Anxiety as a Cause of Poor Language Learning in Pakistan: A Case Study

  • Bashir KhanEmail author
  • Zafar Iqbal Khattak
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


The present study, descriptive in nature, aims at finding out the relationship between anxiety and failure in foreign language learning. The Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS), designed by Horwitz et al. (1986), was used to collect data from 96 undergraduate students of English who had failed a university English examination. The five point Likert scale was modified and each statement had four responses. The sample was equally divided among male-female and rural-urban categories so as to get universally applicable results in the Pakistani settings. Undergraduate students were selected because firstly they learnt English as a compulsory subject and secondly because they were mature enough to understand and respond to the statements. Only unsuccessful students were selected as a sample for the study so that the relationship, if any, between failure in language learning and anxiety could be established. Data was analysed in terms of the mean score through Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 17). The results revealed that the learners were victim of one type of anxiety or the other. Overall a great level of anxiety was found among the unsuccessful learners. It is recommended that teachers of English employ counselling as a technique to foster interest among the learners. Moreover, innovative and creative practices should be adopted in order to lower the affective filter.


Foreign Language Language Learning Foreign Language Learning Compulsory Subject Anxious Student 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Statistical Information UnitHigher Education Commission of PakistanIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Abdul Wali Khan UniversityMardanPakistan

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