Willingness to Communicate in Instructed Second Language Acquisition: Combining a Macro- and Micro-Perspective

Author: Anna Mystkowska-Wiertelak, Mirosław Pawlak

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This book offers a comprehensive account of individual differences variables as well as contextual factors that impinge on second language learners' willingness to communicate (WTC). Firstly, it adopts a macro-perspective on WTC, which entails an attempt to identify variables that are related to WTC, taking into account the specificity of the Polish higher education setting. Secondly, it embraces a micro-perspective on WTC, striving to pinpoint the individual and contextual influences on levels of WTC in the course of regularly-scheduled, naturally-occurring English classes, as well as to capture the dynamic nature of WTC during such classes. Together, these perspectives bring the reader closer to understanding the mechanisms underlying WTC in specific contexts, thereby providing a basis for recommendations for classroom practice that could translate into learners' success. It will be of interest to second language acquisition researchers and students, as well as to methodologists and materials writers who can use the research findings to improve the practice of teaching and learning speaking in the language classroom.

This is an engaging, data-rich and well-crafted study of Polish students' willingness to communicate in English. The integration of macro and micro perspectives enables its in-depth portrayal of the trait-like and situational features of WTC. With the revelation of nuanced changes in WTC in naturally-occurring classes, this book exemplifies a valuable dynamic perspective in L2 WTC research.

Jian-E Peng, Shantou University, China

Because willingness to communicate is such an integral component of language acquisition, I am mystified that a book dedicated exclusively to this topic has not graced the shelves of applied linguists before this! Kudos to Mystkowska-Wiertelak and Pawlak for presenting WTC in its complexity by theoretically situating and experimentally contextualizing it in this outstanding volume. It is only through communication and interaction that we can enter into the relationships that make us thrive!

Tammy Gregersen, University of Northern Iowa, USA

Mystkowska-Wiertelak and Pawlak put an important spin on a classic theme, willingness to communicate. Part One, a theoretical-methodological-empirical overview, is a powerhouse, well worth reading even by itself. Part Two reports a very large WTC macro-factors study, while Part Three traces more detailed WTC fluctuations and influences in three classes. Exceptional and exciting!

Rebecca L. Oxford, University of Maryland, USA

It was a real pleasure to read this book. It is written in a clear and reader-friendly manner. The text, the tables and the figures make it easy to follow the author's reasoning around WTC and the two studies conducted.

LINGUIST List 29.2594

I can fully recommend the volume by Mystkowska-Wiertelak and Pawlak as a scholarly text, which is well-written, coherent, and well-informed both on the theoretical and empirical levels.

Theory and Practice of Second Language Acquisition vol. 3 (2) 2017

Anna Mystkowska-Wiertelak is Assistant Professor at Adam Mickiewicz University in Kalisz, Poland and at the State University of Applied Sciences in Konin, Poland. Her research interests include individual differences, motivation, willingness to communicate and language learning strategies.

Mirosław Pawlak is Professor at Adam Mickiewicz University in Kalisz, Poland and at the State University of Applied Sciences in Konin, Poland. His research interests include form-focused instruction, corrective feedback, individual learner differences and language learning strategies.


Part One: Overview of Theoretical, Methodological and Empirical Issues

Chapter 1: Definitions and Evolution of the Concept

Chapter 2: Methodology of Empirical Investigations into L2 WTC

Chapter 3: Empirical Investigations of L2 WTC Antecedents

Part Two: Exploring WTC Antecedents in a Foreign Language Context: A Macro-perspective

Chapter 4: The Rationale for and Design of the Study

Chapter 5: Findings of the Study

Chapter 6: Discussion of the Findings

Part Three: Investigating WTC in the Course of Speaking Classes: A Micro-perspective

Chapter 7: The Rationale for and Design of the Study

Chapter 8: Findings of the Study

Chapter 9: Discussion of the Findings

Conclusions, Implications and Directions for Future Research 


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