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Speaking Anxiety Among EFL Students’ University

Updated October 13, 2020
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Speaking Anxiety Among EFL Students’ University essay

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Some studies discussed the similarities with this current study. The previous study of Mak (2011) conducted speaking-in-class anxiety with Chinese ESL learners. There were 313 of first year university students as participants. This study utilized the quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (semi structured interview, discussion, and participant observation) to collect the data. The result showed there are 5 factors that causing speaking-in-class-anxiety, such as: fear of negative evaluation, uncomfortableness with native speaker, negative attitudes towards English class, negative self-evaluation, and fear of failing the class.

The research from Suleimenova (2013) employed the speaking anxiety in a foreign language classroom in Kazakhstan. This study involved the second – year high school students. In collecting the data used qualitative method with semi-structured interview and inclusion of a questionnaire. The finding pointed out that the students had a great number of fears, difficulty speaking in public, and becoming self-conscious therefore cause them to do poorly in speaking English.
Similarities with the study from Ça (2015) examined EFL students’ foreign language speaking anxiety at Turkish state university. 147 (62 female and 85 male) of EFL students at the English preparatory program of a state university participated in this research.

The questionnaire was administered to collect the data and the result was analysed quantitatively. The result initiated that students feel more anxious when speaking with a native speaker than their peers.
Those studies have shown that students uttered the anxiety of negative evaluation while speaking foreign language, fear of failing the class, and the complications in speaking. Moreover the study of Karatas et al., (2016) investigated into university students’ foreign language speaking anxiety among terms of gender and language level.

The research included 320 male and 168 females of English preparatory students at Istanbul Technical University. The data employed a questionnaire and analysed by t-test and one-way ANOVA. The results found that the foreign language speaking anxiety exaggerated by gender. The female university students more anxious than the male students. Also, the language level did not give any effects of students’ anxiety in foreign language. In a nutshell, it is necessary to deepen an investigation to the factors that contribute in speaking anxiety of EFL students’ university.

The Definition of Terms

In investigating the foreign language speaking anxiety among EFL students’ university, it is required to understand the important terms used in this study, as follows:

Anxiety in EFL Classroom

The most barriers that students have to handle in language learning is an anxiety (Dörnyei,2005;Ehrman,1995; Harmer, 2004; Öztekin, 2011; Wang & Chang, 2010) as noted in Ça (2015). Anxiety known as distress or uneasiness of the mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune (Suleimenova,2013). In addition, anxiety considered as an unpleasant emotional condition characterized feelings of tension and apprehension (Spielberger, 1983; Öztürk & Gürbüz (2013) in (Karatas et al., 2016).

Based on Pertaub, Slater, and Carter (2001) as cited in Ça, (2015) claimed that anxiety usually comes out when the speakers need to deliver a public speech or communicative with a foreigner since they have a fear of being judged or humiliated by the other people. In the Big Turkish Dictionary (2011) anxiety is defined as sorrow, upsetting thought and worry (Yaman, 2014). In addition, anxiety can reveal some physical behaviors and symptoms, such as: squirming, fidgeting, playing with hair or clothing, stuttering or stammering, headache, and experiencing tight muscles Suleimenova (2013). So, that anxiety often comes up while students speaking in foreign language (Karatas et al., 2016).

From the definition above, it can be concluded that anxiety is often faced by the students when speaking a foreign language and usually characterized by a sweaty body, pale face, trembling, etc.

Foreign Language Anxiety in EFL Classroom

Foreign Language Anxiety known as an affective factor in foreign language learning and normally discussed alongside other individual learner differences (Gardner & MacIntyre, 1992, 1994) as quoted in (Suleimenova, 2013). Reported by Horwitz et al. (1986) in Karatas et al., (2016) Foreign Language Anxiety is a distinct complex of self-perceptions, feelings and behaviors which are related to a language learning classroom arising from the uniqueness of the language learning process. Similarly, defined it as the subjective feeling of tension and apprehension specifically associated with foreign language context, which include speaking, listening and learning MacIntyre and Gardner (1993) in (Karatas et al., 2016). On the other hand, Foreign Language Anxiety is considered a situation-specific anxiety experienced only from learning a foreign or second language (Al-Saraj, 2014).

Foreign Language Speaking Anxiety in EFL Classroom

According to Young (1990) in Karatas et al., (2016) speaking in the target language was claimed as the most anxious feeling when producing spoken language.

It was stated as communication apprehension Yaman(2014). In addition Yuan & Lee (2014) speaking in a foreign language often made students whose not ready yet to speak unfamiliar subject often feel anxious and out of control. Speaking in front of the peers is very irritating activity for students of EFL because they were anxious about making mistakes in pronunciation, Price (1991) in (Karatas et al., 2016). Supported by Ay (2010) in Karatas et al., (2016) that students’ anxiety most happens when they are asked to speak of foreign language without preparing in advance.

From the discussion above can be resumed that the feeling anxiety of speaking a foreign language comes when the students are under pressure to loud it. The anxiety turn deepens if the students have to talk about the topics or problems that they have not prepared earlier.

Speaking Anxiety Among EFL Students’ University essay

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