Capítulos de libros
Using the Language to Learn and Learning to Use The Language
Writing apprehension in the EFL classroom: Secondary school students' responses to the Writing Apprehension Test
Lugar: Santiago del Estero; Año: 2008; p. 215 - 221
Over the last decades there has been an increasing interest in the role played by affect in language learning. In the EFL context, the term affect refers to aspects such as emotions, feelings, mood or attitude which condition learning behaviour (Arnold and Brown 1999). A large body of clinical and experimental data has demonstrated that emotions and feelings are an integral part of reason and that they certainly have a major effect on cognition (Gardner 1968, Scoon 1971, Kleinmann 1977, Foss & Reitzel 1988, Damasio 1994, LeDoux 1996, Oatley and Jenkins 1996). One of the affective variables that may influence language learning is foreign language classroom anxiety, which has been characterized as a ?distinct complex of self-perceptions, beliefs, feelings and behaviours related to classroom language learning arising from the uniqueness of the language learning process? (Horwitz, Horwitz & Cope 1986). In the specific field of EFL writing, language anxiety has been broadly conceptualized as writing apprehension (WA). The term was coined by Daly and Miller (1975) to describe what many individuals feel when they have to carry out a writing task. These feelings are characterized by great reluctance to write, high levels of anxiety related to the process of writing and low self-esteem regarding both the skills involved and the quality of the texts produced. In the light of these notions and moved by our concern for what we regarded as a generalized feeling of reluctance towards writing activities accompanied by relatively poor writing performance generally observed among our secondary school students, it is that we attempted to explore writing apprehension in our classrooms in order to enlarge our understanding of this complex reality. We set out to achieve that goal by using Daly and Miller?s Writing Apprehension Test (WAT) as an instrument to gather data regarding writing anxiety levels across different groups of students ranging from 1st to 5th year of secondary school. Students? responses to the test suggest that writing apprehension is present in our EFL composition classes and should be catered for if we want to help and empower our students in the process of becoming more proficient and self- confident writers.