Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This research investigates a situation specific anxiety: oral examination anxiety in a foreign language learning situation. It examines how a particular type of - anxiety in oral communication - impacts on the learner’s oral performance. The subjects are first year Japanese language students at tertiary level in Australia. Questionnaire surveys were conducted to measure the students’: a) anxiety in foreign language classes, b) their anxiety toward oral examinations, and c) the anxiety they actually felt in an oral examination. The objectives of the study were to investigate relations between anxiety and scores in oral examinations. The results indicated that state anxiety can be a strong predictor of learners’ performance in an examination. However, the subjects’ trait anxiety had also both direct and indirect influence over their oral performance. A cause-effect relation among trait anxiety, oral performance, and state anxiety (MacIntyre and Gardner 1989) was also observed in this study.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Cattell, R. B. and I. H. Scheier
    (1961) The meaning and measurement of meuroticism and anxiety. New York, Ronald Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Chastain, K.
    (1975) Affective and ability factors in second language acquisition. Language Learning25, 153–161. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑1770.1975.tb00115.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1975.tb00115.x [Google Scholar]
  3. Deffenbacher, J. L.
    (1980) Worry and emotionality in test anxiety. In I. G. Sarason (ed), Test anxiety: theory, research, and applications. Hillsdale, N. J., Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers..
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Eysenck, M. W.
    (1997) Anxiety and cognition: A unified theory. Hove, Sussex, Psychological Press Ltd.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Horwitz, E. K.
    (1983) Foreign language classroom anxiety scale. Unpublished manuscript.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Horwitz, E. K. , M. B. Horwitz , and J. Cope
    (1986) Foreign language classroom anxiety, Modern Language Journal70, 125–132.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Horwitz, E. K.
    (1991) Preliminary evidence for the reliability and validity of a foreign language anxiety scale. In E. K. Horwitz and D. Young (eds), Language anxiety: From theory and research to classroom implication., Englewood Cliffs, N. J., Prentice-Hall.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Kleinmann, H. H.
    (1977) Avoidance behaviour in adult second language acquisition. Language Learning,27, 93–107. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑1770.1977.tb00294.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1977.tb00294.x [Google Scholar]
  9. MacIntyre, P. D. and R. C. Gardner
    (1994) The effects of induced anxiety on three stages of cognitive processing in computerised vocabulary learning, Studies in Second language Acquisition16, 1–17. doi: 10.1017/S0272263100012560
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263100012560 [Google Scholar]
  10. (1991) Method and results in the study of anxiety and language learning: A review of the literature. Language learning41, 85–117. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑1770.1991.tb00677.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1991.tb00677.x [Google Scholar]
  11. (1989) Anxiety and second language learning: Toward a theoretical clarification. Language learning39, 251–275. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑1770.1989.tb00423.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1989.tb00423.x [Google Scholar]
  12. Matthew, T.
    (1977) The effects on item working on item characteristics on the state-trait anxiety inventory and the state- trait curiosity inventory. Unpublished M.Ed. thesis, University of Melbourne.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Parkinson, B.
    (1995) Ideas and realities of emotion. London, Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Phillips, E. M.
    (1992) The effects of language anxiety on students’ oral test performance and attitudes. The Modern Language Journal, 76, 14–26. doi: 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.1992.tb02573.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1992.tb02573.x [Google Scholar]
  15. Sarason, I. G.
    (1961) Test anxiety and intellectual performance of college students. Journal of Educational Psycholoty52, 201–206. doi: 10.1037/h0049095
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0049095 [Google Scholar]
  16. (1972a) Experimental approaches to test anxiety: Attention and the uses of information. In D. C. Spielberger (ed), Anxiety: Current trends in theory and research (Vol.2). New York, Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978‑0‑12‑657402‑9.50010‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-657402-9.50010-7 [Google Scholar]
  17. (1972b) Test anxiety and the model who fails. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 22, 410–423. doi: 10.1037/h0032893
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0032893 [Google Scholar]
  18. (1975) Anxiety and self-preoccupation. In I. G. Sarason and C. D. Spielberger (eds), Stress and anxiety (Vol2). Washington, D. C., Hemisphere/Wiley.
  19. (1978) The test anxiety scale: concept and research. In C. D. Spielberger and I. G. Sarason (eds), Stress and anxiety (Vol5). Washington D. C., Hemisphere.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. (1986) The anxiety, worry, and cognitive interference. In R. Schwarzer (ed), Self related cognition in anxiety and motivation (pp19–33). Hillsdale, N. J., Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Sarason, I. G. and G. Mandler
    (1952) Some correlates of test anxiety. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 47, 810–817. doi: 10.1037/h0060009
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0060009 [Google Scholar]
  22. Scovel, T.
    (1978) The effect of affect on Foreign language learning: A review of the anxiety research. Language Learning28, 129–142. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑1770.1978.tb00309.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1978.tb00309.x [Google Scholar]
  23. Spielberger, C. D. , R. L. Gorsuch and, R. E. Lushene
    (1970) Test manusal for the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Palo Alt, C. A., Consulting Psychologists Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Spielberger, C. D. , and P. R. Vagg
    (1995) Test anxiety: A transactional process model. In C. D. Spielberger and P. R. Vagg , (eds) Test Anxiety: Theory, Assessment, and Treatment. Washington, Taylor & Francis.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Swain, M. and B. Burnaby
    (1976) Personality characteristics and second language learning in young children: A pilot study. Working Papers on Bilingualism, 11, 115–128.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Taylor, J. A.
    (1953) A personality scale of manifest anxiety. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 48, 285–290. doi: 10.1037/h0056264
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0056264 [Google Scholar]
  27. Young, D.
    (1986) The relationship between anxiety and foreign language oral proficiency ratings. Foreign language Annals, 19, 439–445. doi: 10.1111/j.1944‑9720.1986.tb01032.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-9720.1986.tb01032.x [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error