Noor Hanim Rahmat


Many learn foreign language for personal or job-related reasons. It is cliché to say that learning a foreign language is important for students to join the bandwagon of “globalized learning”; although that is true! Many reported they enjoyed participating in language related activities. However, for some learners, learning a foreign language may not be a pleasant experience. Anxiety for foreign language learning causes other problems for learners. These problems may snowball to effect other performance and achievement in other language related areas; thus, creating a cycle of fear. Two theories are merged to form the cycle of cycle of fear for foreign language learning. This study used the instrument by Horwitz (1986) who developed the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale. There were 7 items on demographic profile, 8 items for communication apprehension, 5 items for fear of test anxiety. There were also 9 items of fear of negative evaluation, and items on fear of language classes. Findings reveal that the communication apprehension that students portray, can snowball to learners fearing taking test and getting negative evaluation and then this fear may extend to fearing the foreign language classes.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter


foreign language, cycle of fear, communication apprehension, test anxiety, negative evaluation

Full Text:



Al-Khasawneh, F. M. (2016). Investigating Foreign Language Learning Anxiety: A Case of Saudi Undergraduate EFL Learners. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies. Vol 12(1), pp 137-148. Retrieved from

Elaldı, S. (2016). Foreign language anxiety of students studying English language and literature: A sample from Turkey. Educational Research and Reviews, 11(6), 219-22. Retrieved from

Gopang, I. B., Bughio, F. A., and Pathan, H. (2015). Investigating Foreign Language Learning Anxiety among Students Learning English in a Public Sector University, Pakistan. The Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Science, Vol 3(4), pp 27-387. Retrieved from

Horwitz, E. K. (1986). Preliminary evidence for the reliability and validity of a Foreign Language Anxiety Scale. TESOL Quarterly, 20 (3), 559- 562. Retrieved from

Luo, H. (2018). Predictors of Foreign Language Anxiety: A Study of College -Level L2 Learners of Chines. Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics, Vol 14(1), pp 3-24. Retrieved from

Marian, V., and Shook, A. (2012). The Cognitive Benefits of Being Bilingual. Cerebrum. Sept-Oct, 2012: 13. Retrieved from

Merton, R. K. (1948) The Self-Fulling Prophecy. The Antioch Review, Vol 8(2), pp1930210.

Naudhani, M, Wu, Z., & Naudhani, S. (2018). Exploring the Factors of Foreign Language Anxiety among Chinese Undergraduate English Majors and Non-English Major. International Journal of English Linguistics, Vol 895), pp 142-150. Retrieved from

Oteir, I., N., and Al-Otaibi, A. N. (2019). Foreign Language Anxiety: A Systemic Review. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ), Vol 10(3), pp 309-317. Retrieved from

Rahmat, N. H., Abdullah, N. A. T., Yahaya, M. H., Choong, P. W., and Whanchit, W. (2020). Gender Differences on the Use of Metadiscourse on Reflective Essays: A Case Study of Inbound Students. International Journal of Asian Social Science. Vol 10(5), pp 248-261.

Rahmat, N. H. (2019). Cycle of Fear in Learning: The Case for Three Language Skills. American Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities. Vol 491) pp 151-162. Retrieved from

Reisberg, L. (2017). Foreign Language Study Should be Mandatory! The World View. Retrieved from

Sadigi, F. and Dastpak, M. (2017). The Sources of Foreign Language Speaking Anxiety of Iranian English Language Learners. International Journal of Education & Literacy Studies. Vol 5(4), pp 640-646. Retrieved from

Shabani, M. B. (2012). Levels and Sources of Language Anxiety and Fear of Negative Evaluation among Iranian EFL Learners. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, Vol 2(1), pp 2378-2838. Retrieved from

Suleimenova, Z. (2013) Speaking Anxiety in a Foreign language Classroom in Kazakhstan. Procedia Social and Behavioural Sciences., Vol 93(2013), pp 1860-1868.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright © 2015. European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching (ISSN 2537-1754) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing GroupAll rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms.

All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).