Department of English Language & Literature, Faculty of Literature & Humanities, Bu-Ali Sina University, Iran (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The present study was undertaken to investigate whether 1) there is any significant difference between EFL and EAP learners in terms of willingness to communicate, 2) there is any significant difference in WTC of Iranian EFL/EAP learners with 1- Native speakers, 2- Nonnative speakers and 3- In class context, and 3) there is any significant difference between male and female EFL learners in terms of willingness to communicate. To these ends 363 undergraduate students (131 EAP students and 232 EFL students) studying at Bu-Ali Sina University-Hamedan and Azad University of Mashad during the academic year of 2013-2014 participated in this study. Data were collected through a 5 point Likert-scale Willingness to Communicate in a Foreign Language Scale (WTC-FLS) questionnaire containing 21 statements. The instrument was composed of three subscales measuring, 1- willingness to communicate with native speakers of English (WTC-NS), 2- willingness to communicate with foreigners who are not native speakers of English (WTC-NN), and 3- willingness to communicate in the school context (WTC-SC). Using factor analysis and pilot testing, the questionnaire was found to have an acceptable validity rate. Also, using Chronbach’s alpha, the reliability of the questionnaire was estimated to be 0.93. Using SPSS, the results of independent samples t-test indicated that, overall, there was a significant difference between EFL and EAP learners in terms of their willingness to communicate. Furthermore, the results of one-way ANOVA for subscales of WTC-FLS revealed a significant difference in WTC of both EFL and EAP learners with native speakers, nonnative speakers and in class context. That is while EFL learners were more willing to communicate with native speakers of English and less willing to communicate with nonnative speakers of English, EAP learners were found to be more willing to communicate with native speakers of English and less willing to communicate in class context. Finally, no significant difference was found between male and female EFL learners in terms of willingness to communicate. Implications and recommendations for future research are also addressed.
Keywords: willingness to communicate; EFL learners; EAP learners