An Online Alternative to Alleviate Communication Apprehension

Seyit Ahmet Çapan


Anxiety is an affective factor commonly associated with one’s overall performance in a foreign language. As a component of foreign language anxiety, communication apprehension specifically correlates with successful oral production. A plethora of research (Bailey, Onwuegbuzie & Daley, 2003; Foss & Reitzel, 1988) has indicated that high levels of communication apprehension negatively affects one’s L2 communication abilities. Thus, this study intends to remedy negative effects of communication apprehension on EFL learners by virtual meetings held through computer-mediated communication. The participants (N: 18) in this study were selected through purposive sampling. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative techniques. To analyze the data collected, a non-parametric test, Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test, was utilized. The results indicated that computer-mediated communication via voice over IP tools made a significant contribution to alleviate communication apprehension levels in the participants with varying degrees of apprehension levels. The study yielded the most drastic reduction in the high apprehension group, since the participants in this group made a significant progress and ended up with moderate levels of communication apprehension. Also, the participants’ self-reports revealed that computer-mediated communication yielded remarkably positive changes in their attitudes towards communicating in the target language. Moreover, the study revealed that computer-mediated communication helped to increase their intercultural awareness. Finally, participants provided a bunch of practical suggestions as possible solutions for reducing communication apprehension.



Apprehension, communication, computer-mediated, attitudes

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