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Anxiety of non-English Majors at Universities in Taiwan under English Graduation Benchmark Regulation

Shao-Wen Su
National Chin-Yi University of Technology/Department of Applied English, Taichung, Taiwan


The English Graduation Benchmark (EGB) policy has been implemented by many universities in Taiwan for nearly two decades. A multitude of previous studies has mainly focused on stake holders’ perceptions of this policy in relation to its pros and cons; however, scholarship of whether and how the EGB influences students’ anxiety remains scarce. This study aimed at exploring anxiety of non-English majors at universities in Taiwan under the EGB influence, and examining whether demographic variables had impacts on students’ perceptions of the anxiety.

A quantitative research method was adopted, with a questionnaire designed to collect data. A total of 209 copies of the questionnaire were obtained. The results showed that the main source of anxiety was students’ incapability of understanding the reading and listening questions of English standardized tests, in other words, low English competence. The study also indicated that the EGB made the students feel negative about learning English and induced uncomfortably physiological reactions when they took English proficiency tests. There were no significant differences between males and females in relation to students’ anxiety. The participants who had less test experience were more likely to feel anxious than those with more test experience. The participants who fulfilled the EGB requirement were less likely to have anxiety than those who failed. Seniors tended to be more anxious about the EGB than juniors. Implications for universities’ English curriculum provided for non-English majors were made.


anxiety, English graduation benchmark, non-English majors, quantitative research

International Joint Conference of APLX, ETRA40, and TESPA 2023