Second Language Anxiety and Distance Language Learning



Abstract: This study compared anxiety profiles of classroom and distance language learners, and compared anxiety levels between first-semester and more experienced students in both learning environments. Participants were 186 French-speaking learners of English or Spanish, who were tested in Canada in 2006. They were tested for general foreign language anxiety, for second language (L2) reading anxiety, and for L2 writing anxiety. Results show no significant differences in anxiety profiles between classroom and distance learners, and higher anxiety among first-semester distance learners. However, in the case of classroom learners, our data contradict earlier research by indicating similar levels of anxiety between first-semester and more experienced students. Results are discussed in light of the changing profile of distance learners and the school system where participants were tested.