In this teacher-research study I examine factors influencing willingness to communicate (WTC) on 39 students, grades 1-6, enrolled in after-school EFL classes in Korea. Quantitative data from student surveys, was analyzed to identify student perceptions of their comfort when engaged in various types of communicative classroom activities and to identify trends occurring across gender and grade levels. Qualitative data gathered from journals recorded after each day’s lessons was coded to identify themes related to classroom WTC. Findings from these data sources were compared with observation records and self-reflection. Factors identified that influence student WTC included: familiarity with speaking tasks, class size and environment, and instruction appropriate for each student’s proficiency level. I recommend that EFL teachers hoping to increase student engagement become familiar with their students’ educational backgrounds, social interactions within their classroom, and actively take part in the assessment and placement of students.

Author Biography

Mark Matuzas is an EFL educator currently working in Yongin, S. Korea. He has been engaged in EFL education for nearly 20 years and has taught all ages in various contexts. He is currently working with elementary school students and adults while pursuing a graduate degree in TESOL.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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