School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Stacey Custer Lilley


Anxiety, English Language Learners, Cognitive Test Anxiety, Foreign Language Classroom Test Anxiety, Academic Performance, Social Cognitive Theory


Counseling | Education


English Language Learners (ELLs) who can write and read competently can fully participate in American schools, work environments and the society. However, ELLs face challenges while learning the English language. Anxiety is characterized as one of the issues impacting the learners’ accomplishment, which involves stages of communicative anxiety, fear of adverse assessment, test anxiety, and anxiety of English classroom. Moreover, anxiety is identified as being prevalent in the field of education and psychology as one factor that has negative influences in language acquisition (Hashemi, 2011). Studies have shown that there is a relationship between anxiety level and academic performance of ELLs. Factors such as language use, socioeconomic status, and parental education and their association with students’ performance on standardized tests are discussed. Theories and models that will allow students to build on previous encounters while acquiring new knowledge and applying skills to learn a second language are also discussed. This research is necessary to determine whether student’s anxiety level impacts performance in academics and learning English. The findings from this research could help teachers to decrease anxiety associated with learning a second language. Other researchers could use these findings to direct future investigations on challenges faced by ELLs. Overall, this research contributes to a better understanding of anxiety for counselors and other practitioners.