Foreign language anxiety and writing performance : the effectiveness of using a learner corpus and peer corrective feedback with students learning Chinese as a foreign language. (2022)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
The teaching and learning of Chinese as a foreign language has been attracting the attention of researchers, language educators and other stakeholders worldwide. How to teach Chinese to non-native speakers effectively and efficiently has been one of the key issues. To contribute to this, the present study investigated the correlation between levels of anxiety and the writing performance of adult students learning Chinese as a foreign language at a university in China. In addition, this study also focused on examining the effect of using the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) Dynamic Writing Corpus as a learner corpus and the effect of encouraging students to perform peer corrective feedback.
Foreign language anxiety may be a critical affective element influencing foreign language learning experience. Most studies exploring the correlation between foreign language anxiety and foreign language performance have been conducted with cohorts learning English as a foreign language. The current study adds to the understanding of this relationship by focusing on international students learning Chinese as a foreign language. It also considers how variations in teaching methods can improve Chinese writing performance and reduce foreign language learning anxiety.
The study involved the questionnaire of Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale, which was used to measure participants’ level of anxiety related to their in-class experience of learning Chinese as a foreign language. The questionnaire of Second Language Writing Anxiety Inventory was also used, in order to measure participants’ level of anxiety specifically related to their response to a writing task. Writing assignments evaluated participants’ performance in Chinese as a foreign language writing. The measures were administered to a group of 112 undergraduate students from different countries outside of China, but taking Chinese foreign language courses in a university in China.
The data from the present study provided evidence that foreign language anxiety and foreign language performance were negatively correlated, suggesting a similar effect in these Chinese learners as found among English learners. The data also suggested that the use of the learner corpus and peer corrective feedback can be incorporated into the teaching of Chinese as a foreign language and lead to reductions in self-reported foreign language anxiety; though the effect of these two intervention approaches on general improvements in writing performance was less conclusive, with improvements being identified in some aspects of writing (such as coherence) but not others (such as grammar).
The study suggests that there is a need for researchers, policy makers and language instructors to engage in proactive discussions concerning how to employ the learner corpus and peer corrective feedback to reduce the negative impact imposed by foreign language anxiety and concerning whether individuals experiencing different levels of anxiety can gain similar benefits from these intervention approaches in terms of writing performance improvement. There is also a need for further research to specify the specific relationships between foreign language anxiety and writing as these may not be consistent across tasks or assessments of performance.
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