Multilingualism and Foreign Language Anxiety as Experienced by Utrecht University Students with Study Abroad Experience
MetadataShow full item record
The present study aims to examine the link between Multilingualism and Foreign Language Anxiety among Utrecht University students with study-abroad experience. The participants were divided into three target groups: a) monolinguals (i.e., one mother tongue) with limited proficiency in a foreign language, b) early bilinguals, (i.e., two mother tongues) raised within a bilingual family, and c) “late” multilinguals, individuals raised in a monolingual family, but acquired more than two foreign languages later. Particularly, the study sought to investigate, on the one hand, how the study-abroad experience influenced the participants’ perceived anxiety in their foreign-language interactions and, on the other hand, to explore possible differences and similarities between the three groups regarding the most anxiety-inducing factors. A quantitative survey was used in combination with qualitative follow-up interviews, as research instruments. Results revealed that the monolingual group experienced the highest FLA, followed by the “late” multilinguals, while the early bilinguals were found to be the least susceptible to FLA. Fear of negative evaluation and communication apprehension were identified as two fundamental dimensions of the FLA. Of particular interest was the finding regarding the early bilinguals’ and “late” multilinguals’ attention to speaking the foreign language proficiently.