A Model of Foreign Language Anxiety in the Saudi EFL Context

  •  Fakieh Alrabai    


Feelings of anxiety are commonly expressed by Saudi learners in their English as a foreign language (EFL) classes. These feelings typically exert detrimental effects on these learners’ foreign language attainment. This paper reports on the findings of a large-scale study for which three data collection iterations were conducted over three years to investigate the levels and sources of foreign language anxiety (FLA) among 1389 Saudi EFL learners. Learners were asked to report the amount of anxiety they typically experienced in English language classes and the potential causes that aroused their feelings of language anxiety. The Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) was used to evaluate learners’ anxiety. Descriptive statistics, such as mean and standard deviation, were used to assess the levels of learners’ anxiety, and an explanatory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted to identify the sources that evoked learners’ anxiety in classroom-based language learning. Participating learners in the three studies reported moderate to high levels of anxiety, with communication being the key cause of learners’ language anxiety. The three studies’ findings were highly consistent, and thus, we were able to propose a context-based model of FLA in the Saudi EFL context.

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