A Comparative Study of Foreign Language Anxiety and Motivation of Academic- and Vocational-Track High School Students

  •  Hui-ju Liu    
  •  Chien-wei Chen    


This study aimed to investigate EFL learner language anxiety and learning motivation of high school students. Subjects included 155 students from the same private senior high school in central Taiwan, 60 in academic track and 95 in vocational track. The majority of the participants started taking English lessons either before entering elementary school or during the first two years in elementary school. Statistical methods were conducted to investigate 1) whether learner motivation and language anxiety significantly vary between academic- and vocation-track high school students, 2) whether both academic- and vocational-track high school students feel an above-average level of language anxiety, and 3) whether there is a significant relationship between language anxiety and motivation among the EFL high school students. The findings of the study revealed that first, both groups of students felt moderate levels of language anxiety; there were no significant differences in anxiety level between the two groups of students. Second, students in the academic-track were also found to have higher extrinsic motivation and overall learning motivation than their vocational-track counterparts. Furthermore, a significant negative relationship was identified between the two important affective variables, motivation and anxiety. Important pedagogical implications for English teachers were discussed in the study.

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