Culture, beliefs and anxiety

a study of university-level Japanese learners of English

Malcolm Sim, Peter Roger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study was conducted to examine learner beliefs and anxiety among young adult Japanese EFL learners at a university in Tokyo. It discusses the findings from a set of self-report questionnaires and compares the results with those obtained in an earlier study of Japanese, Chinese and Swiss English language learners studying abroad. The findings from the Japanese respondents (ESL and EFL) in the two studies were remarkably similar overall, and relatively high levels of classroom anxiety and fear of negative evaluation were evident among the participants, as well as some indications of social anxiety. The findings provide a picture of foreign language anxiety in a broader socio-cultural context and have the potential to influence the design of approaches to its management. It is concluded that addressing negative learner beliefs and empowering individual learners to understand and take control of their own anxiety may lead to more successful language learning outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-79
Number of pages54
JournalAsian EFL Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Foreign language anxiety
  • Japan
  • Learner beliefs
  • University students

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