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Biometric Evaluation of Anxiety in Learning English as a Second Language


Nataliya Kostyuk, Natarajan Meghanathan, Raphael D. Isokpehi, Taunjah Bell, Rajendram Rajnarayanan, Oksana Mahecha, Hari Cohly


Vol. 10  No. 1  pp. 220-229


Biometrics is the recognition process based on one or more intrinsic anatomical, physiological and psychological characteristics. Recently, computational bio-electrography based on gas discharge visualization (GDV) technique has been proposed as one of the biometrics tools for investigating physiological and psycho-emotional functional states of an individual. In this paper, we present an application of computational biometrics based GDV for visual and quantitative evaluation of anxiety in the process of learning English as a Second Language (ESL). The integration of biometrics in the education paradigm has been investigated in a pilot study involving foreign students enrolled in the ESL course at the ESL Institute, Jackson State University. We measured the electro-photonic emission (also called GDV-grams) of students’ fingertips before and after language activities, specifically listening comprehension tasks and showed that the anxiety index in listening comprehension paradigm corresponds to the increase of entropy level of left hand corresponding to the right hemisphere. Our pilot data confirms the recent findings of correlation of right hemisphere involvement in second language acquisition at the level of language proficiency. Thus, computational biometrics based GDV tool may be used to evaluate and potentially identify anxiety present in ESL learners.


Biometrics, Bio-electrography, GDV technique, Anxiety, ESL, Entropy, Right hemisphere