Overcoming Foreign Language Anxiety

Topics: Language education, Language acquisition, Foreign language Pages: 4 (1592 words) Published: April 18, 2013
By Saranda Nuredini

Instructor: Luiza Zeqiri
Course: ESP Communication I
January 2012
“Sweaty palms, shaking hands, dry mouth and muscle tension mean for many of us, that we are about to speak in public. Couple this fear of speaking in public with performing or speaking in another language and the success of the speaker may be dramatically compromised” (Leigh, 2009). By having to speak in a foreign language, the amount of fear in us grows and transforms into the feeling of anxiety, which is scientifically named as a Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA). The fear of dealing in a foreign language environment is most felt when a student must perform orally in some way but it can also occur when listening, reading or writing (Brantmeier, 2005). FLA has been the subject of many scholarly surveys and papers as overcoming it can lead to better and faster language acquisition as well as a much more pleasurable learning experience (Guess, 2007). Between one third and one half of second language learners suffer from FLA (Von Worde, 2003; Randall 2007) and it is important to be aware that many of these students have not come up with a way to deal with their anxiety (Hauck & Hurd, 1991).This research paper aims to outline the causes and effects of FLA as well as the ways that help overcoming it. Despite the fact that Foreign Language Anxiety has been proven to be the main concern to the modern teaching environment, a progress has been noticed at the development of the overcoming strategies. The overcoming foreign language anxiety process includes strategies that can be implemented by the teacher, a tutor and the students. The causes of this kind of anxiety vary from the student itself. According to the article “Factors Associated with Foreign Language Anxiety”, there are variables like age, previous academic success or previous high school experience with foreign languages which may contribute to the fear of learning a foreign...

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Brantmeier, C. (2005). Anxiety about L2 reading or L2 reading tasks. A study with advanced language learners. The Reading Matrix. Vol. 5, No.2. Retrieved Jan., 2012, from:
Guess, A. (1997, June). Overcoming Language Anxiety. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved Jan., 2012, from http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/06/29/language.
Hauck, M. &Hurd, S. (1991). Exploring the link between language anxiety and learner self-management in open language learning contexts. European Journal of Open, Distance and E- learning. Retrieved Jan 05, 2012, from: http://www.eurodl.org/materials/contrib/2005/Mirjam_Hauck.htm.
Randall, K. (2007). Words fail me. The University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved Jan. 06, 2012, from:http://www.utexas.edu/features/2007/language/.
Leigh, A. (2009, January).Overcoming foreign language anxiety. Retrieved Dec., 2011, from: http://french.uwaterloo.ca/Amanda%20Leigh%20-%20Workreport.pdf
Von Worde, R. (2003). Students’ Perspectives on Foreign Language Anxiety. Inquiry. Vol 8,1. Retrieved Jan. 05, 2012, from:http://www.vccaedu.org/inquiry/inquiry-spring2003/i-81-worde.html.
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