The Analysis of Parenting Styles and Language Anxiety based on the Iceberg Metaphor: Focusing on Chinese EFL learners in Four Guangdong Universities

Parenting styles, Foreign language classroom anxiety, Satir Iceberg Model, Chinese EFL learners, Positive psychology


  • Jingyi Li
    The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou), Guangzhou 510000, China
March 24, 2023


Many Chinese undergraduate students report feeling anxious in college, particularly in English classes. Parenting styles make a profound impact on students’ learning behaviors and emotions due to many factors. Thus, the current study is about to what extent could parenting styles predict foreign language classroom anxiety (FLCA). The participants were 247 college students whose native language was Chinese. The FLCA levels among Chinese undergraduate students were moderately high, and there was no discernible difference in anxiety levels between males and girls. Parents of participants with varying levels of education did not show preferences for parenting styles. The results of the multiple regression model pointed out that parenting styles were significantly and positively correlated with linguistic anxiety in the classroom. According to the findings, warmth and monitoring, both have a positive and significant correlation to FLCA, and students who experienced rejecting-neglecting parenting were less likely to develop FLCA than children who experienced authoritative, authoritarian, or permissive parenting. Three monitoring measures were the next best predictors of FLCA after the acceptance variable of warmth variables. The Iceberg Metaphor indicates that the students’ yearning for acceptance led to their expectation that they would only be accepted if they were perfect, which in turn exposed the students’ sentiments of anxiety and their emotions in class. Future research should validate these findings and investigate the causes underlying students’ language anxiety.