Learning is a process that involves both cognitive and affective components and that requires appropriate educational strategies. The present study investigates the links between self-efficacy and anxiety in second language learning, and the effectiveness of the singing songs teaching strategy upon students’ speaking performance. In particular, we tested whether singing songs in class during English lessons affects the relationship between self-efficacy, anxiety and performance in a group of Italian high school students learning English as a second language (N = 132; age ranging 16-19 years). The data were collected through a production task in which the vocabulary extension, the number of words, and the fluency of speech were coded and calculated as a general indicator of students’ linguistic competence. In addition, students were asked about their use of singing as an educational activity during English lessons. Results of bootstrapping analyses confirmed our prediction that foreign language self-efficacy is correlated to performance, through the mediation of anxiety. Our results also showed that the use of a singing songs strategy moderates the association of low self-efficacy to anxiety and performance, thus suggesting its plausibility as a positive pedagogical tool in second language learning activities. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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