This SLLAT talk will be delivered by Giulia Sulis, Joanna Davidson (LAEL) and Marije Michel (Utrecht University) on

Dynamic development of motivation and Willingness To Communicate (WTC) during two L2 lessons

Over the past decades, a growing body of research into motivation and Willingness To Communicate (WTC) has begun to challenge traditional conceptualisations of these constructs as personality traits which remain stable over time and contexts (McCrosky & Richard,1991; Dörnyei, 2000). Dynamic Systems Theory (DST, de Bot, Lowie & Vespoor, 2007) proposes that motivation and WTC are complex systems of interacting variables characterised by non-linear relationships where periods of change and stability alternate over time. To date, only a handful of studies explored the relationship between motivation and WTC under a dynamic approach (Eddy-U, 2015; Peng, 2014). The present study adds to this work as it explores dynamic variability in motivation and WTC over the course of two 45-minute lessons as well as the relationship between these constructs. Eight French learners from two first-year classes at a British university participated in the study. The learners’ fluctuations in motivation and WTC, and the relationship between these two were monitored employing a combination of an 'idiodynamic approach' (MacIntyre & Legatto, 2011) and a 'Motometer' (Waninge, Dörnyei & de Bot, 2014). Two L2 lessons were observed and video-recorded. Immediately following the lessons, students watched thereplay of the video and indicated on a graph their motivation and WTC levels at 2.5-minute intervals. Finally, the students’ graphs served as a cue during individual follow-up interviews where they verbalised their rationale for their motivation and WTC fluctuations over the course of the lesson. In line with a DST perspective (Verspoor, de Bot, & Lowie, 2011), results demonstrated considerable dynamic variability of both motivation and WTC. Self-confidence, task involvement and classroom atmosphere were identified asimportant factors guiding this variability. The discussion will focus on how learners’ motivation and WTC are distinct constructs that seem to mutually influence each other.

Add to my calendar

Back to listing