International Students’ Willingness to Communicate in English as a Second Language

The Effects of L2 Self-Confidence, Acculturation, and Motivational Types




acculturation, English as a second language, L2 self-confidence, motivational types, willingness to communicate


This study examined factors affecting international students’ willingness to communicate (WTC) in English as a second language (ESL), focusing on second language (L2) self-confidence, acculturation, and motivational types. L2 self-confidence was hypothesized to predict L2 WTC and to mediate the correlation between acculturation and L2 WTC for instrumental motivation learners, but not for integrative ones. Participants were 88 Japanese students studying at a university in California. The results partially confirmed the hypotheses, indicating that both L2 self-confidence and acculturation strongly correlate with L2 WTC, but the mediation effect of L2 self-confidence on the correlation between acculturation and L2 WTC was opposite from the hypothesis, as the mediation effect was significant for integrative motivation learners but not for instrumental ones.

Author Biographies

Tatsuya Aoyama, Soka University of America, USA

TATSUYA AOYAMA received his BA in liberal arts from Soka University of America in 2018 and his MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Michigan State University in 2020. He’s pursuing a PhD in computational and applied linguistics at Georgetown University. The present study is based on his senior capstone project, which he conducted with Tomoko Takahashi as his capstone mentor at Soka University of America in 2017–2018.

Tomoko Takahashi, Soka University of America, USA

TOMOKO TAKAHASHI, PhD, EdD, LHD, is the Dean of the Graduate School and Professor of Linguistics and Education at Soka University of America. She received her PhD in translation studies from Monash University and EdD in applied linguistics from Columbia University as well as a Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa from Albertus Magnus College. Her research interests include language acquisition, cross-cultural communication, and translation


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How to Cite

Aoyama, T., & Takahashi, T. (2020). International Students’ Willingness to Communicate in English as a Second Language: The Effects of L2 Self-Confidence, Acculturation, and Motivational Types. Journal of International Students, 10(3), 703–723.



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