An investigation of form one students' perspectives on language anxiety and how it relates to their oral performance

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An investigation of form one students' perspectives on language anxiety and how it relates to their oral performance


Author: Liu, Yuk-pui Ivy
Title: An investigation of form one students' perspectives on language anxiety and how it relates to their oral performance
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2001
Subject: Language and languages -- Study and teaching
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: iii, 56, [23] leaves : col. ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: The objectives of this study were to examine the potential sources of language anxiety and how it relates to students' oral performance. The study group was Form One students from my school which is an EMI (English Medium of Instruction) girls school. Taking the language ability into consideration, students from the most brilliant class, Form 1D, have been selected as the target group in order to minimize the effect of low language proficiency on their oral performance. There are 43 students in the class. All students were asked to take part in two recording experiments - giving a presentation in front of the class and playing a language game. Students were also required to fill in the questionnaire regarding their ideas on the sources of language anxiety and giving self-assessment in the above two activities. Only nine students' recordings were transcribed for measurement. They were selected based on their academic results in the First Semester, three from the top, the middle and the bottom separately. Students' performance was measured according to four assessment criteria- speaking rate, accuracy (Is it correct English?), fluency (number of hesitations/pause) and pronunciation. The follow-up interviews were then conducted with all of nine students on an individual basis in order to get more in-depth data for this paper. In the findings, three sources were identified as the potential causes of provoking anxiety. They were the fear of negative evaluation, lack of self-confidence and the classroom procedure. Throughout the interview, four more possible sources were suggested by the students. They included teachers' attitudes, level of exposure, learning experience and graded performance. Here, all interviewees mentioned teachers' attitudes as one of the anxiety-arousal sources. This points to the importance of teachers' roles. Another interesting finding was that all students from the top identified the same source -performance being graded --. that bothers them most, and all students from the bottom level suggested the source of the fear of negative evaluation as their main concern. Turning to its relationship on students' oral performance, a strong claim can be made that student's performance was negatively affected in terms of level of accuracy and fluency. Meanwhile, no difference was found in the performance of pronunciation errors.

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