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ERIC Number: ED519632
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 140
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-8744-3
Language Anxiety in the Online Environment: An Exploratory Study of a Secondary Online Spanish Class
Donahoe, Thomas
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Pepperdine University
This study investigated foreign language anxiety from a qualitative perspective to understand the scope of foreign language anxiety in the online environment. Foreign language anxiety is very real and hinders learners from speaking a new language. Learning a language online can complicate matters related to language anxiety. With distance education at the K-12 level a rapidly expanding area, the study of language anxiety in the online environment has become more important. This research considered four initial questions: (a) How do students with high anxiety (HA), as identified by the teacher, experience an online foreign language class? (b) How do these students' perceptions of teacher empathy influence their online learning experience? (c) How do these students' perceptions of the course content influence their online learning experience? and (d) How do these students' perceptions of their technological proficiency influence their online learning experience? A case study of an online high school Spanish I class was conducted. Artifacts from the course (results of administration of the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale by Horwitz, Horwitz, and Copy; the Second Language Writing Anxiety Inventory by Cheng; online posts; grades; student essays; and the researcher's field notes) were analyzed to understand student experiences and to address the research questions. The author drew four conclusions from the data. First, a student's language learning experience, whether or not anxiety producing, is due in large part to the influence of the teacher. Second, course design matters in building a positive experience and lowering anxiety. Third, a teacher can foster a sense of community and lower anxiety in an online class by purposeful use of empathy. Fourth, the two scale administered in this study may not prove the best instruments for measuring language anxiety online. The findings supported Young's sources of language anxiety and Krashen's monitor and affective filter hypotheses. Technological proficiency did not seem to impact the learning experience. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale