Does High Anxiety Decrease Motivation for Learning English as a Foreign Language?

Huda M. Almurshed, Wafa Aljuaythin


This study investigates the relationship between the level of foreign language anxiety experienced by Saudi female English learners at a Saudi university and the level of their motivation in learning English as a foreign language. The participants were 40 female second-year university students. The instruments the researchers used to gather the data were two questionnaires: Horwitz, Horwitz, and Cope’s (1986) Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) and Gardner’s (2006) Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB). The data were analyzed by calculating the percentages of students’ responses to each item. The findings revealed that Saudi female English learners at King Saud University experienced high levels of foreign language anxiety. The findings also revealed that the learners were highly motivated to learn English. This demonstrates that a high level of motivation to learn English does not prevent the occurrence of a significant level of anxiety. That is, motivation can control foreign language anxiety and assist anxious learners in their determination to learn English.


Foreign Language Motivation, Foreign Language Anxiety, FLCAS, AMTB, Saudi Female Learners

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