ABSTRACT Communication apprehension, or the fear of oral communication, can be a problem in every classroom. In foreign languages, especially English as a Second Language (ESL), it can be catastrophic. This article defines the problem of communication apprehension and its effects on teaching ESL. The second half of the paper focuses on the specific problem of Japanese ESL students and their communication apprehension. Finally, a number of classroom techniques designed to alleviate the fear of communication and to promote and practice communication are given and explained. Teachers of other foreign languages will see parallels between student anxiety, confidence, and cultural awareness in the ESL classroom and those found in their own classes. Many exercises for ESL students are also appropriate for other foreign language students.