The Relationship between Foreign Language Anxiety and Learning Difficulties


  • Tsai-Yu Chen MA,

    1. Ming Hsin University of Science and Technology
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      Tsai-Yu Chen (MA, The Ohio State University) is Associate Professor of English at Ming Hsin University of Science and Technology, Hsinchu, Taiwan, Republic of China.

  • Goretti B. Y. Chang MA

    1. Fujen Catholic University
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      Goretti B. Y. Chang (MA, Fujen Catholic University) is Professor of English at Fujen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Abstract: This study investigated the possible existence of causal links between anxiety and language learning difficulties by using the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) (Horwitz, Horwitz, & Cope, 1986) to examine anxiety and the Foreign Language Screening Instrument for Colleges (FLSI-C) (Ganschow & Sparks, 1991) to explore learning difficulty variables. Factor analysis, correlation analysis, and stepwise multiple regression analysis of data provided by 1,187 college students learning English as a foreign language (EFL) in Taiwan indicate that English learning difficulties account for 36.80% of variance in anxiety. The results show that some anxious students have a history of English learning problems, obtain low grades, suffer difficulties with classroom learning, and exhibit poor developmental skills. The findings are used to discuss both theoretical and practical implications for foreign language anxiety.