Discovering Factors of Foreign Language Speaking Anxiety and Coping Strategies

Vahid Rafieyan


Feeling of anxiety is commonly expressed by foreign language learners in learning to speak a foreign language. This feeling is considered to have a negative impact on communication in the target language. This study has attempted to investigate the most influential factors in creating this type of anxiety as well as the most commonly used strategies to cope with it. In this respect, a qualitative research methodology, based on interviews and reflective journals, was used to investigate the issue. A total of 10 female freshman undergraduate students of English education in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia participated in the study. The findings suggested that assessing language learners’ speaking performance was the most anxiety provoking factor and creating a fun environment was the most commonly used strategy to cope with anxiety. The pedagogical implications of these findings suggested the significant role of teachers in creating and/or reducing foreign language speaking anxiety in language learners.

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