Speaking anxiety among Turkish EFL learners: The case at a state university

Gökhan Öztürk, Nurdan Gürbüz


This study investigated the level, major causes, determining factors of foreign language speaking anxiety and students’ perceptions of it in a Turkish EFL context. Pre-intermediate students (N=383) of an English preparatory program at a state university participated in the study. The data regarding the level of EFL speaking anxiety were collected through a questionnaire, and then, randomly selected participants (N=19) were interviewed to get in-depth data on speaking anxiety. The quantitative data were analyzed through descriptive statistics, and the qualitative data were analyzed via content analysis. Although the results of the quantitative data revealed that students experienced a low level of EFL speaking anxiety, the quantitative data demonstrated that most of the students perceive speaking skill as an anxiety provoking factor. It was also found that pronunciation, immediate questions, fears of making mistakes and negative evaluation are the major causes of EFL speaking anxiety. Finally, the present study puts forward that foreign language speaking anxiety is a separate phenomenon with its own sources, aspects, variables and effects on learners.


English as a foreign language, EFL speaking anxiety, Turkish learners

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