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Language Anxiety and Achievement

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Rocío Morcillo

on 1 July 2014

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Transcript of Language Anxiety and Achievement

1. Introduction

2. Early Perspective on Anxiety and Language Learning

3. Language Anxiety

4. Language Anxiety and Achievement

5. Possible Confounding in the Achievement Studies

6. Anxiety under Different Instructional Conditions

7. Anxiety and Other Language Skills

8. Conclusion
Language Anxiety and Achievement
Anxiety under Different Instructional Conditions
Scovel (1978)
studied the relationship between anxiety and second language learning

Chastain (1975) and Kleinmann (1977)
found this relationship positive

Early Perspective
on Anxiety and Language Learning
Language Anxiety
Anais Comabella
Rocío Morcillo
Jennifer Pozo

Language Anxiety and Achievement
Possible Confounding in the Achievement Studies
Anxiety and Other Language Skills
Keep Calm
Thanks for
your attention
Negative relationship between anxiety and other outcome measures
Trylong (1987):
with teacher ratings of achievement

MacIntyre, Noels and Clément (1997):
with students self-rating of their proficiency

Gardner and MacIntyre (1993):
with several language production measures (a cloze test,a composition task, and an objective French proficiency measure)

Cheng, Horwitz and Schallert (1999):
sought to find the differencies between general language anxiety and second language writing anxiety
Saito, Horwitz and Garza (1999):
negative relationships between the FLCAS and a new reading anxiety measure and final grades

Sellers (2000):
negative impact of reading anxiety on learners' recall of Spanish texts
Kim (2000):
negative relationship listening anxiety-listening proficiency of English learners in a University in Korea
The article considers the relationship between anxiety and second language learning.
Poor language learning is a cause of language anxiety and discusses possible sources of this anxiety.

Anxiety is the sujective feeling of tension, apprehension, nervousness and worry associated with an arousal of the automatic nervous system
’’(Spielberger, 1983, p. 1)

Anxiety negatively influences language learning.

Trate anxiety vs state anxiety

What is anxiety?
French Class
Anxiety Scale (Gardner & Smythe, 1975)

English Test
Anxiety Scale (Clément, Gardner & Smythe, 1977)

English Use
Anxiety Scale (Clément, Gardner & Smythe, 1980)

French Use
Anxiety Scale (Gardner, Smythe & Clément, 1979)

Spanish Use
Anxiety Scale (Muchnick & Wolfe, 1982)
A situation-specific anxiety construct (
Foreign Language Anxiety

students negative emotional
reactions to language learning.

Complex and nonspontaneous mental operations to communicate.

Horwitz, Horwitz, and Cope (1986)
offered an instrument to measure anxiety
The Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS).


They are under a condition that relax them.
They are under a condition that induce them to anxiety.
This Study found that ESL students tried elaborated and personal messages in English when:
to be sure of the
between the two variables under study.

students who have
in language classes naturally become

Significant correlation between anxiety and performance on an oral exam
(Young, 1986)

Phillips (1992)
found a significant
negative correlation

on an oral interview examination.

Sparks and Ganschow (1991)
Linguistic Coding Differences Hypotheses (LCDH)
relationships between foreign language anxiety and foreign language achievement.
1) grade
2) 3rd semester college French students
Less anxious
language learners
performed better
on oral and written foreign language measures and on the
Modern Language Aptitude Test
In advance learners (pre-service teachers), anxiety would be an
to their ability to
rather than to their development of L2 proficiendy.
Important to differentiate between two roles:
anxiety in language learning
anxiety in language achievement

Does anxiety
or do anxious learners experiment difficulties
the language competence?

Language anxiety is fundamental in order to help to our understanding of 2 language achievement.
Horwitz, (1986):
Anxious students received lower grades than less anxious ones

Aida (1994):
negative correlation between FLAS scores and final grades. Finding replicated by
Saito and Samimy (1996)

Kim (1998)
: Classrooms requiring oral communication are more anxiety-provoking

Negative relationship between anxiety and
achievement holds at various instructional
levels as well as with different target languages
Young (1990)
: Students prefer participating in oral activities in small groups rather than in front of the class.

Palacios (1988):
Anxiety can be reduced by offering learners support and interest. Supportive classroom environment.

Donley’s (1997):
Preferred teacher behaviours: not calling on individual students, not teaching the language as a massive memorization task
Negative relationships
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