Language anxiety of students and its effect on speaking proficiency

Academic Paper, 2020

20 Pages, Grade: 12


Specifically, it attempted to answer the following questions:

1. What is the profile of the respondents in terms of:
1.1 Age,
1.2 Sex,
1.3 Type of School Last Attended,
1.4 Parents’ Highest Educational Attainment,
1.5 Average Family Monthly Income, and
1.6 Availability of Reading Materials at Home?

2. What is the level of the respondents’ language anxiety in the following areas:
2.1 Communication Apprehension Anxiety,
2.2 Test Anxiety,
2.3 Negative Evaluation, and
2.4 Anxiety of English Classrooms?

3. Is there a significant difference on the level of the respondents’ language anxiety when grouped according to their profile?

4. What is the level of the respondents speaking proficiency?

5. Is there a significant effect of the respondents’ level of language anxiety to the respondents’ level of speaking proficiency?

6. What communication enrichment program can be proposed based on the findings of the study?


Language researchers advanced the idea that Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA) has been a discussion of so much interest for it impairs language proficiency among students. Such idea is akin to the conduct of the current study. Henceforth, the purpose of this study was to find out the level of students’ language anxiety and its effect on speaking proficiency. It was carried out among the forty-one (41) Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management (BSHRM) students of Mindanao State University-Maigo School of Arts & Trades (MSU-MSAT). Quantitative and qualitative research methods were employed. Data were collected using Horwitz and Educational Testing Services materials. Mean and Standard Deviation were observed. These were carried out further using the Multiple Linear Regressions procedure to determine the effects of the respondents’ level of language anxiety in relation to speaking proficiency. Results revealed that the respondents’ communication apprehension and negative evaluation had high anxiety level. Respondents’ high level of anxiety affected the way they communicate in English. On this premise, a Communication Enrichment Program was proposed to address the oral communication problem of the respondents.

No. of words: 242

Keywords: Foreign Language Anxiety, Cognitive function, Language learning, Speaking proficiency, Enrichment Program


The significance of English language has gained prominence in almost all fields of endeavor all over the globe. It may not be the most revered language but it has become the official language in most highly progressive countries. It served as the dominant business language and it has become almost a necessity for people to speak English if they are to enter a global work force (Kaufman, 2017).

On this account, students who have difficulties with their communication skill in English language may not be able to perform in school effectively. When students’ proficiency in English language is high, it will definitely affect and improve the academic performance of such students. Nevertheless, where the proficiency in English is lacking in any academic setting, it will definitely relegate the academic performance of any student studying in school be it in private and public.

With this in mind, there are factors which contributed to this problem. A problem that made many students fear every time they use or speak using the second language. In this study, this phenomenon is known as Foreign or second Language Anxiety (FLA) which can hinder the performance and achievement of the students. Wu (2010) as cited by Elaldi, pointed out that anxiety has been a matter of considerable interest in language education setting for educators since it is a major obstacle to foreign language learning that the learners need to overcome should he/she so desire to use the language effectively.

Theoretical Framework

It is understood that theories are sets of concepts that will help people understand, define and explain phenomena enabling readers to move beyond basic description to in-depth description, interpretation and explanation. On this premise, this study was anchored on three major theories, namely: Second language acquisition theory, Social Learning Theory, and Foreign Language

Theory (FLA).

Conceptual Framework

This study focused on the Student’s Language Anxiety and its effect on Speaking Proficiency during the second semester of the academic year 2016-2017. The relationship of the respondents’ demographic profile and their level of language anxiety were established to determine the implication that can be derived from their relationships. The students’ level of speaking proficiency thru the test of spoken English was measured and evaluated to find out whether anxiety affects students’ ability to speak the English language. The variables utilized in the study are presented in a schematic paradigm showing the interrelationship of the factors, as shown in Figure 1 of this paper.

The profile to be considered in this study are age, sex, type of school the respondent last attended, parents’ highest educational attainment, average family monthly income, and availability of reading materials at home. Experts agree that age is one of t he most important factors in students’ language learning which influence an individual ability to learn a new language. They pointed out that young children learn English language easily and quickly in comparison to older children. However to which extent age is an important factor remains an open question. Students of different age and gender may have different language interest and so might have different linguistic and formal schema. It is a widely accepted notion that females have an advantage over males, they seem to be more successful. The other independent variable utilized in this paper was the type of high school the respondents graduated from. It was observed that students coming from private school perform well than those who came from the public school.

Private institutions have better facilities such as good collection of reading materials and availability of speech laboratory.

Statement of the Problem

This study aimed to determine the language anxiety level of students at Mindanao State University-Maigo School of Arts & Trades (MSU-MSAT), Maigo, Lanao del Norte and its effect on speaking proficiency.


This part of the paper presents the topical discussion of literature and studies related to the topic in question. It can be surmised that many research works and studies have been made about foreign language especially on English language that caused anxiety among the students. This can be fully comprehended and understood through authorities and books as basis of the cited reviews.

Foreign Language Anxiety

Grolier Encyclopedia (2000) stated that foreign language anxiety (or xenoglossophobia) is the feeling of unease, worry, nervousness and apprehension experienced when learning or using a second or foreign language. These feelings may stem from any second language context whether associated with the productive skills of speaking and writing, or the receptive skills of reading and listening.

Krashen (1987) as cited by Brown (2003) maintained that anxiety inhibits the learner’s ability to process incoming language and short-circuits in the process of acquisition. An interaction is often found among anxiety, task difficulty, and ability, which interferes at the input, processing, retrieval, and at the output level. If anxiety impairs cognitive function, students who are anxious may learn less and may not be able to demonstrate what they have learned. Therefore, they may experience even more failure, which in turn escalates their anxiety level.

Horwitz (1986) as cited in Paee and Misieng study, language anxiety is an amalgamation of various incapacitating psychological as well as behavioral factors that go with language learning situations influenced by the unique process which is inherent in language learning. With this view of language anxiety, Horwitz and her colleagues came up with an instrument called the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS). It was constructed based on self-reports from students, their own clinical experiences as well as evidence culled from reviews of similar instruments. The finalized version of the FLCAS contained 33 items which employs 5-point Likert-type scales with selections ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”. This instrument was intended to measure foreign language learners’ level of anxiety while learning a language in the classroom.

Research Design

For this study, the researcher employed the quantitative and qualitative methods to obtain the data needed. The relationship between the respondents’ demographic profile and their language anxiety level were examined. The respondents speaking proficiency level was measured to determine if anxiety affects the performance of language learners. They were analyzed using statistical procedures. The questionnaire survey on language anxiety was conducted and respondents took the test on spoken English (TSE). In this test, the respondents demonstrated how well they speak English. Raters evaluated each respondent’s answer and assigned score levels using descriptors of communicative effectiveness.

The Respondents

The research respondents were the Bachelor of Science in Hotel & Restaurant Management (BSHRM) students of MSU-MSAT during the academic year 2016-2017. They were from third year level only. The school has an official enrolment of forty-one (41), composed of ten (10) males and thirty-one (31) females.

They were chosen as the respondents of the study because they have greater opportunities to work abroad. They need to demonstrate English competence especially in speaking for them to be hired as an international worker. If these respondents will be working in the Philippines, they need also to be proficient in English. According to the World Bank International Tourist, the number of arrivals in Philippines was last measured at 3, 520, 000 in 2010.

Data Gathering Procedure

A permit to conduct the study was secured from the office of the Campus Head with the recommending approvals from the office of the Dean of Instruction and the Chair of the Department of Hotel & Restaurant Management Technology (DHRMT). After granting the approval, the researcher personally administered the test on spoken English and the survey questionnaire on language anxiety in order to get the accuracy of the answers. The respondents were informed of the purpose of the survey and test.

Letter of request was also given to the Office of the Registrar to get copies of the master lists of the third year BSHRM students enrolled in the Academic Year 2016-2017. Likewise, a consent letter was also given to BSHRM students which pertained request permission to allow the researcher to conduct the study.

The researcher also asked permission from the authors and authorities of the two adopted instruments used in the study. An email was sent to Elaine Horwitz asking permission to grant approval in using the FLCAS questionnaire, likewise also with the Test On Spoken English. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) grant permission agreement to the licensee the rights to use the copyrighted ETS material.

Data gathering was done from December 2016 – February 2017. All data were gathered and conducted in the school premises. Data from the interview were recorded. Raters were faculty of the institution who are experts in assessing oral communication skills. The first rater was a MAED-Language and Literacy Education graduate at University of the Philippines Open University, a Campus Secretary at MSU-MSAT and also designated as the Acting Campus Registrar of the school. The second rater was a doctoral graduate in Educational Management at Misamis University, a Coordinator of Graduate Program at MSU-MSAT and also currently designated as the Research Coordinator. Rating was done in the second week of February at the school premises.


Excerpt out of 20 pages


Language anxiety of students and its effect on speaking proficiency
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Quote paper
Edgar R. Eslit (Author), 2020, Language anxiety of students and its effect on speaking proficiency, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Language anxiety of students and its effect on speaking proficiency

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free