Definition 1. “Anxiety is a stage of apprehension, a vague fear that is only indirectly associated with its object……… it is generated through the arousal of the limbic system , the primitive, subcortal “chassis” of the cerebrum , which plays an important, indirect role in many kinds of human enterprises, including communication”. Scovel (1978:134)
Limbic system. A group of interconnected deep brain structures, common to all mammals, and involved in olfaction, emotion, motivation, behavior, and various autonomic functions. Subcortal a longitudinal vein in the anterior portion of brain
2.“language anxiety is the feeling of tension and apprehension specifically associated with second language contexts, including speaking, listening and learning.” Macintyre & Gardner (1994:284)
3. “Negative predicator of achievement is anxiety.” Gliksman
Reasons of Anxiety? • Difficulties with emotion regulation • Changes in routine • Changes in expectations • Apprehension in social situations • Fear of future change • Poor understanding of occurrences in Surroundings-Change
What is Stress? • The most commonly accepted definition of stress (mainly attributed to Richard S Lazarus ) is that stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that “demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.” • Fight and flight response
Negative Consequences of Anxiety • Anxious, jumpy and irritable • Reduces ability to work effectively • Intense focus on threat reduces ability to make judgments by drawing information from many sources • More accident prone • Long term health risks both psychological and physical • Few situations in day to day life where this is useful • Needs to be kept under control
Anxiety in Asperger Syndrome • Children, adolescents and adults with AS experience high levels of anxiety • Studies have found that children with AS experience levels of anxiety more similar to children with diagnosed anxiety disorders than to non-anxious children (Kim et al., 2000; Sofronoff & Russell ,2005)
Types of Anxiety 1. Trait Anxiety “a more permanent predisposition to be anxious. It is related to learner’s Personality.” (Scovel, p. 137). 2. State Anxiety “apprehension that is experienced at a particular moment in time as a response to a definite situation” (Spielberger 1983) 3. Situation Specific Anxiety “the anxiety which is aroused by a specific type of situation or event such as Public Speaking, Examination or class participation.”
State Anxiety Trait Anxiety Situation Specific Anxiety
motivates the learner to ‘flee’ the new learning task; it stimulates the individual emotionally to adopt avoidance behavior” -- Scovel, T. (1978).
The effect on foreign language learning; A review of the anxiety research. Language Learning, P 28 , 129–142.
It causes the learner to ‘flee’ the learning task.
run away from exams.
Study of Situational Anxiety in SLA by Horwitz and young ( 1991: Collection of Papers on anxiety in classroom setting.) Types of Research Type B Research Type D Research Series of Events together Diaries of students
“ I was quite frightened when asked questions again I don't know why; the teacher does not frighten me, but my mind is blocked when I am asked questions. I fear lest I give the wrong answer and will discourage the teacher as well as be the laughing stock of the class may be. Anyway, I felt really stupid and helpless in class”
‘ Matsumoto ’ lists the affective states associated with this source of anxiety:
Sources of Anxiety. Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS)
Horwitz & Cope (1986) developed a foreign language anxiety scale based on conversation with beginner learners who identified themselves as anxious. This questionnaire consists of 33 items relating to the 3 general sources of anxiety.
“I tremble when I know I am going to be called on in language class. I keep thing that other students are better at language then I am . I get nervous when I don't understand every word the language teacher says”
5 Point Scale for measuring Anxiety MacIntyre & Gardner (1991 b)
“ Title Claims that ESL students" experience a kind of anxiety that is related to test anxiety , fear of negative evaluation , and communication apprehension ” (Title 1997) “a similar study was done on ESL Language anxiety in Mexican Girl by Eleni Pappamihiel”(Pappamihiel 2001)
Many of the Studies showed that learner with low anxiety learns better. “the student who feels at ease in the classroom and likes the teacher may seek out more intakes by volunteering----- and may be more accepting of the teacher as a source of input.” (Krashen 1981:23)
MacIntyre & Gardner Anxiety Language Anxiety is a Kind of Anxiety
Model of the role of anxiety in language learning based on MacIntyre & Gardner (1989a) Continued poor performance Poor performance and continued bad learning experiences result in increased anxiety Later Learner expect to be nervous and performs poorly Situation anxiety develops if learner develops negative expectations based on bad learning experiences. Post-Beginner None Very Little- Restricted to stage anxiety Beginner Effect on Learning Type of Anxiety Stage
(Anxiety Badly effects Output as compared to Input or Processing)
Interaction among Anxiety and other individual differences Interaction between level of anxiety and IQ level. “ Higher states of anxiety facilitate learning at upper levels of intelligence, whereas they are associated with poorer performance at lower IQ levels” (Scovel, p. 136).
Micro-Momentary Expression Test (facial expressions)
For tolerance of ambiguity ,
Budner Scale of Tolerance – Intolerance
For motivation ,
Attitude / Motivation Test Battery
Individual Differences in SLA: Self-Report Data In correlation studies of SLA affect, informants provide information about themselves (about their anxiety, tolerance for ambiguity, motivation, and so on) by completing the instrument (a questionnaire). The results are called “self-report data.” What are the pros and cons of self-report data? Advantages : they provide a fast and easy way of categorizing informants’ affective characteristics. We could categorize informants ethnographically (through observation), but this would require a considerable investment in time and resources. Self-report data represent a trade-off for researchers in time-energy-accuracy.
Individual Differences in SLA: Self-Report Data Disadvantages : Hawthorne effect: Informants may provide data they think the researcher wants to receive. Self-flattery syndrome: They may provide data that present themselves favorably, but which may be inaccurate.
Individual Differences in SLA: Correlation Self-report data are then correlated with some measure of SLA success (test scores, typically), so that researchers can draw conclusions about the relationship between affect (extroversion, self-esteem, anxiety, and so on) and success in SLA. Remember what correlation is not: Causation Correlation simply shows a relationship between two things, not that one causes the other. With that in mind, what is wrong with this statement? “ The majority of studies support the view that anxiety contributes to poor performance, not the reverse” (Elkhafaifi, p. 208).
Alpha & Omega Anxiety is one of the main Blocking Factor in the Process of Effective Language Learning.
“ the best predicator of how a child will cope with stress is how the parents cope.”
“ If a stressed mother slams the door and throws down her keys, she is teaching her child one way to relieve her stress……if she goes out for a jog, meditates or practices yoga, she is teaching other ways.” (Stolberg, 2002)