This study reports on findings of an investigation into the relationship between ideal L2 self as a motivational variable and willingness to communicate in English (L2 WTC) in and outside the classroom. Participants were a total of 90 university students majoring in English as a foreign language (ELF) at a foundation university in Ankara, Turkey. Data were collected using the Ideal L2 Self measure and the Willingness to Communicate questionnaire. Findings showed that 28% of the participants had high L2 WTC outside the classroom whereas 24% had high L2 WTC inside the classroom. The findings also indicated that there was a significant link between the ideal L2 self and L2 WTC both inside and outside the classroom and that the ideal L2 accounted for 13% of the variance in total L2 WTC scores. Based on the findings obtained, the study concludes by outlining pedagogical implications and recommendations in relation to instructional practices in L2 classrooms. (c) 2020 EJAL & the Authors. Published by Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics (EJAL). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY-NC-ND) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).