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Second language anxiety Essay

In formal researches, foreign language anxiety has clearly been shown to have a negative effect on performance in the foreign language classroom (Aida, 1994; Horwitz, Horwitz, & Cope, 1986; MacIntyre & Gardner, 1991). However, Sparks and Ganschow (1991) have argued to the contrary that, rather than affective factors such as motivation, anxiety or attitude, and foreign language learning are affected by the native language factors. Sparks, Ganschow and Javorsky (2000) contend that some sort of cognitive handicap is the cause of both low proficiency in a second language (L2 hereafter) and the accompanying anxiety.

Anxiety in Speaking

Public speaking anxiety is very common among both universities students and also the general population. It is a feeling of panic associated with physical sensations that are all too painfully familiar to those affected such as increased heart and breathing rates, increased adrenaline, over-rapid reactions, and a tension in the shoulder and neck area. Almost 20% of university students face the problem of public speaking anxiety (McCroskey, 1977). He also defined anxiety in broad-based as “an individual’s level of fear or anxiety associated with either real or anticipated communication with another person or persons”. The apprehension of speaking before a group of individuals remains a problem in the twenty-first century. According to Krannich (2004), the fear of delivering a speech or a presentation ranks as the number one fear among most people, including students as well as adults from many diverse backgrounds. Ayres, Hopt and Peterson (2000) referred communication or speaking anxiety related with the delivering of speech or the fear or anxiety associated with anticipating the delivery of a speech.


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