English Language Learning Anxiety in East Asian Classrooms


Second language anxiety is a known barrier to English language learning for tertiary students in East Asia. This study compares the experiences of students from three different countries in East Asia; Japan, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Each of these countries has had different exposures to English language use, with Japan being the least, and Malaysia the most since English usage was common during British colonial rule. In this study, a total of 445 students from tertiary institutions from Japan, Indonesia, and Malaysia completed the thirty-three-item Foreign Language Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) (Horwitz et al., 1986), constructed on a five-point Likert scale. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that out of the 33 items in the FLCAS, there were statistically significant differences between group means for 30 items. Post-hoc comparisons using the Tukey HSD test for those items indicated that, at p < .05, the anxiety faced by Malaysian students was significantly less than that reported by Japanese students for 26 items and significantly less than Indonesian students for 18 items. Comparing the Indonesian students with the Japanese students, the anxiety faced by Indonesian students was significantly less than that of Japanese students for nine items. In comparison, the anxiety for Japanese students was significantly less than that reported by Indonesian students for eight items. This paper further discusses factors that could have contributed to the differences between the countries, as well as recommendations in regards to the teaching of the English language in second language classrooms.

Author Information
Hiromi Oda, Tokyo Online University, Japan
Tina Swee Kim Lim, Quest International University, Malaysia
Nachiamal Muthiah, Quest International University, Malaysia
Nurfarahin Mohamed Ishak, Quest International University, Malaysia
Jatrifia Sinatrya, State Polytechnic of Malang, Indonesia
Andrew Foong, University of Tasmania, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2021
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon