Investigating Foreign Language Enjoyment and Public Speaking Class Anxiety in the EFL Class: A Mixed Methods Study

Document Type: Research Paper


Department of English, Faculty of Letters and Humanities, Shahrekord University



Foreign language enjoyment and speaking anxiety in the classroom are two potential emotion-inducing factors for foreign language learning. This sequential mixed methods study investigated whether and to what extent Iranian EFL students experienced foreign language enjoyment and public speaking anxiety in their English classrooms, and how they characterize the sources of the enjoyment and speaking anxiety in such a context. To these ends, 128 learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) from several English language institutes, selected based on convenience sampling, took part in this research. They completed Dewaele and MacIntyre’s (2014b) Foreign Language Enjoyment and Yaikhong and Usaha’s (2012) Public Speaking Class Anxiety questionnaires, and write down about an episode in which they had experienced enjoyment and speaking anxiety in the EFL classroom. Quantitative and qualitative statistical data analyses were applied to examine foreign language enjoyment and public speaking class anxiety. Descriptive data analysis showed that the learners had a medium-to-high foreign language degree of enjoyment and a low level of public speaking anxiety. Besides, they reported more enjoyment than public speaking anxiety in class. Further qualitative data analysis revealed 12 sub-themes and four main themes of Teacher, Learning, Class Activities, and Class Atmosphere in explaining their enjoyment, as well as eight sub-themes and four main themes of Exam Phobia, Reaction/Feedback, Personal Failure, and Lack of Self-Confidence for speaking anxiety. The findings provide implications for language teachers and policymakers to gain better insights into factors underlying enjoyment and speaking anxiety in the field of foreign language learning.


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