Foreign language anxiety and foreign language self-efficacy: A meta-analysis

Shuqi ZHOU, Ming Ming CHIU, Zehua DONG, Wenye ZHOU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


As many students have foreign language (FL) anxiety, understanding its potential harm is critical to informing suitable counter-measures. According to social cognitive theory and control-value theory, students with more foreign language (FL) anxiety than other students might have lower FL self-efficacy (which can hinder their FL learning and use) but past studies showed mixed results. Hence, this meta-analysis examined 43 effect sizes from 37 studies of 26,589 students to determine the overall relation between FL anxiety and FL self-efficacy. The results showed a strong negative link between FL anxiety and FL self-efficacy (r = -.704). Moderator analyses showed this link does not differ across school levels, FL anxiety types, measures of FL self-efficacy, language distance, gender, national income, publication year or publication type—suggesting a robust negative link across different contexts. These results suggest the importance of using effective instructional practices/interventions to reduce learners’ language anxiety and enhance their self-efficacy. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31536-31550
JournalCurrent Psychology
Early online dateDec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


Zhou, S., Chiu, M. M., Dong, Z., & Zhou, W. (2023). Foreign language anxiety and foreign language self-efficacy: A meta-analysis. Current Psychology, 42, 31536-31550.


  • Foreign language
  • Anxiety
  • Self-efficacy
  • Meta-analysis


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