Language acculturation anxiety in Spanish speaking adult immingrants learning English in the United States
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The principle question of this study pertained to the nature of the relationships between foreign language anxiety, acculturation, and acculturative stress as it is experienced by adult Spanish speaking immigrants living in the United States. In addition to the nature of the relationships between the constructs, the ways in which they are experienced by adult English learners were also investigated. Three inventories were adapted for delivery via a multimedia website. The English Language Anxiety Scale (Pappamihiel, 1999) adapted from the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (Horwitz, Horwitz & Cope, 1986) was adapted for measuring anxiety. The Stephenson Multigroup Acculturation Scale (1999) was selected for measuring the degree of acculturation, and the Multidimensional Acculturative Stress Inventory (Rodriguez, Myers, Bingham Mira, Flores, & Garcia-Hernandez, 2002) was selected for measuring acculturative stress. From the ninety-five original surveys that were begun on the website, fifty-five cases were selected for analysis. Results showed no significant correlations between the major constructs; however, interesting correlations among various individual items in the scales existed. Additionally, combined with the analysis of six semi-structured interviews, results indicate that the concept of foreign language classroom anxiety should be moved beyond the perimeter of the classroom for the case of adult immigrants learning English in an English-speaking country. Results further indicate that language acquisition in the adopted country when accompanied by the regular processes of acculturation may produce higher levels of language anxiety, not only in the degree of anxiety but also in the proportion of students dealing with anxiety when speaking English. The construct of language acculturation anxiety is proposed to identify the combined effect of language anxiety, acculturation, and acculturative stress. Implications for the instruction of adult English students are made, as well as recommendations for future studies, including considerations when using a computer mediated delivery with this population.