Date of Conferral







Charles Diebold


Foreign language anxiety is a condition in which students of foreign languages experience test anxiety, avoidance of communication, and fear of evaluation that become so inhibiting that their social and academic progress, along with their ability to become global citizens, is significantly stunted. This sequential mixed-methods research study was conducted so that foreign language educators might be better informed about how best to address foreign language anxiety within their classrooms. Because the concept of foreign language anxiety is based upon the idea of the foreign language classroom being uniquely taxing upon students, the stress-coping theory as well as the anxiety/uncertainty management theory and the concept of situationism were used in this study’s design to determine the range of foreign language anxiety levels among nine American university students, as well as what these students perceive to be helpful and harmful in terms of anxiety mitigation attempts. The survey in Phase 1 of the study identified extreme case participants for Phase 2, and the interview results were analyzed according to emotion, value, and pattern coding structures. Ultimately, the data showed that the majority of the American university students experienced at least moderate levels of foreign language anxiety, and there were emergent themes on the effects of teachers, peers, environment, language type, and activity type. Future research should be conducted on language type and experience as mitigating factors, in addition to further studies on student perceptions of peers and activity types. With additional supporting research, the results of this study may be used to better train foreign language educators and thus lessen the impact that foreign language anxiety has on students resulting in positive social change.