Foreign Language Anxiety and Learning Style


  • Phillip Bailey,

    1. University of Central Arkansas
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      Phillip Bailey(Ph.D., University of Virginia) is Assistant Professor of French at the University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR.

  • Christine E. Daley,

    1. Muscogee County School District
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      Christine E. Daley(Ph.D., NCSP, University of South Carolina) is School Psychologist for the Muscogee County School District, Columbus, GA.

  • Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie

    1. Valdosta State University
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      Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie(Ph.D., University of South Carolina) is Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA.


ABSTRACT  Research suggests that how students perceive themselves as language learners can affect both their level of anxiety in foreign language courses and their achievement. However, to date, the potential link between learning style and foreign language anxiety has not been empirically tested. Thus, this study of 146 university students attempted to identify a combination of learning modalities that might be correlated with foreign language anxiety. A setwise multiple regression analysis revealed that, of twenty learning modality variables, only responsibility and peer-orientation appeared to be related to foreign language anxiety. Specifically, students who are not responsible in attempting assignments and who preferred not to learn in cooperative groups tended to have higher levels of foreign language anxiety. These learning style variables explained only six percent of the variance; however, in the context of foreign language anxiety research, this minimal finding has important implications. This paper discusses these findings, suggests possible questions for future research, and makes recommendations for understanding foreign language anxiety and increasing foreign language learning.