Investigation of factors underlying foreign language classroom anxiety in Chinese university English majors

Shuting ZHANG, Chun LAI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous research on foreign language classroom anxiety (FLCA) has reported inconsistent findings. One significant reason is that these studies mainly adopted a data-driven approach and lacked a strong theoretical basis. This study thus examined the factors underlying FLCA with worry-emotionality theorization of anxiety (Liebert, Robert M. & Larry W. Morris. 1967. Cognitive and emotional components of test anxiety: A distinction and some initial data. Psychological Reports 20. 975-978). A preliminary survey was conducted to validate the original FLCAS with 603 English majors from two Chinese universities, and 20 of them were invited for individual interviews to better understand the factors contributing to their FLCA. Based on these, a questionnaire was constructed through adapting the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) and used in a main survey among 557 Chinese university English majors. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were performed to analyse the survey data, while thematic analysis was used to analyse the interview data. In addition to three factors reported in the FLCA factor validation literature, communication apprehension, self-confidence in speaking English and fear of negative evaluation, this study identified peer pressure as a new factor. The findings reveal the multidimensional nature of FLCA and support the worry-emotionality theorization of anxiety. Implications for the conceptualization of FLCA are discussed. Copyright © 2023 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Linguistics Review
Early online dateJan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jan 2023

Citation

Zhang, S., & Lai, C. (2023). Investigation of factors underlying foreign language classroom anxiety in Chinese university English majors. Applied Linguistics Review. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1515/applirev-2021-0062

Keywords

  • Factor structure
  • Foreign language classroom anxiety
  • Peer pressure
  • Worry-emotionality theorization

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