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Examination of Horwitz, Horwitz, and Cope's Construct of Foreign Language Anxiety: The Case of Students of Japanese Author(s): Yukie

Aida Source: The Modern Language Journal, Vol. 78, No. 2 (Summer, 1994), pp. 155-168 Published by: Wiley on behalf of the National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/329005 . Accessed: 09/05/2013 08:12
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YUKIE AIDA and African and Literatures ofOriental Department Languages University ofTexasat Austin 2601 University Avenue TX 78712 Austin, Email: aida@ccwf cc.utexas.edu THE PRESENT STUDY CONCERNS HOW language anxiety is related to Japanese language learning. It uses Horwitz, Horwitz, and Cope's theoretical model of foreign language anxiety as a research framework.It has been reported that foreign language anxiety is a ratherpervasivephenomenon (14; 31; 32; 46; 47; 52). Althoughlanguage anxietycould be viewed as positive energy (or facilitating anxiety as called by Alpert and Haber) that motivates learners, many language teachers and researchershave been concerned about the possibilitythat anxietymay functionas an affective filter(28), preventinga learner fromachieving a high level of proficiency in a foreignlanguage (4; 7; 17; 25; 27; 39; 42; 56; 62). However,mostof the research studies have involvedWesternlanguages such as French, German, Spanish, and English, and there has been littleinvestigation of non-Western languages like Japanese. In order to develop a fullerunderstandingof the nature of language anxietyand its implications forlanguage education, futureresearch should include non-Western languages. This study takes a step in that direction. As a Japanese educator, the author became veryinterestedin exploring the role of anxiety in Japanese language learning among college students. Learning Japanese is a very difficult task for Americans. According to Jorden and

Examination of Horwitz, Horwitz, and Cope's Construct of Foreign Language Anxiety:The Case of Students ofJapanese

TheModern 78, ii (1994) LanguageJournal, 0026-7902/94/155-168 $1.50/0 ?1994 TheModern Language Journal

Lambert, it requires approximately1320 hours of instructionin an intensiveprogram in languages likeJapanese, Arabic, Chinese, and Korean to bringstudentsto thesame level ofproficiency reached after only about 480 hours of instruction in languages like Frenchor Spanish. the experiencesthatstudents have in Therefore, the classroomwithsuch difficult languages may be different fromthe experiencesof studentsin languages thatare more similarto English. Do studentsofJapanese feel anxious in their classrooms?If so, what are the sources of their anxiety?Are there gender differencesin lanDoes anxietyinterfere withtheir guage anxiety? The was delearningofJapanese? presentstudy signed to answer these questions. Due to the importance of the economic and political relationship between the US and Jain learnpan, the numberof studentsinterested ingJapanese has been growingat a rapid pace. According to the resultsof the fall 1990 survey conducted by the Modern Language Associawere studyingJapation, 45,717college students nese in United Statesinstitutions of highereducation in 1990, representing a spectacular increase of 94.9% from 1986 when 23,454 students were registered in Japanese language courses (6). Japanese became the fifthmost commonlytaughtlanguage in 1990,risingfrom seventhposition in 1986. Therefore,it is importantforlanguage educators to identify thevariables that may increase or decrease retention and success inJapanese language learning.Language anxiety is one of these important variables.

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156 EARLYRESEARCH ON FOREIGN LANGUAGEANXIETY Early research on the role of anxietyin foreign language learning failed to demonstrate any clear-cutrelationshipbetween anxietyand a learner's achievementin a foreignlanguage. For example, Chastain examined the relationships between anxiety and course grades in threelanguage programs:French (audiolingual or regular),German, and Spanish. While there was a significant negativecorrelationfound between course grades and test anxiety in the Frenchaudiolingual class, studentsin the regular French, German, and Spanish classes who experienced a higherlevel of anxietywere more likely to receive better grades than students witha lowerlevel of anxiety.Backman looked at the relationshipbetween anxietyand language progress among Venezuelan students learning Englishin the US. Students'progressmeasured by a placement test,a listeningcomprehension test, and teachers' ratings did not show a significant correlation with any of the anxiety measures. In Kleinmann's 1977 studyof Spanish-speakfacilitating and Arabic-speakingESL students, ing anxietywas found to be correlatedwithstudents' oral production of linguistically difficult (thus challenging) English structures(e.g., infinitive complements and passive sentences). However,there was no evidence that debilitating anxiety negativelyinfluenced oral performance. The facilitating and debilitatingeffects of anxietywere also observed byBailey through her reviewof students' diaries. Young (62) conducted a studyto testwhether oral proficiencywas negativelyinfluenced by anxiety in three languages, i.e., French, German, and Spanish. She found some negative correlationsbetween students'OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview)scores and some of the anxiety measures. However,when language ability measured bya dictationtestand a self-appraisal measure of foreign language oral proficiency was controlled statistically (i.e., the variability due to language abilitywas removed from the relationship between anxiety and oral performance), the correlationsbetween anxietymeasures and OPI scores were nonsignificant. Such resultsare verypredictable since language abilityis likelyto correlate with language achievement.When language abilityis held constantas was done in Young's (62) study, thereis littleleft in the OPI scores to covarywith anxiety.Howcorrelationsobtained ever,these nonsignificant through the above procedure cannot warrant

TheModern 78 (1994) Language Journal thatanxietyis not associated withachievement, because we do not know whether the anxiety measures used in Young's study could accuratelycapture students' anxiety levels in oral production. HORWITZ, HORWITZ, AND COPE'S CONSTRUCT OF LANGUAGEANXIETY Horwitz (24) and Horwitz et al. have attributed the inconclusive results of previous research to the lack of a reliable and valid measure of anxiety specific to language learning. They conceptualize foreignlanguage anxietyas "a distinctcomplex of self-perceptions, beliefs, and behaviorsrelated to classroomlanfeelings, guage learning arising fromthe uniqueness of the language learning processes" (25: p. 31). The ForeignLanguage ClassroomAnxietyScale (FLCAS, hereafter)was developed by Horwitz (24) in order to capture this specific anxiety reaction of a learner to a foreign language learningsetting.Horwitzet al. integratedthree related anxieties to their conceptualization of foreign language anxiety,i.e., communication apprehension (35), test anxiety (19; 50), and fear of negative evaluation (58). According to McCroskey (34), communication apprehension is defined as a person's level of fear or anxietyassociated witheither real or anticipated communication with another person or persons. McCroskey(33) points out that typical behavior patterns of communicatively apprehensivepeople are communicationavoidance and communication withdrawal. Compared to nonapprehensive people, communicatively apprehensivepeople are more reluctant to get involvedin conversations withothersand to seek social interactions.The extensivebody of research in this area, summarized by Daly and Staffordand by Richmond, supports McCroskey'sclaim. In 1985 McCroskey, Fayer,and Richmond studied the relationships between communication apprehensionand self-perceived in competence Spanish and English among Spanish-speaking Puerto Rican college students who had received instructionin English. of withlow self-ratings They foundthatstudents competencyin English were more likelyto report higher levels of English communication apprehension. On the otherhand, therewas no such correlation found between self-perceived competence in the native language, i.e., Spanish and Spanish communicationapprehension. Foss and Reitzel and Lucas reportthat Similarly, communication anxietyexists among students

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Aida Yukie in the ESL classroom; it seems to functionas a block forstudents'masteryof English. It is very likelythatpeople experience anxietyand relucwithotherpeople or in tance in communicating expressingthemselvesin a foreignlanguage in which theydo not have full competence. The second elementof foreignlanguage anxiety,test anxiety,is defined by Sarason (51) as "the tendency to view with alarm the consequences of inadequate performancein an evalabout uative situation" (p. 214). Studentsworry well. Culler and Holahan and failingto perform other researchers (22; 60) speculate that test anxietymay be caused by deficits in students' learning or studyskills. Some studentsexperience anxiety during a test situation because theydo not knowhow to process or organize the course material and information. Since daily evaluations of skills in foreign language classrooms are quite common, and makingmistakes is a normal phenomenon, studentsmay suffer stressand anxietyfrequently, which maypose a problem for theirperformanceand futureimprovement. Other researchers posit that test anxiety occurs when students who have performedpoorly in the past develop negative,irrelevantthoughtsduring evaluation situations studentsmay not be (40; 49; 59). Test-nervous able to focus on what is going on in the classroom because they tend to divide their attention between self-awareness of their fears and worries and class activities themselves. They "I'll neverbe able to promaysayto themselves, nounce it correctly,""The teacher is ready to correct me," or "Other studentswill laugh at me if I speak." They become distracted and anxious duringclass,whichinterferes withtheir performance. Lastly,fear of negative evaluation is defined as "apprehension about others' evaluations,distress over their negative evaluations, and the expectation that otherswould evaluate oneself negatively" (58: p. 449). Research shows that people who are highlyconcerned about the impressions others are formingof them tend to behave in waysthat minimize the possibility of unfavorableevaluations.They are more likelyto avoid or prematurely leave social situationsin which theybelieve others mightperceive them (29; 57; 58; 63). When theyaffiliate unfavorably withothers,theyoften fail to initiateconversations or participate only minimallyin the conversation, as by just smiling and politely nodding, or listening to others talk and only interactingwith occasional "uh-huh's" (8; 30; 43; 45). When this notion of fear of negative

157 evaluation is applied to foreign language learners, we can easily imagine that students withfear of negative evaluation sit passivelyin fromclassroom acthe classroom,withdrawing tivitiesthat could otherwiseenhance theirimprovement of the language skills. In extreme cases, students may think of cutting class to avoid anxietysituations, causing themto be left behind. Horwitz et al. believe that these three anxieties, i.e., communication apprehension, and fearof negativeevaluation,are testanxiety, important parts of foreign language anxiety and have an adverse effecton students' language learning. Horwitz (23) reported thatthe FLCAS had a correlation coefficient of .28 (p = .063, n = 44) with communication apprehension (measured byMcCroskey'sPersonal Reportof Communication Apprehension, 35), .53 (p < .01, n = 60) with test anxiety (measured by Sarason's Test AnxietyScale, 51), and .36 (p < .01,n = 56) with fear of negative evaluation (measured by Watson and Friend's Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale). The FLCAS also correlated with final grades: r = -.49, p < .01 (n = 35) for two beginning Spanish classes and r = -.54, p < .01 (n = 32) for two beginning French classes. Higher FLCAS scores were associated with lower final grades. Price also reported in her dissertation that the FLCAS scores of 106 students of second-semesterFrench classes were positively correlated with test anxiety (r = .58, p < .001) and public speaking anxiety (r = .43, p < .001). The FLCAS scores also correlated negatively withfinal grades (r = -.22, p < .05), final exam scores (r = -.29, p < .01), and oral exam scores (r = -.27, p < .05). However, when students' Modern Language Aptitude Test scores were controlled, only the correlation between the oral exam scores and the FLCAS scores remained significant. The main purpose of this studywas to test Horwitz et al.'s constructof foreign language anxietybyvalidatingan adapted FLCAS forstudents ofJapanese.It was an exploratory studyto discoverthe underlying of the FLCAS structure and to examine whetheror not the structure reflects the three kinds of anxiety presented earlier. It also assessed the instrument's reliabilityand the relationship of students' anxiety levels to their performance in Japanese. It was hoped that the results of this empirical study using a non-Western language would shed new light on the concept of foreign language anxietyand would expand its scope and implications.

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TheModern 78 (1994) Journal Language

agree", to (c) "neitheragree nor disagree", to (e) "strongly agree". A student's endorsement In the fallof 1992,studentswho were in (a) "strongly disagree" was equated with a Subjects. enrolled in second-year numericalvalue of one; (b) "disagree" was two; Japanese I at the Uniof Texas at Austinwere asked to particithree;(d) "agree" (c) "neither versity agreenordisagree," in this students four; and, (e) "strongly pate study.Ninety-six (fifty-six agree" was five. males and forty For each subject,an anxietyscore was derived females) completed the questionnaires designed for this study.There were by summing his or her ratings of the thirtymore than ninety-six studentsenrolled in the three items. When statements of the FLCAS were negatively worded, responses were refailedto completethe course,but some students versed and recoded, so that in all instances,a questionnairesor to pass the course. Three students did not pass the course because they high score representedhigh anxietyin theJapanese classroom. The theoretical range of this and to complete failed to attend class regularly to 165. scale was fromthirty-three several important exams and/or assignments The background questionnaire included oral presen(e.g., lesson quizzes, essaywriting, tation). Therefore, only data obtained from questions on the student's age, sex, ethnicity, studentswere used foranalysis. academic major and status, native language, these ninety-six reasons why he or she was taking a Japanese The mean age of this sample was 21.5 years. There were sixty-four nativespeakersof English course, whetheror not he or she had been to non-nativespeakers of English and thirty-two Japan and for how long, whetheror not he or (i.e., five Spanish speakers, six Chinese, four- she was pleased with the final course grade teen Korean,fiveotherAsian language speakers, given for the second-semesterJapanese class, and whetheror not he or she had other family and two other non-Asian language speakers). memberswho speak Japanese. When the native speakers of English and nonInstructorsprovided subjects' final course native speakers of English were compared on section for the levelof anxiety(see the Procedures grades (in percentages)forthe second-semester how to obtain a subject's anxietyscore), a oneJapanese classes. The final course grade was sebecause it had been used as a no there was that showed ANOVA signifi- lected primarily way of language proficiency by measure cant difference between the two groups: global F(1, 94) = .07, p = .79, X = 96.2 for native manyresearchers(e.g., 7; 9; 18; 25; 55). speakers of English and X = 95.5 fornon-native speakers of English). In addition, a Bartlett-Box RESULTS of thevariance indicated F testforhomogeneity that the data of the present studysatisfied the Reliability of theFLCAS. The present study, students ofJapanese,yieldedinusing ninety-six assumptionof equal variances:F = 1.21,p = .27. of .94 ternal one treated as were the two (X = 96.7 and s.d. = 22.1), Therefore, consistency groups As shownin coefficient. Cronbach's alpha using sample. Table I, the reliability, On the very firstday of the fall Procedures. mean, standard deviawerevery semester1992,subjects were asked to complete tion,and range obtained in thisstudy similarto those of Horwitz (23), who used stuboth a FLCAS and background questionnaire dents enrolled in an introductory Spanish class. (see Appendix). In this study,the term "forThe mean of thisstudy, 96.7,was slightly higher eign language" used in the original FLCAS X = 94.5. It is than thatof Horwitz's (23) study, was replaced with "Japanese language." In reunderstandable that students may feel more sponding to the statements on the FLCAS, anxious in learninga non-Western, their to consider were asked foreignlanexperisubjects ences in the previous year's first-year guage likeJapanese (26) than in learning comJapanese course. Therefore, students' FLCAS scores remonly taught Western languages such as flect their anxiety in the first-year Spanish. Japanese There was no significantgender difference classroom. The instructions read as follows: found in language anxiety:t(94) = .41, p = .69. "In this section, we would like you to respond The mean scores formales (n = 56) and females to each of the followingstatementsbased upon The (n = 40) were 97.4 and 95.6, respectively. course last in Japanese year's yourexperience your is a FLCAS the that this of results " suggest study (JPN507). The FLCAS contains thirty-three reliable tool regardlessofwhetherthe language Instruments. items,each ofwhich is answered on a five-point is a European Westernlanguage. On the firstday of the next semester(spring Likert scale, ranging from (a) "stronglydis-

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Aida Yukie TABLE I of The FLCAS in Two Studies Reliabilities Presentstudy 96 size Sample status first Students year Japanese Language Cronbach'salpha .94 47-146 Range 96.7 Mean Standard 22.1 deviation
Test-retest reliability

159 nalities, and percent of the variance are shown in Table III. The solution accounted for 54.5% of the total variance. Eighteen items were loaded on the first factor, accounting for37.9% of the variance. Examples of the itemsincluded in thisfactorare item3, "I tremblewhen I know that I'm going to be called on in myJapanese class," and item13,"It embarrassesme to volunteer answers in myJapanese class." The factor one was assigned a label of Speech Anxietyand Fear of Negative Evaluation. The items included in this factor indicate a student's apprehension in speaking in aJapanese class and fear of embarrassment in making errors in front of other students (see Table II). Two items, 8 and 18, were negativelyloaded on this factor. In other words, item 8, "I am usually at ease during testsin myJapanese class," and item 18, "I feel confident when I speak in my Japanese class," are negativelyassociated with factorone. Unlike the speculation of previous researchers (e.g., 34; 58), speech anxiety and fear of negative evaluation may not be totally independent concepts, but ratherare probably differentlabels describing one phenomenon in a language learning situation. In their factor analysis of various anxiety measures, MacIntyre and Gardner (37) reported that McCroskey's Personal Report of Communication Apprehension measure (34) and Watson et al.'s Fear of Negative Evaluation measure loaded on the same factor. Their findings are in accordance with those of the present study. The second factor included fouritems(i.e., 10, 25, 26, and 22) and accounted for 6.3% of the variance. Item 22 was negatively loaded on this factor.The author named this factor "Fear of Failing the Class" and consideredthatit showed a student'sworryand nervousnessabout being left behind in the class or failing the class altogether. Items 32, 11,and 14 comprised the thirdfactor,accounting for 5.6% of the variance. It was labeled "Comfortableness in Speaking with Japanese People" by the author. In the interview withYoung (61), Krashen says that foreignlanguage learners need to think of themselvesas the kind of people who speak the foreignlanguage verywell. This idea is similarto Gardner's It is likelythatindiconcept of integrativeness. viduals who do not see the language as truly foreign and feel comfortable with the native speakers of the language have a lower filterof anxiety. Lastly,two items,5, "It wouldn'tbotherme at

Horwitz et al., 1991 108 first year Spanish .93 45-147 94.5 21.4

one semester) eightweeks)

r = .80, p < .01 r = .83, p <.01 (n = 108; over (n = 54; over

1993), students who had passed second-year Japanese I and were enrolled in second-year Japanese II were asked to complete the FLCAS males and students(thirty-one again. Fifty-four Their two females) twenty-three responded. FLCAS scores were correlated to obtain testover one semester. retestreliability The correlation between the FLCAS scores in the fall and those in the spring was .80, p < .01, n = 54, indicatingthat the FLCAS measures a person's level of anxietywith high accuracy at different times. This high correlation suggests that the FLCAS may tap a person's persistent traitanxiety (as called bySpielberger) in the foreignlanguage classroom and not a temporarycondition of state anxiety that is triggered by a specific momentor situation. FactorAnalysis. The second analysiswas performedto detect an underlying of the structure FLCAS's thirty-three items, i.e., students' ratings of the original (unreversed and unrestatements.Principal comcoded) thirty-three ponents analysis with varimax rotation was items. Orthogoperformedon the thirty-three nal rotationwas used because of the conceptual and ease of description. The initial simplicity run produced seven factors with eigenvalue greaterthan one. In a rotated matrix,however, therewere onlyfourfactors withSSLs (the sum of squared loadings,whichis equal to the eigenvalue in the unrotated matrix) greater than one. Therefore, the subsequent analysis specified the number of factorsas four.With a factor loading of .50 (twenty-five percent of the for inclusion of a variable variance) as a cutoff in interpretation of a factor, six items (items 2, 6, 15, 19, 28, and 30, see Table II) did not load on anyfactor. None of the itemsloaded on more than one factorwitha loading of .50 or greater. Loadings of variables on factors, commu-

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The Modern Language Journal 78 (1994)

TABLE II FLCAS Items with Percentage of Students Selecting Each Alternative in Four Factors SAa A N D SD FactorOne (Speech and Fear ofNegative Evaluation) Anxiety 3d I tremble when I know that I'm going to be called on in myJapanese class. 14 7b 35 24 20 13d It embarrasses me to volunteer answers in myJapanese class. 21 19 35 20 5 27 I get nervous and confused when I am speaking in myJapanese class. 7 38 4 24 27 20d I can feel my heart pounding when I'm going to be called on in myJapanese class. 15 8 28 28 21 24c I feel very self-conscious about speaking Japanese in frontof other students. 31d I am afraid that the other students will laugh at me when I speak Japanese.

10 3


18 13

28 45

I keep thinking that the other students are better at Japanese than I am.


28 8

In Japanese class, I can get so nervous I forget things I know. 4 17 35 32 12 23d I always feel that the other students speak the Japanese language better than I do. 12
18c,f I feel confident when I speak in myJapanese class.





26 27

21 28 21 21

34 32 23

33c 16 1 21 29c

I get nervous when the Japanese teacher asks questions which I haven't prepared in advance. Even if I am well prepared forJapanese class, I feel anxious about it. I never feel quite sure of myselfwhen I am speaking in myJapanese class. The more I studyfor a Japanese test, the more confused I get. 43 40 1 10 6 I get nervous when I don't understand every word the Japanese teacher says. It frightensme when I don't understand what the teacher is saying in theJapanese class.

12 9



24 34

10 12




6 8




9 39 13 28 12 9c I start to panic when I have to speak without preparation in Japanese class. 9 14 22 23 32

FactorTwo (FearofFailingtheClass) 10 I worryabout the consequences of failing myJapanese class. 25 26 Japanese class moves so quickly I worryabout getting left behind. I feel more tense and nervous in myJapanese class than in my other classes.

8f I am usually at ease during tests in myJapanese class.







17 9




22f I don't feel pressure to prepare verywell for my language class.





14 3





Native with in Speaking FactorThree(Comfortableness Japanese) 32 I would probably feel comfortable around native speakers of Japanese. 11 14 I don't understand whysome people get so upset over Japanese classes. I would not be nervous speaking the Japanese language with native speakers. 7 17 19 47 10




8 4




the Toward Attitudes Four (Negative Factor JapaneseClass) 5f It wouldn't bother me at all to take more Japanese language classes. 45 35 14 5 1

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SAa 17

SD 25

I often feel like not going to myJapanese class. 15 2 11 47

Items NotIncludedin the FactorSolution 2e I don't worryabout making mistakes in myJapanese class. 16 47 12 19 7 6e During Japanese class, I find myselfthinking about things that have nothing to do with the course. 3 43 21 12 22 15 I get upset when I don't understand what the teacher is correcting. 4 39 29 26 2 19e I am afraid that myJapanese teacher is ready to correct every mistake I make. 3 48 12 26 12 28 When I'm on my way to Japanese class, I feel very sure and relaxed. 3 19 41 29 8 I feel overwhelmed by the number of rules you have to learn to speak Japanese. 30 5 35 22 29 8 = = = aSA stronglyagree; A agree; N neither agree or disagree; D = disagree; SD = stronglydisagree. bPercentages in this table are rounded to the nearest whole number, thus may not add up to 100. cItems that are classified by Horwitz et al. (25) as ones indicative of speech anxiety. dItems that are classified by Horwitz et al. (25) as ones indicative of fear of negative evaluation. eltems that are classified by Horwitz et al. (25) as ones indicative of test anxiety. fltemsthat were negativelyloaded on the factors. TABLE III Factor Loadings, Communalities (h2), Percents of Variance for Four-Factor Principal Component Analysis with Varimax Rotation on FLCAS Items. Label Speech Fearof ComfortNegative Anxiety Failing ableness Attitudes with JPN 1 Factor Factor2 Factor3 Factor4 h2 3 13 27 20 24 31 7 12 23 18 33 16 1 21 29 4 .77 .76 .75 .73 .73 .71 .71 .69 .69 -.67 .60 .60 .58 .58 .57 .56 .69 .61 .73 .67 .66 .53 .60 .58 .57 .70 .42 .59 .60 .53 .54 .62 Label Speech Fearof ComfortNegative Anxiety Failing ableness Attitudes with JPN Factor1 Factor2 Factor3 Factor4 h2 8 9 10 25 26 22 32 11 14 5 17 -.56 .54 .72 .53 .51 -.51 .48 .49 .54 .60 .56 .46 .62 .41 .45 .65 .59

Item Item Item Item Item Item Item Item Item Item Item Item Item Item Item Item Item

Item Item Item Item Item Item Item Item Item Item Item Item

.74 .60 .59

-.77 .73 4.7

% of variance 37.9



% of total variance accounted for by the solution


all to take more Japanese language classes," and 17, "I often feel like not going to myJapanese class," constitutedthe fourth factor. Item 5 was negatively loaded on thisfactor. This factor explained 4.7% of the variance and was called TowardtheJapanese Class." "NegativeAttitudes

In their review of the literaturein regard to anxietyand language learning, MacIntyreand Gardner (38) postulated thatlanguage anxiety develops as a resultof negativeexperiences the student may have had in an earlier stage of learning a new language. The present analysis

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162 Students'negativeatsupportstheirhypothesis. titudes toward the language class can contribute to their overall levels of foreign language anxiety. The factorsolution of the presentstudyprovided partial support for Horwitz et al.'s constructof foreignlanguage anxiety.It has shown evidence that speech anxietyand fear of negative evaluation are indeed important components of foreignlanguage anxiety.Yet the present studydid not supportHorwitz et al.'s claim that testanxietyis the thirdcomponent of foreign language anxiety.Items 2, 6, and 19 which were considered by Horwitz et al. to be indicative of testanxiety, failed to load on any of the factors.In addition, eighty-three percentof the students rejected statement 21, "The more I studyfor a Japanese test,the more confused I get." The subjects of the presentstudyseem to be less intimidatedby theJapanese tests.These findings are congruent with the results obtained by MacIntyre and Gardner (39), who found thattestanxietydid not contributeto the communicativeanxiety of the language classroom. They concluded that test anxietywas a general anxietyproblem; it was not specific to foreignlanguage learning.Based on these findings,it appears clear thattestanxietyis not conrelatedto othercomponentsof foreign ceptually language anxiety as Horwitz et al. proposed, and thatitemsreflective of testanxietycould be eliminated from the FLCAS. Speech anxiety and fear of negative evaluation are considered as relativelyenduring personality traits (41), whereas test anxiety is regarded as a state and reactions (e.g., worry markedbytemporary nervousness) to an academic or evaluation situation (51). This distinctionmightalso partially explain the results of this factor analysis.The such as presentstudysuggeststhatotherfactors a student'sfearof failingthe class, comfortableness in speakingwithnativespeakersof the language, and negative attitudes toward the language class influence the level of anxietyin the foreignlanguage classroom. The resultsshowthata fairamountof anxiety exists in the Japanese classroom. A third or more of the studentsin the sample showed anxiety agreementwith items reflectiveof foreign There were six items (4, 5, 10, language anxiety. 25, 26, and 33) thatwere endorsed by over half of the students.Eightypercent of the students 5, disagreedwithstatement disagreedor strongly "It wouldn'tbotherme at all to take moreJapanese language classes." This suggests that students maybe less likelyto take a Japanese class

TheModern 78 (1994) Language Journal beyond the required classes and that the attrition rate might be high at a transitionpoint froma lowerdivisionclass to an upper division class'. The Relationshipbetween Anxietyand Performance.In the subsequent analysis,the relationship between foreignlanguage anxietyand students' performancewas investigated. First,the correlation coefficient between anxiety and course grade was calculated with a Pearson product-moment correlation. It produced a moderate negativecorrelation (r = -.38, p < .01) indicatingthatthe higherthe students'levelsof anxiety,the more likelytheyare to receive low grades. For the second analysis,each student was classified into either a high anxietygroup or a low anxietygroup by a median split procedure, based upon his or her total score on the FLCAS. The median score of anxietyfor this A two by two ANOVA sample was ninety-five. was conducted using anxiety(high vs. low) and gender (males vs. females) as the independent variables and final course grade as the depenmain effect dentvariable.There was a significant = of anxiety: < .01 7.35, (see Table IV). F(1, 92) p The high anxietygroup received significantly lower grades (X = 85.6) than the low anxiety group (X = 89.8). While studentshavinga high anxietylevelwere more likelyto receive a grade of B or lower,those with a low level of anxiety were more likelyto get an A. It was also found that therewas a significant effect of gender on course grade: F(1, 92) = 4.74, p < .05. Female studentsscored higher (X = 89.7) thandid males (X = 86.1)2.There was interactioneffect no significant anxiety-gender on course grade: F(1, 92) = 3.20, p > .05. In both male and female groups, highly anxious students were more likelyto receive lower grades than studentshaving a low level of anxiety. TABLE IV Anxiety bySex ANOVAResultson Achievement (N = 96) Source Anxiety Sex
Main Effects

Sumof Squares df 376.6 243.1 1 1

Mean Squares 376.6 243.1

Sig. ofF

7.35 .008 4.74 .032

Interaction Anxiety by sex Residual Total

164.1 4715.2 5551.0

1 92 95

164.1 51.3 58.4



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Yukie Aida


and Demographic students who are feeling good about their AssociationBetween Anxiety Data. A series of one-wayANOVAs were congrades are likely to experience lower anxiety ducted to investigatethe relationshipbetween than thosewho are not happywiththeirgrades. language anxiety and students' demographic data. DISCUSSION vs. Required Status.Studentswere clasElective The adapted Foreign Language Classroom sified into one of three groups: 1) Required students who were AnxietyScale was found to be a highlyreliable Group, including forty-one the univer- instrument to measure the anxietylevel of stutaking the Japanese class to satisfy dents learningJapanese in a college settingtypsity'slanguage requirement,2) Elective Group, ified by the University studentswho were taking of Texas at Austin. Facincluding forty-four torsthathad an impact on students'anxietyin theJapanese class forpersonal interest or enjoyment, and 3) Major Group, including eleven learningJapanese were speech anxietyand fear students who are majoring in Japanese or in of negative evaluation, fear of failingtheJapanese class, degree of comfortwhen speaking Asian Studies with specialization in Japanese. An ANOVA resultshowsthattherewere no dif- with native speakers ofJapanese, and negative ferences in anxiety among the three groups: attitudestowardtheJapanese class. In the present sample of studentsofJapanese, testanxiety F(2, 93) = 2.64, p > .05. However,when the Mawas not a factorcontributingto students' forjor Group was removed from the analysis and the Required Group was compared with the eign language anxiety. The factors that were Elective Group in the anxietylevel, an ANOVA found important in thisstudy forexplaining the constructof foreignlanguage anxietyappear to yielded a significantdifference:F(1, 83) = 5.5, p < .05. The Required Group had a significantly support viewsof language anxietyproposed by scholars such as MacIntyre and Gardner (38) higherlevel of anxiety(X = 99.6) than the Elective Group (X = 93.1). and Krashen and Terrell (cited in 61). inJapan.Comparison in the anxiety Consistentwithresearch findingsusing WestExperience level was made between studentswho had been ern languages like French,German, and SpantoJapan (n = 36) and thosewho had neverbeen ish (e.g., 25; 32; 47; 55), language anxietywas to Japan (n = 60). The result of a one-way found to be negatively related to students'perANOVA was significant: formance in Japanese. A recent article by F(1, 94) = 4.0, p < .05. Those withexperience inJapan showed a signif- Gardner and MacIntyrereports that "the best icantlylower level of anxietyin the classroom single correlate of achievement is Language (X = 92.5) than thosewho had not been toJapan Anxiety" (p. 183). The author intendsto examine in a futurestudywhetherthe Gardner and (X = 98.1). Exposure to culture and people in be a factor for this difference. stands true forthe sample Japan may group MacIntyrestatement There were twenty- of students studyingJapanese. The present WhoSpeaks Family Japanese. four studentswho had a family memberwith a studyused final course grades as the dependent command of Japanese. The anxiety levels of variable to examine the relationship between these studentswere compared withthe anxiety anxiety and language achievement. Since the levels of studentswhose family membersdid not FLCAS appears to measure anxiety primarily related to speaking situations,use of a specific speak Japanese (n = 72). There was no anxiety difference found between the two groups: measure of oral skillsmayyield more profound F(1, 94) = .1, p = .77. The presence of a family relationships between language anxiety and memberwho speaksJapanese does not seem to achievement. be related to the individual'slevel of anxietyin Although the presentstudywas successfulin theJapanese classroom. producing partial support for the findingsof withGrade in Japanese.Sixty-nine previous research studies using Western lanSatisfaction studentsindicated that theywere pleased with guages, certain limitationsof thisstudyneed to the grade theyreceived forthe second semester be considered. First of all, the subjects were of first-year Japanese. Twenty-sevenstudents onlythose who had completed two semestersof said that theywere not pleased. A comparison Japanese. A studyusing studentswith a longer of the anxiety levels of these two groups rehistory ofJapanese language learningmayprovealed a significantdifference:F(1, 94) = 12.7, duce different results.In their1991article,Macp < .01. Satisfied students exhibited a much Intyreand Gardner (38) cited the resultsof sevlower level of anxiety (X = 93.1) than noneral studies,indicatingthat as "experience and satisfied students (X = 103.4). It appears that increase, anxietydeclines in a fairly proficiency

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164 consistentmanner" (p. 111).Therefore,anxiety role in foreign language may play a different learningfor advanced students. Secondly,subjects of thisstudywere asked to recall their experiences in the first-year Japanese classes and to indicate theirfeelingsabout those classes. There was a three monthgap between the time when theycompleted the firstyear course (spring 1992) and the time of their anxiety assessment (fall 1992). For some students,the stronganxietyreactions theyhad exclass may have been perienced in the first-year lessened byfall1992.Therefore,the accuracyof theirrecall of their anxietyexperience cannot be completelyguaranteed. Thirdly,readers should interpretthe results of the factoranalysis, limkeeping the following itation in mind. The size of the variances for factors, two, three, and four was very small (6.3%, 5.6%, 4.7%, respectively), compared to that of factorone, speech anxietyand fear of evaluation (37.9%). This suggeststhe possibility thattherewas actuallyno more than one meaningfulfactorin the presentdata. This studydid not performa data transformation to reduce of the items. potentialskewnessin distributions If there were some itemswith skewed distributions, the resultscould have been different. Lastly,readers should note that due to the the resultsof correlationalnature of thisstudy, the ANOVA do not prove that a cause-effect relationshipexistsbetweenanxietyand achievement in Japanese. It is possible that some unidentifiedvariablescaused high anxietyand low achievementamong students of Japanese. For example, a student'shelp-seekingbehaviormay influence both anxiety and achievement. Students who are not comfortablein seeking help from their instructors or teaching assistants may experience a high level of anxiety in the classroom; and theirfailureto seek help may,in turn,resultin lower levels of achievement. The findingsof the presentstudyand those of other language researcherssuggest the importantrole of teachers in lessening classroom tension and in creating a friendly, supportive atmospherethatcan help reduce students'fear of making errorsin frontof of embarrassment peers. Studentswill appreciate and learn more students fromteacherswho are able to identify and anxiety experiencing foreign language take proper measures to help them overcome thatanxiety.In 1990,Applebyreportedthatstudents are mostirritated byteacherswho are unempatheticwith theirneeds and who are poor communicators. Being responsive to the stu-

TheModern 78 (1994) Language Journal dents' needs, language teachers can make it possible for anxious studentsto maximize their language learning by building a nonthreatenas well ing and positive learning environment, as by helping them acquire effective studyand learning strategies. However,foreign language anxiety may not be alleviated simplythrough certain teaching methodologies.Comeau pointsout in her thesis that the Natural Approach (54) which is designed to lessen anxiety in the classroom has not been proven successful in achieving this goal. In the studydone by Koch and Terrell in 1991 (cited by Comeau), sixtypercent of their subjects with previous classroom language studyindicated that theyfeltmore anxious or equally anxious under the Natural Approach than under other methods. In her own study, Comeau compared the anxiety levels of two groups of Spanish students:one hundred students attendinga school that uses the Natural Approach and 116 studentsattendinga school that uses an eclectic/proficiency-based apin difference proach. There was no significant the level of anxietybetween studentsin the two schools, indicatingno special advantage of the NaturalApproach over othermethodsin reducing the anxietylevelsof students.She suggested that anxiety interacts with learner variables such as students' expectation of grades and theirown perception of language abilityrather than withmethodologyitself. Therefore, futureresearch should look into potential interactions between anxiety and other student characteristicssuch as learners' beliefs about their own language ability,selfesteem,help-seekingbehaviors,and knowledge and use of language learning strategies.Anxious studentsmay be anxious in the classroom because they may not know how to ask questions to clarify their assignments or how to organize and process informationto enhance their understandingof the material. Some students may need assistance fromthe instructor, but do not ask forhelp because theymightview help-seeking as a manifestation of weakness, or even incompetence.They might immaturity, feel lost in the language classroom and anxious about the teacher discoveringtheirproblem. It is also possible that anxious studentsmay situations be able to handle anxiety-provoking iftheypossess high self-esteem. Greenbergand his colleagues (20; 21) proposed a terrormanwhich posits that "people are agement theory, bemotivatedto maintain a positiveself-image cause self-esteem protects them fromanxiety"

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(21: p. 913). According to this theory,people are likelyto be less who are high in self-esteem cause anxianxious; and threatsto self-esteem ety.Horwitz et al. noted that foreignlanguage learning could pose a threat to learners' selfesteem because it deprives the learnersof their normal means of communication (since making errors are common in the language classas room) and thus of the abilityto behave fully normal people. Then, people witha sure sense of self-worth could manage more effectively the threats caused by the language learning enIn a vironment than those withlow self-esteem. study using a small group (n = 57) of studentsof Japanese, Aida, Allemand, and Kawashima found thatstudentswithhigh anxietyand high self-competencereceived slightlyhigher final course grades (X = 83.0) and oral skillsscores (X = 88.7) than did studentswith high anxiety and low self-competence(X = 79.6 for course grade and X = 86.0 for oral scores), although the differences were not statistically significant. Among studentswith high anxiety,those with high self-esteem mightbe handling theiranxireety better than those with low self-esteem, sulting in their higher scores on both course grades and oral skills grades. Future research employinga larger number of subjects may be able to produce a clearer pattern of the relaand anxiety. tionship between self-esteem This study focused on issues pertaining to anxiety in Japanese language learning. Since the research area of foreignlanguage anxietyis still young, future investigators have much to The studies explore. examining the relationship between anxiety and the learner characteristicsmentioned above will help us increase our understandingof language learning from the learner's perspective and provide a wider range of insights.

'The author does not imply that the potentially high attritionrate is due solelyto language anxiety.It could be influenced by other factors.Seniors would not likelydelay theirgraduation by takingadditional Japanese classes. Many juniors and seniors have to take theirmajor courses and may not have room for an extraJapanese course. Some studentsmay be interestedin learningJapanese art, culture,or history but not necessarilythe language. 2 A possible explanation forthisgender difference in achievementmaybe the use of different language learning strategiesbymen and women. In theirstudy involving1200 college students,Oxford and Nyikos found thatfemalesreported more frequentuse than males of three of the fivelearning strategiesstudied: formalrule-relatedpractice strategies,general study and conversationalinput elicitationstratestrategies, gies. On the other hand, males reported no more frequentuse than femaleson any of the five strategy categories. Similar gender differencesin the use of learning strategieswere found in Ehrman and Oxford's study using seventy-eightsophisticated language learnersas theirsubjects (e.g., Foreign Service Officers, military officers, professional language trainers,and language instructors).Therefore, it is possible thatfemalesin the presentstudymighthave used more language learningstrategiesthan males as did the femalesin the studies by Oxford and her colleagues. Greater use of learning strategiesmay have positivelyinfluenced achievement levels for the female studentsin Japanese courses.


I wish to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. Elaine Horwitz, who read an earlier version of this manuscript and provided me with valuable suggestions, and to Carolyn Allemand, Hana Kawashima, and Lin Yan Chan, who assisted me in data coding and libraryresearch. Preparation of this paper was partially supported by a grant from the Northeast Asia Council of the Association forAsian Studies. Requests forreprintsshould be sent to Yukie Aida, Department of Oriental and AfricanLanguages and of Texas at Austin, 2601 Literatures,the University Avenue, Austin,TX 78712. University

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TheModern 78 (1994) Language Journal

Are you taking this course to satisfy the university's foreignlanguage requirement? 1 YES 3 My major (Asian Studies 2 NO or Japanese) Other reasons: What is your native language? Your Last Name FirstName Workphone number married children (ages) Are any of your family membersofJapanese heritage? 1 YES 2 NO If yes,who? Do any of your family membersspeak Japanese? 1 YES 2 NO If yes,who? 1 YES Have you been toJapan? 2 NO If yes,how long in total? (Include everyoccasion when you were in Japan.) How manyJapanese people do you know


Home phone number age sex single

ETHNICITY: Circle one. 1 White (not Hispanic) 2 Black (not Hispanic) 4 American Indian or 3 Hispanic Alaskan Native 5 Asian or Pacific Islander (include 6 Other Specify Asian Americans) What year are you in? 1 Freshman 2 Sophomore 3 Junior 4 Senior 5 Graduate 6 other Specify 1 YES Double major? 2 NO If yes,please listyour majors / If no, give the name of your single major

personally? How manyof them do you consider as your close friends? How well do you expect to do in this class? (Place a check on the line.) Very Very well poorly . ...-

THE MLJ APOLOGIZES FOR MISSPELLING PROFESSORJAVORSKY'S in the last issue. The correct spelling appears in the citation below. NAME ON HIS ARTICLE

Ganschow, Leonore, Richard L. Sparks, Reed Anderson,JamesJavorsky, Sue Skinner &Jon Patton, "Differences in Language Performance among High-, Average-, and Low-Anxious College Foreign Language Teachers." MLJ78,1 (1994): 41-55. We would also like to correct the authors of the citation number 51 (page 54). The correct authors are Sparks, Richard and Leonore Ganschow. We thank Leonore Ganschow for bringing these errors to our attention.

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