Iranian EFL Learners' Willingness to Communicate across Different Context- and Receiver-Types

Hamed Barjesteh, Reza Vaseghi, Sina Neissi


Willingness to communicate is the most basic orientation toward communication. Almost anyone is likely to respond to a direct question, but many will not continue or initiate interaction. This paper investigates Iranian EFL learners' perceptions of their willingness to initiate communication across four types of context and three types of receiver. The study employed a questionnaire consisting of 20 situations in which a person might choose to communicate or not to communicate. The study concludes that learners were highly willing to communicate in two context-types (Group Discussion, & Meetings) and one receiver-type (Friend). They were not willing to initiate communication in other situations. The main reason is that majority of Iranians have the experience of communicating in English only in language classrooms in which they can have some group discussion, meetings, and friendly chat. They don't have an access to a native speaker or possibility to travel to an English speaking country. In general, it can be said that Iranian EFL learners are willing to initiate communication in situations experienced before, like group discussion or communicating with their friends. They don't feel confident enough to initiate communication in unfamiliar situations like public speaking. Therefore, context- and receiver-type familiarity is an effective factor for the situation in which a learner initiates communication.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)   E-mail:

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