Anxiety in the sixth-form MFL classroom


Kate Thirwall, Cherwell School


This exploration of students’ views was conducted during Part 2 of the MsC in Learning and Teaching, and examines the experience of eighteen Year 12 students learning French to see whether there is anxiety in the classroom and if so, how anxiety seems to impact on learning. Anxiety was measured with an adapted instrument, and questionnaires from students and teachers informed the interpretation of the results. The finding is that there is evidence that students are indeed experiencing anxiety and that the anxiety impacts on their learning. Kate followed up this research with an action research project -in collaboration with Jan Avery-Harris – to explore ways of helping to address students’ anxieties and other barriers to learning, particularly in relation to their ‘performance’ in drama and language lessons.

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