Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

James Robinson

Second Advisor

Isolde Mueller

Third Advisor

Mark Love

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

anxiety, reticence, Korean, Chinese, speaking


This study focuses on Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA) in Korean university students and which elements of English class cause the most stress. The results give valuable insights into what is causing reticence in these EFL learners and the data could be very useful for teachers or researchers designing English teaching programs who would like to maximize speaking and minimize reticence. An exploratory literature review led to the focus of reticence and FLA and Barly Mak’s 2011 study “An exploration of speaking-in-class anxiety with Chinese ESL learners” was replicated to provide both a well-rounded assessment of FLA and results from a Chinese population to compare to. This study revealed that a) the vast majority of students experienced moderate to high levels of FLA in English class situations; b) the levels of anxiety for the Chinese and Korean students were similar but the causes varied significantly, and c) speaking in front of the class caused the highest level of anxiety while pair work and longer wait times for responses emerged as viable strategies for reducing reticence.


I would like to thank Professor James Robinson for his help in completing this, as well as Neil Briggs for his advice and assistance.



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