The relationship between students’ second language learning anxiety and language proficiency

Asnadia Binti Alias(1), Nur Atikah Binti Noor Rashid(2),
(1) Politeknik Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, Malaysia  Malaysia
(2) Kolej Komuniti Kota Tinggi, Malaysia  Malaysia

Corresponding Author


Full Text:    Language : en


Students in Malaysian Polytechnics must enrol in a second language course as one of the compulsory courses offered by the institution. There is no placement test for polytechnics students to enrol in English language class. Therefore, students with different level of proficiency are mixed together in a classroom to learn English language. Consequently, students encountered difficulties in learning the second language due to feeling of anxiety. Hence, the aim of this study was to determine the correlation between students’ language learning anxiety and their language proficiency. This study involved of 96 semester three students from Civil Engineering Department, Politeknik Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin which have been chosen randomly. A 33 item questionnaire of Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) was analysed using SPSS 22. The study revealed that the students experienced moderate level of language learning anxiety. Correlations – Spearman Test was used to determine the relationship between students’ second language learning anxiety and language proficiency. Three types of anxiety was tested which are Test Anxiety, Communication Apprehension and Fear of Negative Evaluation. Correlations – Spearman Test demonstrated that only Test Anxiety showed significant relationship with students’ language proficiency. Several implications have been discussed to offer suggestions to the lecturers in dealing with students learning anxiety. Lecturers should be careful in correcting students’ error to avoid students feel humiliated. This is because students tend to feel anxious whenever lecturers correct their mistakes in the classroom. A further research should be carried out by using two approaches; qualitative and quantitative and adds more variables such as attitude and motivation towards learning a second language.


language anxiety; second language learning, language proficienc, polytechnics


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