Reading anxiety among Arabic speaking students.
Kress, Michelle T.
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SubjectAnxiety -- Testing.; Arab students.; Reading comprehension -- Ability testing.; English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers.
Reading anxiety can become a great hindrance to an Arabic speaking student’s language acquisition. The anxiety acts as a barrier to the reading process making it difficult for the student to be able to decode or interact with the text (Krashen, 1983). There is still a limited amount of research with Arabic student participants and focus has been mostly given to other areas of language anxiety (Ahmad et al., 2013; Horwitz, 2010; Horwitz, Horwitz & Cope, 1986; Huang, 2012; Saito, Horwitz & Garza, 1999). Therefore, the present study investigated Arabic speaking high school students and teachers’ perceptions of the factors that correlate with reading anxiety. A five point Likert scale survey adapted from the research of Ahmad et al. (2013) was implemented to investigate student perceptions. Observations and interviews were conducted to investigate teacher perceptions. Strategy instruction was examined through observations to see whether or not teachers were incorporating strategies within the classroom to reduce reading anxiety. It was found that the Arabic students were suffering from reading anxiety and teachers were finding it difficult to generate effective strategies to alleviate their reading anxiety. Further research is necessary to determine effective strategies and methods for Arabic students to reduce reading anxiety.
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