The Prevalence and Impact of Foreign Language Anxiety among Bangladeshi Students


Language is an essential talent in today’s linked world since it is frequently seen as the link that unites cultures and the basis of international communication. Learning a foreign language is a typical problem in a nation like Bangladesh where English is frequently a crucial second language for education and professional opportunities. The process of learning a new language, however, is not without its challenges. Foreign language anxiety (FLA), a condition that can adversely affect language acquisition, is one key difficulty. This blog examines FLA prevalence and it’s effects on Bangladeshi students, putting light on a problem that many people may have encountered but is seldom mentioned.

Understanding Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA)

An individual who is compelled to utilize a foreign language in a setting like a classroom or front of others may have foreign language anxiety, sometimes referred to as FLA. Feelings of uneasiness, uncertainty, and nervousness are characteristic of it, especially while speaking or listening to a foreign language.

Prevalence of FLA in Bangladesh:

English is often taught and utilized as a language of instruction in Bangladesh, particularly in higher education and metropolitan areas. FLA is nevertheless not unusual. When it comes to studying and using English, many students from secondary to tertiary levels experience varied degrees of anxiety. Although it may not be shocking that some students have anxiety when speaking in a foreign language, it is concerning how much FLA can impact language learning and general academic achievement.

Factors Associated with FLA

FLA is a complicated topic that is impacted by a several variables, such as:

  • Fear of Negative Evaluation: Students frequently worry that their language skills will be poorly evaluated by teachers or their classmates. It might be terrifying to think about making errors or sounding “wrong.”
  • Perceived Language Difficulty: Students may think that learning a foreign language is more challenging, which heightens their anxiety. Their learning progress may be hampered by their perception of inadequacy.
  • Lack of Self-Confidence: Self-confidence is essential for learning a language. Low self-esteem in students might cause them to distrust their language skills, which can make them anxious.

Impacts of FLA

On language acquisition and general academic achievement, FLA has a significant impact. FLA may result in:

  • Avoidance Behavior: Students may try to avoid using a foreign language when speaking, which prevents them from getting essential practice.
  • Lower competence: FLA may impede linguistic growth, leading to lower levels of language competence.
  • Academic Consequences: Poor language proficiency might affect grades in language classes, which are frequently requirements for further study or employment.
  • Psychological Distress: Persistent FLA can cause psychological distress such as tension, low self-esteem, and decreased motivation.

Mitigating FLA

To lessen FLA’s impacts, proactive actions are required given its prevalence and consequences among Bangladeshi students. There are some tactics that educational institutions and instructors may use to foster an environment that is more encouraging and helpful for language learners:

  • Encourage Mistakes: Creating a learning-focused environment in the classroom might help students feel less anxious about receiving poor grades.
  • Developing a Growth Mindset: Stressing to pupils that language competency can be improved with work and practice might help them feel more self-assured.
  • Interactive Learning: Using interactive learning strategies that motivate pupils to use the language actively helps lower anxiety.
  • Effective feedback: Effective feedback can help reduce anxiety by highlighting strengths and offering suggestions for growth.
  • Peer support: Giving pupils the chance to work together and practice the language with their peers might help them overcome their anxiety about speaking in front of others.
  • Counseling services: It may be helpful to make counseling and support services available to students who are suffering from severe FLA.

The Way Forward

Understanding and managing FLA is essential for students’ general wellbeing as well as for the language learning process. Destigmatizing FLA can help kids feel more comfortable asking for assistance when they do. It is crucial that educators, organizations, and governments place equal importance on kids’ mental health and academic accomplishment.

The prevalence of FLA in Bangladesh serves as a reminder of the value of fostering welcoming and encouraging circumstances for language acquisition. We can enable children to prosper in a multilingual environment, open up new possibilities, and overcome cultural barriers by lowering FLA and encouraging a positive attitude toward language acquisition. Let’s acknowledge FLA as a problem and take action to fix it so that all kids may enthusiastically and confidently embark on their language learning journey.

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