Investigating Pakistani university students' level of willingness to communicate (WTC) in English as a foreign language: A case study of students from the Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, Sindh (SALU)

Ali, Mumtaz (2017) Investigating Pakistani university students' level of willingness to communicate (WTC) in English as a foreign language: A case study of students from the Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, Sindh (SALU). Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

The current study sets out to investigate the level of Pakistani university students’ willingness to communicate (WTC) in English and what affects users’ willingness in a setting where English has been taught, learnt, and used as a foreign language. Pakistan is a linguistically complex society where ethnic diversity and multiple educational systems increasingly makes English language teaching (ELT) daunting and challenging. This thesis, therefore, highlights particularly the linguistic issues users of English face while perceiving their willingness to communicate in English in their day-to-day affairs. I argue that linguists and policy makers, in Pakistan, have largely neglected or failed to address the issues related to users of English ability to communicate in English. Moreover, I argue that studying these users’ willingness to communicate in English has also been essential in a sense to comprehend that how such users perceive their level of willingness to communicate under various conversational contexts with different types of interlocutors.

The present study was conducted at Shah Abdul Latif University (SALU), Khairpur, Pakistan. Khairpur is one of the oldest cities of Pakistan with its rich cultural heritage and political history. However, the educational standard is still in its early stages of development due to the rural location and lack of interest from the government. Using mixed-method research measures, the current study recruited N=350 research participants for self-administered questionnaires and N=15 for semi-structured interviews. The findings of the present study suggested that users of English from SALU did not have a high level of WTC and their WTC was affected by a host of factors such as topic, task type, interlocutors, interactional contexts, desire to get good grades, gender, lack of self-confidence and communication anxiety, and some of the background variables. Evidence from self-report questionnaires and semi-structured interviews indicated that familiarity with interlocutors and knowledge of the interactional contexts encouraged L2 learners to be more willing to communicate. Results of the study further revealed that the influence of the combination of variables differed between individuals and interrelationship could be too complex to be predicted. At the end, acknowledging the limitations of the current study, recommendations for future research have been proposed along with possible pedagogical implications.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Q100 Linguistics
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2018 08:23
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2018 10:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/36296

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