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Borbála Cecília Nagy: The role of individual communicational variables in advanced EFL learning

Most language teachers have come across learners proficient in an L2, but unwilling to speak in the target language or not proficient at all but keen to talk in the L2 all the time. Having exceptional communicative competence does not always guarantee learners’ continuous L2 use. Thus, it is important to examine what makes an L2 learner willing or reluctant to use the L2. Are L2 learners who are more willing to use the L2 also better at the L2? To answer this question and to explore the relationship between advanced L2 learners’ proficiency and their willingness to communicate in the target language, an empirical study was conducted in a foreign language learning context in Hungary. Participants were a special group of learners of English as a foreign language (EFL): 137 Hungarian undergraduate students majoring in English at the University of Pécs. The study investigated the relationships between participants’ willingness to communicate and language learning motivational factors and how these contribute to the development of learners’ foreign language competence in English. Data were collected by a set of self-completion questionnaires. To obtain a measure of participants’ English language proficiency a vocabulary test was used. The statistical analyses suggest that there is a significant but weak relationship between participants’ willingness to communicate in English and their English language proficiency. The factor that best predicted how willing students were to speak in English was their perceived communicational competence in English. In addition, a moderate relationship between participants’ willingness to communicate and their language learning motivation was also found.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 105. Number 1. 5-27. (2005)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Nagy Cecília Borbála, PTE BTK, Neveléstudományi Doktori Iskola


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia