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Volume 3 - Issue 2 - December 2019

Latest issue of Journal of Applied Languages and Linguistics

Research Article

TITLE: The Willingness to Communicate (WTC): Origins, significance, and propositions for

the L2/FL classroom.

Author: Tassos Katsaris

Educational advisor - learning and development coordinator,

Grivas Publications, 3 Irodotou Street, Aspropirgos 193 00, Greece


Published online: 24 December 2019, pp. 31-42



Katsaris, T. (2019) The Willingness to Communicate (WTC): Origins, significance, and propositions for the L2/FL classroom, Journal of Applied Languages and Linguistics, 3(2), pp. 31-42.


Based on the original conceptualisation of the Willingness to Communicate (WTC) as a personality trait by McCroskey and Baer (1985), researchers have found that individuals develop a personality orientation toward oral communication in their native language (L1). As a personality-related characteristic, WTC in L1 has been conceptualised as an individual’s general behavioural tendency across different situations. However, second/foreign language teachers may encounter a paradox: students with a general disposition toward L1 talking and/or students with high L2 oral competency, may be unwilling to seize communication opportunities when these arise. As research in the field of SLA/EFL teaching/learning has indicated that oral production may be a major facilitator toward language proficiency (Swain, 1985), the observed intraindividual differences between L1 and L2 communication behaviours led scholars to investigate WTC in language learning contexts. Researchers have found strong correlations between L2 WTC and L2 use indicating behavioural intention-type characteristics. Current literature describes L2 WTC as a dynamic and multidimensional construct, formed by the interaction between personality and learning context factors, that may facilitate or inhibit L2 communication. As oral communication is both a means and an end of modern language instruction, the current paper presents the origins and significance of L2 WTC and concludes with some research-based propositions that may help students step into language use.                                                                      

© Applied Language Studies House Publications 2019. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Willingness to Communicate, oral competency, SLA/EFL teaching/learning

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