Foreign Language Listening Anxiety: Its Dimensionality and Group Differences

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Harumi Kimura



This paper investigates foreign language listening anxiety (FLLA) in line with social and interpersonal anxiety studies. Language-learning anxiety has been conceptualized as a unique, situation-specific entity, and recent research in second language acquisition (SLA) has examined anxiety with respect to such skill domains as reading and writing as well as in terms of spoken interaction. Too much emphasis on specificity, however, might have led researchers and practitioners to miss common features of anxiety as affective processes under tension. A Japanese translation of the Foreign Language Listening Anxiety Scale (FLLAS), which was created for Korean learners of English by Kim (2000), was administered to 452 Japanese learners. Data reduction through factor analysis indicated that this construct, as measured by the FLLAS, has three factors which were labeled Emotionality, Worry, andAnticipatory Fear. University major and gender were chosen as independent variables, and only the levels of the former were found to be significantly different in terms of one of the factors, Emotionality. Math students experienced more arousal of fear than social science students in this dimension of the FLLAS.