ERIC Number: ED345495
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Anxiety and Speaking in the Foreign Language Classroom.
Phillips, Elaine M.
Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education, v1 n3 p191-206 Fall 1989
A study of communication anxiety in second language learning investigated: (1) the role of four factors (sex, language learning experience, language studied, and confidence) in student apprehension about speaking in the classroom; and (2) students' stated reactions to speaking. Subjects were 101 college students in 4 intact French, Spanish, and German classes. A questionnaire called the Measure of Speaking Apprehension, developed by the experimenter and based on a writing apprehension instrument, contained 30 statements about classroom activities, to which students responded on a 5-point affective scale. Responses to questionnaire statements are presented for each language group and for the total group. Results suggest that previous language learning experience, sex, and language studied are minimally related to anxiety, and confidence was found to be only moderately related. Analysis of responses to specific classroom activities revealed support for certain activities and suggested ambivalence or unfamiliarity with others. Responses to questions concerning evaluation suggest a high level of student confidence. Reactions to statements of non-specific anxiety suggest that educators should become more aware of student anxiety. Pair and small-group work, more frequent exposure to oral evaluation, and helping students establish reasonable goals are suggested to reduce apprehension. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: For the journal as a whole, see FL 019 498.