Foreign Language Anxiety and its Effect on Language Ego and Performance

  • Kayleigh Jade Rippengale

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Philosophy


Foreign language anxiety has been an area of particular interest to language researchers, but as of yet no answer has been found on how to reduce the amount of anxiety experienced in the language learning classroom in regard to the effect it has on language ego and performance. In the beginning of the 1970s, descriptive studies were concentrated mostly on the meaning of FLA and were making an effort to analyse its environment, signs, causes and consequences. Early correlational studies formed rather unpredictable results in defining the relationship between FLA and success in a foreign language. To date, speaking, reading, writing, and listening anxiety have been analysed using questionnaires and interviews to create a whole body of research for journals and books. These all have demonstrated correlations with language achievement. However, these findings need re-examination as they do not have a definite answer on how to reduce language anxiety for thick and thin boundary learners to help them improve on their performance within the classroom environment. The main objective of this study is to consider and identify the role of foreign language anxiety and its effects on language ego in second language acquisition. Its second objective is to uncover and explain how this relates to recent research on identity and second language teaching and learning. It analyses in great depth the literature on the relationship between L1 and L2 identities, the difficulties of speaking in the target language with an L2 identity, the limitations, and boundaries of language in relation to foreign language anxiety, and how anxiety affects overall student performance.
Date of Award2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorAlex Mangold (Supervisor) & Jennifer Wood (Supervisor)


  • ego boundaries
  • ego permeability
  • foreign language anxiety
  • L1 and L2 identities and performance

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