Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisorFeryok, Anne
dc.contributor.advisorHatfield, Hunter
dc.contributor.authorAl-Murtadha, Mutahar Ahmed
dc.identifier.citationAl-Murtadha, M. A. (2017). Investigating and Enhancing Willingness to Communicate and Motivational Self-System of Yemeni Rural EFL Learners (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractA major problem in second language (L2) learning and teaching is learners’ low willingness to communicate (WTC). WTC refers to the extent to which an individual is ready to initiate communication with others. Some L2 researchers have argued that enhancing L2 WTC should be the fundamental goal of the L2 learning process. However, although previous studies have identified some factors that influence WTC, most, if not all, did not go beyond exploring the factors to promoting WTC through interventions. This thesis has two main aims: to understand the factors that influence the WTC of Yemeni rural secondary school English students and to promote their WTC based on understanding the factors that influence it. These two aims were achieved in a mixed methods project of four studies in which the factors influencing WTC were first identified in three studies, and then based on those factors, an intervention program to enhance students’ WTC was conducted in a fourth study. The first study used a large survey of 564 students. Quantitative data analysis indicated that L2 WTC inside the classroom was predicted by L1 WTC, ideal L2 self, L2 learning experience, L2 intended learning effort, and gender. Study two was an observational study of twelve students who had participated in study one. Data were collected through weekly classroom observations in L1 and L2 classrooms. Quantitative data analysis confirmed the significant relationship between L1 and L2 WTC found in study one and revealed significant gender difference in L2 observed WTC, with males demonstrating higher WTC. However, no significant relationship between self-reported WTC and observed WTC was found in both L1 and L2. The self, learning experience, and learning effort appeared to influence students’ observed WTC. Study three focused on students’ perceptions of their L2 WTC inside the classroom. It involved the same students from study two, but data were collected through interviews and weekly journals. Qualitative data analysis revealed three types of factors that influenced WTC: contextual, affective, and cognitive. The ideal self most influenced WTC through the mediation of topics related to students’ future careers. Study four was an intervention that promoted WTC and its four predictors–ideal self, learning experience, learning effort, and linguistic self-confidence–over a six-week period. Two-hundred six students were assigned to either an experimental group (N= 104) or a control group (N = 102). The experimental group received one forty-five minute visualization and goal-setting lesson a week, whereas the control group received a regular lesson. Quantitative and qualitative data analysis indicated that the intervention enhanced WTC and its predictors. The thesis concludes with three contributions. Theoretically, it shows that WTC can be influenced by the ideal self, learning experience, intended learning effort, and gender. Methodologically, it shows that mixed methods research leads to a deeper understanding of WTC and how to promote it. Pedagogically, the intervention practically shows English teachers how visualization and goal-setting activities can enhance students’ WTC and its predictors.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectL2 willingness to communicate, Yemeni EFL learners, L2 motivational self system, intervention, visualization, goal-setting, pragmatism, mixed methods research
dc.titleInvestigating and Enhancing Willingness to Communicate and Motivational Self-System of Yemeni Rural EFL Learners
dc.language.rfc3066en and Linguistics of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
 Find in your library

Files in this item


There are no files associated with this item.

This item is not available in full-text via OUR Archive.

If you would like to read this item, please apply for an inter-library loan from the University of Otago via your local library.

If you are the author of this item, please contact us if you wish to discuss making the full text publicly available.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record