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Foreign Language Anxiety Impairs Language Learning

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yunbei zhu

on 24 April 2014

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Transcript of Foreign Language Anxiety Impairs Language Learning

Conclusions and Implications
Foreign Language Anxiety Impairs Language Acquisition
General Background of Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA)
Negative Effects of Foreign Language Anxiety on Language Learning and Production
High FLA Leading to Low Course Grades
The Inverse Correlation Between FLA and Oral Performance
The Debilitating Effect of FLA on Listening, Reading, and Writing
FLA Can Hinder Language Learning Processes
Facilitative FLA
Scovel (1978) suggested that “facilitating anxiety motivates the learner to ‘fight’ the new learning task; it gears the learner emotionally for approval behavior” (p. 139) and it can serve as “alertness” to promote foreign language learning.
Counter Argument
The lack of solid studies
The unreliable measurement
FLA OR Motivation
FLA can significantly hinder learner's language acquisition.
To alleviate students' feelings of language anxiety, Young (1991) suggests helping students recognize their irrational beliefs or fears, discussions on the nature of language learning, journal writing, support groups and private tutoring.
Foss and Reitzel (cited in Phillips, 1991, p. 5) contend that discussions about students’ fears and anxiety indicates to students ‘that they are not alone in their anxiety...the instructor understands their apprehension’.
One of the most affective reactions of language learners and hypothesize its potential significant interference with the leaning, retention, and production of the target language (Horwitz, Horwitz & Cope, 1986; MacIntyre & Gardner, 1991; Phillips, 1992; Saito & Samimy, 1996; Young, 1991).
The definition of FLA: a “distinct complex of self-perceptions, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors related to classroom language learning arising from the uniqueness of the language learning process” (p. 31).
Instruments that studies most frequently use in measuring Foreign Language Anxiety: Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS), Foreign Language Listening Anxiety Scale (FLLAS), Foreign Language Reading Anxiety Scale (FLRAS), and Second Language Writing Apprehension Test (SLWAT)
The increasing population of foreign language learners
My own language learning experience
The role foreign language anxiety plays in language acquisition
Two controversial viewpoints of how foreign language functions in language learning
My position
Horwitz et al. (1986) administrated FLCAS to 78 American students in beginning Spanish classes and found a significant negative correlation between the FLCAS and the final course grades of learners.
The study of Keramida (2009) showed that students with high level of anxiety tended to withdraw from speaking-loaded activities.
Dixon (1991) investigated the relationship between anxiety and listening comprehension among 198 college students in a beginning Spanish class.The findings demonstrated a significant difference between anxious group and non-anxious group.
Gardner & MacIntyre (1994) conducted a study to investigate the relationship between FLA and language learning processes: input, processing and output.
By Yunbei Zhu
Overview of My Position Paper
Background Information
My Argument
Counter Argument
Conclusion and Implication
Full transcript