Investigating the Relationship between Test-Taking Anxiety and Test-Takers’ Performance on the IELTS Test
Although there is a growing body of research indicating that anxiety relates to foreign language learning, the correlation between anxiety and learners’ performance on a high-stakes testing context has not been fully explored. To date, studies investigating the relationship between test-taking anxiety and test-takers’ performance are not only limited in number, but also partial in nature as most of them only looked at one aspect of test-takers performance, i.e. listening, speaking, or writing performance only. This study is aimed at investigating the relationship between test-taking anxiety and test-takers’ performance with a holistic view, taking into account the test-takers’ performance on the listening, reading, speaking, and writing modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS™) test. The participants in this study were 15 government officials taking an IELTS test preparation program. Two instruments were utilized in this study: (1) a set of test-taking anxiety questionnaire items to measure the level of anxiety and, (2) the official IELTS™ test to measure test-takers’ performance. The results indicated that there was a weak to moderate correlation between test-taking anxiety and the test-takers’ performance across different modules of the IELTS test. These results corroborate the findings from previous studies.
Aida, Y. (1994). Examination of Horwitz, Horwitz, and Cope's Construct of Foreign Language Anxiety: The Case of Students of Japanese. The Modern Language Journal, 78, 155-168. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4781.1994.tb02026.x
Chang, A. C. (2008). Sources of Listening Anxiety in Learning English as a Foreign Language. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 106(1), 21-34. doi:10.2466/pms.106.1.21-34
Criado, R. & Mengual, Y. (2017). Anxiety and EFL Speaking in Spanish Compulsory and Non-compulsory Secondary Education: A Mixed-method Study. Miscelánea: A Journal of English and American Studies, 55, 13-35. Retrieved from http://www.miscelaneajournal.net/index.php/misc/article/view/515/239
Elkhafaifi, H. (2005). Listening Comprehension and Anxiety in the Arabic Language Classroom. The Modern Language Journal, 89, 206-220. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4781.2005.00275.x
Field, A. (2009). Discovering Statistics Using SPSS (3rd ed.). London: Sage Publications Ltd.
Golchi, M. M. (2012). Listening Anxiety and Its Relationship with Listening Strategy Use and Listening Comprehension among Iranian IELTS Learners. International Journal of English Linguistics, 2(4), 115-128. doi: 10.5539/ijel.v2n4p115
Hatch, E. & Lazaraton, A. (1991). The Research Manual: Design and Statistics for Applied Linguistics. Boston: Heinle & Heinle
Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B. & Cope, J. (1986). Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 70, 125-132. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4781.1986.tb05256.x
Huang, D. & Hung, S. (2013). Comparing the Effects of Test Anxiety on Independent and Integrated Speaking Test Performance. TESOL Quarterly. 47(2), 244-269. doi: 10.1002/tesq.69
LaFlair, G. T., Egbert, J. & Plonsky, L. A Practical Guide to Bootstrapping Descriptive Statistics, Correlations, T Tests, and ANOVAS. In L. Plonsky (Eds.), Advancing Quantitative Methods in Second Language Research (pp. 46-77). New York & Oxon: Routledge
Larson-Hall, J. (2012). How to run statistical analyses. In A. Mackey & S. M. Gass (Eds.) Research Methods in Second Language Acquisition: A Practical Guide (pp. 245-274). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Larson-Hall, J. (2015). A Guide to Doing Statistics in Second Language Research Using SPSS and R (2nd ed.). New York & Oxon: Routledge
Phillips, E. M. (1992). The Effects of Language Anxiety on Students' Oral Test Performance and Attitudes. The Modern Language Journal, 76, 14-26. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4781.1992.tb02573.x
Plonsky, L., Egbert, J. & LaFlair, G. T. (2015). Bootstrapping in Applied Linguistics: Assessing its Potential Using Shared Data. Applied Linguistics, 36(5), 591-610. doi:10.1093/applin/amu001
Rodriguez-Sabiote, C., Serna-Quiles, L., Álvarez-Rodríguez, J. & Gámez-Durán, R. P. (2017). Do anxiety and English proficiency level affect writing performance in second language (L2) learning?. Journal of English Studies,15, 261-278. doi: 10.18172/jes.3151.
In'nami, Y. (2006). The effects of test anxiety on listening test performance. System, 34(3), 317-340. doi: 10.1016/j.system.2006.04.005
Saito, Y., Garza, T. J. & Horwitz, E. K. (1999). Foreign Language Reading Anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 83, 202-218. doi:10.1111/0026-7902.00016
Saito, Y. & Samimy, K. K. (1996). Foreign Language Anxiety and Language Performance: A Study of Learner Anxiety in Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Level College Students of Japanese. Foreign Language Annals, 29, 239-249. doi:10.1111/j.1944-9720.1996.tb02330.x
Sarkhoush, H. (2013). Relationship among Iranian EFL Learners’ Self-efficacy in Writing, Attitude towards Writing, Writing Apprehension and Writing Performance. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 4(5), 1126-1132. doi:10.4304/jltr.4.5.1126-1132
Scovel, T. (1978). The Effect of Affect on Foreign Language Learning: A Review of the Anxiety Research. Language Learning, 28, 129-142. doi:10.1111/j.1467-1770.1978.tb00309.x
Serraj, S. & binti Noordin, N. (2013). Relationship among Iranian EFL Students’ Foreign Language Anxiety, Foreign Language Listening Anxiety and Their Listening Comprehension. English Language Teaching, 6(5), 1-12. doi: 10.5539/elt.v6n5p1
Sutarsyah, C. (2017). An Analysis of Student’s Speaking Anxiety and its Effect on Speaking Performance. IJELTAL (Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics), 1(2), 143-152. doi: 10.21093/ijeltal.v1i2.14
Tsai, Y. & Li, Y. (2012). Test Anxiety and Foreign Language Reading Anxiety in a Reading-Proficiency Test. Journal of Social Sciences, 8(1), 95-103. doi: 10.3844/jssp.2012.95.103
Turner, J. L. (2014). Using Statistics in Small-Scale Language Education Research: Focus on Non-Parametric Data. New York & Oxon: Routledge
Winke, P. & Lim, H. (2014). Effects of testwiseness and test-taking anxiety on L2 listening test performance: A visual (eye-tracking) and attentional investigation. IELTS Research Report Series, 3, 1-30. Retrieved from https://www.ielts.org/-/media/research-reports/ielts_online_rr_2014-3.ashx
Winke, P. & Lim, H. (2017). The Effects of Test Preparation on Second-Language Listening Test Performance. Language Assessment Quarterly, 14(4), 380-397. doi: 10.1080/15434303.2017.1399396
Woodrow, L. (2006). Anxiety and Speaking English as a Second Language. RELC Journal, 37(3), 308-328. doi: 10.1177/0033688206071315