Willingness to Communicate in the Chinese EFL University Classroom An Ecological Perspective Author: Jian-E Peng

Hardback - 224 pages
Related Formats:
26 Feb 2014
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


This book presents mixed-methods research into Chinese students' willingness to communicate (WTC) in an EFL classroom context. The interrelationships between WTC and motivation, communication confidence, learner beliefs and classroom environment are examined using structural equation modelling on data collected in a large-scale survey. These results are then complemented and expanded upon in a follow-up multiple case-study that identifies six themes which account for fluctuations of WTC over time and across situations. The qualitative and quantitative data provide the grounds for the proposition of an ecological model of WTC in the Chinese EFL university classroom, which reveals that WTC is socioculturally constructed as a function of the interaction of individual and environmental factors inside and beyond the classroom walls.


This exciting book reports a multi-phase, mixed-method, longitudinal study of Chinese EFL learners' willingness to communicate in English. Taking an ecological perspective, the well-designed, groundbreaking study explores the multifaceted, context-sensitive, socially mediated, and culturally embedded nature of willingness to communicate and opens a window into the communicative psychology of millions of Chinese learners of English.

- Guangwei Hu, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

This is an exemplary mixed methods study that captures the complexity of the topic of WTC in the Chinese context. Peng not only gives the rich detail so often called for in studies in the area, she goes on to address the needs of learners and teachers. This book will inspire researchers, educators, and learners to better understand why people who have been learning a language for years decide to either talk or to hold back when the time comes to communicate.

- Peter D. MacIntyre, Cape Breton University, Canada

The book is written without using native English idioms and thus appeals to an international readership. It is useful for the ELT practitioner who seeks to understand Chinese students’ behaviour in English language classrooms. It challenges a simplistic view of Chinese students as shy and passive learners of English and helps the ELT practitioner to find ways of supporting Chinese learners on the basis of understanding them. This book also reminds ELT practitioners who work in different contexts of the complexity of their students’ WTC so that they can address their students’ needs better.

- ELT Journal, August 2015 - Ying Wang, University of Southampton, UK

This book is of great value to ELT practitioners because of its meticulous analysis of the important context of China and its EFL learners, as well as the provision of practical and sensible suggestions on educational practices in the last part of the book which will help EFL teachers identify suitable and appropriate cognitive and linguistic resources for learning. For those who want to understand more about the willingness to communicate (or lack of it) among Chinese learners of English, this is an excellent read.

- The Asian Journal of Applied Linguistics Vol. 3 No. 1, 2016, pp. 127-128 - Ng, Carly Yor-ling, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Author Biography:

Jian-E Peng is an Associate Professor at the College of Liberal Arts, Shantou University, China. Her research interests include willingness to communicate in an L2, learner motivation, intercultural communication, and research methodology. She has published in the journals of Language Learning, System, The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher and University of Sydney Papers in TESOL.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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