Anxiety in the EFL Speaking Classrooms

Kasap S., Power K. M.

JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE TEACHING AND LEARNING, vol.9, no.2, pp.23-36, 2019 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Page Numbers: pp.23-36
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


There are times in which we can all experience feelings of anxiety when we are verbally communicating with others. However, anxiousness when speaking aloud is commonly found within the EFL speaking classroom. This study aims to determine in what forms this anxiety has been observed by teachers of EFL and experienced by students of EFL, how it appears to influence and impede the successful production of language, how the students' participation is affected and how the classroom and lesson at large appear to be affected, in English speaking classes in Turkey. In order to determine this, qualitative semi-structured interviews were used. Five teachers of EFL, who either focused purely on speaking or who regularly incorporated speaking into their lessons, were interviewed to learn in what ways they had observed anxiety in students when speaking English and any further impact this had upon other students and the lesson itself. Furthermore, five students of EFL with high levels of anxiety when speaking English were interviewed to learn the effects of anxiety upon them when speaking and how they felt it affected their ability to communicate. The results of the study showed that teachers observed such symptoms as visible discomfort and difficulty speaking in students. Students reported feelings of unease, feelings affecting their self-esteem and bodily sensations associated with anxiety. Communication was shown to be severely stunted by these feelings and their effects by reports from both groups. Participation in lessons was found to be strongly affected by speaking anxiety by both groups, and the speaking anxiety of anxious students was found to strongly affect other students and the atmosphere of the classroom. (c) Association of Applied Linguistics. All rights reserved