Effect of Writing Anxiety on Students’ Performance

Writing is one of the important language proficiency for academic and occupational aim that almost all people use to accomplish their purposes in their daily activities.  A great number of researches have been done to investigate the effect of writing anxiety on students’ performance in the target language in different parts of academic setting in different institution around the world. scovel (1978 as cited in Saghafi, Adel, & Zareian, 2017) defines anxiety as “apprehension, a vague fear that is only indirectly associated with an object” (p. 134).

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Additionally, (Young, 1999; MacIntyre and Gardner, 1994) have also provided a similar definition of language anxiety. They believe that language anxiety is a negative feeling or reaction toward learning second language circumstances, including speaking, listening and writing.

Baez (2005) believes that anxiety is an extensive phenomenon among university students. According to Horwitz, Tallon, and Luo (2010) claimed that “approximately one-third of students studying a foreign language experience at least a medium level of foreign language anxiety” (p. 99). So in many research Language writing anxiety has shown as a sensation that majority of EFL and ESL learners experience and cause negative result on them. In this regard, Salem & Al Dyiar (2014) says that writing anxiety cause to incapable students to write which overstate their difficulty. In the same vein, Sadiq (2017) exposes that anxiety in language has known as a barrier for second or foreign language learning. In other words, language anxiety is a destructive feeling; it can have a negative influence on learning or acquiring the target language. Furthermore, Negari & Rezaabadi (2012) explained writing anxiety as the main factor of difficulty in writing skill which is essential needs for everyone for the evaluation of writing.

Gkonou (2011(, conducted research to analyze speaking and writing anxiety among 128 EFL students in general English classes in two private language school in Greece. The findings have shown that the main factors which cause anxiety in writing are students’ own viewpoint to writing classes, low self-confidence, and fear from negative feedback. In the same way, Sadiq 2017) observed 100 students from the College of Education at Princess Nora University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The research findings revealed that students’ negative perspective against foreign language writing skill and its negative influence is clear on students’ performance. Likewise, Ho (2016) Conducted similar research to determine the different source of writing anxiety among engineering students at universities in Taiwan. The findings have shown that students suffer from inadequate writing abilities in English, time constrictions and negative evaluation. Many participants felt anxious about different aspects of writing, such as idea development, structure, and organization.

Writing anxiety in many types of researches have shown as a factor which causes to reduce students’ motivation is second and foreign language. According to (Erkan & Saban, 2011; Latif, 2007; Woodrow, 2011) stated that Writing anxiety has also been found to have a reverse relationship with writing motivation, self-ability, and use of writing strategies (as cited in Ho, 2016).  As well, high-level of anxiety in writing can affect students’ motivation and desires to lose their self-confidence. Writing anxiety is also correlated to students’ poor performances on English writing exams and in jobs requiring writing (Cheng, 2004). Therefore, writing anxiety is a significant concern for EFL and ESL. Hence, writing anxiety cause to reduce students’ motivation and its clarify on their writing and speaking. In this regard According to Lee and Krashen (1997), Students with low self-confidence and high-level anxiety tend to obtain poor grades in composition, score lower on writing test and lower feedback.

Above all, it can be argued that learners who experience high-level anxiety may feel stressed, and they might decide not to participate in their class discussions, or may not do homework on time.

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