Self and Language Anxiety

Yi-Wen Huang


This paper discusses relationships between language anxiety and self. Self refers to an individual’s (a) self-confidence, (b) language ego, L2/FL self or identity developed during second or foreign language learning, or a combination of both L1 self and L2/FL self. Based on previous literature on language anxiety and L2 or FL learning, language learners’ self-confidence might imply a lack of language anxiety which enhances language achievement (e.g., Casado & Dereshiwsky, 2004; Clément, 1980; Liu & Chen, 2013; Matsuda & Gobel, 2004; Onwuegbuzie, Bailey, & Daley, 1999; Peng & Woodrow, 2010; Ro, 2013). Language anxiety is an experience unique to the language learning process, and this unique emotion or experience may be associated with the anxiety of feeling limited, broken, incompetent, having another self or a different personality in a target language. I believe that while learning target languages, L2 or FL identities are developing, and L1 identities are reconstructed. Language learners may feel the loss of L1 identities in a target language context or may feel that they are not able to express their thoughts in a target language. When learners feel the loss of L1 identities, feel limited or broken, this may be language anxiety arising.

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English Language and Literature Studies   ISSN 1925-4768 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4776 (Online)   E-mail:

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