Anxiety as a Factor Influencing the Use of Language Learning Strategies

  • Mirosław PawlakEmail author
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


One of the most fruitful lines of inquiry when it comes to research into language learning strategies is represented by empirical investigations which have sought to identify the variables that impact the choice and use of strategic devices employed by learners (cf. Chamot 2004; Takeuchi et al. 2007; Ellis 2008). This is evidenced by the fact that over the years researchers have managed to establish stronger or weaker links between the application of language learning strategies and a wide array of individual (e.g. age, gender, motivation, experience in language and language learning), situational (e.g. culture, ethnicity, instructional setting, learning task) and group factors (e.g. socially constructed goals shared by students). Nevertheless, there are some important variables that have received very little attention in the studies conducted so far, even though they are known to contribute to success and failure in language learning. One such key factor is anxiety, which, despite being the focus of a number of research projects (see Piechurska-Kuciel 2008), has only very infrequently been connected with the use of strategies (e.g. Mihaljević Djigunović 2000). The paper represents an attempt to fill this unfortunate gap in the existing research by reporting the findings of a study which investigated the relationship between levels of foreign language anxiety and learning strategy use, as reported by 142 students of English philology. The instruments of data collection included the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (Oxford 1990), the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (Horwitz et al. 1986) and interviews with selected participants. The data were subjected to quantitative and qualitative analysis which focused on the overall relationship between the two variables as well as interfaces between specific categories of strategic behaviors, components of anxiety and proficiency levels.


Foreign Language Language Learning Anxiety Level Test Anxiety Metacognitive Strategy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Adam Mickiewicz UniversityKaliszPoland

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