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Anales de Psicología

On-line version ISSN 1695-2294Print version ISSN 0212-9728


ARNAIZ-CASTRO, Patricia  and  GUILLEN, Félix. Anxiety in Spanish EFL students in different university degree programmes. Anal. Psicol. [online]. 2013, vol.29, n.2, pp.335-344. ISSN 1695-2294.

Researchers have studied the effects of anxiety on foreign language learning since the 1970's, and despite significant advances in approaches to language teaching, the literature continues to report the existence of language apprehension in the classroom and its debilitating effect on the learning process. However, very few studies have been developed in a socio-cultural context comparable to ours, namely, a Spanish university in which English is learnt. This study set out to examine and compare the feelings of anxiety experienced by university students enrolled in six different degree programs. A total of 200 students participated in this study. The data were collected using the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) (Horwitz, Horwitz and Cope, 1986). The analyses reveal, firstly, that all the students suffered from average anxiety levels; secondly, that only in one of the aspects is the anxiety level of participants with English as a main subject (i.e. chosen) lower than that of participants for whom English is a non-elective degree requirement; and in the third place, that the relationship between anxiety and the mark obtained by participants is stronger in the case of those who have English as a degree requirement. The implications of these results for a better understanding of anxiety and foreign language learning are discussed.

Keywords : Foreign language anxiety; FLCAS; Spanish EFL learners; degree programme; mark.

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