ESL Students

Powerful Essays
Namrata Savaliya “ESL Students”
"Anxiety is a basic human emotion consisting of fear and uncertainty" (Sarason, 1988). Anxiety has its good and bad sides. On the one hand it helps avoid dangerous events that can be life threatening. On the other hand it causes people to freeze as they avoid non-dangerous situations. The mind cannot distinguish between what is life threatening or just a stressful situation. "One such event [that causes minds to freeze but is not dangerous] is testing" (Harris & Coy, 2003). Testing is not a dangerous situation. What can be done to trick the mind into believing that testing is not dangerous? "The aim of stress management is to break the link between irrelevant stress reactions (diffused attention, fear, etc.) and academic tasks" (Rubenzer, 1988). This research review will explain the relationship between anxiety and academic reading performance on English as a second language comprehension tests. The writer 's aim is to research material for an action research on reading comprehension tests. The problem statement of the action research is that ESL students feel anxious when doing reading comprehension tests. The solution proposed is to use stress relievers to trick the mind into believing there is no danger. ESL students will be taught stress management to relieve anxiety when doing reading comprehension tests. It is believed that once students are relaxed they will be able to perform better.
In order to understand the problem statement that ESL students feel very anxious when doing reading comprehension tests, it is necessary to acquire an understanding of certain terms and their relationships. This paper will discuss in detail the literature on the following terms: Stress and exams, language and ESL anxiety, reading comprehension and foreign language reading anxiety, testing anxiety, stress management relievers, and ways of decreasing anxiety in the foreign and second language classroom. "Foreign language



References: Anderson, N. (2002, September 29). Parents network: Anxiety over tests makes mom nervous: [All editions]. Boston Herarld. Retrieved December 20, 2003, Benson, H Calvo, M. G. & Eysenck, M. W., (1996, May) Phonological Working Memory and Reading in Test Anxiety. Memory, 4 (3), p.289-307. Guthrie, J. (2002). Om schooling: Schools reach for yoga to calm and collect students. San Francisco Chronicle. Franklin, M Harris, H. L. & Coy, D. R. (2003). Helping students cope with test anxiety. ERIC Digest. Jackson, P. (2001, September 5). Test taking doesnÂ’t have to lead to test anxiety: [Community Edition]. Florida Times Union. Retrieved December 20, 2003. Houston Chronicle. (2001, April 10). Schools test tactics to calm exam jitters: [2 Star Edition]. Houston Chronicle Newspaper, 3. Retrieved December 20, 2003. Limbos, M. M. & Geva, E. (2001, March/April). Accuracy of teacher assessments of second-language students at risk for reading disability. Journal of learning disabilities, 34 (2). Pappamihiel, N. E. (2001, Winter). Moving from the ESL classroom into the mainstream: An investigation of English language anxiety in Mexican girls. Bilingual Research Journal, 25 (1/2), 31-39 Rubenzer, R Saito, Y., Thomas, G. J., & Horwitz, E. K.., (1999). Foreign Language Reading Anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 83(2), 202-218. Sanz, C., (1999, October 8-10). The relationship between reading, anxiety, and reading comprehension. Paper presented at the 1999 Conference on L1 & L2 Acquisition of Spanish and Portuguese & Third Hispanic Linguistics Symposium. Sarason, I.G Special Education Report. (2001, March 14). Concerted effort needed to spot LDs in ESL students. Tittle, M Toronto Star. (2003, January 20). Take deep breaths and relax before a big test: [Ontario Edition]. Toronto Star, E, 07. Retrieved December 20, 2003.

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