Predictors of Performance of Iranian English Language Learners on Speaking Skill: A Study of Socially-oriented Personal Attributes

Document Type: Original Article


1 English Language Teaching Group, University of Hormozgan, Iran

2 Payame-Noor-University, Qeshm Branch



The present quantitative study examined the role of a set of socially-mediated personal attributes that might intervene in the speaking performance of Iranian EFL learners. The possible relationship between three factors (namely, Willingness to communicate (WTC) in L2, L2 communication confidence, Beliefs about L2 group work in L2 speaking), which are hypothesized to influence learners’ oral performance, was investigated. In fact, a model that reflected the hypothesis that these three variables would influence the learners’ speaking performance was constructed and tested by collecting data from a convenient sample of 100 B.A. level University students in Iran. In order to collect the required data on the above-mentioned variables, a comprehensive questionnaire developed by Fushino (2010) and IELTS speaking test module 1 were utilized. The structural equation modeling confirmed that these three variables were very good predictors of performance of Iranian EFL learners on speaking skill. In other words, the measurement model of this study was approved and the conceptual model of research had an acceptable level of fit index. In addition, the result of multiple regression indicated that L2 communicative confidence made a higher level of contribution in explaining the L2 speaking performance of the learners, which corroborates the association of these two constructs. The findings also implied that increasing EFL learners’ WTC, communication confidence and beliefs about L2 group work is likely to help to improve their speaking ability and learners who have higher levels of L2 WTC and confidence are likely to achieve higher on their speaking performance.