One Right Way, Intercultural Participation, and Language Learning Anxiety: A Qualitative Analysis of Adult Online Heritage and Nonheritage Language Learners

By Coryell, Joellen E.; Clark, M. Carolyn | Foreign Language Annals, Fall 2009 | Go to article overview

One Right Way, Intercultural Participation, and Language Learning Anxiety: A Qualitative Analysis of Adult Online Heritage and Nonheritage Language Learners


Coryell, Joellen E., Clark, M. Carolyn, Foreign Language Annals


Abstract:

This study investigated self-assessed anxious learners who enrolled in online Spanish courses to determine if their anxiety was mediated by the lack of face-to-face (F2F) and other synchronous learning interactions. Participants were enrolled in courses at two postsecondary institutions located in south-central Texas. Narrative analysis was used to interpret the interview data. Findings indicated participants experienced language anxiety because their previous F2F and online learning experiences enforced the concept of language as performance with a focus on correctness and precision. However, intercultural respect and a desire to participate meaningfully with diverse cultural communities became a resource for our participants as they wrestled with language learning anxiety and persisted in their learning endeavors. Implications for designing online language instruction for anxious, self-directed adults are offered.

Key words: adult language learning, heritage and nonheritage language learners, intercultural participation, language learning anxiety, online language learning

Language: relevant to all languages

In today's information and communication age, adults choose to learn or improve their knowledge of languages for a variety of reasons and in a variety of settings. As such, language learning settings are steeped in a multifarious set of influences upon the learners' study and understanding. At the core of acquiring a new language, students learn how to communicate their own personally meaningful and conversationally appropriate messages through new structures and systems of the target language (Horwitz, 1999); indeed, "to study how we learn a new language is to study how the body, mind, and emotions fuse to create self-expression" (Young, 1999, p. 13).

Foreign or second language (L2) learning is often studied within the framework of sociocultural and constructivist learning perspectives (Block, 2003; Lantolf & Pavlenko, 2001). That is, cognition is a process that includes social and cultural activity within the particular educational situation and the learner's individual, interpersonal context (Vygotsky, 1978; Wright, 2000). Learners develop (or fail to develop) and participate (or choose nonparticipation) via interaction with other communication agents. Unfortunately, foreign and L2 learning can leave some individuals feeling anxious, self-conscious, and frustrated (Gregersen & Horwitz, 2002; Horwitz, Horwitz, & Cope, 1986). This tendency to experience an anxious response during language learning interactions is described as "language learning anxiety" (LLA). Though not correlated to performance anxiety on the whole (Gardner & Maclntyre, 1993; Horwitz et al., 1986), learners may experience LLA due to previous negative experiences with language learning or with individuals from another culture, or for various other sociocultural reasons (Hodne, 1997; Price, 1991; Young, 1991).

In the classroom setting, verbal interaction, face-to-face (F2F) with peers and instructor, is the most anxiety-producing task for students (Young, 1991). As a result, anxious learners are not likely to participate actively in language class. More recently, however, language education across the globe makes use of distance technologies, which does not always include F2F or synchronous interaction. Although a growing body of empirical studies of language e-learning is forming, no research to date has specifically studied LLA in online foreign or L2 learning settings. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to investigate whether LLA is indeed mediated by the online learning venue. By examining how and why some learners experience anxiety while studying a language online, we hoped to gain fresh insight into the LLA phenomenon that has previously been anchored in traditional classroom interactions.

Literature Review and Theoretical Framework

Language is personal and communally situated. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

One Right Way, Intercultural Participation, and Language Learning Anxiety: A Qualitative Analysis of Adult Online Heritage and Nonheritage Language Learners
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.