Foreign Language Anxiety and Oral Exam Performance: A Replication of Phillips's MLJ Study

  • Hewitt E
  • Stephenson J
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This article reports on a replication study of a substantial piece of research published in The Modern Language Journal, carried out by Elaine Matties Phillips in 1992, and entitled “The Effects of Language Anxiety on Students’ Oral Test Performance and Attitudes.” The aim of both studies was to assess the influence of language anxiety experienced by university foreign language students on their performance in an oral examination. In both investigations, Pearson correlations and partial correlations were conducted between oral exam grades and the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS; Horwitz, Horwitz, & Cope, 1986) and between 8 oral performance criteria and the FLCAS. Analyses of variance were used to evaluate relationships between speaking performance and language anxiety at 3 levels (low, moderate, and high). Individual interviews were held with selected highly anxious students immediately after the oral exam. By replicating Phillips’s study, the present researchers confirmed certain aspects of her outcomes and improved on it in various ways. Additionally, some differing results came to light.

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  • Elaine Hewitt

  • Jean Stephenson

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