Foreign language anxiety in professional contexts: A short scale and evidence of personality and gender differences

Vasiliki Gargalianou, K.S. Muhlfeld, D. Urbig, Arjen van Witteloostuijn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

While increasing globalization of the business world and rising numbers of people working in foreign language contexts are undoubted facts of modern work life, there are surprisingly few studies on individuals’ emotional reactions to working in a foreign language. Facilitating further research, we introduce a short scale for foreign language anxiety that is applicable in business and other professional contexts. Additionally, we investigate its relationship with gender and general personality traits. Our analysis of survey data from 320 adult bilinguals with Dutch as their mother tongue and English as foreign language demonstrates the reliability of the short scale. Furthermore, we find that females experience higher levels of FLA, but that this association is mediated by differences in personality. Our study contributes to the emerging literature on individuals’ (emotional) responses to using foreign languages in business contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-223
JournalSchmalenbach Business Review
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

Keywords

  • international management
  • foreign language anxiety
  • gender
  • personality
  • survey

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