Overcoming Foreign Language Anxiety

1576 Words Apr 2nd, 2013 7 Pages
OVERCOMING FOREIGN LANGUAGE ANXIETY
By Saranda Nuredini

Instructor: Luiza Zeqiri
Course: ESP Communication I
January 2012
“Sweaty palms, shaking hands, dry mouth and muscle tension mean for many of us, that we are about to speak in public. Couple this fear of speaking in public with performing or speaking in another language and the success of the speaker may be dramatically compromised” (Leigh, 2009). By having to speak in a foreign language, the amount of fear in us grows and transforms into the feeling of anxiety, which is scientifically named as a Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA). The fear of dealing in a foreign language environment is most felt when a student must perform orally in some way but it can also occur when
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* Try and make the learning ‘‘fun’’. * Try to create a sense of community where the students feel more comfortable in front of each other. One suggestion made was to have the students sit in a circle. * Avoid calling on people or putting them on the spot.
Besides the above mentioned suggestions, a teacher can take the initiative to create a “mistake happy zone”. Teachers can avoid correcting students during certain sections of the day (e.g. for 30 minutes we will talk amongst ourselves). In this way, students do not need to fear working on perfect grammar, but rather they can just talk without feeling judged. This allows students to get a feel for fluency and letting go (Leigh, 2009).
A tutor can also be very helpful to its students when it comes to overcoming those language obstacles. By judging of the state of its student, a tutor has the freedom to choose which of the above mentioned suggestions will be used during the overcoming process. Although there may not be a classroom of students to whom the tutor is teaching, the one-on-one environment allows a greater sense of intimacy and a safer atmosphere (Leigh, 2009).
Alongside to the teachers and tutors effort, the most significant role still remains the one from the student itself. According to Amanda Leigh, a student should take the following recommendations in action to “boost their
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