Research Articles

Exploring affective barriers in virtual exchange: the telecollaborative foreign language anxiety scale

  • Marta Fondo Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
  • Pedro Jacobetty The University of Edinburgh
Keywords: virtual exchange, synchronous computer-mediated communication, foreign language anxiety, anxiety measurement tool, questionnaire

Abstract

The technological revolution of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has brought about new learning scenarios as well as new professional requirements, such as the development of intercultural and Foreign Language (FL) skills. In this regard, Virtual Exchange (VE) projects provide students with learning opportunities through online social interaction and collaboration (Dooly, 2017); allowing authentic intercultural experiences for students who do not have the opportunity of travelling (O’Dowd, 2016) and promoting 21st-century skills development (Jager, Kurek, & O’Rourke, 2016). However, interacting online in the FL with a person from a different culture can entail an affective challenge for students and might give rise to Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA). FLA is a dysphoric and situational anxiety suffered by one out of three FL students which inhibits communication and learning (Horwitz, Horwitz, & Cope, 1986). Due to the impossibility of finding an available tool to investigate the presence and effects of FLA in VE environments, the Telecollaborative FLA Scale (T-FLAS) was designed. This article presents the development of the T-FLAS, a 21-item questionnaire with a five-point Likert scale, aiming to provide researchers and practitioners with a tool to explore FLA in VE.

Published
2020-04-16