Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

The Interrelationship between EFL Learners' Levels of Reading Anxiety and Their Levels of Cognitive Test Anxiety: An Analysis of EFL Learners' Speed of Processing an IELTS Reading Test

Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

The Interrelationship between EFL Learners' Levels of Reading Anxiety and Their Levels of Cognitive Test Anxiety: An Analysis of EFL Learners' Speed of Processing an IELTS Reading Test

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study investigated the EFL learner's speed of processing an IELTS reading test, in relation to their scores on Foreign Language Reading Anxiety Scale (FLRAS) and Cognitive Test Anxiety Scale (CTAS). The association between their scores on the two aforementioned scales was also examined to find if there was any significant relationship. 196 senior university EFL learners majoring in either English translation or English literature were participating in the first phase of the study. Out of them 46 were chosen according to their FLRAS scores -23 of them were low-anxiety group and 23 were high-anxiety group- who participated in the second stage of the study. Their speed of reading and processing an IELTS reading test and their levels of CTAS were then examined. To find the relationship, the Pearson Product-moment formula was used and the results indicated that the higher were the EFL learners' scores on FLRAS and CTAS, the more time they needed to finish the reading task. A positive correlation between the EFL learners' levels of Foreign Language Reading Anxiety and their scores on CTAS was also found.

Keywords: Reading anxiety, Cognitive test anxiety, Speed of processing, IELTS reading test

1. Introduction

Anxiety is one of the most prevalent emotional states that students feel in any learning situations. One of these learning situations that cause a high level of anxiety is Second Language (L2) classes. Horwitz and cope (1986) defined Language Anxiety (LA) as -a distinct complex of self-perceptions, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors related to classroom language learning arising from the uniqueness of the language learning process" (p. 128). They believed that language learner's underdeveloped communicative skills in L2 results in a feeling of insecurity, and LA is an inherent counterpart of that insecurity.

LA can be seen in all four domains of language learning (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). However, as the literature indicated, the majority of research projects are related to oral performance (Horwitz & others, 1986; young, 1991; Daly. 1991; Phillips, 1992). Gradually, a more detailed analysis of students' performance in different language skills identified the existence of anxiety related to listening, writing, and reading as well as speaking. Therefore inquiries on the effect of anxiety on different language skills began to appear in the 1990s (e.g., Cheng, Horwitz & Schallert, 1999; Saito, Horwitz, & Garza, 1999; Vogely, 1998). Among these language skills, the concept of anxiety in reading situations or, Reading Anxiety (RA), had not drawn scholar's attention until recently (Saito et al., 1999). Consequently, in the present study, it has been tried to investigate the interrelationship between RA and, one other widely studies domains of anxiety in educational settings, i.e. Cognitive Test Anxiety (CTA) by answering the following research questions and forming the subsequent research hypothesis:

1) Is there any significant relationship between EFL learners' RA levels and their speed of processing an IELTS reading test?

2) Is there any significant relationship between EFL learners' scores on CTAS and their speed of processing an IELTS reading test?

3) Is there any relationship between EFL learners' RA levels and their CTAS scores?

Based on these research questions the following research hypotheses were made:

1) There is no significant relationship between EFL learners' levels of RA and their speed of processing an IELTS reading test.

2) There is no significant relationship between EFL learner's CTAS scores and their speed of processing an IELTS reading test.

3) There is no significant relationship between EFL learners' levels of RA and their scores on CTAS.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Anxiety

The notion of anxiety was first introduced in psychology. According to Hilgard et al. (1971) -anxiety is commonly described by psychologists as a state of apprehension, a vague fear that is only directly associated with an object" (Hilgard, Atkinson, & Atkinson, 1971; cited in Scovel, 1978, p. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.