Affective and situational correlates of foreign language proficiency: A study of Chinese university learners of English and Japanese

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Yinxing Jin
Kees de Bot
Merel Keijzer


The study explores the effects of teacher support and student cohesiveness on foreign language (FL) learning outcomes and compares their effect with that of FL anxiety. One hundred and forty-six first-year Chinese undergraduates of Japanese, who were also learning English, participated in two surveys that were administered over a 2-month interval. Data were collected using the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (Horwitz, Horwitz, & Cope, 1986), the Teacher Support Scale (Trickett & Moos, 2002), the Affiliation Scale (Trickett & Moos, 2002), the English Proficiency Scale, and the Japanese Proficiency Scale. It was found that (a) student cohesiveness was a positive predictor of FL proficiency, (b) teacher support, which was positively related to student cohesiveness and negatively to FL anxiety, did not show a direct relationship with FL proficiency, and (c) FL anxiety, which was negatively associated with FL proficiency, showed a better predictive power than student cohesiveness and teacher support.


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How to Cite
Jin, Y., de Bot, K., & Keijzer, M. (2017). Affective and situational correlates of foreign language proficiency: A study of Chinese university learners of English and Japanese. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 7(1), 105-125.
Author Biographies

Yinxing Jin, Hainan Normal University University of Groningen, the Netherlands

Yinxing Jin got his PhD from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands and is now a Lecturer at the Hainan Normal University, the People's Republic of China. His research interests lie primarily in positive and negative emotions in relation to learning a foreign language.

Kees de Bot, University of Pannonia, Veszprém

Kees de Bot got his PhD from the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. His interests range from bilingual processing to language attrition and language development over the lifespan, language and aging and circadian rhythm in language learning. His main research topic now is what counts as evidence in applied linguistics. He has published in the main leading journals in the field of applied linguistics and published a book on the history of applied linguistics with Routledge in 2015. He recently retired from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands and is now working at the University of Pannonia in Hungary.

Merel Keijzer, University of Groningen

Merel Keijzer is an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Groningen, where she also holds a post as Rosalind Franklin Fellow. A member of the Dutch national Young Academy, her main research interests are the social, cognitive and neurobiological effects of bilingualism in older adulthood.


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