Writing Anxiety: The Case of Law Students

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Chiu Jin Chin
Yong Eng Chua



Writing has been acknowledged as a key skill to law students and lawyers. In English as a Second Language (ESL) learning, law students form part of ESL learners. Multiple studies shed light on the unsatisfactory writing performance among ESL learners and link such poor writing performance to an affective construct, writing anxiety. Nevertheless, research on writing anxiety among law students, whose writing ability is requisite, is scarce. With the objectives of determining anxiety level and identifying anxiety types experienced by law students at a Malaysian private university, this study offers insights into their writing experience as ESL learners. A mixed methods approach, consisting of Cheng’s (2004) Second Language Writing Anxiety Inventory (SLWAI) and the semi-structured interview, is applied to achieve the research objectives. The key findings reveal that the highest percentage of the law students studied in this research encounter a high level of writing anxiety. While cognitive anxiety is the most predominant form of writing anxiety, avoidance behaviour is the least obvious form. Based on these findings and the conclusions drawn, this study draws attention to the necessity of addressing writing anxiety among law students in tandem with building strong basic writing skills.

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How to Cite
Chin , C. J., & Chua , Y. E. (2024). Writing Anxiety: The Case of Law Students. Journal of Communication, Language and Culture, 4(1), 84–107. https://doi.org/10.33093/jclc.2024.4.1.5