Exploring the Relationship between Chinese First Year University Students’ Beliefs about Language Learning and Foreign Language Anxiety

Runhan Zhang


The aims of the study are to investigate what beliefs Chinese university first-year English majors have about language learning, whether they report anxiety about studying English, and whether there is a relationship between their beliefs and language anxiety. Two questionnaires were used in this study – Tanaka’s beliefs questionnaire and Horwitz’s Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale. A series of statistical analyses were carried out on the responses. The results revealed that the Chinese university first-year English majors held four types of beliefs, namely Approach to Learning English, Self-efficacy and Confidence in English, Formal and Structured Learning, and Ease of Learning English. Comparing the means of all items in the beliefs questionnaire, it seemed that the respondents held a strong belief in the importance of learning vocabulary for them to speak English well. The respondents also reported some anxiety about learning English. However, it was interesting that the overall mean of their anxiety scores was lower than the means in previous studies. This study also found that there was no significant relationship between the participants’ beliefs and their language anxiety, which echoed the results of Kunt’s (1997) study, but two beliefs factors and several items were found to weakly correlate with the anxiety.



Chinese first year students, language learner beliefs, foreign language anxiety, relationship

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.3n.1p.28


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