EFL Students’ and Teachers’ Attitudes toward Foreign Language Speaking Anxiety: A Look at NESTs and Non-NESTs

  •  Turgay HAN    
  •  Ahmet Tanriöver    
  •  Özgür Sahan    


Native English Speaking Teachers (NESTs) have been employed in various English language teaching (ELT) positions and departments at private and state universities in Turkey, particularly over the last three decades. However, undergraduate EFL students’ attitudes toward NESTs and Non-Native English Speaking Teachers (Non-NESTs) remain seriously under-investigated. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of communication classes given by NESTs and Non-NESTs on students’ foreign language speaking anxiety (FLSA). Forty-eight undergraduate EFL students attending communication classes taught by (American) NESTs and (Turkish) Non-NESTs were given a questionnaire to examine their attitudes toward foreign language speaking anxiety (FLSA). Further, a sub-sample of students was interviewed to investigate their feelings, beliefs and opinions about the relationship between the FLSA they experienced and their communication classes given by NESTs and Non-NESTs. Similarly, the teachers were interviewed to examine their feelings about the FLSA their students experience in their communication classes. Quantitatively, the results showed no significant difference in attitude toward FLSA between the students who attended classes taught by NESTs and Non-NESTs, although a significant difference was observed between the two classes taught by Non-NESTs. Further, female and male students did not differ significantly in terms of attitudes toward FLSA in NESTs’ and Non-NESTs’ classes. The qualitative findings revealed that both teachers and students had positive attitudes toward mistakes made during the oral production of the foreign language (FL). Finally, the correction strategies employed by the teachers in the classroom are believed to have an impact on student attitudes toward FLSA.

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