Major Causes of Saudi Learners' Speaking Anxiety in EFL Classrooms

Suzan Hammad Rafada, Abeer Ahmad Madini

Abstract


Since oral participation is one of the most observable phenomena in language classes, it has been noticed that students often suffer from a considerable level of anxiety in EFL classrooms. Although numerous studies have tackled this issue, particular attention to Saudi learners' perspectives of the main causes of speaking anxiety is needed. Therefore, this research aims to explore the main causes of speaking anxiety that Saudi EFL learners encounter in their language classrooms. The sample of this study involved 126 ELI Saudi female students studying their foundation year at King Abdul Aziz University and whose ages range between 18 to 20 years old. To reach a better and clear understanding of the research phenomenon, a mixed- method approach was used. For gathering data, two instruments were utilized; a semi-structured interview with ten students from level 102, 103, and 104 and an online based questionnaire with 116 students from level 102 and 103. The quantitative data were analyzed through descriptive statistics, and the qualitative data were thematically analyzed. The qualitative data found that the main causes of speaking anxiety were: Teachers' role in raising or reducing anxiety, lack of vocabulary, the weak educational system at schools, test anxiety, and peer anxiety. On the other hand, the quantitative data categorized speaking anxiety into three main domains: causes related to the classroom atmosphere, causes related to the EFL teachers, and others related to the test.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijele.v5i1.10645

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