A Study of Anxiety Levels amongst Chinese Students for a Master Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at a UK University


Foreign language anxiety, as one of the most important affective variables, has been attracting more and more attention in second language acquisition studies since the early 1970s. Therefore, the purpose of the present study is to investigate the general situation of Chinese students in the MA TESOL group at the University of York. In addition, the potential factors that might contribute to foreign language anxiety are explored in the present study. To collect the quantitative and qualitative data, multiple research instruments were used: a questionnaire and semi-structure interview. An adapted version of the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) was distributed randomly to forty Chinese students in the MA TESOL group. Semi-structure interviews with six Chinese students from the MA TESOL group were conducted to obtain further information. Due to the similarities between the present study and Aida’s (1994), Aida’s revised factor analysis was employed to investigate the potential anxiety-provoking factors. The results indicate: 1) a low level of foreign language anxiety exists among the Chinese students canvassed, especially in writing and speaking; 2) among four anxiety-provoking factors, Speech Anxiety and Fear of Negative Evaluation and Comfortableness in Speaking with Native Speakers were the main ones. In addition, writing anxiety was also cited as one of the main anxiety-provoking factors. Based on these findings, the study finishes with a consideration of related teaching implications both for the UK and China.

Author Information
Xin Zhang, Shantou University, China

Paper Information
Conference: ACLL2015
Stream: Anxiety and Motivation

This paper is part of the ACLL2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon