Foreign language anxiety on a massive open online language course

Barkanyi, Zsuzsanna and Melchor-Couto, Sabela (2017). Foreign language anxiety on a massive open online language course. In: Borthwick,, Kate; Bradley, Linda and Thouësny, Sylvie eds. CALL in a climate of change: adapting to turbulent global conditions – short papers from EUROCALL 2017., pp. 24–29.



This paper examines learner attitudes, self-efficacy beliefs, and anxiety in a beginners’ Spanish Language Massive Open Online Course (LMOOC) by answering three research questions: (1) how do learners feel about acquiring speaking skills on an LMOOC?; (2) do they experience anxiety with regards to speaking?; and (3) do their self-efficacy beliefs remain unchanged during the LMOOC? Data was collected from over 900 participants registered on two Spanish for Beginners programmes offered by The Open University (UK). Quantitative data was collected through reflective questionnaires (11 items) and participants’ comments were obtained on two discussion forums. Results indicate that learners have positive attitudes towards LMOOCs and present higher speaking self-efficacy beliefs by the end of the course. Although spoken interactions in this environment are not synchronous, most participants report feeling intimidated by the idea of posting their recordings on the course forum.

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