Listening comprehension and anxiety in Chinese university EFL students


  • Shasha Bao School of Foreign Languages, Institute of Social Technology, Suranaree University of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000, Thailand
  • Anchalee Wannaruk School of Foreign Languages, Institute of Social Technology, Suranaree University of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000, Thailand
  • Andrew-Peter Lian School of Foreign Languages, Institute of Social Technology, Suranaree University of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000, Thailand


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.


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How to Cite

Bao, S. ., Wannaruk, A. ., & Andrew-Peter Lian. (2023). Listening comprehension and anxiety in Chinese university EFL students. Journal of Current Science and Technology, 7(2), 181–191. Retrieved from



Research Article