L1 and L2 Attitudes and Willingness to Communicate in Taiwanese Middle School Bilingual Program

Abstract

While most language learners in Taiwan are school aged children, academic research in field mostly address university level students. Considering early experiences with language affect students’ future motivation for learning Chinese (L1) and English (L2) (MacIntyre et al. 2003), this study aims to investigate Taiwanese middle school students in bilingual programs. Specifically, to (a) assess correlations between attitude and WTC for both L1 and L2 in an EFL bilingual school environment; and (b) examine how students’ WTC with peers and adults compare in L1 and L2. For this purpose, a 36 question 4 point-Likert survey adapted from Yashima’s investigation of Japanese learner’s WTC (2002) and MacIntyre, Baker, Clement and Conrod’s research on Willingness to Communicate, Social Support, and Language-Learning Orientations of Immersion Students (2001) was distributed to 58 seventh grade students at an Elementary and Middle School in Northern Taiwan. The results indicate that attitude has a moderate positive correlation to WTC in L2 but not in L1. Mean values also reveal students are more WTC in task-based activities in L2 compared to L1, suggesting that compared to studying L1, they seek more for belonging and approval in L2. This is also consistent with how in L1, students are more WTC with peers than teachers whereas in L2, students are more WTC with teachers than peers. Therefore this study provides new insight to ways educators can effectively strengthen student WTC by assisting them using targeted activities and incentives when facilitating WTC in various contexts using the respective languages.



Author Information
Alexandra Chiang, Tamkang University, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACLL2019
Stream: Literature and language learning

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