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ERIC Number: EJ869199
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-1696-2095
Cognitive Load Theory: An Empirical Study of Anxiety and Task Performance in Language Learning
Chen, I-Jung; Chang, Chi-Cheng
Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, v7 n2 p729-746 2009
Introduction: This study explores the relationship among three variables--cognitive load, foreign language anxiety, and task performance. Cognitive load refers to the load imposed on working memory while performing a particular task. The authors hypothesized that anxiety consumes the resources of working memory, leaving less capacity for cognitive activities, and impeding effectiveness. Method: The participants were 88 non-English major students enrolled in a 4-year program at a technical university in Taiwan. The Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale was employed to examine their anxiety levels; the Cognitive Load Subject Rating Scale was utilized to measure their cognitive load while engaging in an English listening comprehension task. Results: The students with higher foreign language anxiety also incurred a higher cognitive load. Foreign language anxiety and cognitive load were in negative correlation with listening comprehension. Discussion: Learners who experience more anxiety incur a heavier cognitive load and receive lower test scores. To enhance learning effectiveness, instructors are encouraged to identify anxiety-provoking situations and provide a supportive learning environment so that the learners can devote their complete working memory resources to the learning tasks. (Contains 3 tables.)
University of Almeria, Education & Psychology I+D+i. Faculty of Psychology Department of Educational and Developmental Psychology, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, 04120 LaCanada de San Urbano, Almeria, Spain. Tel: +34-950-015354; Fax: +34-950-015083; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Taiwan
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale