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Volume 16 Number 1, Spring 2019, Pages 1-447 PDF Download

Foreign Language Listening Anxiety Factors Affecting Listening Performance of Chinese EFL Learners

    Shu-Yan Wang & Kyung-Whan Cha

Foreign language listening anxiety (FLLA), which consists of various factors influencing listening performance, has been extensively investigated in English as a foreign language (EFL) contexts. However, little attention has been given to the effects of FLLA factors in different listening proficiency levels. This paper investigated 78 English majors from a Chinese university to examine the differences between and the effects of FLLA factors on listening performance in low (n = 20) and high-proficient (n = 19) EFL listeners. The participants were required to complete a 25-item FLLA questionnaire and take a listening test. The Mann-Whitney U test revealed that the two groups were significantly different in their self-belief in listening proficiency. Sequential multiple regression analyses showed that the listening-anxiety factor was a negative predictor, and the (lack of) self-belief factor was a positive predictor, for less proficient listeners. However, the three factors (including the decoding-skills factor) had no explanatory power in the high-proficient group's listening performance. Additionally, dissatisfaction with one's current listening proficiency may facilitate the less proficient listeners' performance but has a considerably detrimental impact on higher proficient listeners. Finally, pedagogical implications of FL listening anxiety and research suggestions are included.

Keywords: Listening anxiety factors, listening performance, facilitating anxiety, self-belief, Chinese EFL learners