Influence of Teachers’ Questions and Feedback on Learners’ Anxiety in English Classroom
|Course||English Language and Literature|
|Keywords||Foreign language anxiety FLCAS teachers’questioning error correction evaluation|
Since the 1970s, the focus on English learning and teaching has been shifted from the way the teacher teaches to the way the learner learns, owing to the development of humanistic psychology and the exploration of the second language acquisition. More and more teachers and researchers pay increased attention to learners’affective variables. Anxiety, as one of the most important affective variables, has prevailed in Foreign Language Learning and it attracts more and more academic concerns of foreign or second language teaching worlds. A large number of previous studies show that anxiety is possibly the most pervasive obstruction in second/foreign language learning and the relationship between anxiety and performance is an inverted-U relationship. Too high or too low anxiety will have a bad effect on study. Therefore, discussions on how to help learners moderate their English classroom anxiety to improve their learning efficiency possess both theoretical significance and practical value.Most of English learning in China is conducted in the classroom. English teacher, as the principal factor in classroom teaching, would definitely influence learners’anxiety and seriously impact learners’normal language acquisition. The purpose of this paper is to provide English teachers some suggestions to moderate learners’foreign language anxiety through adopting effective ways of questioning and feedback (error correction and evaluation).The present study utilizes questionnaires, semi-structured interview and classroom observation to investigate 220 non-English major freshmen from Jiangnan University. With the results of the qualitative and quantitative researches, the author finds out that: Foreign language anxiety exists among Chinese English learners in the setting of classroom, varying in their anxiety degree. Teachers’questioning and feedback do cause anxiety to learners. Learners with high, moderate and low anxiety have different requirements to teachers’questioning and feedback. Results show that learners with high and moderate anxiety prefer referential questions for it is less anxiety-provoking than display ones, while learners with low anxiety have negative attitude toward study. All the learners are against explicit correction for it could hurt their self-esteem and self-confidence. Learners with high and moderate anxiety welcome negotiation of form while learners with low anxiety prefer recast. All the learners highlight the importance of the respect and understanding from the teacher. It is necessary for teachers to use more appropriate and positive evaluation rather than negative one in order to protect learners’self-images.Several pedagogical implications are suggested based on the results. a) Teachers should be aware of the necessity of creating a non-threatening and less anxiety-provoking environment for the learners’English learning; b) we can have the adoption of learners’suggestions on less anxiety-provoking learning activities; c) we should be aware of the possibility of modifying the teachers’questioning and feedback with regard to the learners’suggestions to make them feel less anxious during classroom learning.It is hoped that the suggestions mentioned above can provide useful information for language teachers to become aware of the foreign language anxiety and to modify their instructional techniques so that the learners may benefit from the low anxiety-provoking language learning situations in the classroom.