Learner Development College and University Education Interactive poster session

Are SMART goals a smart way to reduce anxiety and increase motivation?

Sat, Jul 9, 16:00-16:40 Asia/Tokyo

Location: Posters

In Japanese universities, instructors are familiar with the phenomenon of the silent classroom. Issues of low motivation and performance anxiety can lead students to stay quiet instead of taking risks and making mistakes—which are integral parts of foreign language learning—and this reluctance is not conducive to improving one’s L2. Researchers have explored different methods of instruction to cope with the issue of student anxiety. One potential solution is to increase student feelings of self-efficacy by guiding students to set and achieve realistic goals. The concept of SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based) was introduced to first- and second-year students in five different courses (N=79) at the beginning of their second semester. The five courses included one JSL course, two non-English major EFL courses, and two English major writing courses. A questionnaire targeting feelings of anxiety and adequacy in the foreign language classroom was given to the students before and after developing SMART goals. Drawing on the questionnaire data, the presenters will report on their counterintuitive findings about the relationships between student anxiety, motivation and enjoyment as students refined their personal SMART goals over time.