Using the transtheoretical model to predict intercultural willingness to communicate
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Using the Transtheoretical Model to Predict Intercultural Willingness to Communicate The past several decades have led to an increased awareness by Americans of the necessity of interacting with the rest of the world. Easy and affordable transportation and communication devices have greatly decreased the vastness of the global community. Other factors such as the outsourcing of goods and services to countries across the globe have led Americans to significantly interact with other cultures. Despite these global changes, Americans are often reluctant to learn foreign languages, preferring to speak English or not communicate at all. If this trend continues, the United States will lose its competitive edge in the business world and fall further behind in many other areas. This study of Midwest college students (n = 211) uses a quantitative approach to examine the application of the Transtheoretical Model (also known as the Stages of Change) to college students? value of learning a foreign language and their intercultural willingness to communicate (IWTC). The original questions from the transtheoretical model were modified to incorporate students? attitudes toward learning a foreign language. The IWTC was reproduced in its original form. The study utilized four research questions. First, which language would college students perceive as being the most valuable to learn? Second, how do perceived value of a language, stage of second language learning readiness, and IWTC scores correlate? Third, to what extent does the stage of change model predict value of L2 learning scores? Fourth, to what extent does the stage of change model predict IWTC scores? The study revealed several important findings. First, Spanish is the most valued language by Midwest college students. On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being least valued and 10 being most valued), Spanish was rated as 9, in contrast with the next most valued only scoring 5. Second, there is significant correlation between value of learning a foreign language, IWTC, and the five stages of change. Third, the transtheoretical model can be used to predict value of learning a foreign language and IWTC. This study is applicable to businesses and educational institutions. Multinational organizations could use the information to evaluate employees? attitudes toward learning a foreign language and develop training seminars to increase employees? willingness and ability to communicate with other cultures. Educational institutions should develop courses tailored to expanding students? world views and to instill the value of being multilingual.
Second language acquisition