Are Pakistani EFL Students More Anxious about Speaking than About Reading, Writing, and Listening?

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Dr. Abdus Samad, Dr. Abdul Waheed Qureshi, Dr.Yasir Hussain


A review of anxiety literature reveals that studies have examined each of the four language skills (writing, listening, speaking and reading) separately in relation to language anxiety. In other words, the majority of anxiety studies are skill-specific and these have not examined anxiety in relation to all four skills together. Consequently, there is a shortage of studies that may clearly answer to questions such as which of the four language skills creates the most anxiety, which one produces the least anxiety, and what is the order in these skills in terms of anxiety. This highlights the need to investigate which language skill causes the most language anxiety. The current study aims to respond to this research gap by investigating the perceptions of Pakistani EFL university students about the question that which of the four skills (speaking, writing, listening and reading) produces the most anxiety for them. Semi- structured interviews were conducted with 20 students while questionnaire was administered to 170 students. Data gained through questionnaire was analysed through SPSS while Miles &Huberman’s (1994) three steps: data reduction, data display and conclusion drawing were followed to analyse the qualitative data. The findings suggest that of the four skills, speaking produces the most anxiety for these Pakistani EFL learners, followed by writing, listening and reading. The study also offers certain pedagogical implications and suggestions for further research.

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