Second language anxiety among Latino American immigrants in Australia

Garcia de Blakeley, Marta, Ford, Ruth M. and Casey, Leanne (2015) Second language anxiety among Latino American immigrants in Australia. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 20 (7). pp. 759-772. ISSN 1367-0050

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Research into second language anxiety (SLA) has largely focused on second language learners rather than immigrants. However, living in an environment where the target language (TL) is the language of everyday communication may constitute a significant source of anxiety that generalizes beyond the language classroom [Pappamihiel, N. E. 2001. “Moving from the ESL Classroom into the Mainstream: An Investigation of English Language Anxiety in Mexican Girls.” Bilingual Research Journal 25: 31–39. doi:10.1080/15235882.2001.10162783; Rose, Glenda. 2008. “Language Acculturation Anxiety in Spanish Apeaking Adult Immigrants Learning English in the United States.” PhD diss., University of Texas. Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database (UMI No. 3315370); Woodrow, L. 2006. “Anxiety and Speaking English as a Second Language.” RELC Journal 37: 308–328. doi:10.1177/0033688206071315]. This study explored SLA across different social contexts in a sample of 190 adult immigrants from Latin America to Australia who spoke Spanish as their first language (L1) and English as their second language (L2). The aims were to (a) investigate the presence and severity of SLA among L2 long-term immigrants, and (b) examine sources of individual differences in SLA. Results indicated that SLA exists among L2 immigrants at moderate, high and very high levels, and that levels of anxiety vary significantly across social contexts. Self perceived L2 proficiency was found to be the strongest predictor of SLA followed by extroversion and age, with higher scores on all three variables associated with lower SLA. Gender, education level, duration of residency in Australia, and emotional stability did not predict SLA in any of the contexts. These findings suggest that SLA is a significant problem for adult immigrants, permeating most aspects of their everyday lives. Practical implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: anxiety, second language, foreign language, bilingualism, immigrant
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2015 10:04
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2022 10:52

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