You go to speak with your new conversation partner and your heart starts racing, your palms start sweating, and your mind goes blank. You’ve forgotten every word of the language you’ve been working so hard to learn and can’t get a simple sentence together. You’re afraid that you’ll look childish or like a fool if you start speaking now.
This experience is called Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA) and is globally recognized as one of the greatest challenges to language learning today.
Foreign Language Anxiety is a common feeling that many students experience during language learning and use of the foreign language. It consists of three main topics: communication apprehension (fear of speaking), fear of negative evaluation (by others), and test anxiety.
Traditional strategies to overcome Foreign Language Anxiety included creating a welcoming classroom, journaling about feelings, and participating in group work in the classroom. However, these methods are difficult to implement in an online setting! What can you do as an online learner of a language to lower your Foreign Language Anxiety?
As a PhD student at the University of Florida, I work in the cutting-edge field of Second Language Acquisition studying Foreign Language Anxiety. In my dissertation, I have found ways to increase self-confidence while speaking a foreign language and slow the natural increase of Foreign Language Anxiety over time. This all begins, not in the classroom, but by empowering you, the learner!
Book a trial lesson with me, Amanda Catron, and we can discuss how to overcome Foreign Language Anxiety, set goals, learn new strategies, and get you back to successfully learning your foreign language!