Anxiety and Reading Comprehension Performance in English as a Foreign Language

| June 20, 2011
Title
Anxiety and Reading Comprehension Performance in English as a Foreign Language

Keywords: English as a Foreign Language Learning, Language Anxiety, Reading Anxiety, Reading Comprehension Performance, Gender, Length of Language Learning, Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale, Foreign Language Reading Anxiety Scale

Authors
Hui-Ju Wu
University of South Florida, U.SA

Bio Data
Hui-Ju Wu has taught English in junior high school in Taiwan. She received her Master s degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Salem International University, W.V., U.S.A. Currently, she is in the doctoral program in Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology (SLA/IT) at University of South Florida (USF), U.S.A. She is interested in teaching English as a foreign language and computer-assisted language teaching and learning.

Abstract
This study conducted in Taiwanese English as a foreign language reading classes investigated the relationship between language anxiety (LA) and reading anxiety (RA), and if students reading comprehension performance differs across different levels of LA and RA. The issues of whether students LA and RA vary with gender and the length of language learning were also explored. The results from two measures of anxiety, and two reading comprehension tests completed by 91 university students showed that RA was related to LA, but they were two different phenomena in foreign language learning. Although reading comprehension performance did not differ significantly with the students in different levels of LA and RA, a general trend of lower LA and RA going with higher performance was identified. In contrast to other studies, no difference was found in LA and RA based on gender. Students LA decreased with their learning in reading classes while RA showed no differences. These results suggest that students with LA tend to have RA. Decreasing students anxiety and creating a low-anxiety classroom environment might help improve students reading comprehension performance. Since RA seems to be a more stable construct as compared to LA, coping with RA may require more time.

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 13 Issue 2