This study explored the effects of social context on foreign language anxiety among university English learners in Hong Kong. Given that English competence is widely considered as the key to career opportunities, while speaking English with a Hong Kong accent can invite social stigma, it was assumed that such factors might be potential sources of learners’ anxiety. Results from questionnaires and interviews with 12 undergraduates largely confirmed the assumption, providing evidence of how contextual factors might also lead to learners’ anxiety in addition to other commonly known causes such as learners’ beliefs and psychological traits. To help anxious learners assuage their apprehension, teachers are recommended to adopt a sensitive approach to their speaking pedagogy.
Jim Lo, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Stream: Anxiety & Motivation
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