Foreign Language Anxiety: Understanding Its Status and Insiders' Awareness and Attitudes



Foreign language anxiety (FLA) has been found to exist in all of the cultures where it has been studied, yet the literature provides limited empirical evidence to indicate whether foreign language students and teachers, as the direct stakeholders in the phenomenon, are aware of it. This study investigated the extent to which foreign language students and teachers are aware of the existence of the phenomenon of FLA and their attitudes towards it. Some 419 non-English-major students, who were undertaking various majors in a university in Vietnam, and eight teachers of English as a foreign language participated in the study. Methodological triangulation, which involved collecting data using questionnaires, interviews, and student autobiographies, was adopted. The findings indicate that approximately two thirds of the students suffered from FLA to some degree, yet the teachers did not attribute adequate importance to it. The study suggests that FLA has an impact on the majority of students and that teachers should take this into account in their teaching.