WTC in English Among Swedish EFL Learners in the Upper Secondary School
Willingness to communicate (WTC) is a well-known concept within the field of educational research and has been used to investigate what factors make language learners more or less likely to engage in oral communication. This is a topic of great importance considering the positive correlation between output and proficiency. In fact, it has been argued that one of the main goals of language teaching should be to bolster students’ WTC. This paper aims to fill a research gap by offering a much-needed insight into the WTC of Swedish learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) at the upper secondary level. Two research questions are used to investigate 1) how often Swedish EFL learners are willing to communicate, and 2) the WTC as experienced in various classroom situations. Thirty-seven students filled out a questionnaire administered at a Swedish upper secondary school. On a scale from 1 to 5, ranging from never to very often, the mean result for these particular respondents was 3.28. This indicates that the respondents were fairly, or occasionally, willing to communicate. Furthermore, the number of interlocutors, who the interlocutor is, and the topic of discussion were found to have a great impact on their WTC. It is also suggested that there are several explanations for the various degrees of WTC. Based on the findings, we recommend that teachers pay careful attention to, for instance, group size and topic. Due to the small sample size, additional research is needed to gain a further understanding of why students choose to engage in communication or not.