The effects of oral communication strategy training on levels of foreign language anxiety and communication
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The purpose of this study is based on the following research questions: 1) to examine oral communication strategy training’s effects on the learner’s level of foreign language anxiety, 2) to investigate the training’s impact on communication of foreign language learners. Four English learners from China, Mexico, Japan, and Korea participated in this study and received the training, completed all the necessary surveys, and participated in an interview. The strategy training was mainly focused on achievement strategies, which encourage and promote language learners’ attempts to express one’s internal message by using all the necessary linguistic knowledge he or she has. The training was conducted from two to four weeks, which is considered a short-term training. After the training, all the participants had certain amounts of time to practice the strategies in their English communication on the basis of their own needs for approximately two to four weeks. According to the result, the training was not able to bring a significant decrease in one’s anxious feelings toward learning and speaking English, and one participant even suggested that the characteristics of achievement strategy training cause stronger fear of negative evaluation on him. Contrary to its role in eliminating one’s anxious feelings, the training itself turned out to be one of the promising alternative options to promote foreign language learners to speak more English and attempt to participate in the conversation compared to the time when they totally avoided saying a word in English. In other words, although the training failed to bring a significant and direct decrease in foreign language anxiety, it also suggested that long-term oral communication strategy training might provide more opportunities for foreign language learners to communicate in English, consequently building up their confidence toward learning and speaking a foreign language, and eventually reducing anxious feelings.