Language anxiety and translation learning : An investigation of college students in Hong Kong

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)peer-review

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2010

Conference

Title5th International Maastricht-Lódz Duo Colloquium on Translation and Meaning
PlaceNetherlands
CityMaastricht
Period19 - 22 May 2010

Abstract

This study aims to understand the role of foreign language anxiety in affecting students’ learning in both written and oral translation classes. Although there have been numerous studies investigating language anxiety in foreign language classroom (see for example, Aida, 1994; Horwitz, Horwitz, & Cope, 1986; MacIntyre & Gardner, 1991; Yan & Horwitz, 2008), little attention has been paid to problems associated with language anxiety and translation (including interpretation) learning. Translation classroom learning and foreign language classroom learning have many similar features which have been proved to be anxiety provoking. For example, learners are required to speak in public, and they need to speak “via a medium in which only limited facility is possessed” (Horwitz, Horwitz, & Cope, 1986, p. 127); the foreign language texts used as listening or reading materials are difficult for students to understand; writing tasks are required to be accomplished with limited time; both foreign language and translation classes require “continual evaluation by the only fluent speaker in the class, the teacher” (Horwitz et al. 1986, p. 128). Besides, translation and interpretation classes also require some special skills and fluency in both second and native languages, which might also be anxiety provoking. The students have constantly reported feeling anxious in translation and interpretation classes, but few empirical studies have been conducted to examine this problem. This university funded study intends to fill the gap by investigating the impact of language anxiety in translation classrooms. Translation major students in a Hong Kong university have participated in this study. Significant relations between anxiety, achievement and other learning factors have been identified. The results of this study can contribute greatly to the research world as well as the daily practice of translation teaching. ReferencesAida, Y. (1994). Examination of Horwitz, Horwitz, and Cope’s construct of foreign language anxiety: The case of students of Japanese. The Modern Language Journal, 78, 155–168.Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B., & Cope, J. (1986). Foreign language classroom anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 70(2), 125–132.MacIntyre, P. D., & Gardner, R. C. (1991). Language anxiety: Its relationship to other anxieties and to processing in native and second language. Language Learning, 41, 513–534.Yan, J. X. & Horwitz, E. K. (2008). Learners’ perception of how anxiety interacts with personal and instructional factors to influence their achievement in English: A qualitative analysis of EFL learners in China. Language Learning, 58(1), 151-183.

Citation Format(s)

Language anxiety and translation learning : An investigation of college students in Hong Kong. / YAN, Xiu.

2010. Paper presented at 5th International Maastricht-Lódz Duo Colloquium on Translation and Meaning, Maastricht, Netherlands.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)peer-review