AWEJ Volume.3 Number.4, 2012                                                                                               pp. 297 – 305

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Foreign Language Speaking Anxiety Reduction through a Jigsaw Activity

Li Qian
School of Foreign Languages,
Institute of Social Technology Suranaree
University of Technology, Thailand

Dr. Sirinthorn Seepho
School of Foreign Languages,
Institute of Social Technology Suranaree
University of Technology, Thailand

Abstract

Language anxiety has been frequently reported as a universal challenge in EFL contexts. Studies in EFL learning and teaching have addressed the necessity of reducing students’ anxiety in a foreign language class. This study aims to examine the anxiety levels of first-year non-English majors’ students and to investigate the effects of a Jigsaw activity on their levels of speaking anxiety as well as their opinions about the use of a Jigsaw activity. Participants included thirty first-year Chinese students from a Primary Education department. The data were gathered by means of a questionnaire and a semi-structured interview. Descriptive statistics were used to determine the level of anxiety. A paired-samples t-test was conducted to find the effects of a Jigsaw activity on students’ speaking anxiety. The results revealed that a majority of students reported a high level of anxiety when speaking English in class. Students’ anxiety has been reduced to a low level through the use of a Jigsaw activity. In addition, students expressed positive opinions about using a Jigsaw activity in an English-speaking class. Based on these findings, some pedagogical implications and suggestions for future research are proposed.

Keywords: Foreign language speaking, anxiety, Jigsaw activity, Chinese EFL students

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Li Qian Joined the masters program of English Language Studies in 2009, at Suranaree
University of Technology in Thailand. Prior to coming to Thailand for masters study, she had
taught EFL at Tongren College in China.
Dr Sirinthorn Seepho is a lecturer of English at the School of Foreign Languages, Suranaree
University of Technology. Her research interests involve EFL teaching methodology, EFL young
learners, Content-based Instruction, and Qualitative research.