An Examination of Effective Strategies for Reducing Learner Language Anxiety through Quasi-experimental Design

pp.1-16. Satomi Fujii

Abstract


The negative impact of anxiety on learning a second or foreign language has been demonstrated in a number of studies over the past few decades. It is important to investigate ways of reducing learner language anxiety as empirical studies have shown that language anxiety negatively affects language performances of learners. In this study, classroom intervention strategies for reducing language anxiety were implemented, and the effectiveness of the anxiety-reducing strategies was examined. The study was designed to ascertain: 1) which areas of language anxiety decrease due to intervention, 2) which strategies learners felt were the most effective in reducing language anxiety, and 3) how the learners perceived the anxiety-reducing strategies. Participants were two groups of students from different universities, consisting of experimental group (N= 50) and control group (N= 32). Questionnaire surveys were conducted before and after the intervention, with both the experimental and control groups. As a result, anxiety-reducing strategies were effective in reducing learner communication apprehension. Effective strategies for reducing language anxiety were found to be: making presentations in small groups instead of making presentations individuallyand doing pair work and group work in class. From the responses to the open-ended questionnaire, learner perceptions of the strategies were found to be generally positive.

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