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In the past decade, sociocultural diversity and linguistics where ethnicity, identity, and culture have drawn great interest in sociolinguistic research (Dörnyei & Ushioda, 2009). Sociological and psychological variables are greatly involved in communication research (Burgoon, 1976) which may analyse how personal, cultural and social influences are related to communication behaviours. The role of psycholinguistic and sociocultural factors in willingness to communicate (WTC) has been the focus in communication in a foreign language. Several studies have focused on factors increasing from language learners' communicative competence, motivation, attitude, or WTC but very few studies have focused on personal trait and cultural trait, especially, and interestingly, between Asian and European speakers of English.
People speak a different language and have different cultures from different. How do they feel when speaking a second language (L2)? How do their cultures influence their confidence to speak a L2? With an increase of speaking a foreign language to date, especially the English language, it is a very important factor in communication. English is the global language and is spoken worldwide. In many countries, English is the daily language of communication and people need to learn the language to "compete in the global economic environment" (Grubbs, Chaengploy, & Worawong, 2009, p. 1). There is a need to use the English language in daily life and the use of the English language as a tool for international and intercultural communication. This may explain the participants' great interest in WTC in English. The reasons and the effectiveness of English language learning and communication depend on a variety of factors, for example, motivation, aptitude and personal attitude. Different perspective toward English can involve personal attitude and motivation to learn
Motivation, aptitude, attitude are important examples of individual differences. Gardner (2001a) stresses that learning a foreign language was, decades ago, related to intelligence and verbal ability. Gardner (2001b) also declares that other than motivation, language anxiety and self-confidence with the language are also very influential. At present, attitudes, motivation and anxiety are seen as influential variables and, therefore, these variables have gained much attention. As language learners are pressured from many possible factors in the target language communication, there is a reason to believe that language learners with different cultures in particular situations may affect their WTC in L2 communication.
MacIntyre & Gardner (1991a) speculate that "language anxiety can have a pervasive impact at all stages of language learning and production" (p. 296). Anxious speakers tend to be unwilling to interact with others or avoid communicating if possible. MacIntyre & Gardner (1991a) comment that language anxiety negatively affects listening comprehension. Considering speakers' nervousness, they are very concerned not only their pronunciation but also their listening comprehension. Thus, communicative comprehension also plays an important role in their WTC and their L2 performance can be limited.
I am a native Thai speaker and a L2 speaker of English. When I compare myself to other native learners of English, I consider myself more reluctant to speak English. I wonder if this is a personal trait or do other factors for example, culture, situation, and anxiety, also affect my willingness to communicate in L2? That is why I have been wondering for some time why Thai learners of English are more reluctant to speak up than Western non-native speakers of English. I feel the nature of Thai learners of English that they often are shy or find it embarrassed to speak the language. Some are not confident with their English grammar or pronunciation, and are afraid to be judged that their English is not at a good level.
The purpose of this introduction is to outline the possible contributing variables that are significantly influence individuals' WTC in English oral production, although it is difficult to diagnose what exact factors affect individuals' WTC. The main objective in my research is to look at Thai, Chinese and Dutch learners of English and to investigate their willingness to communicate in English as a L2 oral production depending on certain influential factors, to find out how factors interact with WTC. For this purpose, an empirical investigation was set up and carried out in the Netherlands, amongst a group of speakers of English as a L2. Individual differences will be examined to compare their WTC and find out whether any related factors affect their WTC and to see the differences between the Thai speakers of English differ from the Chinese and the Dutch, in order to determine whether there were any differences in the individual background influence their WTC in L2 speech.
Since I cannot observe Thai learners of English in Thailand, I will focus on Thai speakers of English in the Netherlands. I would like to examine whether their traits may affect their WTC in English, although their attitudes towards the target language communication may change or is different from the Thai learners of English who live in Thailand as they have lived in the Netherlands and used the English language with other native speakers for a period of time. Undoubtedly, some degree of WTC to use the language may be more developed than the Thai who has never studied abroad. For a clearer view, I will also investigate Chinese and Dutch speakers of English in order to make a comparison whether the cultural and personality trait greatly exert their WTC.
I will attempt to find out answers to the following research questions in order to shed some light on these areas:
What factors can influence the English oral production and WTC e.g. personality, culture, situation, or self-perceived competence?
Is there any interaction between their traits and WTC in L2 speech?
Are Thai speakers more reluctant to speak the English language than the Chinese and the Dutch?
Does WTC change over time?
This paper is structured as follows: ..
1. Dynamic systems theory (DST)
. Dynamic systems theory (DST) is a theory of any complex system which comprises a set of interrelated variables that constantly influence each other and change over time.
The theory of DST is very reasonable to explain my questions why some people are willing or reluctant to speak English. The concept of speaking in order to learn and communicate is the basic to the character of WTC in a second language. Some people come across many difficulties when learning a foreign language. Acquiring and learning a language is related to many factors and each factor affects the other. Communicating in L2 is a significantly unstable effort, involved a wide range of mechanisms when it comes to language learning and development (De Bot, unpublished YEAR).
Over the past decade or so, it has become more common for people to learn a second language and communicate with each other than in their native languages for social interaction. Some learners are more willing to engage or communicate in a second language than others. Inevitably, learners' learning performance associated with the language at the same time: for example, cultural, social, characteristic, motivational, situational, attitudinal, and pedagogical issues (De Bot, unpublished YEAR). Therefore, learning a language can be seen as a dynamic systemLanguage is also a dynamic system and the constant interaction is continually changing (De Bot, C. J. L., Lowie, W., & Verspoor, M., 2005). Furthermore, De Bot (2008) also mentions that language is a complex system comprising of different interacting subsystems and is easily affected by different factors which influence language development and that is why it can be seen as a DST.
Dynamic Systems Theory can be used as an umbrella theory in language development (De Bot et al, 2007), in this case, to understand the idea how subsystems connected to WTC in oral production.
How DST applied to first language (L1) or L2 communication, the main feature of a DS is its change over time (De Bot et al, 2007). That is, each variable can ebb and flow as each factor of language development or language learning is not entirely stable. According to De Bot et al. (2007), dynamic systems are characterised as a complete interconnectedness where all variables are interrelated, and if one variable changes, that variable will affect all variables that are part of the system. Therefore, the development over time cannot be predicted and stable as the variables keep changing through, for example, social and environment factors or individual differences. which results in communicative behaviours. Consequently, DST monitors the relation between behaviours and how the whole form changes over time (De Bot et al., 2007).
There are four features of DST in De Bot et al. view (2007). First, dynamic systems change over time in which each state is a transformation of a previous state. Second, dynamic systems have a complete interconnectedness where the variables in the system are connected and affect each other. Third, dynamic systems are self-organising into preferred states or so-called 'attractor states' and states that will not be preferred called 'repeller states'. When variables influence the system, change is to be anticipated. Fourth, the systems possess non-linearity or so-called 'the butterfly effect'. In short, even small changes in one part of the system may have great influence in the whole system, or vice versa. Communication in terms of DST perspective leads us to understand WTC such as "sensitive dependence on initial conditions, complete interconnectedness of subsystems, the emergence of attractor states in development over time and variation both in and among individuals" (De Bot et al, 2007, p. 7).
To investigate learners' performance on WTC, it is necessary to explore the structure of dynamic system theory, social psychology, individual differences in language learning and communication and develop an instrument for assessing learners' traits and WTC in L2. A timescale is a concern in this study in order to apprehend moment to moment that changes in WTC. What happens on one timescale will impact the process of the system on another timescale. In this research, the changes during the time span of L2 communication and the participants' rationale for the changes will be described the fluctuations in their moment by moment rating of WTC by using WTC-meter. The traits measured by the questionnaires will be revealed whether they play any role in WTC. The goal is to account for the fluctuations in WTC over a short period of time.
Willingness to communicate
Research in L2 WTC has been paid good attention in the past decade and L2 WTC can be concerned with social support, personality traits, and gender (Peng, 2007). In Peng's study (2007) cultural values enforced Chinese learners' L2 WTC. L2 communication is a changeable skill development and various contexts that connect to L2 communication when concerning the variety of processes regarding language learning (De Bot, unpublished YEAR). People can differ in communication behaviours. Some can speak freely and actively, while some tend to speak only when needed or with particular interlocutors but being silent with others. At times some speakers will suddenly stop taking part in a conversation when their confidence dissolves or after feeling anxious about the correctness of their grammar or pronunciation.
According to De Bot (unpublished YEAR), WTC consistently connects positively with perceived communicative competence and negatively with language anxiety. Peng (2007) refers McCroskey and his associates' statement that WTC is "a personality-based construct representing such regularity in individuals' predisposition toward verbal communication" (p. 37) and, therefore, WTC construct can pertain to the SLA and L2 communication context. WTC exhibits constant disposition to communicate in various situations. WTC is seen as a personality trait which associated with such variables as communication apprehension, perceived communication competence, introversion-extraversion, self-esteem, and so on (MacIntyre, Clément, Dörnyei, & Noels, 1998).
MacIntyre (1995), who investigated WTC model, identified several major areas of learners' communicative competence and WTC and developed his method to investigate anxiety in L2 communication by using axometer to measure anxiety in his experiment. MacIntyre (2004) defines WTC as "the probability of initiating communication, given the opportunity, WTC integrates motivational processes with communication competencies and perceived self-confidence" (p. 2). In MacIntyre's study (2004), the process of volition, the act of willing, can identify how motivational propensities are represented in the moment-to-moment options and understand how the motivational processes affect actions such as choosing to speak up or avoid participating a conversation. Donovan & MacIntyre (2005) present the McCroskey & Baer's (1985) definition of willingness to communicate (WTC) as "the probability that an individual will choose to communicate, specifically to talk, when free to do so" (p. 420). The degree of WTC depends on the contexts and receivers whether individuals choose to speak up or avoid having a conversation. The concept of WTC is defined as individual's "readiness to enter into discourse at a particular time with a specific person or persons, using a L2" (MacIntyre et al., 2002, p. 547).
However, several research on WTC studied the trait approaches focused on the volition to speak. MacIntyre (2004) mentions WTC decision in a communication depends on the topic, whether it is easy or difficult. With regard to introversion - extraversion, MacIntyre (2004) reveals a study by MacIntyre, Donovan & Standing (2004) that extraverts showed higher level of WTC than introverts in an unfamiliar situation, but within the same condition, introverts reversely showed higher level of WTC than extraverts. This demonstrates the value of the act of WTC in different situations.
Understanding communication behaviours across cultures is important in order to evoke individuals' WTC towards speaking and interaction. Although cultures shape human communication behaviours (Samovar & Porter, 1997), the role of communication orientations such as WTC, communication apprehension, and communication competence can significantly impact on interpersonal intercultural communication in which Barraclough, Christophel & McCroskey (1988) recommend that the amount of interaction individuals get engaged partly aids individuals' cultural orientation. Therefore, the frequency of the language use is a key in the act of WTC whether speakers will speak up or avoid engaging in an interaction as the sense of free will and feeling eased increase self-confidence and reduce their fear to communicate.
McCroskey & Richmond (1987) review the construct of WTC as "an individual's general personality orientation towards talking" (p. 188) which related to interpersonal communication and the amount of talk they want to engage in. Barraclough et al. (1988) explain that a given time and context, how one feels at that moment, how the person they talk to looks like or even the previous communication may temporarily affect on WTC. Regarding the impact of culture on WTC, it is seen more as a trait and individuals' behaviours than a situational level. However, individual differences in communication behaviours are accounted by context rather than cultural diversity.
Communication competence is an important issue which greatly involved individuals' WTC (Barraclough, Christophel & McCroskey, 1988). Without the perception of communication competence, people would be less willing to communicate or afraid to communicate if they do not perceive their capability. This is linked to self-confidence, the belief of self-competent communication, it is what people think they can do, although they could not actually do, which influence their communication behaviours. Thus, they are more likely to be willing to engage in an interaction. McCroskey (1984) defines communication apprehension as "an individual's level of fear or anxiety associated with either real or anticipated communication with another person or persons" (p. 13). Hence, people who have high levels of fear or anxiety when it comes to communication tend to avoid having a communication (Daly & McCroskey, 1984).
The assumption is found that why L2 speakers consider to be reluctant to speak and what factors significantly impact on their willingness to communicate in L2 speech. The model suggested by MacIntyre, Clément, Dörnyei, & Noels (1998) guide that L2 speakers' approach to understand L2 use which directly influences the degree of WTC in L2 speech. The analytical WTC model by MacIntyre et al. (1998) provides a possibility to understand L2 communication from their conceptual model of variables influencing WTC. The multi-layered pyramid, as shown in Figure 1, can be divided into 2 distinctions. There are six layers which exemplify the possible influences on WTC in L2. WTC is a trait-like disposition transferred from one situation to another, although the conceptual WTC pyramid model below shows WTC as a state, not as trait-like. It is a implication that suggests a matter of choice to communicate at a particular moment in time.
Figure 1 Heusistic Model of Variables Influencing WTC by MacIntyre et al. (1998, p. 547)
The top three layers (I, II, and III) denote communication behaviour, behavioural intention, and situated antecedents which comprise of situational factors that mean the willingness and desire to communicate with a specific person and communicative self-confidence refer to situational influences at a given moment in time which indicate L2 use. This implies that these variables depend on a particular situation in which an individual performs at a certain time and fluctuate in different contexts, e.g. knowledge of topic. This influence is, therefore, transitory and temporary. Layer 1 is communication behaviour and is related to a wide range of communication including speaking up in class, reading newspaper, or watching TV in L2 language. Layer 2 is willingness to communicate and influences situation-specific factors. Layer 3 consists of two situated antecedents of WTC: Desire to communicate with a specific person and state communicative self-confidence. Desire to communicate with a specific person consists of interindividual and intergroup motivations and state communicative self-confidence. Lippa mentions that affiliation happens to those are similar to speakers in various ways (MacIntyre et al., 1998). Regarding state communicative self-confidence, MacIntyre et al. (1998) includes 2 constructs: perceived competence and a lack of anxiety. Self-perceived competence concerns self-ability to communicate at a particular time and leads to higher degree of WTC, while anxiety lessens WTC and fluctuates over time.
The bottom three layers (IV, V, and VI) represent stable influences which are social and individual context, affective and cognitive context, and motivational propensities. These are believed to have more stable influences on WTC as they are unlike to change over time, e.g. personality. Layer 4 is motivational propensities, which comprises of interpersonal motivation, intergroup motivation, and L2 self-confidence, based on affective and cognitive contexts of intergroup interaction and WTC with a particular person. Layer 5 is affective - cognitive context, combined with intergroup attitudes, social situation, and communicative competence. These variables are from prior experience. Lastly, Layer 6 portrays intergroup climate and personality, involved the interaction of the society and the individual. MacIntyre et al. (1998) declare that the societal context associates with the intergroup climate, whereas the individual context refers to enduring personality traits. As a result, good relationships of the intergroup can increase WTC while bad relationships can decrease WTC.
Most research examine WTC as a trait-like ability, Kang (2005) argues that WTC is "an individual's volitional inclination towards actively engaging in the act of communication in a specific situation, which can vary according to interlocutor(s), topic, and conversational context, among other potential situational variables" (p. 291). Kang (2005) also explains that situational WTC can ebb and flow from moment to moment in a conversation by the influence of psychological conditions such as excitement, responsibility, and security (emotional) which each of these variables related to situational variables such as topics, interlocutors, and conversational contexts. Kang's findings propose WTC as a dynamic situational concept that changes from moment to moment, not as a trait-like. Although Kim's (2004) study on this issue does not agree with Kang's (2005) model. Although MacIntyre et al. (1998) argue that WTC is not a trait-like, but a state as presented in the pyramid model above, in Kim's (2004) research on Korean students, she indicates that WTC is more likely to be a trait-like rather than a situational factor as students with low WTC in English showed somewhat less successful at English learning.
Donovan & MacIntyre (2005) believe that WTC is seen as stable and trait-like which the WTC level is affected by situation. Richmond & Roach (1992) also state that WTC is the overpowering communication personality construct which pervades in a person's life. Considering the importance of WTC for language learners of English, I question what significantly influence individuals' WTC in English communication verbally and whether there is any individual difference in each nationality and within nationality. Some bilinguals may feel nervous when speaking a foreign language and are afraid if they can understand what the interlocutor says. Regarding this nervousness, communication apprehension can raise language learners' anxiety when facing with real communication events (McCroskey & McCroskey, 1988).
2. Social psychology
Social psychology and second language learning are related in terms of the importance and complexities of language in social life (Gardner, 1985). To look to social psychology, most individual's behaviour takes place in a social context which embodies linguistically and is settled by cognitive processes (Gardner, 1985). A couple of books and research topics in social psychology propose that language and communication exist externally within discipline (Gardner, 1985). Individuals' language behaviours can demonstrate how individuals cognitively show their social and psychological characteristics in terms of culture, attitude towards communication in a second language or situational trait. Heller (1987) suggests that language learners choose to speak a language over another is a antecedent of which social group they want to belong to.
Interest based on learner's feelings, principled knowledge, and value for particular content, and evolves over time through interactions with others, in different activities and environment. The ongoing changes of WTC over time and its seen rather as a dynamic factor that shows continuous fluctuation and going through certain variables. To be more specific about the variables that I will focus on individual differences which I believe they greatly influence on WTC in this research by clarifying three main traits which are personality trait, cultural trait, and situational trait. In personality trait I will look at communicative competence, self-perceived competence, emotional factors such as anxiety, and self-confidence or self-confidence. In cultural trait, I will discuss the differences between the Eastern and the European cultures in general and will try to be as more specific as possible in each culture. In situational trait, I will look at the possible factors that can impact speakers' performance related in the experiment.
3. Personal trait
Personality is defined as "an individual's characteristic pattern of thought, emotion and behavior, together with the psychological mechanisms, hidden or not, behind those patterns'' (Funder, 1997, p. 450). Individuals' personality is one of the factors that indicates how individuals communicate with others. MacDonald, Clément & MacIntyre (2003) mentions MacIntyre & Charos' (1996) examples of personality traits which are "extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness to experience, influence second language learning and the willingness to communicate in that second language" (p. 4). MacDonald et al. (2003) further explain that emotional and cognitive contexts of L2 communication are also crucial, although now in any specific situation, which clarify the intergroup attitudes, communication experience, and communicative competence. In terms of communicative competence, MacDonald et al. (2003) explains that there are many types of communicative competence, namely linguistic competence, discourse competence, actional competence, sociocultural competence, and strategic competence. MacIntyre et al. (2002) argue that perceptions of competence will influence WTC. This links to self-confidence. It is more likely that people with high level of WTC will be more aware of and tend to perceive their communication competence than those with low level of WTC.
Some people have no hesitations whatsoever to speak a foreign language, while others feel reluctant to do so. Some speakers may feel anxious to communicate in L2 when it comes to a foreign language, some bilinguals feel uncomfortable to speak in their second language or feel uncomfortable to speak with strangers. The (un)willingness to communicate in L2 can be caused by many possible factors. Some speakers are anxious, not only in their L1 but also in their L2 and this counts as their personal trait. Some may not like to speak in L2 due to lack of self-confidence or feel nervous to speak with strangers or among familiar friends and are afraid to be judged or corrected on their foreign language. Is it part of their culture to be afraid to be judge whether their foreign language is good? Or is it just their personality? Many possible factors affect their language learning and willingness to communicate in L2 and can change over time. If one can overcome one of the possible factors, another factor is also likely to be changed.
MacIntyre, Baker, Clément & Donovon (2002) mention that there is a correlation between WTC in L1 and in L2. Dornyei (2005) suggests that it is common for people who avoid having L2 communication even if they have high level of communicative skills. It entails that the initiation of L2 communication can be embedded in nature and it is likely to be combined with psychological, linguistic, and social contextual variables. MacIntyre et al. (2002) clarify the nature of WTC that WTC is a somewhat stable personality trait in one's first language and "resulting in a 'global, personality-based orientation toward talking" (cited in Dornyei, 2005, p. 208). This is opposed to L2 use as the situation becomes more complex due to the level of L2 proficiency or L2 communicative competence which is an effective modifying variable. Therefore, L2 WTC can be conceptualized as sate and trait characteristics. Burgoon (1976) reveals that introversion, self-esteem, and communicatation apprehension and reticence display roles in unwillingness to communicate. Introverts are generally shy, quiet and may be anxious when it comes to communication, if compared to the extroverts. The exposure to the use of language can be the case why they are timid to communicate.
Burgoon (1976) indicates that "introverts engage in less interpersonal communication" (p. 61). Speakers with low self-esteem have less confidence in their communicative competence to express something. This may explain the prior characteristics of communication with others. Anxiety and fear are directly related to communication apprehension preventing the speakers from participating in oral communication (Burgoon, 1976). Burgoon (1976) clarifies that "reticence goes beyond fear of public speaking situations" which explains the apprehension about various interpersonal communication situations (pp. 61-62).
Anxiety as a personal trait is one of the main influential factors for effective language learning. Anxiety means the feeling of concern in using the target language in any contexts. It is a feeling of tension and nervousness associated with the situation of learning a language. For example, learners may have anxiety problems when speaking in the target language. Attitude and motivation are also important factors for language learners to learn a foreign language successfully. Gardner and Lambert (1972) mention that social psychologists point out that to master in a foreign language does not depend only on intellectual capacity and attitude but also willingness to acquire distinctive aspects of behaviour in language study. Motivation for language learning is determined by learners' orientation to the whole process of learning a foreign language (Gardner & Lambert, 1972).
Lamb (1969) mentions Spielberger's distinguishment of anxiety that it can be divided into two: as a transitory emotional state (A-State) and as a more basic personality characteristic (A-Trait). Anxiety A-State is just like a dynamic system as it fluctuates over time by the feeling of tension at a particular moment, while anxiety A-Trait is a characteristic or an individual difference that determines a tendency to experience anxiety. Therefore, people who are high in A-Trait tend to perform higher level of A-State than people who are lower in A-trait, especially when they are in some kinds of situations such as giving a speech. Moreover, speech A-Trait can show individual differences in anxiety when one is in a situation of giving a speech which links to the past experience in the speech A-state and it is likely to happen again in the future when they face the same situation. MacIntyre (1995) presents language anxiety mainly comes from social and communicative aspects of language learning. That is why it is seen as one of social anxieties. Social anxiety is defined as a result of "feelings of tension and discomfort" or "a tendency to withdraw in the presence of others" and any situation related to a second language in which individuals can become anxious in communication (MacIntyre, 1995, p. 91).
However, a positive effect of anxiety has been suggested that anxiety may better performance as it facilitates by increasing more efforts into the quality of performance (MacIntyre, 1995). The negative effect is, as anticipated, that the anxiety affects the quality of L2 communication. McCroskey (1992) states that "fear or anxiety associated with either real or anticipated communication with another person or persons" (p. 16). After studying English as L2 for so many years, some people avoid using their L2 or only use L2 if there is no other choice. Some feels anxious when producing L2 speech. The anxiety can be an obstacle for language learners to succeed in language learning as it hinders cognitive process ability (MacIntyre, 1995). Although Sparks and Ganschow mention that language aptitude is the main source of individual differences in language achievement (cited in MacIntyre, 1995), some factors may reduce affective variables, such as language anxiety which can play a significant role in individual differences in both language learning and communication. According to MacIntyre (2007), willingness to communicate can be seen as an individual different factor which aids L2 acquisition, especially in a pedagogical system.
Another issue that can affect anxiety is the extent to what a given task is simple. The function of task difficulty can encourage individuals to increase their efforts on task performance and reduce their anxiety, or it can provoke anxiety if the task is somewhat difficult (MacIntyre, 1995). In Chinese culture, it concerns aspects of interpersonal relations, for example face protected orientation and other-directed self. This submissive culture strongly influence on WTC in L2 (Simic & Tanaka, 2008). Although Asian researchers have been immensely interested in the involvement of culture (Wen & Clément, 2003), the theories are still unclear whether it can be applied empirically. In Simic & Tanaka's article (2008), both language anxiety and perceived competence influenced WTC. They reveal that anxiety reduces WTC while perceived competence develops WTC.
Although the English language is considered as an important part of Thai society and most Thai university students have studied English for so many years as part most study program curriculums, their English ability is still rather weak. (Grubbs, Chaengploy, & Worawong, 2009). Grubbs et al. (2009) mention a research found that students had confidence in their reading ability but they lacked confidence in speaking skills, the reasons for the lack of confidence in their English speaking skills were because insufficient knowledge, nervousness, and preferring to listen rather than to speak.
A number of research affirm the relationship between personality and social anxiety (Funder, 1997), they have found introversion-extraversion factor of personality related to social anxiety. One of the research has studied in Chinese natives, shame is seen as "a socially oriented emotion" (Funder, 1997, p. 451) which influences them from different cultures and shame is revealed to be differences between cultures and ideologies. Furthermore, shame has different roles in different cultures, shame is, in Eastern culture, considered as shame culture, whereas in Western culture it is seen as guilt culture (Funder, 1997). This means that Eastern people are afraid to make mistakes and what other people believe is much more important than in the guilt culture. Sharp et al. mention in Kline, Barrett, & Svaste-Xuto (1981) that Thai personality is described as bashful, of slow tempo, and introverted. However, their study compared the Thai students with the British ones and their research revealed that the Thai are more extraverted than the British sample which ontrasts the view of Sharp et al. on the Thai personality described as introverted.
Personality trait is originating internally which exists in habits, attitudes, beliefs and other characteristics and it is believed that personality trait connect with culture in shaping people's lives (McCrae, 2001). McCrae (2001) points out an evidence reveals similarity of personality in all cultures. The strong evidence of universality in traits across cultures is possible. The cultural and personal background of speakers have a significant influence on the communicative competence and performance on speaking an L2. Most studies are about learning strategies and style in general, but are not specifically related to L2 or Thai customs and culture. Theoretical framework can be used for individual' behaviours of L2 speakers, because L2 communication is a specific kind of learning.
4. Cultural trait
In the Thai pedagogical system, teachers will lecture and students will have to listen. According to my experience Thai students barely have a chance to speak up, especially in a language class. This suggests why Thai learners of English never raise their hands to answer a question in classroom or try to avoid participating in group discussions. MacIntyre (2007) also points out that language anxiety and motivation are vital factors in willingness to communicate in L2. MacIntyre (1995) also mentions that language anxiety emanates from the social and communicative aspects of language learning. Therefore, it can be seen as one of the social anxiety. Schwarzer defines social anxiety as "(1) feelings of tension and discomfort, and (2) a tendency to withdraw in the presence of others" (p. 2). Whitmore (1987) explains that anxiety includes the feelings of apprehension, uneasiness, and fear. The awakening of anxiety in a social situation can affect cognitive and behavioural effects and the reaction of individuals to their anxiety is to avoid the situation involving L2 speaking.
Hinenoya & Gatbonton (2000) refer that cross-cultural understanding improves communication and aids L2 learning.
Kubota's (1999) statement regarding cultural labels indicates that culture in the applied linguistics literature mostly contributes limited extent and make a division between East Asian and Western cultures (cited in Hinenoya & Gatbonton, 2000). In Hinenoya & Gatbonton's (2000) study, a Japanese sample was examined, Japanese culture is described as "traditional, homogeneous and group oriented", whereas Western culture is characterized as "self-expression, creativity, and critical thinking" (p. 227). I personally strongly believe that Japanese culture is relatively similar to the Thai and the Chinese culture, although there is no ample evidence related to the Thai culture in this matter.
Cultural traits may influence WTC in L2 such as shyness, inwardness or group-oriented. Hinenoya & Gatbonton (2000) denote that the cultural traits can imply both cultural and personality traits. Kline, Barrett, & Svaste-Xuto (1981) described the Thai as being shy, introverted to express themselves in L2. "Shy people cannot express themselves or behave as they would like, whereas inward people can express themselves, but prefer not to" (Hinenoya & Gatbonton , 2000, p. 229). Therefore, they are unlikely to benefit their opportunities to interact with people in the target language apart from their own language. This also may decrease their opportunities of interpersonal contact. In addition to being shy, the Asian are also seen as introverted which holds limited. Willingness to learn and communicate seems unrelated to ability to learn. For example, students who are positive about learning might be so to compensate limited ability. Students who believe that they can improve their skills might do better in the long run than students who do not, even when those students are better at first. Also, those who are confident that they can control the learning are usually better performing in difficult learning situations. Hence, it is likely that beliefs about language learning influence strategies (Mori, 1999).
5. Situational trait
Situational trait is another important factor that can influence individual's willingness to communicate. One may feel uncomfortable speaking up in L2 with a stranger or among familiar friends. One may be afraid that people will judge their language ability. It often happens that English learners feel anxious when teachers are present. MacIntyre (2004) mentions WTC decision in a communication depends on the topic, whether it is easy or difficult. Task content, structure or topic, group size, composition of learner group, participants and time can influence on WTC. Difficulty of task is crucial to communicative effectiveness whether they are participating different activities, e.g. easy task can lead to being less anxious or difficult task can trigger higher anxiety. A study by Li, Fox and Almarza (2007) called 'Strangers in Stranger Lands' about international students in America inevitably face English language struggle and communication problems during their studies especially during the first year. This rises a great deal of stress when speaking English if their English vocabulary is limited or they are still not used to various accents. This concern of learners can possibly demotivate them to speak up.
While studies are numerous in the areas of personality traits and WTC, but very few in Thai traits, more research is needed on these factors in cultural contexts where different cultures impact in willingness to communicate in L2.
In this research, we will investigate the dynamic changes of participants' WTC during a short period of time using a WTC-meter which designed to measure WTC moment-to-moment changes during a conversation and questionnaires to measure participants' personal, cultural, and situational traits. The focal areas of this research were subjects' personal trait, cultural trait and situational trait in WTC in English speech. The analysis of these perspectives was based on the individual differences influence their WTC between the Thai, Chinese, and the Dutch subjects.
In this experiment I would argue to give the data as Thailand, China, and the Netherland sample and to examine carefully the personality, situational, and cultural trait of the items in the questionnaires which hopefully should shed some light on the problem of (un)willingness to communicate. This research is worth investigated, to study whether the subjects demonstrate the same degree of WTC in L2 speech and whether the Thai speakers of English are more reluctant to engage in a conversation and whether personal, cultural, and situational matter play a role in this study. Undoubtedly, most language learners wish to be able to speak English effectively, individual differences influence on L2 learners differently. Therefore, L2 speakers of English with different traits are expected to show different degree in WTC.