Date of Award

January 2022

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Hung-Tao Michael Chen

Department Affiliation


Second Advisor

Jonathan S. Gore

Department Affiliation


Third Advisor

Michael J. McClellan

Department Affiliation



Non-native English speaking (NNES) instructors are often rated lower within course evaluations and are typically criticized for their accents (Rubin, 1992; Subtirelu, 2015). Reasonings behind this have not been researched much in terms of online education, though the relevance of this topic is continuing to grow through online learning. The current experiments aim to determine if the presence of an NNES accent causes more learning anxiety compared to an instructor with a standard American accent. Two experiments were conducted to gauge participants’ anxiety level and learning performance. In both experiments, participants were given a set of four videos divided into two segments: one containing videos with an NNES instructor and the other containing videos with a standard American accented instructor. After each video, participants were asked recall questions over the information that they had just received before moving on to the next video. In between the two segments, participants’ anxiety levels were measured. At the end of each experiment, participants were asked to fill out a Chinese language experience form and demographic information. Our findings indicated the instructor type influenced recall and anxiety.

Included in

Psychology Commons