Determinants of foreign language classroom anxiety in a Japanese EFL university classroom and its relationship to native language use by students

Inada, Takako (2017) Determinants of foreign language classroom anxiety in a Japanese EFL university classroom and its relationship to native language use by students. Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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Abstract

This research was conducted to investigate foreign language classroom anxiety (FLCA) among Japanese college students taking English as a foreign language (EFL), focusing mainly on the relationship between FLCA and first language (L1) use in English task-based classes. Factors possibly affecting FLCA, such as gender, proficiency level, enthusiasm, self-confidence, and teacher-type preference, were also investigated to obtain a holistic picture. A cross-sectional research design with a mixed-methods approach (questionnaires, classroom observations and interviews) was adopted. Japanese EFL college students were found to have various degrees of FLCA. Overall, students with the highest anxiety levels were females (who felt stronger self-consciousness and peer pressure), beginners, and those who had poorer comprehension, showed less enthusiasm, studied less at home, spoke less English outside class, had lower self-confidence, took fewer risks, exhibited a higher desire to use Japanese in class, and preferred bilingual Japanese-native teachers (BJNT). However, even students who were enthusiastic about studying English sometimes had higher anxiety, which was considered to be facilitative in nature on the basis of the existing literature. Beginners wanted to use more L1 than advanced-level students for clarification, but advanced-level students also needed L1 for understanding difficult materials. Higher enthusiasm was important for reducing anxiety and increasing self-confidence. Interestingly, although higher self-confidence was important for reducing anxiety, higher proficiency, rather than higher self-confidence, affected the amount of L1 use by students. The finding that the more English students spoke outside class, the less anxious they became suggests that students need more practice speaking TL to decrease their anxiety. However, even students with higher enthusiasm who took optional classes sometimes wanted to use L1 in class. Qualitative observations lent support to quantitative findings and helped to explain a number of interesting phenomena. The implications and limitations of the study are discussed, together with suggestions for further research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: This thesis is not currently available for public use.
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Social Sciences, History & Philosophy > Applied Linguistics & Communication
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2018 16:32
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2018 16:32
URI: http://bbktheses.da.ulcc.ac.uk/id/eprint/333

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