The Effect of English Learning Anxiety on Iranian High-School Students’ English Language Achievement

Sara Atef-Vahid, Alireza Fard Kashani


The present study explored English language learning anxiety among 38 third-year high school students in English classrooms and its relationship with overall English achievement. Students’ foreign language anxiety was surveyed and analyzed using the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (Horwitz, Horwitz, & Cope, 1986) [14] and their English achievement was measured through their final standardized English exam administered by the school. The results showed that although some students felt extremely confident and relaxed, however, one-third of the
students experienced moderate to high-anxiety levels while learning the English language in class. Correlational analysis revealed that the total FLCAS scores had a significantly moderate negative correlation (r=-.0586, p<.01) with the total final English exams scores of the participants. Anxiety was also analyzed according to the four different variables of anxiety (communication anxiety, test anxiety, fear of negative evaluation, English classroom anxiety) which were measured by the FLCAS. The results of the Pearson correlational analysis indicated that English achievement was modestly correlated with all four anxiety variables (p<0.01). Of the four types of anxiety, English Classroom anxiety had the highest correlational value. Finally, possible anxiety provoking factors
leading to these findings are examined and discussed, and some pedagogical implications are proposed.


English learning anxiety, English achievement, Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS), anxiety variables, high school students

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