Examining L2 Speaking Anxiety among Malaysian Undergraduates
Keywords:second language, language-skill-specific anxiety, speaking anxiety, language learning, undergraduates
Feeling anxious or experiencing anxiety in the second language (L2) classroom is a common phenomenon among many L2 learners. Studies have found that anxiety can affect learners’ language learning process and performance in a negative way. Among the four language skills, the speaking skill which requires the learners to speak in the target language has been shown to be the most anxiety provoking among the learners. However, language-skill-specific anxiety such as speaking anxiety is relatively new compared to the well-known general foreign language anxiety. As such, there is a need to investigate it in the Malaysian context. To achieve that, 298 undergraduates at a Malaysian institution of higher education were involved in the study. A questionnaire was used to collect data from the participants. Statistical analysis indicated that the participants exhibited a moderate level of speaking anxiety. Also, there was a significant difference between the level of speaking anxiety between male and female. Finally, the number one cause of speaking anxiety among the participants was their perception of their competency in the target language.
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