Smiling woman in the classroom

What Is Your Level of Anxiety for Learning a Foreign Language? Take a quiz to find out!

Anxiety in the classroom impacts foreign language learning in that too much anxiety usually interferes with the acquisition of a foreign language. So it behooves you to know just how much anxiety you may have before entering into your next foreign language class. If your anxiety level is high then you need to consider your motivation level for learning the new language. Highly motivated students typically harbour less anxiety while less motivated students carry higher levels of anxiety.

In addition, are you learning a foreign language to please someone else, for ex: your parents? Trying to meet someone elseโ€™s expectations can increase anxiety.

Does the foreign language class require homework assignments or a passing grade? Typically classes that mandate the passing of exams for credit or certification generate more anxiety than those classes that do not have exams or requirements.

Some of us learn better in groups while others learn better with a one-on-one learning experience. On-line learning in the comfort or privacy of your own space can facilitate foreign language learning for those people with social anxiety.

There are 3 principal sources of anxiety in foreign language learning:
Communication apprehension (fear of speaking)
Fear of feedback by peers and teachers
Fear of language tests
The FLCAS (Foreign language classroom anxiety scale) measures these 3 types of anxieties and calculates an overall anxiety score.
[Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B., & Cope, J. (1986). Foreign language classroom anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 70(2), 125โ€132.]