Foreign Language Reading Anxiety in the Saudi Tertiary EFL Context

Bensalem, Elias
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University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
Foreign language (FL) reading is a persistent problem among many learners. This preliminary study investigates FL reading anxiety among students learning English as a foreign language (EFL) at the tertiary level, employing Saito et al.’s (1999) Foreign Language Reading Anxiety Scale (FLRAS) and a background information questionnaire. A total of 225 students enrolled in general English courses at two Saudi universities participated in the study. Results indicated that female participants exhibited higher levels of anxiety than their male counterparts. An exploratory factor analysis revealed three domains of student concern in Saudi university contexts: worry about comprehension, lack of satisfaction with one’s reading ability, and unfamiliarity with certain phonics rules. Results also showed that background variables (i.e., experience abroad, knowledge of a third language) and self-perceived proficiency in English reading played a significant role in predicting FL levels of reading anxiety. Implications for foreign language teaching strategies are discussed.
language anxiety, English as a foreign language, gender, reading, tertiary education
Bensalem, E. (2020). Foreign Language Reading Anxiety in the Saudi Tertiary EFL Context. Reading in a Foreign Language, 32(2), 65-82.
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