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Volume 15 Number 3, Autumn 2018, Pages 566-899   

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Investigating the Effects of Task-Based Language Teaching on Japanese EFL Learners' Willingness to Communicate

    Pino Cutrone & Siewkee Beh

Despite a great deal of research literature supporting task-based language teaching (TBLT), very little is known about how TBLT actually influences the EFL classroom in practical terms. This study thus attempts to provide a much-needed link between research and practice where TBLT is concerned. Specifically, this paper focuses on the impact of TBLT on Japanese EFL university students' willingness to communication (WTC) in English. Administering McCroskey's (1992) widely used WTC scale, the researchers measured the WTC of two groups of Japanese EFL university freshmen: 192 students who received task-based instruction (TBI) and 43 who received other types of instruction. Questionnaires were given at the beginning and at the end of the semester (after 16 weeks). The results of the questionnaires showed that the students that had received TBI had significantly increased their overall WTC scores, Group Discussion WTC scores and Public Speaking WTC scores over the course of the semester, while the WTC scores of the control group in all three sub-categories did not change much at all. Hence, providing some practical support to the psycholinguistic research literature advocating TBLT, this study was able to demonstrate some of the real-world benefits of TBLT in the Japanese EFL context.

Keywords: task-based language teaching, Japanese EFL learners, willingness to communicate