Exploring perceived capacity to speak in silent English majors: A longitudinal study before, during, and after study abroad

(1) * Simon Humphries Mail (Kansai University, Japan)
(2) Maiko Ikeda Mail (Kansai University, Japan)
(3) Tomoko Yashima Mail (Kansai University, Japan)
*corresponding author


In the Japanese classroom context, student silence is a widely observed phenomenon (King, 2013). As such, the volition to speak, which is central to willingness to communicate (WTC; MacIntyre et al., 1998), may be weak compared to other sociocultural contextual factors (Humphries et al., 2023). Therefore, the authors focused on two silent university English majors' perceived capacity to speak (CTS). Using focused essay journals (MacIntyre et al., 2011), retrospective timeline graphs (Ikeda et al., 2020; Fukui & Yashima, 2021) and semi-structured interviews, the authors explored CTS fluctuations longitudinally before, during and after a study abroad (SA) year. They analysed situational cues and characteristics (Rauthmann et al., 2015; Zhang et al., 2018). Results indicated that both participants felt sensitive to and depended on their interlocutors' kindness, empathy and patience. Implications are discussed for supporting students before, during and after SA.


Willingness to communicate (WTC); Capacity to speak (CTS); Study abroad




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