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Keywords:

  • willingness to communicate in English;
  • communication confidence;
  • motivation;
  • learner beliefs;
  • classroom environment;
  • structural equation modeling

This study involves a large-scale investigation of willingness to communicate (WTC) in Chinese English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) classrooms. A hypothesized model integrating WTC in English, communication confidence, motivation, learner beliefs, and classroom environment was tested using structural equation modeling. Validation of the measurements involved exploratory factor analyses on the dataset collected in a pilot study and confirmatory factor analyses in the main study. The results show that classroom environment predicts WTC, communication confidence, learner beliefs, and motivation. Motivation influences WTC indirectly through confidence. The direct effect of learner beliefs on motivation and confidence is identified. The model provides an adequate fit to the data, indicating the potential to draw on individual and contextual variables to account for classroom communication.