Despite the growing interest in investigating and exploring potential causes and the manifestation of language anxiety amongst EFL learners, the potential sources of this complicated phenomenon have not been widely researched and identified in the Cameroonian context. Horwitz and Young (1991, P.14) state,“we have been truly surprised at the number of students who express anxiety and distress in their language class”. This paper sets out to investigate the potential causes of fear,its manifestation and the possible recommendation to salvage this problem that significantly affects EFL acquisition in final year secondary students of the French subsystem (Terminale) of education in Cameroon. The theoretical framework for this study isthe foreign language anxiety scale as established by Horwitz et al. (1986). Data collection involves participant observation and a questionnaire administered to 100 students. The findings revealed that Cameroonian EFL learners experience a very high levelof fear, rangingfrom communication apprehension and fear of a negative evaluation. The conclusion points out that fear is due tothe non-mastery of basic structures and therefore questions the appropriateness of the approach used in teaching EFL in Cameroon. The paper proposes possible strategies to effectively teach EFL that will reduce language anxiety and promote self-confidence in the learners. Fighting against erroneous beliefs such as “C’est Dieu qui donne l’anglais” (English is a gift from God) will also help students get more implicated in learning English.
How fear affects EFL acquisition: The case of “terminale” students in Cameroon
Journal: Journal of English Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics issue 3 vol 4