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ERIC Number: EJ1005776
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jan
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-1362-1688
Exploring and Contrasting EFL Learners' Perceptions of Textbook-Assigned and Self-Selected Discussion Topics
Wolf, James P.
Language Teaching Research, v17 n1 p49-66 Jan 2013
In an attempt to explore the significance of a "willingness to communicate" (WTC) variable in second language (L2) acquisition, this article reports on a survey study that investigated 101 Japanese university English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners' perceptions of textbook-assigned and self-selected discussion topics. Additionally, the study examined whether learners' confidence in discussion differed in relation to textbook-assigned and self-selected topics. The study compiled 40 textbook-assigned topics through analysis of six EFL textbooks and employed 5-point Likert scale questionnaires to collect perceptions and reports of confidence. The study elicited learners' self-selected topics through an argumentative essay assignment and administered another 5-point Likert scale questionnaire to collect perceptions and reports of confidence regarding these topics. The study found that the learners had statistically significantly greater perceptions of knowledge about and interest in discussing their own topics, but perceived no difference in difficulty or importance compared with the textbook-assigned topics. Moreover, the study found that the learners reported more confidence for discussing their own topics in pair and whole-class situations, but no difference concerning their confidence in group situations compared with the textbook-assigned topics. The study concludes that it is more sensible to have learners select their own topics given the potential implications for L2 WTC and both quantity and quality of production, and suggests that future studies explore the effects of free choice of topic on learners' interactive behaviors and output. (Contains 6 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan