From EFL Classroom into the Mainstream: A Socio-Cultural Investigation of Speaking Anxiety among Female EFL Learners

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Urmia University

Abstract

The study was conducted with the aim of examining the rate of foreign language anxiety in male and female language learners. FLCAS (Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale) was administered to two groups of male and female learners. The mean scores of FLCAS indicated a significant difference with females having considerably higher levels of anxiety than males. From 38 female learners, 22 were recognized as experiencing anxiety, 14 of whom were invited to attend interviews as high-anxious learners. In addition to the learners, six language instructors were interviewed. From among the responses, socio-cultural reasons were deduced as being responsible for the noticeable level of females' anxiety. With regard to the findings, this study invites language teachers to be more sensitive and considerate about their female learners' social status, their senses of identity, and their self-perceptions, and take account of all these when judging their language performance, particularly as to the speaking activities and communicative tasks.

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