ESL learner's self-efficacy and language anxiety in computer-networked interaction

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Han, Kyungsun

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This study investigated how two different interaction modes, computernetworked versus face-to-face modes, would affect ESL learners self-perceptions of efficacy and anxiety about learning English. From a social constructivist perspective, it was hypothesized that language learners self-perceptions of efficacy, pertinent emotional states, and corresponding performance would vary according to different learning contexts. Data were collected over one semester from two sections of ESL classes taught by one teacher using both quantitative and qualitative methods. As to the quantitative methods, four self-efficacy and four anxiety self-report questionnaires were administered throughout the semester to measure students emotional states in three different contexts, general, oral and computer discussions. In addition, their oral and computer discussions were recorded six times in the semester and analyzed. For qualitative analysis, students were interviewed and class sessions were observed. Correlation analysis identified varying levels of strength of relationship between self-efficacy and anxiety scores in each context because of different characteristics of the two constructs. In addition, the results of repeated measures contrasts suggested the potential for computer discussion to increase the selfefficacy of students for their oral discussion. According to the analysis of interview data, the participants culture group influenced the emotional experiences differently in the two different contexts of oral and computer discussions. The analysis of discussion data revealed increasing levels of participation in the computer discussion over time by the students who were considered reticent in class although perhaps at the expense of language quality. Most importantly, the analysis of interview data endorsed positive effects of computer discussion on English language learning in terms of students positive attitudes and favorable feelings for the learning context. Finally, the results of comparison between the ESL in this study and EFL students from Cheng (1998) provided a piece of evidence about how the learners self-perceptions were embedded in their real life and larger social contexts.



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