Individual and parental factors associated with preschool children’s foreign language anxiety in an EFL Setting

Choi Naya, Jiyeon Sheo, Sujeong Kang

Abstract


The present study aims to examine individual and parental factors that affect young children’s foreign language anxiety (FLA) in an EFL setting. Subjects include 453 mothers of young children aged 3 to 5 years old and of these participants, 217children attended regular kindergarten and 236 children attended English immersion institution. Both individual (child’s age, gender, temperament) and parental (parent’s educational attainment, household income, mother’s beliefs about early English education) factors were collected with mother’s self-report questionnaire. Children’s foreign language anxiety, however, was measured with both mother’s and teacher’s assessment. Results reveal that children’s age and temperament had significant effects on their level of foreign language anxiety. Older children were more prone to having a higher level of foreign language anxiety and children with a higher tendency for impulsiveness and harm avoidance were also more likely to show a higher level of foreign language anxiety. As for the parental factors, children of mothers with more concerns for early English education and stronger beliefs in cognitive benefits of early English education were more likely to show a higher level of foreign language anxiety. Future directions and implications will be discussed.


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 ISSN: 1305-3515