Anxiety in the Sixth Form MFL Classroom

Author

Kate Thirwall, Cherwell School

Summary

Kate’s investigation examined anxiety with speaking in sixth-formers learning Modern Foreign Languages using questionnaires and an adapted version of the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS). The investigation revealed that while incidences of anxiety were high with respect to the oral exam and speaking in class, there was huge variance in the reasons given for this. 72% of students felt keenly that French lessons are something about which people legitimately and understandably become anxious, and many acknowledged that their anxiety led them to not speak in class. Strong links were drawn between a lack of anxiety and the students’ perception of the classroom as a potentiating environment.

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