Foreign Language Reading Anxiety: Proficiency and Gender
This study aimed at investigating the foreign language (FL) reading anxiety level of students enrolled in the extensive English language program at Anadolu University, Turkey. The foreign language reading anxiety level of the students were explored in terms of their English language proficiency level and their gender. Thus, this study aimed at answering the following research questions: 1. Do levels of FL reading anxiety vary in relation to language proficiency level? 2. Do levels of FL reading anxiety vary in relation to gender?
The data were collected through the “Foreign Language Reading Anxiety Scale (FLRAS)”. The scale was applied in the first term of the 2007-2008 academic year. Students had been exposed to 12 weeks of English language instruction when the scale was applied. The scale was applied to students in four proficiency levels – beginner, elementary, lower-intermediate, and intermediate. A total of 696 students responded to the scale; 287 beginner level students, 203 elementary level students, 154 lower-intermediate level students, and 52 intermediate level students. The level of foreign language reading anxiety was calculated for each student through. Then, the level of foreign language reading anxiety was compared with students’ language proficiency levels and gender.
The data are still being analyzed. The results will reveal whether the foreign language reading anxiety differs in terms of students’ English language proficiency level, as suggested by the literature. In addition, the results will also show whether there is a relation between the foreign language reading anxiety and gender.
Keywords: Anxiety, Reading, Foreign Language, Gender
Dr. Hulya Ipek
Assistant Professor Doctor, School of Foreign Languages, Anadolu University