SILPAKORN UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, HUMANITIES, AND ARTS, Vol 15, No 1 (2015)

Exploring Language Learning Anxiety and Anxiety Reducing Strategies of the First-year Students Taking a Foreign Language Course

Chadaporn Chanprasert, Saovapa Wichadee

Silpakorn University

Bangkok University


Abstract


Anxiety in the classroom is recognized as a negative factor that lessens the learner’s proficiency. This study investigated undergraduate students’ learning anxiety in a Japanese language course in a government university and examined strategies that students employed to reduce their anxiety. The instrument used for collecting the data was a five-rating scale questionnaire of the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (Horwitz, Horwitz, and Cope, 1986). Data were collected from 116 first-year students enrolled in JP101 course in the first semester of 2013 academic year and analyzed by SPSS program using mean, standard deviation, Pearson Correlation Coefficient, and Chi Square. The findings of the study revealed that students had moderate levels of learning anxiety and the use of anxiety reducing strategies. Four factors which were found to be related to students’ learning anxiety comprised Japanese language proficiency, experience of learning Japanese language, experience of using Japanese language with native speakers, and experience of traveling to Japan. However, gender and the use of anxiety reducing strategies were found to have no statistical relationship with learning anxiety. The findings encouraged the instructors to enrich their awareness of students’ language anxiety and carefully deal with those anxiety-provoking situations in the classroom.

Keywords: learning anxiety; anxiety reducing strategies; foreign language

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