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To Actually Be Able to Say Something Is That Small, Small Thing Which Matters -Teachers’ Experiences and Perceptions of Learner Foreign Language Speech Anxiety in a Swedish Upper Secondary School Classroom Context
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Using a foreign or second language in class can be a harrowing experience for some students. They may fear negative evaluation from teachers and peers, doubting their own ability to successfully communicate their intended meaning in a language less familiar than their mother tongue, and consequently resort to using less risky vocabulary and grammatical constructions in their output – or simply remain silent. If debilitating language anxiety causes students to hold back in discussion, their motivation could be at risk, possibly adversely affecting their attitudes towards language and learning as well as their notions of themselves as potentially successful learners. The purpose of this qualitative field study was to explore teachers’ perceptions and experiences of Foreign language anxiety, FLA, among students participating in oral discussion activities in the Swedish upper-secondary school subject of English, and how they adapt their teaching to help reduce the perceived anxiety among their students. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with two teachers from one school. The results indicated that speaking alone in front of the class is considered the most anxiety-provoking situation to students, and that classroom interactions with teachers and peers could plausibly either increase or reduce FLA, depending on their characteristics. Furthermore, getting students used to talking in a supportive and friendly atmosphere may help students relax and reduce their levels of FLA in the classroom. Finally, this study suggests that an increased awareness of FLA is needed, since it appears to be hard to notice in class and rarely discussed among teachers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 38
National Category
Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-76302OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-76302DiVA, id: diva2:1350897
Subject / course
English; English
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-09-12 Created: 2019-09-12 Last updated: 2019-09-12Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf