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Revisiting the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS): The Anxiety of Female English Language Learners in Saudi Arabia

  • Author(s): Al-Saraj, Taghreed M.
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.5070/L26121650
Abstract

With the increase in globalization, the study of English has become common in Saudi Arabia, but students’ experiences of foreign language anxiety (FLA) have been underexamined. Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries are culturally distinct from the Western world, where the most popular assessments of FLA were developed. Through a qualitative and then quantitative study, the current research examined the suitability of the most popular existing FLA questionnaire, the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS), for use with students of English in Saudi Arabia. In Study 1, Arab women studying in an English preparatory program at an English medium college in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, responded to a single-item, open-ended questionnaire prompting them to list the situations in which they experience anxiety while trying to learn English. A new questionnaire drawing on the women’s responses and the FLCAS and incorporating new items pertinent to the context was then created. In Study 2, the AFLAQ questionnaire was administered to a new sample of Arab women studying in the English medium college, and their responses were analyzed to determine whether the situations described were actually common causes of anxiety, and to identify the most common causes of anxiety. The new questionnaire, called the Arabic Foreign Language Anxiety Questionnaire (AFLAQ), presents a modified version of the FLCAS that was designed to identify and understand specifically what the female Arab students studying in Saudi Arabia experience. A particular emphasis on concerns about self-presentation and embarrassment is fundamental to the AFLAQ due to the importance of honor and respect in Saudi Arabian culture, a concern that does not play as significant of a role in the FLCAS or in Western culture.

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