Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, JAL Vol 5, No 2 (2008)

An exploration of Chinese EFL learners’ foreign language anxiety, personality and self-esteem

Meihua Liu, Wenxia Zhang
Issued Date: 14 Sep 2015


This paper reports on the results of a study of Chinese EFL learners’ foreign language anxiety, personality traits, self-esteem, and their interactive effects on students’ performance in English at the tertiary level. A 94-item survey involving 934 first-year undergraduate non-English majors revealed that: 1) nearly a third of the respondents felt anxious in English class, feared being negatively evaluated, and were apprehensive about both speaking English in class and tests; 2) the majority of the respondents were moderately extroverted, moderately inclined to anxiety and fears, and moderately prone to be influenced by social desirability, but tending to be dependent and tender-minded; 3) the participants generally considered themselves worthy; 4) most of the measured variables exerted a significant effect on one another as well as on the students’ performance in English, with anxiety and self-esteem being the most influential variables. Based on these findings, some implications and suggestions are discussed.

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DOI: 10.1558/japl.v5i2.181


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