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Faculty Mentor

Karla Hunter

Abstract

Numerous studies in the communication discipline have explored the negative impacts of communication apprehension on college students and ways instruction can help reduce such anxiety. Study of a specific form of apprehension, foreign language anxiety, has received far less scholarly attention, but could serve college students well. Therefore, the current study attempts to establish a solid basis for continuing research aimed at the currently underserved ESL/EFL (English as a second/foreign language) learning community as well as for English-speaking foreign language learners at one mid-sized Midwestern university. The objective of this study is to establish a baseline for understanding the extent to which foreign language classroom anxiety (FLCA) impacts language learners at a mid-sized Midwestern university and to determine the predictive power of classroom anxiety (CA) on FLCA. Students (n = 58) enrolled in introductory level foreign language classes answered survey questions drawn from several previously validated measures (i.e. Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale, Unwillingness to Communicate Scale, and Classroom Anxiety Measure). The results of this study found significant correlations between FLCA and CA, unwillingness to communicate, self-rated proficiency, and language learning background. This study contributes to the existing base of knowledge regarding variables that affect FLCA and suggests potential interventions and treatments to help decrease students’ FLCA.

 

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