Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number 4 December 2022                                 Pp. 196-214

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Investigating Foreign Language Anxiety among Moroccan EFL University Students in Face-to-
Face and Distance Learning Modes

Abdelouahed LAACHIR
Cultures, Representations, Education, Didactics and Engineering laboratoty
(CREDIF), Dhar El Mahraz, Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fez, Morocco
Corresponding author:

Abderrahim EL KARFA
Department of English, Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, Sidi Mohamed Ben
Abdellah University, Fes, Morocco

Department of English, Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of Moulay Ismail
University, Meknes, Morocco


Received: 07/28/2022            Accepted:11/20/2022                     Published:12/15/2022


Since the English language has become a prerequisite for entering most domains, some students are nowadays enrolled in EFL classes, be them face-to-face or online. However, they face some obstacles that impede their learning process. Foreign Language Anxiety is one of these. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to compare the anxiety levels that Moroccan university students experience in two different learning environments (face-to-face vs. distance learning). Furthermore, it attempts to find out the sources from which anxiety stems, as well as to suggest some useful strategies to alleviate students’ anxiety levels. To this end, two research instruments were used. A survey that consists of two sets of questions adapted from the Foreign Language Virtual Classroom Anxiety Scale and Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale was administered to 100 EFL students from different universities in Morocco to gather quantitative data, and interviews that were conducted with 10 students were used to collect qualitative data. In contrast to a traditional class, the study’s findings showed that students in online classes have lower levels of communication anxiety. However, it was discovered that in both learning techniques, students’ feelings of test anxiety and dread of a poor grade remained largely unchanged. Overall, the findings indicated that most Moroccan university students find online classes to be less anxiety-inducing. This study filled a gap in the literature by investigating foreign language anxiety among language learners who are studying languages remotely.
Keywords: EFL Moroccan university students, foreign language anxiety, distance learning, face-to-face learning

Cite as:   LAACHIR, A., EL KARFA, A., & ALAOUI, A. I.  (2022). Investigating Foreign Language Anxiety among Moroccan EFL University Students in Face-to-Face and Distance Learning Modes. Arab World English Journal, 13 (4) 196-214.


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Received: 07/28/2022
Accepted: 11/20/2022  
Published: 12/15/2022  

LAACHIR Abdelouahed is a 2nd year Ph.D. candidate at the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of Dhar El Mahraz, Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fez, Morocco. The author is an EFL teacher who has published different articles on virtual learning communities and the integration of ICTs in higher education. He is interested in professional development, ICTs, 21st-century education, research methodology, and statistical analysis.

Dr. Abderrahim El KARFA is a professor of Applied Linguistics and Leadership, Department of English Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, Dhar Mehraz Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University, Fez, Morocco. He is a member of the University Council. He is also a member of the Faculty Council. As such, he is a former Director of the Research Laboratory: Language, Literature and Communication.

Abdelmalek ISMAILI ALAOUI is a 1st year Ph.D. candidate at the faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of Moulay Ismail University, Meknes, Morocco. He is an EFL teacher whose interest is related to applied language studies, research methodology, innovative pedagogies in higher education and professional development.