Exploring Academic Self-Concept among Learners with Foreign Language Anxiety
Keywords: Academic self-concept, Academic confidence, Language anxiety, Foreign language learning
Department of English, Da-Yeh University, Taiwan
Hui-ju Liu is an assistant professor in the Department of English at Da-Yeh University in Taiwan. She received her doctoral degree from the Psychological Foundation of Education at the University of Minnesota, USA, in 1998. Her research interests include ability grouping and individual differences in foreign language learning.
This study assesses the academic self-concept of learners who experience different levels of language anxiety in Taiwan’s EFL classrooms. The findings determine that language anxiety is significantly and negatively related to two major components of academic self-concept: academic confidence and learning effort. MANOVA test results show that low-anxiety students had the most positive academic self-concept out of all the subjects. In contrast, high-anxiety students had the lowest scores for all of the academic self-concept related variables. The most noticeable differences between students on the two extremes of the anxiety scale were (1) their English performance self-evaluations and (2) their perceptions about other classmates’ learning capabilities; a near total percentage of subjects in the highest anxiety level believed that their classmates were smarter. Overall, the findings indicate that students susceptible to high levels of anxiety have very little self-confidence.