Foreign language classroom anxiety: A study of Chinese university students of Japanese and English over time

Yinxing Jin

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    This PhD project mainly aimed at exploring the relationship between foreign language (FL) anxiety and FL proficiency development, the sources of FL anxiety, and the stability of FL anxiety over time and across target languages. To this end, 146 L1 Chinese university students, who had been learning English for a long time but had just started learning Japanese, completed a battery of questionnaires twice (e.g. the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale [Horwitz, Horwitz, & Cope, 1986]; the Trait Anxiety Scale [Spielberger, 1983]) over a 2-month interval. Results showed that FL proficiency levels, personality traits, as well as classroom environment factors were all potential FL anxiety sources. In addition, the changes of FL anxiety were negatively correlated with the development of overall FL proficiency and proficiency of subskills, such as speaking and writing. FL anxiety negatively predicted FL proficiency and exhibited a better predictive power than teacher support and student cohesiveness. The findings further support that FL anxiety interferes with FL learning. Furthermore, the participants’ anxiety levels in English did not significantly change over two months, whereas anxiety in Japanese showed a significant decrease, suggestive of the stabilization of anxiety in a FL to which learners have been learning for a longer period of time. At both time points, no significant differences were identified between anxiety in English and Japanese, indicating that FL anxiety can be independent of target languages.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • de Bot, Cornelis, Supervisor
    • Keijzer, Merel, Co-supervisor
    • Horwitz, E.K. (Elaine), Assessment committee, External person
    • Dewaele, J.-M. (Jean-Marc), Assessment committee, External person
    • MacIntyre, P.D. (Peter Daniel), Assessment committee, External person
    Award date4-Feb-2016
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-8338-5
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8339-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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