Listening comprehension and anxiety in Chinese university EFL students
Keywords:anxiety, EFL, FLCAS, gender, LAQ, listening comprehension achievement
Affective factors such as anxiety, personality, self-confidence, motivation play influential role in learner’s language achievement and proficiency (Chen, 2015). The purpose of this study was to investigate the third-year English majors’ listening anxiety state, then further identify whether their listening anxiety vary according to their gender, and finally explore the relationship between their listening anxiety and listening achievement. Participants were 272 (41 male and 231 female) English majors learning English as a foreign language (EFL). Data were collected from a Listening Anxiety Questionnaire (LAQ) and the listening comprehension test from the Test for English Majors-4 (TEM-4). The LAQ was adapted from E.K. Horwitz, M.B. Horwitz, and Cope’s (1986) Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS), covering three aspects of anxiety: communication apprehension, test anxiety, and fear of negative evaluation. Descriptive statistical analyses showed that the Chinese EFL university students experienced a moderate level of anxiety (M=2.81). Among the three categories of listening anxiety, students experienced test anxiety most (M=3.02), followed by communication apprehension (M=2.85), and the last was fear of negative evaluation (M=2.80). An independent Samples t-test indicated that female students experienced higher levels in terms of overall listening anxiety (p£..01) and three categories of anxiety (p<.05). A Pearson correlation analysis revealed that anxiety and listening achievement were negatively related to each other (r=-.35**, p£.01). Finally a multiple regression analysis further revealed that the fear of negative evaluation was a powerful predictor with a Beta value of -.35 in predicting listening achievement, but communication apprehension and test anxiety did not enter the regression model despite their correlation with listening comprehension achievement. It is recommended that educators pay attention to anxiety, and the gender differences should be taken into consideration too.
Ahmed, N., Pathan, Z. H., & Khan, F. S. (2017). Exploring the causes of English language speaking anxiety among postgraduate students of university of Balochistan, Pakistan. International Journal of English Linguistics, 7(2), 99-105. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ijel.v7n2p99
Ai, X. R. (2015). Teaching of lexical chunks in English listening class for college students. Paper presented at the Conference on Education, Management, Commerce and Society (EMCS 2015) held in Shenyang, China, on January 29-31, 2015. DOI: 10.2991/emcs-15.2015.2
Atef-Vahid, S., & Kashani, A. F. (2011). The effect of English learning anxiety on Iranian high-school students’ English language achievement. BRAIN: Broad Research in Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience, 2(3), 29-44. ISSN 2067-3957 (online)
Awan, R.-un-N., Azher, M., Anwar, M. N., & Naz, A. (2010). An investigation of foreign language classroom anxiety and its relationship with students' achievement. Journal of College Teaching and Learning, 7(11), 33-40. Retrieved from https://www.cluteinstitute.com/ojs/index.php/TLC/article/view/249/239
Baharuddin, S. S., & Rashid, S. M. (2014). English language learning anxiety and oral performance among undergraduate ESL learners. Journal of Language and Communication, 1(2), 137-153. Retrieved from http://www.fbmk.upm.edu.my/dokumen/FKBMK1_JLC_1(2)_2014_(4).pdf
Brown, J. D. (1996). Testing in Language Programs. NJ, USA: Prentice Hall Regents.
Cakici, D. (2016). The correlation among EFL learners' test anxiety, foreign language anxiety and language achievement. English Language Teaching, 9(8), 190-203. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/elt.v9n8p190
Chen, X. (2015). A tentative study of vocabulary learning anxiety in college English learning in China. International Journal of English Linguistics, 5(1), 104-111. DOI: 10.5539/ijel.v5n1p104
Cui, J. (2011). Research on high school students’ English learning anxiety. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 2(4), 875-880. DOI: 10.4304/jltr.2.4.875-880
Elald, S. (2016). Foreign language anxiety of students studying English language and literature: A samplefrom Turkey. Educational Research and Reviews, 11(6), 219-228. DOI: 10.5897/ERR2015.2507
Gao, L. (2013). College English curriculum requirements: Expectations and responses. Problems of Education in the 21st Century, 51, 47-62, presented at the March/2013. Retrieved from https://www.jbse.webinfo.lt/Contents.PEC.Vol.51.pdf; http://www.scientiasocialis.lt/pec/node/493.
Gerencheal, B. (2016). Gender differences in foreign language anxiety at an Ethiopian university: Mizan-Tepi university third year English major students in focus. African Journal of Education and Practice, 1(1), 1-16. Retrieved from https://www.iprjb.org/journals/index.php/AJEP/article/view/65/281
Gilakjani, A. P., & Sabouri, N. B. (2016). The significance of listening comprehension in English language teaching. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 6(8), 1670-1677. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17507/tpls.0608.22
Golchi, M. M. (2012). Listening anxiety and its relationship with listening strategy use and listening comprehension among Iranian IELTS learners. International Journal of English Linguistics, 2(4), 115-128. DOI:10.5539/ijel.v2n4p115
Graham, S. (2006).Listening comprehension: The learners’ perspective. System, 34(2), 165-182. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2005.11.001
Horwitz, E. K. (2001). Language anxiety and achievement. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 21, 112-126. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1017/S0267190501000071
Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B., & Cope, J. (1986). Foreign language classroom anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 70(2), 125-132. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-4781.1986.tb05256.x
House, J. (2003). English as a lingua franca: A threat to multilingualism? Journal of Sociolinguistics, 7(4), 556-578. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9841.2003.00242.x
Kitano, K. (2001). Anxiety in the college Japanese language classroom. The Modern Language Journal, 85(4), 549-566. DOI: 10.1111/0026-7902.00125
Koul, R., Roy, L., Kaewkuekool, S., & Ploisawaschai, S. (2009). Multiple goal orientations and foreign language anxiety. System, 37(4), 676-688. DOI: 10.1016/j.system.2009.09.011
Krashen, S. D. (1982). Principles and practice in second language acquisition. Oxford, UK: Pergamon Press.
Liang, D. (2005). The reasons of hard to carry out the quality-oriented education: an explanation based on the game theory. Journal of Jiangsu Institute of Education, 21(3), 11-13. 梁冬(2005). 素质教育难以推行的原因: 一种基于博弈论的解释[J].《江苏教育学院学报》，21(3): 11-13.
MacIntyre, P. D. (1995). How does anxiety affect second language learning? A reply to Sparks and Ganschow. The Modern Language Journal, 79(1), 90-99. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-4781.1995.tb05418.x
MacIntyre, P. D. (1999). Language anxiety: A review of the research for language teachers. In D. J. Young (Ed.), Affect in Foreign language and second language learning (pp. 24-41). New York, USA: McGraw-Hill.
MacIntyre, P. D., & Gardner, R. C. (1994). The subtle effects of language anxiety on cognitive processing in the second language. Language Learning, 44(2), 283-305. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-1770.1994.tb01103.x
Matsuda, S., & Gobel, P. (2004). Anxiety and predictors of performance in the foreign language classroom. System, 32(1), 21-36. DOI: 10.1016/j.system.2003.08.002
Na, Z. (2007). A study of high school students’ English learning anxiety. The Asian EFL Journal, 9(3), 22-34. Retrieved from https://www.asian-efl-journal.com/September_2007_EBook_editions.pdf
Netemeyer, R. G., Bearden, W. O., & Sharma, S. (2003). Scaling procedures: Issues and applications. London, England: Sage.
Oxford, R. L. (1999). Anxiety and the language learner: New insights. In J. Arnold (Ed.), Affect in language learning (pp. 58-67). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Park, G. P., & French, B. F. (2013). Gender differences in the foreign language classroom anxiety scale. System, 2(41), 462-471. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2013.04.001
Scovel, T. (1978). The effect of affect on foreign language learning: A review of the anxiety research. Language Learning, 28(1), 129-142. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-1770.1978.tb00309.x
Sdorow, L. M. (1998). Psychology. Boston, Massachusetts, USA: McGraw-Hill.
Tobias, S. (1986). Anxiety and cognitive processing of instruction. In R.Schwarzer (Ed.), Self-related cognition in anxiety and motivation (pp. 35-54). Hillsdale, NJ, USA: Erlbaum.
Wei, R., & Su, J. (2012). The statistics of English in China: An analysis of the best available data from government sources. English Today, 28(3), 10-14. DOI: 10.1017/S0266078412000235
Woodrow, L. (2006). Anxiety and speaking English as a second language. Regional Language Centre (RELC) Journal, 37(3), 308-328. DOI: 10.1177/0033688206071315
Xu, F. (2011). The priority of listening comprehension over speaking in the language acquisition process. International Education Studies, 4(1), 161-165. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ies.v4n1p161
Yan, J. X., & Horwitz, E. K. (2008). Learners' perceptions of how anxiety interacts with personal and instructional factors to influence their achievement in English: A qualitative analysis of EFL learners in China. Language Learning, 58(1), 151-183.DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9922.2007.00437.x
Zhai, L. L. (2015). Influence of anxiety on English listening comprehension: An investigation based on the freshmen of English majors. Studies in Literature and Language, 11(6), 40-47. DOI: 10.3968/7952
Zhang, L. J. (2001). Exploring variability in language anxiety: Two groups of PRC students learning ESL in Singapore. Regional Language Centre (RELC) Journal, 32(1), 73-91. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/003368820103200105
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.