Speaking Anxiety in EL Students: Enhancing English Language Learning Experiences by Providing Practical Research Instruments and Pedagogical Practices
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The purpose of this study is to provide a holistic understanding of anxiety as it relates to speech and to develop tools for teachers with EL students at a high school for future research needs. As a teacher, an immigrant, and a former EL student, the researcher has witnessed difficulties that language learners have speaking in class. Native English speaking teachers often do not understand or approach students who need help. Trying to understand the root cause of the struggle for EL students to speak English in class proves challenging due to cultural differences, shyness, and anxiety among these students. In order to research anxiety of students, this study helps to categorize anxiety and isolate research measurements that will allow researchers to uncover root cause analysis for the anxiety experienced by foreign language learners when speaking English. This study uses the adapted Second Language Speaking Anxiety Scale (SLSAS) survey, which has been an established research tool to evaluate speaking anxiety in the classroom. Along with a rubric for anecdotal observations, and an adapted semi-structured interview to gather the needed data. As anxiety is a broad topic and researchers have found difficulty developing tools to provide accurate measurements, this paper helps future researchers by providing valuable insight into best practices, tips, and tricks. These can assist beyond just observations conducted in a classroom by looking at body language, facial gestures, and tone of voice. These tools will help teachers who may otherwise not be able to identify the root cause of anxiety among their EL students when speaking. It is this researcher's belief that future researchers will find the following factors, such as: students' culture, judgmental feedback, grading while speaking, and many other causes will be discovered as the cause of underlying anxiety in EL students using the tools recommended by this project. These tools will help understand an often misunderstood portion of the student body.
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