Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number2.  June 2022                                    Pp. 267-281

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Potential Causes of Foreign Language Anxiety among Saudi Female Students in the United

Haifa Almotiary
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Department of English
Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA

Received:  12/13/2021                Accepted:  5/1/2022                       Published: 6/24/2022


This study aims to answer the following main question: What are the possible factors that cause foreign language anxiety (FLA) among Saudi Arabian female students living and studying English as a foreign language in the US? Data were obtained from interviewing nine Saudi females learning English as a second language in the US. There has been increased research into foreign language learning and anxiety. Some studies have focused on Western students learning a foreign language in a Western setting, while others have involved Asian students, ignoring other perspectives. Due to the significant increase in Saudi women currently studying in the US, this study investigated FLA among this population accustomed to segregated classrooms. The results revealed that the participants exhibited some commonly cited FLA types (e.g., communication apprehension, test anxiety, and the fear of negative evaluation). Still, the role of their Saudi cultural background may have been equally important in influencing their FLA. Future research might include a larger sample of students and teachers to investigate FLA and help elucidate students’ experiences.
Keywords: classroom research, English as a second language, ESL context, foreign language anxiety.

Cite as:  Almotiary, H. (2022). Potential Causes of Foreign Language Anxiety among Saudi Female Students in the United States .
Arab World English Journal, 13 (2) 267-281.


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Received: 12/13/2021   
Accepted: 5/1/2022 
Published: 6/24/2022  

Haifa Almotiary, a PhD candidate at Arizona State University in the United States. Her research interest is in foreign language anxiety. She is also a lecturer at Jeddah University in Saudi Arabia. She holds a master degree in TESL from California State University- Dominguez Hills in the US and a bachelor degree in English Language from King Saudi University in Saudi Arabia.