The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Factors influencing foreign language classroom anxiety: an investigation of English learners in four Japanese universities

Factors influencing foreign language classroom anxiety: an investigation of English learners in four Japanese universities
Factors influencing foreign language classroom anxiety: an investigation of English learners in four Japanese universities
Over the past three decades there has been increasing interest in foreign language classroom anxiety in both EFL and ESL settings. Many empirical studies have used a standardised tool to measure L2 anxiety in different contexts and findings have shown varying associations between L2 anxiety and learning outcomes. However, in EFL settings, the influence of cultural and contextual factors on L2 anxiety and L2 oral communication has not been extensively investigated. This thesis focuses on the nature of anxiety experienced by Japanese learners of English in higher education settings, and explores causative agents by looking into classroom pedagogic, social, cultural approaches without ignoring the impact of the nature of the institutions within which these occur.

The research questions aim to explore how foreign language anxiety is influenced by institutional type, pedagogy, teacher and learner variables as well as classroom social factors. In addition, this research aims to explicate the cultural dimension of anxiety experienced in the Asian L2 context and how this affects the development of speaking skills. The study adopted both quantitative and qualitative data collection procedures. The field work took place over a period of four months in four Japanese universities scattered over three prefectures. Whereas one hundred and forty students took part in a survey using a Japanese version of the well-known FLCAS scale, qualitative data was obtained from observing the classes and interviewing twenty four student and four teacher participants.

The findings of this study suggest that Asian EFL learners experience different dimensions of anxiety from those reported in generic literature. Additionally, trainee teachers were found to experience higher levels of anxiety than learners in other disciplines. Teaching approaches largely predicted anxiety in the different classrooms studied. Furthermore, the Japanese learners were notably more anxious than their Asian counterparts; an outcome that is explained by cultural differences between the Japanese and other Asians. Finally, other anxiety predictors that emerged from the study were the age of the teacher and their self-presentation, as evidenced in their dress code. The results indicate that while the domains of anxiety experienced by Asian EFL learners are dissimilar to those in other regions, particularly, the Japanese learners differ from other Asians in both their anxiety profile and approaches to acquiring L2 speaking skills.
Effiong, Martins
2fc09e38-dc2d-4355-983e-4cd864956c49
Effiong, Martins
2fc09e38-dc2d-4355-983e-4cd864956c49
Mitchell, Rosamond
de2eabed-7903-43fa-961a-c16f69fddd7e
Huettner, Julia
bb0cd345-6c35-48e1-89f7-a820605aaa2c

(2013) Factors influencing foreign language classroom anxiety: an investigation of English learners in four Japanese universities. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 296pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Over the past three decades there has been increasing interest in foreign language classroom anxiety in both EFL and ESL settings. Many empirical studies have used a standardised tool to measure L2 anxiety in different contexts and findings have shown varying associations between L2 anxiety and learning outcomes. However, in EFL settings, the influence of cultural and contextual factors on L2 anxiety and L2 oral communication has not been extensively investigated. This thesis focuses on the nature of anxiety experienced by Japanese learners of English in higher education settings, and explores causative agents by looking into classroom pedagogic, social, cultural approaches without ignoring the impact of the nature of the institutions within which these occur.

The research questions aim to explore how foreign language anxiety is influenced by institutional type, pedagogy, teacher and learner variables as well as classroom social factors. In addition, this research aims to explicate the cultural dimension of anxiety experienced in the Asian L2 context and how this affects the development of speaking skills. The study adopted both quantitative and qualitative data collection procedures. The field work took place over a period of four months in four Japanese universities scattered over three prefectures. Whereas one hundred and forty students took part in a survey using a Japanese version of the well-known FLCAS scale, qualitative data was obtained from observing the classes and interviewing twenty four student and four teacher participants.

The findings of this study suggest that Asian EFL learners experience different dimensions of anxiety from those reported in generic literature. Additionally, trainee teachers were found to experience higher levels of anxiety than learners in other disciplines. Teaching approaches largely predicted anxiety in the different classrooms studied. Furthermore, the Japanese learners were notably more anxious than their Asian counterparts; an outcome that is explained by cultural differences between the Japanese and other Asians. Finally, other anxiety predictors that emerged from the study were the age of the teacher and their self-presentation, as evidenced in their dress code. The results indicate that while the domains of anxiety experienced by Asian EFL learners are dissimilar to those in other regions, particularly, the Japanese learners differ from other Asians in both their anxiety profile and approaches to acquiring L2 speaking skills.

PDF
Okon Effiong PhD Thesis.pdf - Other
Download (1MB)

More information

Published date: March 2013
Organisations: University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 367372
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/367372
PURE UUID: 6e618480-8551-4d86-a14f-79deafdfb1d1

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 23 Oct 2014 12:02
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 02:00

Export record

Contributors

Author: Martins Effiong
Thesis advisor: Rosamond Mitchell
Thesis advisor: Julia Huettner

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×