Interrelationships of Willingness to Speak and Cultural Identity with English L2 Speaking Proficiency

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of English Language, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran

2 English Department, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran

Abstract

Regarding the belief that willingness to communicate is strongly tied with developing some insights into the L2 culture, such a connection may not be always positive and the issue of cultural attachment and identity may sometimes function as a hindrance. Individuals are believed to be highly emotional in terms of “religion and spirituality", among other components of cultural identity. This study aimed at investigating the interrelationships of willingness to speak and cultural identity with English speaking proficiency. To this aim, 215 Iranian intermediate and upper intermediate EFL learners took part in this survey study to complete the Home Culture Attachment Scale and the Revised Version of Willingness to Communicate questionnaire. Using SEM, path analysis showed the degree to which the variables were related to one another. Also, Pearson Correlation was used for verification. The findings revealed positive significant relationships between all subscales of Home culture Attachment and both speaking and willingness to speak, except for the element of religious attachment. Further, willingness to speak was positively and significantly correlated with speaking skill. Having found a rather negative influence of religious attachment, it may be concluded that religion, as a cultural barrier, may hinder the process of L2 learning.

Keywords