Foreign Language Anxiety and the EFL Learners’ Intention to Continue their English Language Learning

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

English Department, University of Zabol

Abstract

Anxiety undoubtedly plays an influential role in the experience of foreign language learning. This affective factor has attracted lots of researchers and has been the subject pool of scholarly research worldwide. However, research on the effect of demographic variables on foreign language anxiety (FLA) and the effect of FLA on the learners’ intention to continue their English language education is still limited. Therefore, to bridge this gap, the present study intended to explore the role of gender and age in EFL learners’ FLA level. In addition, the potential effect of learners’ FLA in their decision whether to continue their English studies was tested. To this end, a sample of 295 university EFL learners completed FLA questionnaire and a demographic form. The findings showed that there was no significant correlation between the age of the learners and their FLA level. FLA differences with respect to gender did not reach the statistical significance either. However, it was found that FLA could significantly affect the learners’ willingness to continue their English language education. The findings were discussed and implications were made.

Keywords


Arnaiz, P. & Guillén, F. (2012). Foreign Language Anxiety in a Spanish university setting: Interpersonal differences. Revista de Psicodidáctica, 17(1), 5-26.

Atef-Vahid, S. & Kashani, A. F. (2011). The effect of English learning anxiety on Iranian high school students' English language achievement. BRAIN, 2(3), 2067-3957.

Awan, R, Azher, M., Anwar, M. N., & Naz, A. (2010). An investigation of foreign language classroom anxiety and its relationship with students' achievement. Journal of College Teaching & Learning, 7(11), 33-40.

Bailey, P., Onwuegbuzie, A. J., & Daley, C. E. (2000). Correlates of anxiety at three stages of the foreign language learning process. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 19, 474- 490.

Elkhafaifi, H. (2005). Listening comprehension and anxiety in the Arabic language classroom. The Modern Language Journal, 89, 206-220.

Dewaele, J. M. (2007). The effect of multilingualism, sociobiographical, and situational factors on communicative anxiety and foreign language anxiety of mature language learners. International Journal of Bilingualism, 11(4), 391-409.

Dewaele, J. M., Petrides, K. V., & Furnham, A. (2008). The effects of trait emotional intelligence and sociobiographical variables on communicative anxiety and foreign language anxiety among adult multilinguals: A review and empirical investigation. Language Learning, 59, 911-960.

Djigunovic, J. M. (2006). Language anxiety and language processing. In S. H. FosterCohen, M. M. Krajnovic, & J. M. Djigunovic (Eds.), EUROSLA Yearbook, 6, 191-212.

Donovan, L. A. & P. D. MacIntyre (2004). Age and sex differences in willingness to Communicate. Communication Research Reports, 21(4), 420-427.

Gardner, R. C., & MacIntyre, P. D. (1993). A student’s contributions to second-language learning. Language Teaching, 26, 1–11.

Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B., & Cope, J. (1986). Foreign language classroom anxiety. Modern Language Journal, 70, 125–132.

Horwitz, E. K., Tallon, M., & Luo, H. (2009). Foreign language anxiety. In J. C. Cassady (ed.), Anxiety in schools: The causes, consequences, and solutions for academic anxieties. New York: Peter Lang.

Izadi, A. & Atasheneh, N. (2012). Communication apprehension in a foreign language: A case of Iranian EFL learners. Advances in Asian Social Science, 1(1), 79-81.

Krashen, S. D. (1982). Principles and practices in second language acquisition. NY: Pergamon Press.

MacIntyre, P. D., & Gardner, R. C. (1994). The subtle effects of language anxiety on cognitive processing in the second language. Language Learning, 44, 283-305.

Noels, K., A., Pelletier, L. G., Clément, R., & Vallerand, R. J. (2000). Why are you learning a second language? Motivational orientations and self-determination theory. Language Learning, 50, 57-85.

Philips, E. M. (1992). The effects of language anxiety on students' oral test performance and attitudes. The Modern Language Journal, 76(1), 14-26.

Sellers, V. D. (2000). Anxiety and reading comprehension in Spanish as a foreign language. Foreign Language Annals, 33(5), 512-520.

Yamat, H. & Bidabadi, F. (2012). English language learning anxiety among Iranian EFL freshman university learners. Research Journal of Applied Sciences, 7(8), 413-420.

Yan, X. & Horwitz, E. K. (2008). Learners’ perceptions of how anxiety interacts with personal and instructional factors to influence their achievement in English: A qualitative analysis of EFL learners in China. Language Learning, 58 (1), 151-183.

Zhao, A. (2009). Foreign Language Reading Anxiety:  Investigating English-Speaking University Students Learning Chinese as a Foreign Language in the United States. Doctor of Philosophy, The Florida State University.