Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Linguistics and Cognitive Science

Second Department

Foreign Languages

Reader 1

Lise Abrams

Reader 2

Marino Forlino

Rights Information

2020 Priya M Canzius


This experiment examined the effect of foreign language classroom anxiety and assigned learning condition (repeated studying or repeated testing) on participant recall of newly-learned foreign language vocabulary word pairs. Previous research has identified a testing effect, which is a phenomenon where repeated testing is better for a learner’s long-term recall than repeated studying. The hypothesis for this experiment was that the testing effect would occur for students with lower levels of foreign language classroom anxiety but not for students with higher levels of foreign language classroom anxiety. Sixteen participants recruited from Introductory French and Introductory Arabic classrooms at the Claremont Colleges were divided into two learning condition groups, study (SSST) or test (STTT). Participants were also categorized as higher or lower anxiety based on their responses to the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale. All participants studied 40 English-foreign language word pairs in Session 1. In Sessions 2 and 3, participants in the SSST condition restudied the word pairs, while participants in the STTT condition took a cued recall test where they attempted to retrieve the foreign language word in response to the English word cue. In Session 4, all participants took a cued recall test. Contrary to the hypothesis, the results showed that the testing effect occurred for participants with higher anxiety but not for participants with lower anxiety. The results of this experiment suggest that repeated testing counteracted the negative effects of anxiety on test performance for higher anxiety foreign language learners. This finding has implications for the educational strategies that should be implemented to lessen students’ foreign language classroom anxiety and potentially increase their recall of foreign language vocabulary in an introductory foreign language classroom at the college level.