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Willingness to Communicate in a Second Language:The Effects of Context, Norms, and Vitality

Willingness to Communicate in a Second Language:The Effects of Context, Norms, and Vitality

Abstract

Past research has focused primarily on second language (L2) acquisition as a tool for promoting intercultural communication. The social context model, for example, stresses the importance of contact, L2 confidence, and identity in acquiring a L2. The willingness to communicate (WTC) model, however, emerged from a concern with the functions of L2 use. This study combines these two models to consider both contextual and individual difference variables in L2 use. Participants were 130 Anglophone (majority) and 248 Francophone (minority) students attending a Canadian bilingual university. Path analyses supported a model in which context, individual, and social factors were all important determinants of L2 use, although patterns of relations differed depending on the ethnolinguistic vitality of the group. The importance of subjective norms was further confirmed as moderators of the relationship between L2 confidence and identity among Francophones. Results are discussed within the context of current models of intergroup communication.
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