Year 2015, Volume 4 , Issue 1, Pages 16 - 27 2016-01-23

EFL students’ speaking anxiety: a case from tertiary level students

Gülşah TERCAN [1] , Kenan DİKİLİTAŞ [2]

Anxiety is one of the key issues in the acquisition of speaking by EFL learners in instructed language teaching context. Although extensively studied, speaking anxiety, there are still areas to be explored. With this in mind, this study investigates the causes of anxiety among foreign language learners with special refernce to “speaking” as a  skill. The major aim is to find out to what extent different variables such as proficiency level, onset of learning, and gender affect speaking anxiety. In addition, how these variables are connected to different types of anxieties such as speaking, preparedness, question-answer, test, discussion, public speaking, error correction was investigated. The study was conducted at preparatory school of a private university. A Likert-scale questionnaire was administered to 159 prep class students to collect a set of data. In the first part, personal information was elicited, while in the second, the participants were given an adapted version of the Foreign Language Speaking Anxiety Scale (FLSAS), developed by Huang (2004). The data obtained from the questionnaire were analyzed through Independent-Samples T-Test, ANOVA, and Bonferroni post hoc test by using SPSS. It was found that degrees of anxiety differ in terms of the mode and context of speaking. More specifically, students experience less anxiety in non-threatening contexts where they speak. The study offers implications for instructors and curriculum designers with regard to teaching and testing speaking skills. Rather than one-shot exam sessions, speaking skills should be taught in socially non-threatening settings to allow for greater learner performance.


Keywords: Speaking anxiety, testing anxiety, proficiency, student anxiety  

Speaking anxiety, testing anxiety, proficiency, student anxiety
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Primary Language en
Journal Section ELT Research Journal

Author: Gülşah TERCAN

Author: Kenan DİKİLİTAŞ


Application Date : September 7, 2015
Acceptance Date : June 4, 2021
Publication Date : January 23, 2016

APA Tercan, G , Dikilitaş, K . (2016). EFL students’ speaking anxiety: a case from tertiary level students . ELT Research Journal , 4 (1) , 16-27 . Retrieved from