Effect of Anxiety on Cognitive Load in Foreign Language Oral Tests
This study is aims at exploring the relationship between cognitive load and anxiety in foreign language oral tests. The study also aims at exploring the effects of examiners’ attitudes and before test institutional procedures on oral test anxiety of university students learning English as a foreign language. The study hypothesized that the level of anxiety is one of the major factors that increases the cognitive load during the oral tests. 412 university students from four Turkish state universities were given two scales related to oral test anxiety developed by the researcher and a Subjective Rating Scale developed by Paas (1992). Correlation and regression of the cognitive load and anxiety factors in foreign language oral tests were conducted. The statistical analysis of the quantitative data revealed low and moderate associations between the before test procedures and examiners’ attitudes and cognitive load respectively. The study concluded that oral test anxiety is a significant factor that increases cognitive load. Therefore, educational institutions and test examiners should be attentive in organizing oral tests by taking into consideration the impact of organizational and affective factors.
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