Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 14. Number 1 March 2023                                             Pp.  379- 393

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Teaching Anxiety in Foreign Language Classroom: A Review of Literature

Hameed Gannoun
Language Academy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Skudai Johor, Malaysia
English Language Department, Faculty of Arts, Sebha University, Sabha, Libya
Corresponding Author:

Farhana Diana Deris
Language Academy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai Johor, Malaysia


Received:08/06/2022         Accepted:03/16/2023                 Published: 03/24/2023


Foreign language teaching anxiety is a complex phenomenon recently receiving increasing attention. Negative emotions, such as anxiety, may significantly impact a teacher’s professional practices, identity, and student’s ability to learn a foreign language. Recognizing such feelings is crucial for language teachers, learners, and researchers to improve language education quality and promote successful learning outcomes. Therefore, this narrative research review examines the causes, effects, and possible interventions for anxiety about foreign language teaching. This review aims to explore the current state of research on the topic, identify gaps in the literature, and suggest future research directions. This review provides a narrative synthesis of the literature on FLTA through a systematic, comprehensive search on teaching anxiety among foreign language teachers. The study highlights that students and EFL teachers are prone to anxiety during the language teaching-learning process. When EFL teachers try to alleviate their students’ anxiety, they may experience anxiety that can negatively impact their teaching behavior. The literature on teacher foreign language anxiety (TFLA) is sparse compared with EFL learners’ studies. Researchers have yet to explore the unique psychology of EFL teachers. Hence, the consequences of such an experience are highly questionable. Therefore, it is essential to address EFL teacher anxiety before evaluating how teachers can alleviate student anxiety.
Keywords: Foreign Language Anxiety, Foreign Language Teaching Anxiety, EFL teachers, Narrative Review

Cite as: Gannoun, H., &  Deris, F. D. (2023). Teaching Anxiety in Foreign Language Classroom: A Review of Literature.
Arab World English Journal, 14 (1): 379- 393.


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Received: 08/06/2022
Accepted: 03/16/2023
Published: 03/24/2023

Hameed Gannoun has MA in English Language Teaching and is pursuing his Ph.D. at Language Academy, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. He is also a research assistant at Sebha University. His research interests include but are not limited to challenges of English language teaching and learning and teacher education. ORCiD ID:

 Dr Farhana Diana Deris is a Senior Lecturer at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. She currently holds the portfolio as Manager of International Alliances at the office of UTM International. Her research interests include technology-enhanced teaching and learning to engage 21st-century English language learners. ORCiD ID: