Second language writing anxiety, computer anxiety, and performance in a classroom versus a web-based environment

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Effie Dracopoulos
François Pichette

Abstract

This study examined the impact of writing anxiety and computer anxiety on language learning for 45 ESL adult learners enrolled in an English grammar and writing course. Two sections of the course were offered in a traditional classroom setting whereas two others were given in a hybrid form that involved distance learning. Contrary to previous research, writing anxiety showed no correlation with learning performance, whereas computer anxiety only yielded a positive correlation with performance in the case of classroom learners. There were no significant differences across learning environments on any measures. These observations are discussed in light of the role computer technologies now play in our society as well as the merging of socio-demographic profiles between classroom and distance learners. Our data suggest that comparisons of profiles between classroom and distance learners may not be an issue worth investigating anymore in language studies, at least in developed countries.

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Author Biographies

Effie Dracopoulos, Téluq/Université du Québec à Montréal

Effie Dracopoulos is a Program Coordinator and Faculty Lecturer at McGill University. Her teaching and research interests include Second Language Instruction through Distance Learning, English for Professional Communication, Affect in Second Language Acquisition, and Customized Language Training for Professional Development. In recent years, she has been engaged in studies, research and instructional design focusing on the production and delivery of online ESL courses. This article is the result of a study she conducted, under the supervision of Dr. Francois Pichette, as part of her Masters program in Distance Education at TÉLUQ/Universite du Quebec a Montreal.

François Pichette, Téluq/Université du Québec à Montréal

Francois Pichette is a professor of Linguistics at Teluq/Universite du Quebec a Montreal. His teaching and research interests include language acquisition and development, reading and writing, and second-language vocabulary acquisition. Dr. Pichette has also taught Spanish and French in universities in Mexico and the United States, and has published in several peer-reviewed journals such as The Modern Language Journal, The Canadian Modern Language Review, The Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics and Foreign Language Annals.

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