Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number2 June 2021                                               Pp. 469-478
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol12no2.32

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The Role of Language Proficiency in Willingness to Communicate: A Case Study of Saudi
EFL Learners
 

Hassan S. Alqurashi
Department of Curriculum and Instruction,
College of Education, University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Haitham A. Althubaiti
Department of Curriculum and Instruction,
College of Education, University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 

Received: 2/14/2021               Accepted: 5/27/2021               Published: 6/24/2021

 

Abstract:
This study’s principal aim revolves around expanding comprehension of the facets affecting people’s readiness to use foreign languages. To achieve that, the study investigates the various elements of verbal interaction between undergraduate English as a Foreign Language learners and their instructors in the classroom. Linguistic skills are of particular interest, especially their connection to learners’ readiness to speak during classes. The research aims to answer the question ‘How does language proficiency affect the willingness to communicate among Saudi EFL students in the classroom?’ Qualitative data was gathered through the implementation of a triangulation strategy that incorporated focus-group discussions and individual interviews. Moreover, the research takes inspiration from the work of MacIntyre (1994) and MacIntyre and Charos (1996), who focused on learners’ readiness to speak as the conceptual basis for their studies. The study shows that learners exhibit an unwillingness to speak in EFL settings due to perceived linguistic inadequacies, a limited lexicon and concerns that they may make mistakes when attempting to speak English, which would, in turn, prompt further misunderstandings. The study concludes with recommendations for further studies in similar institutions to investigate other factors that may influence students’ willingness to communicate.
Keywords: English as a foreign language, language proficiency, willingness to communicate, Saudi EFL learners

Cite as: Alqurashi, H. S., & Althubaiti, H. A. (2021).  The Role of Language Proficiency in Willingness to Communicate: A Case Study of Saudi EFL Learners.  Arab World English Journal, 12 (2) 469-478.
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol12no2.32

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Received: 2/14/2021  
Accepted: 5/27/2021 
Published: 6/24/2021   
https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol12no2.32  
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Hassan S. Alqurashi has a Ph.D. in Education with specialization in TESOL from the University of Reading, UK (2018) and an MA of Educational Studies (TESOL) from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2010); and is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. His research interests include TESOL, Oral Communication, Willingness to Communicate, and Language Proficiency.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5190-3088

Haitham A. Althubaiti has a P.h. D in Education with specialization in TESOL from the University of Sussex, UK (2018) and an MA of Educational Studies (TESOL) from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2010); and is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. His research interests include TESOL, Teaching and Learning in higher education and educational attainment.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7755-1220