What makes learners anxious while speaking English: a comparative study of the perceptions held by university students and teachers in China

Educational Studies 39 (3):338-350 (2013)
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Abstract

This study investigates the reasons leading to Chinese students? foreign language speaking anxiety (FLSA). China is a nation with the largest number of English as a foreign language learners in the world, but most of them have learnt ?mute English? when it comes to expressing themselves orally in English. FLSA may be an important factor leading to their unsatisfactory learning achievements. However, it has not been adequately addressed in the educational settings of China. This study endeavours to make a contribution in this aspect. With two cross-validated methods (questionnaire survey and focused interview), this study drew comprehensive data from 332 participants at two universities in China and found 14 major reasons of Chinese students? FLSA. It also compared students? and teachers? views about these reasons and reported the significant differences emerged. It further argued that understanding the reasons is an important step in reducing FLSA and hence enhancing learning effectiveness

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