Foreign Language Anxiety in a New English Program in Thailand

Adam R. Tanielian

Abstract


Thailand boasts a robust ESL system in both public and private schools, where students learn various subjects from native speakers in the English language. Foreign language classroom anxiety (FLCA) is a subject that is relevant to ESL instruction and learning. This study assesses associations between FLCA and academic performance in English and math subjects at a Thai government school which is in its second year of employing native English speaking teachers. 424 students were administered FLCA surveys, which were compared to English and math exams. Moderate-high FLCA levels were found in the sample, with no difference between an immersion group and non-immersion groups. A weak, negative correlation was found between FLCA and English performance (r = -.163). Thai language math exam scores were significantly better than English language math exam scores. No correlation between FLCA and math performance was found.


Keywords


Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety (FLCA); English as a Second Language (ESL); language and math; English immersion

Full Text:

PDF

References


Abdullah, K., & Rahman, N. (2010). A Study on Second Language Speaking Anxiety Amount UTM Students. Fakulti Pendidikan, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 1-6 (unpublished).

Abedi, J. (2003). Impact of Student Language Background on Content-Based Performance: Analyses of Extant Data. University of California, Los Angeles CSE Report 603.

Andrade, M., & Williams, K. (2009). Foreign Language Learning Anxiety in Japanese EFL University Classes: Physical, Emotional, Expressive, and Verbal Reactions. Sophia Junior College Faculty Journal, 29, 1-24.

Atagi, R. (2011). Secondary Teacher Policy Research in Asia: Secondary Teachers in Thailand. Bangkok: UNESCO

Atef-Vahid, S., &Kashani, A. (2011).The Effect of English Learning Anxiety on Iranian High-School Students’ English Language Achievement. BRAIN: Broad Research in Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience, 2(3), 29-44.

Bailey, K. (1983). Competitiveness and Anxiety in Adult Second Language Learning: Looking at and Through the Diary Studies. In H.W. Seliger & M.H. Long (Eds.). Classroom-oriented research in second language acquisition. (pp. 67-102). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.

Bala, V., &Bamba, V. (2012). Factors Affective Quality of Teaching Learning of English Reading at the Secondary School Level. Language in India, 12(7), 585-596.

Bangkok Post. (2012). 310,000 Young Thais Are Hyperactive. Article retrieved online 29 Jan 2013 at http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/325441/310000-thai-youths-are-hyperactive

Batt, E. (2008).Teachers' perceptions of ELL education: potential solutions to overcome the greatest challenges. Multicultural Education, 15.3, 39.

Bernardo, A. (2002). Language and Mathematical Problem Solving Among Bilinguals. The Journal of Psychology, 136(3), 283-297.

Bernardo, A. (2005). Language and Modeling Word Problems in Mathematics Among Bilinguals. The Journal of Psychology, 139(5), 413-425.

Bernardo, A., &Calleja, M. (2005).The Effect of Stating Problems in Bilingual Students’ First and Second Languages on Solving Mathematical Word Problems. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 166(1), 117-128.

Bessant, K. C. (1995). Factors associated with types of mathematics anxiety in college students. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 26(4), 327-345.

British Council. (2013). How Many People Speak English? FAQ page accessed 27 Jan 2013 at http://www.britishcouncil.org/learning-faq-the-english-language.htm

Burrows, C. (2009). The Shyness Myth: Questioning Student Stereotypes. ESL Magazine, March/April issue, 22-26.

Bursal, M., & Paznokas, L. (2006). Mathematics anxiety and preservice elementary teachers’ confidence to teach mathematics and science. School Science and Mathematics, 106(4), 173-180.

Chakrabarti, A., & Sengupta, M. (2011).Second Language Learning Anxiety and Its Effect on Achievement in the Language. Language in India, 12(8), 50-78.

Chastain, K. (1975). Affective and Ability Factors in Second Language Acquisition. Language Learning, 25(1), 153-161.

Craske, M., Rauch, S., Ursano, R., Prenoveau, J., Pine, D., and Zinbarg, R. (2009). What Is an Anxiety Disorder? Depression and Anxiety, 26, 1066-1085.

Cubukcu, F. (2007).Foreign Language Anxiety. Iranian Journal of Language Studies, 1(2), 133-142.

Evans, D. (2009). The End Product. Modern English Teacher, 18(3), 37-39.

Gregersen, T. (2009).Recognizing Visual and Auditory Cues in the Detection of Foreign Language Anxiety. TESL Canada Journal, 26(2), 46-64.

Hembree, R. (1990). The nature, effects, and relief of mathematics anxiety. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 21(1), 33-46.

Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B., & Cope, J. (1986).Foreign language classroom anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 70(2), 125‐132.

Iossi, L. (2009). The Mathematics Anxiety of Bilingual Community College Students. Florida International University Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 198.

Jones, G. et al. (2011). Impact of Demographic Change in Thailand. Bangkok: UNPF.

Kealing, J. (2009). Two-Way Training: Methods to Motivate Tomorrow’s Teachers. ESL Magazine, May/June issue, 22-27.

Kleinmann, H. (1977). Avoidance Behavior in Adult

Second Language Acquisition. Language Learning, 27, 93-107.

Kongsuwan, V., Suttharungsee, W., & Purnell, M. (2012). Thai Adolescents and Social Responsibility: Overcoming Violence in Schools and Creating Peace. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences, 2(11), 178-187.

Li, C. (2011). Chinese High School Graduates’ Beliefs About English Learning. Studies in Literature and Language, 3(2), 11-18.

Ma, X. (1999). A Meta-Analysis of the Relationship between Anxiety Toward Mathematics and Achievement in Mathematics. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 30(5), 520-540.

Moschkovich, J. (2007). Bilingual Mathematics Learners: How Views of Language, Bilingual Learners, and Mathematical Communication Impact Instruction. N.

Nassir and Cobb (Eds.). Diversity, Equity, and Access to Mathematical Ideas, (pp. 89-104). New York: Teachers College Press.

Morrow, G.,& Labrum, A. (1978). The Relationship Between Psychological and Physiological Measures of Anxiety. Psycol Med., 8(1), 95-101.

Narkunas, J. (2005). Capital Flows Through Language. Theoria, December, 28-55.

Newell, P. (2011). Briefing for the Human Rights Council

Universal Periodic Review. Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children.

Pappamihiel, E. (2002). English as a Second Language Students and English Language Anxiety. Research in Teaching English, 36, 327-355.

Patra, B., &Behera, A. (2012). Perspective on Second Language Teaching – A Complex Socio Cultural Phenomenon. Language in India, 12(3), 27-33.

Ramjibhai, S. (2012). Teaching Compulsory English to Large Classes in India. Language in India, 12(3), 553-557.

Riordain, M., & O’Donoghue, J. (2009). The Relationship between Performance on Mathematical Word Problems and Language Proficiency for Students Learning through the Medium of Irish. Educ Stud Math, 71, 43-64. DOI 10.1007/s10649-008-9158-9

Rogers, G. (2002). Student Centred Learning – A Practical Guide for Teachers. Bangkok: The British Council.

Samangsri, N., Assangangkornchai, S., Pattanasattayawong, U., & Muekthong, A. (2010). Health Risk Behaviors among High School Students in Southern Thailand. J Med Assoc Thai, 93(9), 1075-83.

Scovel, T. (1978). The Effect of Affect on Foreign Language: A Review of the Anxiety Research. Language Learning, 28(1), 129-142.

Thai Department of Tourism.(2013). Tourist Arrivals in Thailand. Spreadsheet accessed 27 Jan 2013 at http://www.tourism.go.th/tourism/th/home/tourism.php

Tran, T. (2012). A Review of Horwitz, Horwitz and Cope’s Theory of Foreign Language Anxiety and the Challenges to the Theory. English Language Teaching, 5(1), 69-75.

UNICEF. (2012). Measuring and Monitoring Child Protection Systems: Proposed Core Indicators for the East Asia and Pacific Region, Strengthening Child Protection Series, No. 1.Bangkok: UNICEF EAPRO.

Varavarn, K. (2005). Thailand’s Experience in Addressing the Challenges of Secondary Education Development. Thai Ministry of Education. PPT slideshow accessed 27 Jan 2013 at http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EDUCATION/Resources/278200-1121703274255/1439264-1153425508901/Thailand_Experience_Addressing_Secondary_Edu.ppt

Vilenius-Tuohimaa, P., Aunola, K., & Nurmi, J. (2008). The Association between Mathematical Word Problems and Reading Comprehension. Educational Psychology, 28(4), 409-426.

Wilson, J. (2006). Anxiety in Learning English as a Foreign Language: Its Associations with Student Variables, with Overall Proficiency, and with Performance on an Oral Test. Departmento de Filologias Inglesa y Alemana, Universidad de Granada.

World Bank, The.(2013). Foreign Direct Investment, Net Inflows (BoP, Current US$).Spreadsheet accessed 27 Jan 2013 at http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BX.KLT.DINV.CD.WD/countries

Yushau, B., & Bokhari, M. (2005). Language and Mathematics: A Mediational Approach to Bilingual Arabs. International Journal of Mathematics Teaching and Learning, April issue, 1-18.