[EDLING:166] Foreign language anxiety crippling for some students, says scholar

Francis M Hult fmhult at DOLPHIN.UPENN.EDU
Sat May 26 22:52:13 UTC 2007

The University of Texas at Austin

Current Feature

Foreign language anxiety crippling for some students, says scholar

Elise has a rather sad and surprising story about why she got a biology degree rather 
than a degree in English. Turns out the university she attended required fewer foreign 
language credit hours for science than for English, and foreign language classes had 
always left Elise feeling like she was having a massive heart attack and needed to 
mainline Zoloft—so she chose science.

Dr. Elaine Horwitz is the author of “Becoming a Language Teacher: A Practical Guide to 
Language Learning and Teaching” (Allyn & Bacon, 2008). 
Avoidance, at all costs, of rolling her r’s in front of 20 virtual strangers or 
mastering nasal vowels is how Elise came to be a sales representative at a 
pharmaceutical company rather than write the Great American Novel. 

According to Dr. Elaine Horwitz, around one-third of university students can relate, 
to some degree, to Elise’s reaction. Horwitz, who is a foreign language education 
professor in the College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction at 
The University of Texas at Austin, is a pioneer in the study of students’ emotional 
responses to foreign language learning.

Full story

More information about the Edling mailing list