Exploring Factors of Speech Anxiety in Second Language Classroom

Abdul Malik Abbasi, Samreen Riaz Ahmed, Alia Farooqi, Stephon John


This study aims to investigate the factors affecting on English speech of undergraduate students at the SMIU, Karachi. The study prospects two aspects as outcomes of the study, one to discover what are the major issues and hindrances and another one to find their solutions for developing techniques and skills to gain confidence while speaking English as a second language in ESL classroom and in public. It will further investigate as how to help develop a wonderful speech free from speech anxiety. The study administered Likert Scale as a tool for data collection. Forty participating students were recruited from the department of Computer Science, Sindh Madressatul Islam University, Karachi. Speech anxiety is a common phenomenon amongst the students in the second language classrooms. Second language i.e., English, however, has become the lingua franca of the world. It is no longer the language of only native Britishers and Americans, rather, it is a widely spoken language by most people living in every nook & corner of the world. This study investigates as to how ESL learners turn out as nervous speakers while speaking English. Findings of the study suggest that speech anxiety seems to be an unavoidable phenomenon for ESL learners as the data reveal. In addition, this study is associated with the previous studies that there is a moderate level of Foreign Language Speech Anxiety (FLSA) amongst the Pakistani English speakers. Since English is taught from the primary level and every literate person almost understands and speaks English. Pakistani English language speakers should speak without speech anxiety, though it seems to be a part of human nature being nervous while speaking English as a second language. The students should learn how to manage speech anxiety by welcoming it and try to overcome it not by mindless imitation but by being natural in English speech.


Speech Anxiety, Fear, Foreign Language, English Obsession, Confidence Level, ESL Classroom

Full Text:



Ahmed, N., Pathan, Z. H., & Khan, F. S. (2017). Exploring the causes of English language speaking anxiety among postgraduate students of university of Baluchistan, Pakistan. International Journal of English Linguistics, 7 (2), 99.

Asif, F. (2017). The Anxiety Factors among Saudi EFL Learners: A study from English language teachers’ perspective. English Language Teaching, 10 (6), 160.

Basoz, T., & Erten, I. H. (2018). Investigating Tertiary Level EFL Learners’ Willingness to Communicate in English. English Language Teaching, 11(3), 78.

Brown, D. H. (1994). Principles of language learning and teaching. USA: Prentice Hall

Cho, Y. (2001). Cognitive assessment of speech anxiety: development and validation of an automatic thoughts questionnaire. Korean Journal of Clinical Psychology, 19, 831–851.

Cho, Y., & Won, H. (1997). Cognitive assessment of social anxiety: a study on the development and validation of the social interaction self-efficacy scale. Issues in Psychological Research, 4, 397–434.

Clark, D. A. (1988). The validity of measures of cognition: a review of the literature. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 12,1 –20.

Clement, R., Gardner, R. C. & Smythe, P. C. (1980). Social and individual factors in second language

acquisition. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, 12, 293-302.

Debreli, E., & Demirkan, S. (2015). Sources and Levels of Foreign Language Speaking Anxiety of English as a Foreign Language University Students with regard to Language Proficiency and Gender. International Journal of English Language Education, 4(1), 49.

Glass, C. R., Merluzzi, T. V., Biever, J. L., & Larsen, K. H. (1982). Cognitive assessment of social anxiety: development and validation of a self-statement questionnaire. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 6, 37 –55.

Glass, C. R., & Arnkoff, D. B. (1994). Validity issues in self-statement measures of social phobia and social anxiety. Behavior Research and Therapy, 32, 255–267.

Gilkinson, H. (1942). Social fears as reported by students in college speech classes. Speech Monography, 9, 141–160.

Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B., & Cope, J. (1986). Foreign language classroom anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 70(2), 125-132.

Hofmann, S. G., & DiBartolo, P. M. (2000). An instrument to assess self-statements during public speaking: scale development and preliminary psychometric properties. Behavior Therapy, 31, 499–515.

Heimberg, R. G., & Juster, H. R. (1995). Cognitive-behavioral treatments: literature review. In R. G. Heimberg, M. R. Liebowitz, D. A. Hope, & F. R. Schneider (Eds.), Social phobia: Diagnosis, assessment, and treatment (pp. 261– 309). Guilford: New York.

Kayaoglu, M. N., & Saglamel, H. (2013). Students’ Perceptions of Language Anxiety in Speaking Classes. Journal of History Culture and Art Research, 2(2) Dergisi, 2 (2), 142-160.

Von Worde, R. (2003). Students' Perspectives on Foreign Language Anxiety. Inquiry, 8(1), n1.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.10n.5p.97


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the 'aiac.org.au' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.