Foreign language anxiety: Libyan students speaking in English

Aldarasi, Rabab Abdelkareem (2020) Foreign language anxiety: Libyan students speaking in English. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

In this thesis, I explore the sources of foreign language anxiety (FLA) experienced by English language students at a Libyan universityies with respect to their English language learning in general, and to speaking in particular. This thesis investigates the context in which students acquire the language in terms of the environment of the classroom during learning, and the effects of other related issues. These issues include students’ attitudes, beliefs, motivations, types of anxieties (trait, state, situational), self-confidence, and communication apprehension in both native and foreign languages. The issues also include language skills and FLA, difficulty with accents, social comparison, classroom settings, the causes of and strategies to reduce FLA, and mixed-sex classrooms with reference to , and Islamic and Libyan gender norms in terms of communication between the sexes. The perceptions of 22 students (11 males and 11 females) and 8 expert teachers from the English language department of a School of Education in a Libyan University were collected using semi-structured interviews. A content analysis method was used for analysing and interpreting the responses.
The findings show that both the students and the teachers agree that speaking is the main source of FLA. However, the teachers attributed the cause to the students’ inefficiency in the language, while the students attributed their communication apprehension or unwillingness to talk mainly to teachers’ negative evaluations and teachers’ personalities. The findings, in addition, reveal that learning a foreign language in mixed-sex classrooms in the context of this Islamic country and Libyan gendered culture and norms can inhibit learning due to the feeling of stress and anxiety experienced when learning alongside the opposite sex. In this study, this affected the quality of learning and discussion with some students feeling embarrassed to present their ideas, thoughts, viewpoints, and so hesitant to ask questions or receive any type of feedback. The study concludes with some tentative recommendations to reduce FLA with particular attention to speaking in English language learning classrooms in Libya.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Foreign language anxiety, communication apprehension, mixed-gender classroom.
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Hedge, Prof. Nicki
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Rabab Abdulkareem Aldarasi
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-80275
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2020 10:12
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2020 10:14
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/80275

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