Volume 52, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2451-828x
  • E-ISSN: 2451-8298
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Studies have shown foreign language anxiety (FLA) can negatively impact learners’ performance in the classroom, but learners experience less FLA during computer-mediated communication (CMC) activities. Although it has been documented that communicating with native speakers (NSs) can make foreign language learners more anxious, very few empirical studies have compared learners’ anxiety levels toward different online chat partners. The current study investigated intermediate Chinese language learners’ FLA in online text CMC activities chatting with NSs and non-native speakers (NNSs). The quantitative data analyses showed that there was a significant difference in the anxiety level between chatting with NSs and NNSs in text-based CMC: chatting with NSs made Chinese learners more anxious than chatting with NNSs. Language confidence and partner familiarity were the two main factors mediating the anxiety. Practical pedagogical implications and future research directions were discussed.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Abrams, Z.
    (2011) Interpersonal communication in intracultural CMC. In N. Arnold & L. Ducate (Eds.), Present and future promises of CALL: from theory and research to new directions in language teaching, (pp.61–92). San Marcos, TX: CALICO.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bailey, P. , Onwuegbuzie, A. J. , & Daley, C. E.
    (2003) Foreign language anxiety and student attrition. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 7 , 304–308.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Baralt, M. , & Gurzynski-Weiss, L.
    (2011) Comparing learners’ state anxiety during task-based interaction in computer-mediated and face-to-face communication. Language Teaching Research, 15 (2), 201–229. doi: 10.1177/0265532210388717
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532210388717 [Google Scholar]
  4. Beauvois, M.
    (1998) Computer-mediated communication: Reducing anxiety and building community. In D. J. Young , (Ed.), Affect in Foreign Language and Second Language Learning: A Practical Guide to Creating a Low-Anxiety Classroom Atmosphere (pp.144–165). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Chun, D. , Smith, B. , & Kern, R.
    (2016) Technology in language use, language teaching, and language learning. The Modern Language Journal, 100 (S1), 64–80. doi: 10.1111/modl.12302
    https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12302 [Google Scholar]
  6. Cheng, Y. S.
    (2002) Factors associated with foreign language writing anxiety. Foreign Language Annals, 35 (5), 647–656. doi: 10.1111/j.1944‑9720.2002.tb01903.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-9720.2002.tb01903.x [Google Scholar]
  7. Creswell, J. W. , & Plano-Clark, V. L.
    (2011) Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Dewaele, J. M. , Petrides, K. V. , & Furnham, A.
    (2008) Effects of trait emotional intelligence and sociobiographical variables on communicative anxiety and foreign language anxiety among adult multilinguals: A review and empirical investigation. Language Learning, 58 (4), 911–960. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑9922.2008.00482.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2008.00482.x [Google Scholar]
  9. Doughty, C. , & Long, M. H.
    (2003) Optimal psycholinguistic environments for distance foreign language learning. Language Learning and Technology, 7, 50–80.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Freiermuth, M. , & Jarrell, D.
    (2006) Willingness to communicate: can online chat help?International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 16 (2), 189–212. doi: 10.1111/j.1473‑4192.2006.00113.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1473-4192.2006.00113.x [Google Scholar]
  11. Freiermuth, M. R.
    (2001) Native speakers or non-native speakers: Who has the floor? Online and face-to-face interaction in culturally mixed small groups. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 14 (2), 169–199. doi: 10.1076/call.
    https://doi.org/10.1076/call. [Google Scholar]
  12. Gardner, R. C. , & MacIntyre, P. D.
    (1993) A student’s contributions to second-language learning. Part II: Affective variables. Language Teaching, 26 (1), 1–11. doi: 10.1017/S0261444800000045
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444800000045 [Google Scholar]
  13. Gregersen, T. , & Horwitz, E.
    (2002) Language learning and perfectionism: Anxious and non- anxious language learners’ reactions to their own oral performance. The Modern Language Journal, 86 , 562–70. doi: 10.1111/1540‑4781.00161
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1540-4781.00161 [Google Scholar]
  14. Hewitt, E. , & Stephenson, J.
    (2012) Foreign language anxiety and oral exam performance: A replication of Phillips’s MLJ study. The Modern Language Journal, 96 (2), 170–189. doi: 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.2011.01174.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2011.01174.x [Google Scholar]
  15. Horwitz, E.
    (2001) Language anxiety and achievement. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 21 , 112–26. doi: 10.1017/S0267190501000071
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0267190501000071 [Google Scholar]
  16. Horwitz, E. , Horwitz, B. , & Cope, J.
    (1986) Foreign language classroom anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 70 , 125–32. doi: 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.1986.tb05256.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1986.tb05256.x [Google Scholar]
  17. Jackson, F. H. , & Kaplan, M. A.
    (1999) Lessons learned from fifty years of theory and practice in government teaching. Paper presented atthe Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Jee, M. J.
    (2016) Exploring Korean heritage language learners’ anxiety: ‘we are not afraid of Korean!’. Journal of Multilingual & Multicultural Development, 37 (1), 56–74. doi: 10.1080/01434632.2015.1029933
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2015.1029933 [Google Scholar]
  19. Jochum, C. J.
    (2011) Blended Spanish instruction: Perceptions and design – A case study. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 38 (1), 40–46.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Kern, R.
    (1995) Restructuring classroom interaction with networked computers: Effects on quantity and characteristics of language production. The Modern Language Journal, 79 , 457–76. doi: 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.1995.tb05445.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1995.tb05445.x [Google Scholar]
  21. Kim, J.
    (2002) Anxiety and foreign language listening. English Teaching, 57 (2), 3–34.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Krashen, S.
    (1982) Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition. Alemany Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. (1988) Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. Prentice-Hall International.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Lee, L.
    (2004) Learners’ perspectives on networked collaborative interaction with native speakers of Spanish in the US. Language Learning & Technology, 8 (1), 83–100.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. (2008) Focus-on-form through collaborative scaffolding in expert-to-novice online interaction. Language learning & Technology, 12 , 94–113.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. (2009) Exploring native and nonnative interactive discourse in text-based chat beyond classroom settings. In L. B. Abraham & L. Williams (Eds.), Electronic discourse in language learning and language teaching (pp.127–150). Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/lllt.25.10lee
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lllt.25.10lee [Google Scholar]
  27. Liang, M. Y.
    (2010) Using synchronous online peer response groups in EFL writing: Revision related discourse. Language Learning & Technology: A Refereed Journal for Second and Foreign Language Educators, 14 (1), 45–64.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Lin, S. , & Griffith, P.
    (2014) Impacts of online technology use in second language writing: A review of the literature. Reading Improvement, 51 (3), 303–312.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Luo, H.
    (2012) Sources of foreign language anxiety: Towards a four-dimension model. Contemporary Foreign Language Studies, 12 , 49–61.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. (2013a) Chinese language learning anxiety and its associated factors. Journal of Chinese Language Teachers Association, 48 (2), 109–133.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. (2013b) Foreign language anxiety: Past and future. Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics, 36 , 442–464. doi: 10.1515/cjal‑2013‑0030
    https://doi.org/10.1515/cjal-2013-0030 [Google Scholar]
  32. (2014) A measure of Chinese language learning anxiety: Scale development and preliminary validation. Chinese as a Second Language Research, 3 , 147–174. doi: 10.1515/caslar‑2014‑0009
    https://doi.org/10.1515/caslar-2014-0009 [Google Scholar]
  33. MacIntyre, P. D. , & Gardner, R. C.
    (1994) The subtle effects of language anxiety on cognitive processing in the second language. Language learning, 44 (2), 283–305. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑1770.1994.tb01103.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1994.tb01103.x [Google Scholar]
  34. McNeil, L.
    (2014) Ecological affordance and anxiety in an oral asynchronous computer-mediated environment. Language Learning & Technology, 18 (1), 142–159.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. 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]
  36. Roed, J.
    (2003) Language learner behaviour in a virtual environment. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 16 (2), 155–172. doi: 10.1076/call.
    https://doi.org/10.1076/call. [Google Scholar]
  37. Saito, Y. , Garza, T. J. , & Horwitz, E. K.
    (1999) Foreign language reading anxiety. Modern Language Journal, 83 (2), 202–218. doi: 10.1111/0026‑7902.00016
    https://doi.org/10.1111/0026-7902.00016 [Google Scholar]
  38. Satar, H. M. , & Özdener, N.
    (2008) The effects of synchronous CMC on speaking proficiency and anxiety: Text versus voice chat. Modern Language Journal, 92 (4), 595–613. doi: 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.2008.00789.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2008.00789.x [Google Scholar]
  39. Tallon, M.
    (2009) Foreign language anxiety and heritage students of Spanish: A quantitative study. Foreign Language Annals, 42 (1), 112–137. doi: 10.1111/j.1944‑9720.2009.01011.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-9720.2009.01011.x [Google Scholar]
  40. Toyoda, E. , & Harrison, R.
    (2002) Categorization of text chat communication between learners and native speakers of Japanese. Language Learning and Technology, 6 , 82–99.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Tudini, V.
    (2003) Using native speakers in chat. Language Learning and Technology, 7 , 141–59.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. (2007) Negotiation and intercultural learning in Italian native speaker chat rooms. The Modern Language Journal, 91 (4), 577–601. doi: 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.2007.00624.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2007.00624.x [Google Scholar]
  43. Wang, Y. , Borst, S. , Feng, J. L. , & Chang, R.
    (2015) It does matter with whom you chat: Chinese learners’ perspective on NS vs. NNS chat partners. Studies in Chinese Learning and Teaching, 1 (1), 18–39.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Xiao, Y. , & Wong, K. F.
    (2014) Exploring heritage language anxiety: A study of Chinese heritage language learners. The Modern Language Journal, 98 (2), 589–611. doi: 10.1111/modl.12085
    https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12085 [Google Scholar]
  45. Zhao, A. , Guo, Y. , & Dynia, J.
    (2013) Foreign language reading anxiety: Chinese as a foreign language in the United States. Modern Language Journal, 97 (3), 764–778. doi: 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.2013.12032.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2013.12032.x [Google Scholar]
  46. Zhao, A. , & Whitchurch, A.
    (2011) Anxiety and its associated factors in college-level Chinese classrooms in the US. Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association, 46 , 21–47.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

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