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Self-efficacy and Anxiety in Learning English as a Foreign Language: Singing in Class Helps Speaking Performance

Ylenia Passiatore, Sabine Pirchio, Clorinda Oliva, Angelo Panno, Giuseppe Carrus


Learning is a process that involves both cognitive and affective components and that requires appropriate educational strategies. The present study investigates the links between self-efficacy and anxiety in second language learning, and the effectiveness of the singing songs teaching strategy upon students’ speaking performance. In particular, we tested whether singing songs in class during English lessons affects the relationship between self-efficacy, anxiety and performance in a group of Italian high school students learning English as a second language (N = 132; age ranging 16-19 years). The data were collected through a production task in which the vocabulary extension, the number of words, and the fluency of speech were coded and calculated as a general indicator of students’ linguistic competence. In addition, students were asked about their use of singing as an educational activity during English lessons. Results of bootstrapping analyses confirmed our prediction that foreign language self-efficacy is correlated to performance, through the mediation of anxiety. Our results also showed that the use of a singing songs strategy moderates the association of low self-efficacy to anxiety and performance, thus suggesting its plausibility as a positive pedagogical tool in second language learning activities. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


Anxiety; Learning English as a foreign language; Self-efficacy; Singing songs; Speaking performance.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ecps-2019-020-passi

Copyright (©) 2019 Ylenia Passiatore, Sabine Pirchio, Clorinda Oliva, Angelo Panno, Giuseppe Carrus – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie


Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (19/05/2010 n. 278)
Online ISSN 2037-7924 - Print ISSN 2037-7932

Research Laboratory on Didactics and Evaluation - Department of Education - "Roma Tre" University

Executive Editor: Gaetano Domenici - Associate Executive Editor & Managing  Editor: Valeria Biasci
Editorial Board: Eleftheria Argyropoulou - Massimo Baldacci - Joao Barroso - Richard Bates - Christofer Bezzina - Paolo Bonaiuto - Lucia Boncori - Pietro Boscolo - Sara Bubb  - Carlo Felice Casula - Jean-Émile Charlier - Lucia Chiappetta Cajola - Carmela Covato - Jean-Louis Derouet - Peter Early - Franco Frabboni - Constance Katz - James Levin - Pietro Lucisano  - Roberto Maragliano - Romuald Normand - Michael Osborne - Donatella Palomba - Michele Pellerey - Clotilde Pontecorvo - Vitaly V. Rubtzov - Jaap Scheerens - Noah W. Sobe - Francesco Susi - Giuseppe Spadafora - Pat Thomson
Editorial Staff: Fabio Alivernini - Guido Benvenuto - Anna Maria Ciraci - Massimiliano Fiorucci - Luca Mallia - Massimo Margottini - Giovanni Moretti - Carla Roverselli 
Editorial Secretary:
Nazarena Patrizi 

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