Following the publication of Willingness to Communicate in the Chinese EFL University Classroom by Jian-E Peng we asked the author to tell us a bit more about her book and the background to her study. She also added in the extra last paragraph about the publication process with Multilingual Matters (with no bribery required on our part!)
This book is based on my research that investigated Chinese university students’ willingness to communicate (WTC) in their English language class. Utilizing a mixed-methods design, I examined the interrelationships between WTC and motivation, communication confidence, learner beliefs and classroom environment using structural equation modelling. A follow-up multiple case-study was then carried out to track the focal students’ WTC fluctuations over time and across situations and to identify themes underlying the fluctuations. The results were further integrated and interpreted from an ecological perspective, which revealed that WTC in this research context is socioculturally constructed as a function of the interaction of individual and environmental factors inside and beyond the classroom walls.
The reported research has been inspired by my experience, or more precisely, my puzzles as an English teacher for many years. I often feel frustrated when students are reluctant to participate in class activities and once they do, they tend to be stuttering rather than conversing. Their ‘communicative incompetence’ may largely be attributed to their lack of practice or their lack of willingness to communicate using English in the first place. In the English as a foreign language (EFL) context where I am from, such a willingness is of paramount importance because they do not have ready linguistic contact in real life that many other second language learners do. It is my hope that my research, along with many other studies in this field, can contribute to the craft of decoding the ‘black box’ of EFL students’ minds and inspire students to proactively engage in English communication and become competent English users.
Publishing with Multilingual Matters has been very much delightful and rewarding. This is a team who are highly professional, efficient, and supportive. I am thankful that my book proposal was quickly accepted, book draft timely sent out for review, and the final draft meticulously proofread and edited. This process has been incredibly smooth which greatly enriched my academic development. I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep-felt gratitude to the staff at Multilingual Matters.
For more information about this title please see our website.