Date of Award

8-7-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Degree Program

Curriculum & Instruction

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Speaker, Richard B.

Second Advisor

Alexander, Angela

Third Advisor

Bedford, April W.

Fourth Advisor

Blanton, Linda Lonon

Fifth Advisor

Davis-Haley, Rachel

Abstract

The thought of learning another language makes some people cringe, while others display neutral to positive reactions. To understand the complex experiences of students learning a new language, this study investigated the affective psychological development encompassing language anxiety (LA) among nonnative Englishspeaking college students in the United States (US). The purpose of this study was to identify LA, while keeping in mind that some of the LA experiences may be moderate to none, and to explore the nature of this phenomenon. Ten university students from nine different countries were interviewed concerning their experiences learning and functioning in English in the US. While only a few studies have reviewed the nature of LA encompassing the possible existence of facilitating LA, this study investigated both the positive and negative effects of anxiety on second language learning. The answer to the research question, "How do college students in the US whose native languages are not English experience LA" was pursued by using qualitative analyses. The results indicated a new construct of LA, identity frustration, and its relationships to the other LA constructs already specified in the literature. The study also suggested the timing when students cease to translate between the two languages to be the point where they experience a lower level of LA. In addition, four other themes emerged. They are culturerelated LA; the recursive nature of LA; relationships among selfexpectation, selfconfidence, and LA; and facilitating LA, termed euphoric language tension.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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