Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 9. Number 2. June 2018                                                         Pp. 38- 55

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Foreign Language Anxiety of EFL Students: Examining the Effect of Self-Efficacy, Self-
Perceived Proficiency and Sociobiographical Variables

Elias Bensalem
Languages and Translation Department
Northern Border University
Arar, Saudi Arabia



The present study aims to explore the link between foreign language anxiety (FLA) and self-efficacy, English self-perceived proficiency, and three sociobiographical variables (gender, knowledge of a third language, and experience abroad) among 261 Arabic university students learning English. Data were collected using the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (Horwitz, Horwitz, & Cope, 1986) and an Arabic version of the Foreign Language Self-Efficacy Scale (Torres & Turner, 2016). The findings revealed that this sample of Arab English as a foreign language (EFL) students experienced an average level of anxiety with female learners suffering more from anxiety than their male counterparts. Regression analyses revealed that self-efficacy, self-perceived proficiency in English, and gender were predictors of FLA. The results suggest that participants who were self-efficacious and felt more proficient in English were significantly less likely to suffer from FLA. However, even though knowledge of a third language and experience abroad were correlated with FLA, they had no effect on participants’ anxiety.
Keywords: English as a foreign language, experience abroad, foreign language anxiety, self-efficacy, self-perceived proficiency, sociobiographical variables

Cite as:  Bensalem, E. (2018). Foreign Language Anxiety of EFL Students: Examining the Effect of Self-Efficacy, Self-Perceived Proficiency and Sociobiographical Variables. Arab World English Journal, 9 (2).

ORCiD ID is 0000-0002- 6018-0897

Dr. Elias Bensalem is an associate professor at NBU. He is teaching English courses at the
languages and translation department. His research interests include second language learning,
educational technology, methodologies and practices in the teaching of foreign languages. He is
the author of several articles related to language teaching and learning. ORCiD ID is 0000-0002-