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Thesis proposal

May 28, 2013

Julia Chang

on 26 May 2013

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Transcript of Thesis proposal

Hsiu-Jung Chang
May 28, 2013 Willingness to Communicate in English Through Different Social Media Among Taiwanese EFL Students Literature Review Introduction Methodology Research Questions (p.5) Background (p.1) Technology integration into language classrooms Communicative needs of the Digital Native learners (Prensky, 2001) WTC should be the primary goal of language teaching (MacIntyre et al., 1998) the probability of one's tendency to initiate a communication when presented with an opportunity (McCroskey & Baer, 1985) Social media come into the scene Statement of the Problem (p.2) Most previous studies investigated WTC through single social medium Generating pancultural assumptions appears to be unwarranted (McCroskey & Richmond, 1990a) The role of personality in L2 WTC -- risk-taking propensity face-saving tendency among Chinese students Purpose of the Study (p.4) 1. To compare Taiwanese EFL learners' WTC when they communicate in English through 4 functions afforded by social media 2. To examine the influence of risk-taking propensity on WTC 3. To explore other factors that guide EFL learners to choose a specific social medium Significance of the Study (p.5) The effects of social media and personality traits on undergraduate EFL students' WTC in Taiwan Definition of Terms (p.6) Theoretical Foundations of WTC Construct (p.10) Reticence (Phillips, 1968) Communication apprehension (CA) (McCroskey, 1970) Predispositions toward verbal behavior (PVB) (Mortensen, Artson, & Lustig, 1977) Unwillingness to communicate (UnWTC) (Burgoon, 1976) Shyness (McCroskey & Richmond, 1982) These constructs share an assumption that the tendency toward withdrawal from interaction is based on individual traits. Approaches to Conceptualizing WTC (p.12) * Trait-like approach "personality-based, traitlike predisposition which is relatively consistent across a variety of communication contexts and types of receivers" (McCroskey & Richmond, 1987, p.134). "Antecedents" include: introversion, self-esteem, communication competence, CA, cultural diversity, learning motivation/orientation, age, gender, and foreign language anxiety. * Situational approach "a readiness to enter into discourse at a particular time with a specific person or persons, using an L2" (MacIntyre et al., 1998, p.547). "Antecedents" include: teacher immediacy, social support for language learning, previous immersion experience, opportunities for practical speaking, interlocutor and group size. * Ecological approach Learners are "immersed in an environment full of potential meanings" as they interact "within and with this environment" (van Lier, 2000, p.245). Antecedents spanned individual, linguistic, contextual, and societal levels. Development of L2 WTC Models (p.15) MacIntyre et al.'s (1998) heuristic model Peng & Woodrow's (2012) L2 WTC model Wen & Clément's (2003) WTC model immediate,
situational enduring,
stable a deliberate choice
or preference the readiness
to talk They are either confined to classroom settings or only pay attention to the face-to-face/speaking aspect of communication. The Role of Risk-taking Propensity in WTC (p.19) One of the prominent attributes of successful language learners is the capacity to willingly make an intelligent guess (Naiman et al., 1975; Rubin & Rhompson, 1982). Some risks are unavoidable to facilitate L2 communication (Beebe, 1983). 洪偉豪 黃德欽的成熟味越來越濃了 Ely (1986) labeled the construct Language Risk Taking, referring to one's tendency to bear risks in using the L2 in the class setting. East Asian or Chinese students are often considered to be low risk takers and cautious monitors who tend to overemphasize both accuracy and self-correction (Wen & Clément, 2003) . Social Media and Communication (p.21) Social media operating on computer-mediated
communication (CMC) Social Media under Investigation (p.25) Attributes of Social Media The Role of Personality in
Media Choice (p.27) * Participants are provided with a less threatening environment where they can voice themselves more freely and equally (Chu, 2008; Joinson, 1998; Tu, 2000; Warchauer, 1996). * CMC allow shy people opportunities to comment without the fear of negative reactions (Chun, 1994; Phillips, 1983; Hartman et al., 1991). *egalitarian* Theoretical Approaches to
Classifying Social Media Social Presence Theory
(Short, Williams, Christie, 1976) Media Richness Theory
(Daft & Lengel, 1986) The higher the social presence, the greater the impact the communicators have on each other's behavior. Media differ in their ability to reduce ambiguity, to satisfy interpretation needs, and to transmit information. "If Facebook were a country, it would be the world's third largest" (Qualman, 2011). However, students were not necessarily able to make the most of the Web 2.0 tools in ways that benefit them (Blattner & Lomicka, 2012; Tapscott, 1997, 2009). Skype is recognized as the most widely used VoIP application (Mullen, Appel, & Shanklin, 2009). However, the mere existence of VoIP services is "not enough to benefit language learners in an organized, structured way" (Mullen et al., 2009) * The relative lower media richness of CMC channels in comparison with face-to-face communication might be advantage for some (Tu, 2000). Asynchronous communication allows users to reflect and prepare. One's level of anxiety is reduced, which leads to a relaxation of face-maintaining principle. Risk averters are encouraged to adventure more comfortably in an L2. Pedagogical Use of Social Media in Practice (p. 27) BBS, blogs, SNSs, virtual game worlds are shown to foster critical thinking ability, develop students' social competence, promote peer collaboration, and expand the learning beyond the classroom walls. To provide a better environment for L2 students, the nature of social media and users' perception should be taken into consideration (Tu, 2000). WTC in Social Media:
Empirical Research in the L2 Contexts (p.30) 1. Freiermuth and Jarrell (2006) on an online-chatting system

2. Reinders and Wattana (2011) on Ragnarok Online, an online role-playing digital game

3. Lloyd (2012) on Livemocha, a SNS affording language exchange Research Design Participants Instruments Semi-structured Interviews Data Collection and
Data Analysis Procedures A mixed method design that involves a questionnaire survey and interviews will be used to answer the three research questions. It is expected to involve 200 English-major freshman students from four national universities in northern Taiwan in the first-stage questionnaire survey and 24 in the second-stage individual interview. Background questionnaire
Risk-taking propensity questionnaire
WTC on social media questionnaire
Media choice behavior questionnaire Three high-WTC (scale score 3) and three low-WTC (scale score 2) learners in each category of the social media will be interviewed.
Questions are mainly about: (1) students’ views about social media of different immediacy and communication modes; and (2) the reasons behind their preferences for social media of different immediacy and communication modes. RQ1: ANOVA repeated measures will be utilized to examine the differences in individual’s WTC among different functions of social media.
RQ2: Two-way mixed-model ANOVA (Between-Within Design) will be used. Risk-taking group will then serve as the between-subjects factor while WTC via different social media will be the within-subjects factor.
RQ3: The recorded interview will be transcribed and categorized based on the themes emerging from the data. RQ1:

Is there a significant difference in an EFL individual’s willingness to communicate in English among different functions of the social media in the context of Taiwan?

Is there a significant interaction effect of immediacy and communication mode of social media on willingness to communicate? RQ2:

Does the personality factor of risk-taking propensity have a significant effect on EFL individuals’ willingness to communicate in English through different functions of the social media in the context of Taiwan? RQ3:

What factors do EFL learners perceive to influence their choice of different social media for communication in English in the context of Taiwan? *Willingness to communicate (WTC) *Asynchronous and synchronous communication * Social media * Risk-taking propensity Learners' perception of their psychological readiness to initiate a conversation in English online via different functions of social media with their classmates and friends. The former allows delayed-time interaction and the latter refers to real-time activities. The online interactive applications that individuals use to construct their own personal social network in real life. One's tendency to bear risks in using the L2 to communicate with others. Cultural power plays a controlling role in Chinese students' motivation and L2 self-confidence. It removes the social rules in face-to-face settings. It provides a non-threatening environment to learn. It provides various options of communication.
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