Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

The Role of EFL Teachers in Decreasing Learners' Reticence

Nahid Zarei, IslamicAzad University-Maragheh Branch (Iran, Islamic Republic of)


Willingness to communicate (WTC), as a prerequisite for improving communication skills, has garnered special attention in second and foreign language classes. It is believed that high tendency to become involved in communication activities may expose learners to much more input and as a result more intake. Several factors, some of which are situational and some others trait, have been identified in promoting learners’ WTC or reticence. This study set out to unravel the role of English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers, as the main facilitators of communication, in these classes in encouraging learners’ WTC. Data for this study were collected using a focus group interview. For this purpose, 48 EFL learners, with the age range of 17-23, who were taking general advanced and high-intermediate English courses in one of the popular English Schools, were selected to participate in the study. The results of the analysis revealed that both teachers’ socio-affective strategies and teaching style have a determining role in learners’ WTC. What was more interesting was that these learners found teachers’ socio-affective strategies even more influential than teaching style. The findings of the study have important implications for teacher trainers and EFL teachers to improve their pedagogic strategies to foster WTC in learners who prefer reticence to talk.

Keywords: Willingness to Communicate, Reticence, Socio-affective Strategies, Teaching Style.

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