Perspectives of International Students in the USA: Qualitative Research in Foreign Language Anxiety
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That learning a foreign language can create anxiety has been commonly reported by the language learners and documented in the literature and research on foreign and second language anxiety. The purpose of the study is not to understand how we can remove language anxiety arousers to promote language achievement but how we can help our language students to showcase and bring out the already learned capacity in situations where anxiety is prone to occur. This study has set out to use international students’ oversea experiences as a window to look back and forth to identify the gaps, find the reasons for the gaps, and discover solutions to fill them. It examined the relationship of language anxiety to international students’ language learning, language achievement, and language performance. It has sought to understand how they handled the anxiety, whether or not any anxiety was perceived, and proposed the recommendations these EFL (English as a Foreign Language) international students perceived to be missing or lacking and what they believed to be necessary to be able to transition EFL learners to real-world interactions. The results of the study suggest that these international students did not find anxiety stimuli in the home-country English classrooms, but anxiety could be activated in many aspects and events of language use in the US, on campus or in off campus environments. The study will report the identified situations where anxiety could be triggered, intensified, or alleviated, the perceived under-prepared language skills for study-abroad contexts that open the door to anxiety generation, and the recommended approaches and measures these international students made to all relevant role players to address issues of language anxiety. The study wishes to provide practical applications for home countries to make worthwhile the substantial time, energy, efforts, and funding spent on global citizen preparation and to call for support and action of host institutions to provide mentorship and guidance for language-anxious international students in their classrooms.