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Abstract

Test anxiety is a strong predictor of achievement in English as a foreign language (EFL) learning process and has considerable influences on proficiency in the target language. Research also has not reached a consensus on the sources and the effects of test anxiety. This study aims to examine the sources of test anxiety among foreign language learners, to find the effects of test anxiety on EFL learners, and explore the strategies used by learners to overcome test anxiety. The sample group of the study consisted of 57 students studying EFL at a preparatory school of a state university in Turkey. A background questionnaire, focus groups, essay papers, and interviews were used to collect qualitative data. The findings reached in the study show that EFL learners suffer from test anxiety due to several reasons and that they experience physical problems, problems related to tests, and affective problems, whereas they use a limited number of strategies to decrease the level of test anxiety. The study suggests that EFL teachers should raise their awareness of anxiety-provoking issues, their effects on learners, and the strategies to decrease their levels.

Keywords

English as a Foreign Language, Test Anxiety, Qualitative Research

Author Bio(s)

Selami Aydin is a professor in the Department of English Language Teaching at Istanbul Medeniyet University, Istanbul, Turkey. He researches EFL writing, testing, affective states, technology use, and social media effects on language learning and teaching processes. Currently, he teaches ELT courses for pre-service EFL teachers. Please direct correspondence to selami.aydin@medeniyet.edu.tr.

Ferdane Denkci Akkaş is an assistant professor in the Department of English Language Teaching at Istanbul Medeniyet University, Istanbul, Turkey. Please direct correspondence to ferdane.denkci@medeniyet.edu.tr.

Tülin Türnik is an instructor in the School of Foreign Languages at Istanbul Medeniyet University, Istanbul, Turkey. Please direct correspondence to tulin.turnuk@medeniyet.edu.tr.

Asiye Baştürk Beydilli is an instructor in the School of Foreign Languages at Istanbul Medeniyet University, Istanbul, Turkey. Please direct correspondence to asiye.basturk@medeniyet.edu.tr.

İlknur Saydam is an instructor in the School of Foreign Languages at Istanbul Medeniyet University, Istanbul, Turkey. Please direct correspondence to ilknur.saydam@medeniyet.edu.tr.

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Unit of Scientific Research Projects of Istanbul Medeniyet University through the research grant (S-GAP-2019-1491) under the title of Test Anxiety among Foreign Language Learners. The authors would like to thank Istanbul Medeniyet University for funding and scholarship.

Publication Date

12-5-2020

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

ORCID ID

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1614-874X

ResearcherID

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Selami_Aydin

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