The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics

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Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 24

[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 24, No. 0, pp. 1-14
Abbreviation: KASELL
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print) 2586-7474 (Online)
Print publication date 31 Jan 2024
Received 13 Nov 2023 Revised 07 Dec 2023 Accepted 13 Dec 2023

Interaction and WTC in Online EMI Courses: Social Presence, Anxiety, and Digital Tool Use
Seungeun Lee ; Hikyoung Lee
(first author) Graduate Student, Department of English Language & Literature, College of Liberal Arts, Korea University 145, Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, Korea, Tel: +82-2-3290-1316 (
(corresponding author) Professor, Department of English Language & Literature, College of Liberal Arts, Korea University 145, Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, Korea, Tel: +82-2 3290-1995 (

© 2024 KASELL All rights reserved
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


With the proliferation of online English classes, L2 willingness to communicate (WTC) and interaction in online settings have recently received attention. Given the distinctive characteristics of online classes, it is imperative to investigate what roles interactional factors play in L2 WTC and interaction. This study explores the relationship between interactional factors (social presence, L2 anxiety, perceived benefits of digital tools) and their predictive roles in L2 WTC and interaction in online English as a medium of instruction (EMI) classes. A questionnaire was administered to 111 non-native English speakers taking EMI courses at a Korean university. Correlation and regression analyses revealed three major findings. First, social presence in terms of psychological comfort was a significant predictor of L2 WTC and positive learning interaction which suggests that providing a non-threatening atmosphere in online classes enables learners to be more willing to initiate talk and actively engage in interaction. Second, general L2 anxiety and online L2 anxiety differed in their relationships to other variables, suggesting they are distinct constructs. Lastly, while learners recognized digital tools as beneficial, they were not actively used in interaction due to privacy concerns and technical issues. Based on these findings, pedagogical implications for English language teaching are offered.

Keywords: L2 learning, online interaction, WTC, social presence, anxiety, digital tools


We would like to thank Minyoung Cho (of Korea University) for her assistance throughout the study, particularly for her contributions to the data collection. Additionally, we thank the reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions.

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