Dealing with Turkish EFL learners’ speaking anxiety

Turkish EFL learners’ speaking anxiety


  • Serpil Tekir Middle East Technical University


The study examined the speaking anxiety of Turkish English as Foreign Language (EFL) learners to find out the reasons for their anxiety and to suggest ways to cope with it. For that purpose, qualitative data were collected from 20 Turkish students attending an English Preparatory Program at a state university in central Turkey. Data gathered through semi-structured interviews and were analyzed via inductive coding data analysis techniques and procedures. The results show that some of the potential causes of Turkish EFL learners’ language anxiety are inexperience and cultural inhibitions in dealing with the teaching methods used in ELT classes, negative prior experience, differences between the first and target languages, the perfectionist nature of learners, fear of being evaluated, poor command of lexis, limited speaking opportunity, social pressure and social status. The study also offers several suggestions for teachers working with Turkish EFL learners to reduce the anxiety level of their learners.

Author Biography

Serpil Tekir, Middle East Technical University

Serpil TEKİR Serpil Tekir (PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, Middle East Technical University, Turkey) has been teaching English for 19 years. She conducted her post doctoral reserach on teacher induction in University of Wisconsin -Madison. She is interested in teacher education, curriculum development and evaluation and alternative assessment in foreign language teaching.


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