International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss


Are ESOL Students Really Experiencing High Levels of Academic Anxiety at North American Universities? – Reports by Chinese Graduate Students
Jinyan Huang

This purpose of this qualitative study was to examine whether or not four Chinese Ph.D. students were experiencing high levels of academic anxiety at two North American universities and if so, their perceptions of the factors contributing to their academic anxiety, the impact of academic anxiety on their learning, and their strategies for coping with academic anxiety. The results show that two participants were experiencing high levels of academic anxiety. Majors that involve more language usage, such as education, political studies, and religious studies, seem to cause greater levels of academic anxiety than those majors that rely more on graphs, tables, numbers and symbols, such as mathematics, biology, and chemistry. The major sources of high levels of academic anxiety, as reported by these two participants, are financial difficulties, language barriers, cultural differences, being away from family and friends, and difficulty in finding an employment. Academic anxiety decreases their self-confidence and also has a negative impact on their academic learning, social life, and personal feelings. Important implications are discussed.

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