Students' use of the target language plays a crucial role in their process of acquiring a second language (Swain, 1985, 2013). To address this, MacIntyre, Clément, Dörnyei, and Noels (1998) suggest that language instruction should prioritize a construct commonly referred to as Willingness to Communicate in a second language (L2 WTC). However, in the context of English as a Foreign Language (EFL), students' L2 WTC has been a challenge (Yashima, 2002), particularly in online environments where teachers feel like talking to a void (Yarmand, Solyst, Klemmer, & Weibel, 2021). Although L2 WTC is an affective construct, it is publicly displayed (Evnitskaya & Berger, 2017). Thus, it is important for language teachers to identify their students' L2 WTC to encourage them to use the target language. This study aimed to investigate students' L2 WTC manifestations through their multimodal behaviors in synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC). By implementing a multiple case study, three students representing different levels of English users (active, limited, and non-) were involved. These students were freshmen in a private university in Indonesia, attending a compulsory English course delivered online via Zoom. The Activity Theory was used as the investigative lens, and multimodal conversation analysis was the chosen analytical method. Three recorded online meetings constituted the primary data. The students' language production was segmented into episodes and turns. The students' turn frequency was measured to indicate the fluctuation of their L2 WTC. Their multimodal behaviours, categorized into artifacts, proxemics, kinesics, and paralinguistic cues in each episode, were investigated. Their explanations provided in two recall interviews were used to examine their goals and conditions, revealing their intentions to use English as manifested in their actions and operations. The findings supported previous studies such as Evnitskaya and Berger (2017) and Ducker (2022), revealing that students' attentiveness to the current speaker and communal object most likely led them to use the target language. However, this study also found that some behaviours related to their attentiveness are not observable in online environments, suggesting that teachers should pay attention not only to their students' nonverbal but also verbal behaviours.
In the context of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classrooms, promoting students' Willingness to Communicate in English during (L2 WTC) has been challenging, moreover in online learning. Thus, it is important for teachers to design some interventions to promote it by first identifying their students’ L2 WTC. Previous studies found that students’ L2 WTC can be observed through their nonverbal behaviors. Three Indonesian freshmen attending online learning through Zoom were involved in this study. Their turn frequency was measured to indicate their L2 WTC. Their multimodal behaviours, categorized as artifacts, proxemics, kinesics, and paralinguistic cues were studied. Explanations from two recall interviews were used to uncover their multimodal behaviours' relation with L2 WTC. The findings found that students’ multimodal behaviours can indicate their L2 WTC. However, some behaviours are not as visible in online environments, highlighting the need for teachers to consider both nonverbal and verbal cues.
Corry Caromawati, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
About the Presenter(s)
Corry Caromawati; English lecturer at Institut Teknologi Nasional Bandung, Indonesia; Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Second Language Acquisition; Indonesian Students' Willingness to Communicate during Synchronous CMC instruction
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