EFL Speaking-in-class Anxiety

Movahed, Roya and Manzouri, Hossein Ali (2017) EFL Speaking-in-class Anxiety. Technical Report. University of Zabol.

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Introduction Being able to use the language to communicate effectively and meaningfully is sure the main concern and one of the fundamental goals in foreign language classes and for foreign language learners acquiring and mastering the language. Yet for those learners acquiring English as a foreign language who are experiencing learning a new language in classroom context without having access to the real-life flow of language outside the class, the learning process can pose several affective problems to the learners one of which frequently cited by such students as the most frustrating debilitative factor is ‘speaking anxiety’ or as Horwitz et al. (1986) call it ‘communication apprehension’, “the apprehension experienced when a situation requires the use of a second language with which the individual is not fully proficient” (Gardner and MacIntyre, 1993:5). In another study, foreign language anxiety has been defined as a set of “self-perceptions, beliefs, feelings and behaviors related to classroom language learning arising from the uniqueness of the language learning process” (Horwitz, Horwitz and Cope 1986,128). Such a uniqueness might in turn be the result of unfamiliarity and inadequate command of the target language (Sparks and Ganschow; cited in Horwitz, 2001). According to Horwitz, Horwitz and Cope (1986), there are three components of foreign language anxiety: Comprehension apprehension, fear of negative evaluation and test anxiety. Communication apprehension is associated with feeling worry and uneasiness using the target language in front of others due to insufficient speaking skills mastery. Those who are afraid of being negatively evaluated by others, viewing insufficient mastery of language and committing errors while using the target language as a threat to their developing ego, are consequently reluctant to communicate and participate in language activities. And finally there are other students for whom speaking in the target language in class is considered as a test not an opportunity for active meaningful practice and improvement (Ely, 1986). In fact there are many learners experiencing such negative feelings while using the target language orally in the class since it’s the most “anxiety-provoking aspect in a second language learning situation” (Cheng, Horwitz, and Schallert, 1999: 420). According to Kitano (2001) teachers should support students emotionally with positive stimulating comments and try to create a “sense of community in the classroom” to help them perceive the language learning experience not as a competitive but a cooperative one. Although foreign language speaking anxiety is a common phenomenon experienced by a majority of foreign language learners, there are still many teachers who generally attribute lack of students’ cooperation in speaking activities to such factors as lack of motivation or “poor attitude” (Gregersen, 2003:30) without being concerned about their degree of speaking anxiety. Moreover , while there are numerous theoretical findings about general language anxiety, few studies have specifically focused on the foreign language speaking anxiety sources and even more importantly on providing evident practical implications, recommendations and strategies to address the issue. Therefore, the present study has been focused on first investigating and discovering the sources of students’ speaking anxiety and then to present some practical solutions to tackle the problem thus helping students overcome their speaking anxiety to be able to communicate much more freely and comprehensibly in the target language.

Item Type: Monograph (Technical Report)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Depositing User: Mrs najmeh khajeh
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2021 07:59
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2021 07:59
URI: http://eprints.uoz.ac.ir/id/eprint/2904

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