Willingness to Communicate in L2: Persons’ Emerging Capacity to Participate in Acts of Meaning Making with One Another
Keywords:L2 willingness to communicate (L2 WTC), willingness to participate (WTP), L2 learning, classroom discourse, grounded theory ethnography
This study advances research into individuals’ willingness to communicate in an additional language (L2 WTC) in classroom settings by departing from existing inquiry in two ways. First, it takes a multidimensional view of an “individual” in the classroom by integrating students’ various identities as persons engaged in meaning making with others across different social worlds and over time. Second, it broadens the epistemological scope of current research by situating the study of WTC in students’ actual acts of L2 communication in the classroom and in their larger sociocultural settings. Adopting broad principles of grounded theory ethnography, this study examined Jenny (pseudonym), a university student who was attending a general English course at her institution in mainland China. Data came from ethnographic classroom observations and life-story and photo-based interviews. The findings offer a refashioned definition of what it means to be willing to communicate in an L2 and how such willingness shapes the quality of one’s investment in acts of L2 meaning making and L2 learning in communal relationships with others.
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