The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Language Anxiety and German as a Foreign Language: An Empirical Investigation in Greek Higher Education

Konstantinos Chatzidimou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)

Glykeria Sidopoulou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)


In the context of foreign language acquisition and educational psychology, anxiety is approached as one of the most important variables that indirectly influence the cognitive process of L2 learning. There are three main categories of anxiety found in the relevant literature: a) state anxiety, b) anxiety as a personality trait (trait anxiety) and c) anxiety associated exclusively with specific factors (situation specific anxiety) [1: 49]. The situation specific anxiety associated with L2 learning and communicating in L2 is called "foreign language anxiety" or "language anxiety". Adapting the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) [2] to our research sample, we conducted a questionnaire survey among 180 students at the School of German Language and Literature of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki to examine language anxiety in relatively advanced learners of German as a foreign language. The data were processed using SPSS, version 28.0. The 33 questionnaire statements reflect communication anxiety, fear of negative evaluation, test-anxiety, and anxiety in the classroom. The questionnaire demonstrated internal consistency, as the Cronbach's alpha coefficient was 0,898. The statistical analysis indicates, among others, that the subjects of the research: a) feel more comfortable answering in Greek than in German a question asked by the teacher in German, b) are concerned about the consequences that their language mistakes in German may have for their assessment in the course, c) get palpitations when they are about to be asked to speak in German in class, and that they d) panic when they need to speak in German without having prepared what they are going to say. On the other hand, they stated that they wouldn't mind if German were used more often in lessons. This first attempt to investigate language anxiety in German in the Greek educational context demonstrates the need for educators to recognize their students' language anxiety and to act in a pedagogically supportive way towards them.



Second/Foreign Language Learning; Language Education; Foreign Language Education; German as a Foreign Language



[1] Luo, H. (2012). Sources of Foreign Language Anxiety: Towards a Four-dimensional Model. Contemporary Foreign Language Studies, 384(12), 49-61.

[2] Horwitz, E., Horwitz, M. & Cope, J. (1986). Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 70(2), 125-132.


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