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Exploring the “Situation” of Situational Willingness to Communicate: A Volunteer Youth Exchange Perspective

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Abstract:

This paper presents the perspectives of youth participating in the Society for Educational Visits and Exchanges in Canada's Volunteer Youth Experience (VYE) as gathered by way of pre- and post-program questionnaires, observations, interviews, and journals. The pan-Canadian questionnaire results suggest that this short, bilingual volunteer experience enhances participant motivation to learn a second official language and to be part of the target community. Triangulated findings from observations, interviews and journals indicate that participants' willingness to communicate (WTC) in the second language (MacIntyre, D rnyei, Clément, & Noels, 1998) may have been influenced by situational factors inherent to the volunteer experience such as access to native speakers of the target language and opportunities for authentic community participation.

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