The Interplay of Motivation and Willingness to Communicate in Four Skills: The Iranian Perspective

Document Type: Original Article


Department of English Language, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran


The present study examined the relationship between willingness to communicate (WTC) and intrinsic/extrinsic motivation among Iranian intermediate learners of English. It also attempted to identify the motivational orientations which best predicted learners’ WTC. Moreover, it measured Iranian intermediate learners’ willingness to read (WTR), willingness to listen (WTL), and willingness to write (WTW). To this end, 133 university intermediate English majors filled out a questionnaire based on which their L2 WTC and language learning motivation level were measured. All participants were then interviewed individually to elicit their attitudes towards L2 WTC and motivation in learning English. The results indicated that both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation were significantly correlated with L2 WTC. However, only intrinsic motivation predicted L2 WTC significantly, and extrinsic motivation was more dominant among Iranian learners. Results of the 7-item structured interview indicated that teacher immediacy, the teachers’ and peers’ judgment, and scoring, ranked in descending order, were as the top impetus to influence the participants’ WTC. Results also demonstrated that participants represented higher degrees of WTL and WTW than WTR. In light of the findings of the study, teachers are recommended to improve learners’ L2 WTC by recognizing individual and situational factors affecting WTC, strengthening their motivation and self-confidence, and decreasing their anxiety.