Willingness to Communicate and Communication Anxiety of EFL Learners in a Virtual World

Galip Kartal*, Cem Balçikanli**
* Assistant Professor, English Language Teaching Department, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey.
** Associate Professor, English Language Teaching Department, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey.
Periodicity:October - December'2018


This mixed-method study explored the changes in Turkish EFL learners' reported willingness to communicate and communication anxiety after conducting ten real-life tasks in a virtual world. Sixty-five university EFL learners (experimental = 30; control = 35) participated in this study. The participants were the first-year students of a foreign language teacher education program in Turkey. The intervention involved ten real-life tasks, one task each week. Data were collected via questionnaires, introspective interviews, weekly evaluation forms, observation, and focus-group and semi-structured interviews. Questionnaire data were analyzed through ANCOVA tests, and the qualitative data were subjected to content analysis. Overall results suggested that using a virtual world had a positive effect on the reported WTC and communication anxiety of participants who participated in the experiment compared to those who did not. Furthermore, the study suggests a model (NATURAL vs MATURAL) that explains the nature of communication in traditional classrooms and in a virtual world. These results suggest that incorporating virtual worlds in EFL context is worth the investment. Moreover, virtual worlds can become useful tools for learning and teaching of English because the interactions within the environment and learners' positive views on it are promising authentic and effective communication.


Willingness to Communicate, Communication Anxiety, EFL, Virtual Worlds, Second Life

How to Cite this Article?

Kartal, G., and Balçikanli, C. (2018). Willingness to Communicate and Communication Anxiety of EFL Learners in a Virtual World. i-manager’s Journal of Educational Technology, 15(3), 7-25.


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