Anxiety and non-anxiety in a distance language learning environment: The distance factor as a modifying influence.
System, 35 pp. 487–508.
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Foreign language anxiety in classroom-based language learning has a long history of research, but
there are fewer studies examining this particular phenomenon with respect to the distance language
learner. The isolated context and the physical absence of tutor and peers suggest that FL anxiety
might be intensified in a distance setting. A longitudinal study using questionnaires, think-aloud protocols
and one-to-one telephone interviews with students enrolled on a distance lower-intermediate
French course at The Open University (UK) set out to test this hypothesis and to explore the nature
of language anxiety in a distance learning environment and the strategies students use to cope with it.
The findings indicated that although there were areas in which distance language learners shared
aspects of anxiety with face-to-face learners, the distance factor could be causally linked to some
marked differences with regard to the nature and extent of language anxiety. Moreover, there was
evidence that the distance language learning setting may be associated with absence of anxiety for
some learners, a finding that merits further investigation.
2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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