Individual dispositions will affect whether one reacts positively or negatively to a different ethnic group The ‘good language learner’ searched for a pattern of individual characteristics Box 11. Intergroup Climate Climate is conditioned by ethnolinguistic vitality and personal communication networks Languages with high ethnolinguistic vitality retain greater prestige and attract more speakers

7 Layer VI: The Societal And Individual Context Personal communication networks may moderate the effects of ethnolinguistic vitality. Positive attitudes toward an ethnic group lead to positive interactions with that group Negative attitudes will be associated with less positive interactions with that language group Attitudes may also be mediated by the extent of contact between members of the two groups

8 Layer V Social and Individual Context Affective-Cognitive Context Motivational Propensities Behavioural Intention Communication Behaviour Situated Antecedents Layer I Layer II Layer III Layer IV Layer VI Layer V Social Situation Intergroup Attitudes Intergroup Climate Personality Communicative Competence L2 Self-Confidence Interpersonal Motivation State Communicative Self-Confidence Desire to communicate with a specific person L2 Use Willingness to Communicate Intergroup Motivation

9 Layer V: The Affective And Cognitive Context Box 10. Communicative Competence Five competencies making up communicative language abilities Linguistic competence Discourse competence Actional competence Sociocultural competence Strategic competence

10 Layer V: The Affective And Cognitive Context Box 9. Social Situation Factors that influence situational variation: Participants Setting Purpose Topic Channel of communication

11 Layer V: The Affective And Cognitive Context Box 8. Intergroup Attitudes 1. Integrativeness is related to increased frequency and quality of contact with L2 community 2. Fear of assimilation predicts less contact with L2 community. 3. Attitudes toward L2 will influence motivation to learn.

12 Social and Individual Context Affective-Cognitive Context Motivational Propensities Behavioural Intention Communication Behaviour Situated Antecedents Layer I Layer II Layer III Layer IV Layer VI Layer V Social Situation Intergroup Attitudes Intergroup Climate Personality Communicative Competence L2 Self- Confidence Inter- personal Motivation State Communicative Self-Confidence Desire to communicate with a specific person L2 Use Willingness to Communicate Intergroup Motivation Layer IV

13 Layer IV: Motivational Propensities Box 7. L2 Self-Confidence Two components: Self-evaluation of L2 skills Language anxiety Anxiety and self-evaluation highly correlated in L2 Box 6. Intergroup Motivation Basis for contact is the maintenance of power Basis for contact is the desire to establish or maintain rapport Preceeded by attitudes and integrativeness

14 Layer IV: Motivational Propensities Box 5. Interpersonal Motivation Control and affiliation explain the majority of communication episodes Control aims at limiting the cognitive, affective, and behavioral freedom of the communicators Affiliation prompted by attractiveness, physical proximity, similarity, and repeated exposure Motivation to control and affiliate may occur simultaneously Individual differences exist with respect to the need for affiliation

15 Layer III Social and Individual Context Affective-Cognitive Context Motivational Propensities Behavioural Intention Communication Behaviour Situated Antecedents Layer I Layer II Layer III Layer IV Layer VI Layer V Social Situation Intergroup Attitudes Intergroup Climate Personality Communicative Competence L2 Self-Confidence Interpersonal Motivation State Communicative Self-Confidence Desire to communicate specific person L2 Use Willingness to Communicate Intergroup Motivation

16 Layer III: Situated Antecedents Of Communication Box 4. State Communicative Self-Confidence Two components: State anxiety Varies in intensity Fluctuates over time Reduces WTC State perceived competence More certainty arises when a situation has been encountered previously Increases WTC if person has developed language knowledge and skills

17 Layer III: Situated Antecedents Of Communication Box 3. Desire to Communicate with a Specific Person Affiliation and control motives foster a desire to communicate Affiliation may be most important motive in an informal situation

18 Layer II Social and Individual Context Affective-Cognitive Context Motivational Propensities Behavioural Intention Communication Behaviour Situated Antecedents Layer I Layer II Layer III Layer IV Layer VI Layer V Social Situation Intergroup Attitudes Intergroup Climate Personality Communicative Competence L2 Self-Confidence Interpersonal Motivation State Communicative Self-Confidence Desire to communicate with a specific person L2 Use Willingness to Communicate Intergroup Motivation

19 Layer II: Willingness To Communicate Box 2: WTC A readiness to enter into discourse at a particular time with a specific person or persons, using a L2 Opportunity to communicate is not necessary for WTC to exist WTC strongly implies a behavioral intention

20 Layer I Social and Individual Context Affective-Cognitive Context Motivational Propensities Behavioural Intention Communication Behaviour Situated Antecedents Layer I Layer II Layer III Layer IV Layer VI Layer V Social Situation Intergroup Attitudes Intergroup Climate Personality Communicative Competence L2 Self-Confidence Interpersonal Motivation State Communicative Self-Confidence Desire to communicate with a specific person L2 Use Willingness to Communicate Intergroup Motivation

21 Layer I: Communication Behavior Box 1: Communicating in the second language (L2) Communication behavior entails a broad range of activities Speaking up in class, reading L2 newspapers, and watching L2 television, to name a few examples of such activities Ultimate goal of L2 learning process should be to create WTC A program that fails to produce WTC among students is a failed program

22 A challenge for language pedagogy Ultimate goal of L2 learning process should be to create WTC A program that fails to produce WTC among students is a failed program Let’s look at the research before returning to these questions


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