An Exploration of Foreign Language Reading Anxiety of Young EFL Students
Despite the extensive research attention foreign language anxiety has received, most studies have focused on foreign language classroom anxiety or foreign language speaking anxiety of EFL learners at the university level. Foreign language reading anxiety (FLRA), particularly that of young EFL learners under the age of 12, has been understudied. The present study examined the foreign language reading anxiety level of 137 young EFL learners in a primary school in China. A questionnaire adapted from Saito et al.’s (1999) Foreign Language Reading Anxiety Scale was adopted to determine the level of students’ FLRA. The potential sources of their FLRA were identified with an adapted version of the questionnaire devised by Ahmad et al. (2013). Results of the present study indicate that young EFL learners generally have medium-level FLRA. In addition, textual features, including unknown words and unfamiliar words, have been identified as the main source of FLRA of young EFL learners, whereas personal factors are not as prominent as shown in previous studies conducted on adult EFL learners.