Publication Date



College of Arts and Sciences




Second Language Learning Anxiety (SLLA), avoidance, performance, cognitive processing, output, social anxiety, proficiency, input, the Linguistic Threshold Hypothesis, language mindsets, growth mindset, fixed mindset, language mindsets inventory, pedagogical implications, foreign language enjoyment


Education | Social and Behavioral Sciences


In the field of teaching English as a second language, second language learning anxiety (SLLA) arises frequently in students. This anxiety is defined as a situational anxiety that is mainly due to communication apprehension, a fear of negative evaluation, and test anxiety; however, its definition is not limited to simply the fears students face. SLLA influences language acquisition in overwhelmingly negative ways. Reduction of SLLA should be teachers’ primary goal, which is possible when teachers shape language mindsets for the benefit of student learning. Language mindsets are learners’ view on whether their language abilities are fixed or able to be cultivated, and they are dubbed fixed and growth mindsets. These mindsets affect the language learning process and SLLA, so it is important for teachers to foster growth mindsets in their students to decrease SLLA and provide optimal conditions for second language acquisition. However, complete eradication of SLLA is not possible, so teachers can leverage the remaining SLLA by pairing it with foreign language enjoyment. Overall, this thesis will benefit both teachers of second language learners and the learners themselves as they learn the negative role SLLA plays in the language journey, how to reduce SLLA through fostering growth language mindsets, and how to leverage the remaining SLLA through increasing foreign language enjoyment.