The effects of foreign language anxiety on English word reading among Chinese students at risk of English learning difficulties

Kevin CHAN, Pui Sze YEUNG, Kevin Kien Hoa CHUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Foreign language anxiety has influenced reading achievement in English as a second language learning (ESL). However, less is known about how foreign language anxiety affects Chinese students learning English as L2 and the interplay between foreign language anxiety and cognitive-linguistic factors on L2 reading performance. This longitudinal study examined the impact of foreign language anxiety on English word reading and the mediating effect of cognitive-linguistic skills between foreign language anxiety and English word reading in a sample of 177 grades 2 to 3 ESL Chinese students at risk of English learning difficulties. Foreign language anxiety was assessed using parent-rated and child-rated questionnaires at T1. Students were assessed on English word reading at T1 and T2 and cognitive-linguistic skills: phonological awareness, expressive vocabulary knowledge, and working memory at T1. Path analysis showed that parent-rated foreign language anxiety significantly predicted T1 English word reading after controlling for working memory. However, child-rated foreign language anxiety did not significantly predict English word reading. Moreover, mediation analysis showed that parent-rated foreign language anxiety significantly predicted T2 English word reading through T1 English word reading and expressive vocabulary knowledge. Findings highlight the impact of foreign language anxiety on L2 word reading and suggest that mothers’ involvement in children’s ESL is essential. Copyright © 2024 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
JournalReading and Writing
Early online dateFeb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Feb 2024

Citation

Chan, K., Yeung, P.-S., & Chung, K. K. H. (2024). The effects of foreign language anxiety on English word reading among Chinese students at risk of English learning difficulties. Reading and Writing. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-024-10513-y

Keywords

  • Foreign language anxiety
  • English as a second language
  • Learning diffculties
  • Chinese students
  • Longitudinal study
  • PG student publication

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