Willingness To Communicate: A Path-Analytic Model For Tertiary Level Learners Of English in Turkey
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The present study aimed to probe Turkish EFL learners’ perceived levels of WTC in English inside and outside the classroom as well as to explore the probable interrelationships between L2 WTC, ideal L2 self, ought-to L2 self, L2 learning experience, imagery capacity, L2 motivation, L2 anxiety, vocabulary size and course achievement. Besides, Turkish EFL learners’ perceptions of the factors which affect their WTC in English inside and outside the classroom were examined in the study.The study, which employed a mixed methods sequential explanatory research design, was conducted at Balıkesir University Faculty of Tourism in Balıkesir, Turkey in the 2016-2017 academic year. Quantitative data were collected from 701 EFL learners, 32 of whom also participated in the qualitative phase of the research. The data collection instruments consisted of a composite survey instrument, a vocabulary size test, and semi-structured interviews. The quantitative data were analyzed descriptively using IBM SPSS 21. The hypothesized relationships between the variables of interest were tested by means of the path analysis technique, which was conducted using LISREL 8.80. The qualitative data collected from the interviews were analyzed through qualitative content analysis. The results indicated that the tertiary level Turkish EFL learners have a moderate level of WTC in English both inside and outside the classroom. The final model of L2 WTC showed good fit to the data. Among the variables tested, L2 motivation and imagery capacity were found as the most significant predictors of L2 WTC. Both direct and indirect influences of ideal L2 self on in-class and out-of-class L2 WTC were also revealed. The qualitative findings demonstrated that L2 WTC is affected by various factors including L2 classroom environment, affective factors, topic, interlocutor, personal characteristics, linguistic factors, self-perceived communication competence, past communication experience, opportunity for communication, group size, ideal L2 self, and ought-to L2 self.