The purpose of this study was to examine how motivation and anxiety within learners studying a foreign language are affected by a participant's language requirement (whether a participant has a language requirement as part of their education), language class level, and language learning environment (those with traditional classroom verses significant in- country experience). The current study surveyed and analyzed the responses of 124 students currently enrolled in a language class at Brigham Young University. Self- reported survey results demonstrate the relationship between motivation and anxiety with relation to language class level, language learning experience, and language requirement fulfillment. Further analyses were done in order to explore the interaction of different types of motivation (instrumental, integrative, intrinsic and resultative) and different types of anxiety (classroom, text anxiety and fear of negative evaluation) on the three factors examined in this study. Results indicated that there was a significant difference in motivation for participants whose major required taking foreign language courses and those whose major did not require a foreign language. Specifically, the results of the sub types of motivation (integrative, intrinsic, instrumental, and resultative) indicated that those that were required to take the language as a requirement had higher instrumental motivation than those that were not required to take a foreign language. The second significant finding of this study is that there was no effect on motivation and anxiety levels of participants with regard to language class level with one exception. Students at the 200 level had greater language class anxiety and lower resultative motivation than the other levels did. The third significant finding was that significant in- country experience did not affect motivation or anxiety. These results demonstrate that several factors may influence students' motivation and anxiety levels when learning a foreign language.



College and Department

Humanities; Linguistics and English Language



Date Submitted


Document Type





Second language acquisition, motivation, anxiety