Foreign language anxiety (FLA) has been found to exist in all of the cultures where it has been studied, it has always been a common problem when it comes to learning a new foreign language which is not one’s mother tongue. The need learn a foreign language comes from various reason, it could be for professional concern, study, or event personal concern. However, there is no empirical data in the literature to show whether foreign language students and teachers, as direct participants in the phenomenon, are aware of it. The purpose of this study was to see how much foreign language students and teachers are aware of the FLA phenomena and how they feel about it.
Research from various studies have shown that the most common trigger to this problems are the likes of lack of self-confidence, fear of judgement and criticism, and low intensity practice in daily social community. These three things are closely related and become a chain of problems that trigger language speaking anxiety in students. For example, a study in Libyan students showed that they felt anxious when they were going to speak foreign language for fear of making mistakes in speaking, causing bad judgment and criticism that they could not handle properly so that their confidence was reduced. One of the reasons for this is the lack of practice in their social environment, people around them are difficult to talk to, so real practice is difficult.
Teachers also play an important role in the occurrence of language speaking anxiety, starting from the teaching method, to the approach to the students that can affect the intensity of the occurrence of this problem. The wrong teaching method and approach can certainly make this condition even worse because the students lack self-confidence and the fear of negative judgments will increase and lead to anxiety to speak.
Imbalance that is too far also affects this language anxiety. When an English language teacher has a high degree of language competency and a high level of pronunciation, new students’ speech anxiety rises. When this problem occurs and the teachers can’t take the right approach or method to suit the students, then that’s where language anxiety occurs which is of course triggered by a lack of confidence in one’s own quality. What should be realized is that when studying, students should not be afraid to make mistakes because it is a natural and natural thing.
Students should learn to deal with speech anxiety by welcoming it and attempting to conquer it via natural English speech rather than mindless imitation. Likewise, teachers should always be able to apply appropriate methods and approaches in teaching so that students can adapt well without feeling excessive anxiety. Social environmental factors must also be more aware of this problem so that there will no longer be negative judgments when someone tries to speak a foreign language, especially English.