Anxiety and beliefs about language learning : a study of Korean university students learning English

Date

1995

Authors

Truitt, Susan Narceille, 1966-

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Abstract

This study investigated the foreign language anxiety and beliefs about language learning of university students learning English as a foreign language (EFL) in Korea. The relationships among the students' anxiety levels and beliefs were also studied. A total of 204 students enrolled in undergraduate English courses in Seoul, Korea, participated in the study. A questionnaire consisting of the Beliefs About Language Learning Inventory (BALLI, Horwitz, 1983a, 1987), the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS, Horwitz, 1983b), and a background questionnaire was translated into Korean and administered to the subjects. This study found that the Korean subjects in this study had different beliefs about language learning from those of American foreign language students (Horwitz, 1988), ESL students in the United States (Horwitz, 1987), EFL students in Taiwan (Yang, 1992), and even another group of EFL students in Korea (Park, 1995). In addition, the beliefs about language learning of the subjects in this study were related to background factors such as major and experience living in an English-speaking country. These findings provide evidence that learners' beliefs about language learning can vary based on their cultural backgrounds and previous experiences (Horwitz, 1987). Secondly, the Korean subjects in this study had higher levels of foreign language anxiety based on their FLCAS scores than the subjects in previous studies (Horwitz et al., 1986; Aida, 1994). These findings suggest that Korean EFL learners do indeed experience foreign language anxiety, and that learners from certain cultures may have higher levels of foreign language anxiety than those from other cultures. Thirdly, two belief factors were found to be significantly correlated with foreign language anxiety: self-efficacy/confidence in speaking (r = -.604) and beliefs about the ease of learning English (r = -.231). These results suggest that beliefs about language learning, particularly low self-efficacy/confidence in speaking and beliefs about the difficulty of language learning, may be a source of foreign language anxiety

Description

Citation