Investigating foreign language anxiety (FLA) through nonverbal cues: an analysis of performance and behavior in a speaking exam
Title: Investigating foreign language anxiety (FLA) through nonverbal cues: an analysis of performance and behavior in a speaking exam
Keywords: English as Foreign Language, Foreign Language Anxiety, Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale, Linguistic Coding Differences Hypothesis, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Test of English for International Communication
Colin Jeremy Walker
Described as one of the best predictors of L2 achievement Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA) is a complex affective factor that has been well documented in EFL literature, yet the methods employed to investigate the phenomena have been largely constrained to surveys and traditional qualitative methods, such as diaries and interviews leaving gaps in our understanding of how it manifests itself in the student’s nonverbal behavior in real time. In addition to investigating FLA in relation to performance, this study is the first to analyze nonverbal behavior in an Asian context by adapting methods first introduced by Gregersen (2005). Though findings show a negative relationship using Spearman’s correlation ( = -.8, p<0.05, N=8) in comparing the FLA to speaking exam scores, this study was unable to demonstrate results consistent with Gregersen’s (2005) findings. The implications of this study draw attention to the role pedagogy in design and delivery of speaking exams.