Motivation and willingness to communicate as predictors of reported L2 use: The Japanese ESL context

Hashimoto, Yuki
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The purpose of this study was to examine affective variables as predictors of reported second language (L2) use in classrooms of Japanese ESL (English as a Second Language) students. The study used the socio-educational model and the willingness to communicate (WTC) model as the basis for a conceptual framework, partially replicating a study by Macintyre and Charos (1996). Descriptive statistics, reliability of the subscales, correlation, and construct validity (using principal component analysis) were examined, and a model of L2 communication was tested using structural equation modeling. Using Amos version 4.0, structural equation modeling showed that motivation and WTC affect reported L2 communication frequency in classrooms as hypothesized. Variables underlying WTC were also examined. Perceived competence and L2 anxiety were found to be causes of WTC, which led to more L2 use, and L2 anxiety was found to negatively influence perceived competence, supporting the results of the Macintyre and Charos (1996) study. Although a path from WTC to motivation was not found to be significant in the original study, it was found to be significant in the present replication. In addition, a path from perceived competence was found to exert a strong and direct influence on motivation from a data-driven path.
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