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Title: A 'person-in-context relational' approach to understanding students' willingness to communicate in an additional language in higher education in Greece : only the tip of an iceberg
Author: Nikoletou, Panagiota
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 7308
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2017
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Cultivating language learners’ willingness to communicate in a second language (L2 WTC) has been seen as the ultimate goal of L2 education and empirical inquiry into students’ intention to engage in L2 communication given the opportunity has gained momentum in applied linguistics research over the past decade or so. This strand of inquiry has seen a major shift from treating WTC as a relatively stable and fixed personality trait to taking a more context-sensitive perspective. In line with this shift, the present study set out to investigate the situated and emerging nature of L2 learners’ WTC in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom in the Greek higher education setting. Adopting a ‘person-in context relational’ view of L2 motivation (Ushioda, 2009) as a theoretical and methodological lens for researching WTC, this qualitative multiple case study conducted over the period of one academic semester investigated L2 WTC of a diverse group of five first-year undergraduate students studying at a specific private higher education institution in Greece. Data came from ethnographic classroom observations, stimulated recall interviews, life story narratives, and follow-up interviews. While the findings have confirmed L2 WTC as a dynamic and complex construct, they have also added crucial new insights. The key amongst these is the notion that WTC must be understood as part of people’s larger meaning making practices. These unravel across lifespans and lifeworlds, occur in relationships with others, and, while not necessarily visible in the WTC moment, are always present in it. Thus, the present study has laid bare the consequences of adopting a person-in-context relational view of WTC in terms of what can be learned and what should be done about it in both research and practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: L Education (General) ; P Philology. Linguistics