Proceedings of The International Conference on Research in Humanities and Social Sciences
L2 Communication Apprehension Anxiety: Investigating the Underlying Causes in the Iranian EFL Classroom
Horwitz (1986) highlighted foreign language classroom anxiety as one of the crucial factors affecting the process of foreign language learning. Since its introduction by Horwitz (1986), foreign language classroom anxiety has been the focus of a plethora of studies in the field of L2 acquisition. The present study aims to investigate the sources of speaking anxiety that English as a foreign language (EFL) adult Iranian learners may experience in the classroom environment. To this end, Horwitz`s (1986) Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) was administered to 180 adult Iranian male and female EFL learners. The data obtained from the questionnaire was analyzed and the respondents who scored the highest on the communication apprehension section of the questionnaire were considered as the most anxious learners while speaking English in the classroom. Subsequently, an interview was conducted with a subsample of the most anxious participants to find out what the sources of their anxiety were. Based on the themes emerged from the interview, four factors were found to underpin the anxiety learners may feel while communicating in English in the classroom context. In the order of importance, they included: teacher, English language, making mistakes, and classmates. The implications of the findings for L2 teachers and the avenues for future research are discussed.
Keywords: EFL learners; Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety; L2 acquisition; learning anxiety.