Gender Differences and Foreign Language Reading Anxiety of High School Learners in an Iraqi EFL Context

Ahmed Abdulateef Sabti, YM Tenku Mazuwana Binti T. Mansor, Mohammed Qasim Altikriti, Hussein Fahim Abdalhussein, Saad Sameer Dhari


Over the past two decades Investigation of foreign language anxiety generally has progressively caught the attention of numerous investigators in the area of foreign language. Yet, anxiety variable that affects the students’ acquisition of particular language skills for instance, reading specifically have actually seldom been investigated in the context of EFL Arab learners in particular with Iraqi students. So, the study aimed to investigate the influence of anxiety variable towards reading comprehension of Iraqi high school learners. This study also sought to examine the gender differences towards reading language anxiety. Quantitative approach was applied in this research, which involved 20 Iraqi students of a high school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The respondents comprised 10 males and 10 females with ages between 16 years and 18 years. This study made use of Foreign Language Reading Anxiety Scale (FLRAS). The results of the study showed that both male and female participants had a high level of anxiety towards the reading comprehension. Furthermore, the analysis revealed that gender played a slight role in the results of the study. Female students showed a slightly higher level of anxiety towards the reading comprehension than their male counterparts. Iraqi learners need to be exposed to the four skills of English language generally and the reading skill in particular. This exposure makes the learners aware of the four skills (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking) that need to be acquired and also to decrease the rate of anxiety variable in addition to its influence on their performance.


Gender Differences; High school learners; Foreign language reading anxiety; Iraqi EEL context

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