An analysis of language anxiety in English and Basque-Medium Instruction: A study with primary school students


  • Irene Alonso Arruabarrena University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU
  • David Lasagabaster Herrarte University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU



CLIL, mixed method approach, language anxiety, language of instruction, primary education


In an era of globalisation, acquiring communicative competence in foreign languages has become an educational priority, and in this scenario, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) emerged as a European endeavour to improve students’ foreign language proficiency. In the Basque Autonomous Community (BAC), learners are required to deal with the coexistence of three languages in the school curriculum, which may be regarded as an anxiety-provoking process. Through a mixed method approach, this study explores the interaction between language anxiety and the language of instruction in the case of 89 primary education students in the BAC, along with the effects of students’ gender, linguistic repertoire and achievement on anxiety means. Results indicated that participants experienced significantly more anxiety in their English subjects than in their Basque subjects. Moreover, students speaking Spanish at home or scoring lower grades in both instruction types exhibited higher anxiety levels, and this trend diminished in the case of females. These findings reveal the challenging nature of anxiety, an affective factor that should be taken into consideration in the implementation of language teaching methodologies.


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