A Pilot Study of Correlation between Trait Anxiety and Foreign Language Anxiety in a Bilingual Classroom

Author’s name:

J. S. Andryushkina


Empirical studies have shown that most of the students who start learning a second / foreign language experience a “debilitative” level of foreign language anxiety which can hinder language acquisition. The main goal of this study was to investigate the correlation between trait anxiety and foreign language anxiety. Another objective was to see whether there is any relationship between age, gender, level of the foreign language proficiency, and both types of anxiety. Fifty-one students of English as a foreign language participated in this pilot study. The Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) developed by Horwitz and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory developed by Spielberger were used to collect the data. The results of the survey were statistically analyzed with the main descriptive statistics of both the general sample and various subsamples based on age, gender, and level of the foreign language proficiency. The result of the pilot study revealed no significant correlation between trait anxiety and foreign language anxiety. Besides, the results demonstrated that males and females were equally affected by both types of anxiety. According to the data, first-year students were primarily concerned about tests and negative evaluation by others; second-year students were mainly afraid to communicate in a foreign language; while anxious third-year students tended to feel less competent than their fellow students. Thus, our pilot study suggests that foreign language anxiety is not limited to psychological or linguistic contexts: it should be considered comprehensively, along with other psychological, pedagogical, linguistic, and psycholinguistic factors.

DOI: 10.47388/2072-3490/lunn2020-49-1-9-23
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Key words language anxiety; language learning; state anxiety; trait anxiety; survey.

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