Exploring the Link between Language Anxiety and Learner Self-Management in Open Language Learning Contexts

Mirjam Hauck [m.hauck@open.ac.uk]
Stella Hurd [m.s.hurd@open.ac.uk]
The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA,
United Kingdom [http://www.open.ac.uk]

Abstract

Learning a language is said to implicate self-concept in a way that does not occur in other disciplines, and to entail a particular kind of anxiety related only to language situations (see Gardner & Mac Intyre, 1993; Horwitz, Horwitz & Cope, 1986, 1991). To date, however, research into affective learner variables such as anxiety, self-confidence and motivation and their impact on learner performance has concentrated on classroom-based learners. There are fewer studies that examine the special situation of those studying in a distance context (see Hurd 2000, 2002, 2005; Hurd, Beaven & Ortega 2001; White 1994, 1995, 1999) and - to our knowledge - none considering these factors within virtual distance language learning environments. White (1995) stresses that their need for self-direction requires distance learners to develop a comparatively higher degree of metacognitive knowledge - especially their self-knowledge. Her findings also reveal that distance learners make greater use of metacognitive strategies – particularly self-management - and affective strategies than do classroom learners. Here too, investigations taking virtual language learning contexts into account are scant (see Hauck, 2005). Based on the evaluation of data from two studies carried out at the Open University this paper seeks to explore the interrelationship between affective learner variables in particular language anxiety and, learner self-knowledge and management in face-to-face as well as virtual settings.

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Tags

e-learning, distance learning, distance education, online learning, higher education, DE, blended learning, ICT, information and communication technology, internet, collaborative learning, learning management system, MOOC, interaction, LMS,

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