Does CMC Reduce Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety?
Many researchers have proposed that anxiety related to second language learning, especially in the classroom, has a negative impact on the performance of learners. To reduce this anxiety, some authors propose to use computer-mediated communication (CMC) to realize oral tasks while others believe that the effects of this mode of communication is comparable to the effects of the face-to-face (FTF) communication. In order to provide an answer to this question, a systematic measurement of the performance of learners during oral interactions conducted through these two modalities must be obtained as the comparison cannot be made without this measurement. This paper is a preliminary study with 20 learners of L2 French in which the degree of anxiety beforehand was measured with  Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS). These learners completed a communication task through Skype and also responded to a post-task questionnaire on their perceptions of anxiety, FTF and CMC. Performance during the CMC was measured in order to verify the effects of anxiety on their performance. The comparison was made with their performance in another FTF communication task. The results show that all the students performed better in FTF than in CMC and that even the most anxious learners obtained better results in the former.
KeywordsFLCAS CMC FTF anxiety French L2
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