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Technology-enhanced Microteaching to Reduce Foreign Language Anxiety: A Socio-cultural Perspective

Nouf H. Albehairi, Humanities & Social Sciences – School of Education, University of Strathclyde- Glasgow,

Key words: English as a Foreign language, Foreign Language Anxiety, Learning Management System, Socio-Cultural Theory, Microteaching, Technology integration in language learning, Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale.

This study aims to investigate the question of whether implementing a fundamental change in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom through specific use of technology-enhanced microteaching will reduce levels of EFL learners' Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA). The study will also focus on the variables caused by socio-cultural factors, suggesting that they may have a valuable impact on the level of FLA in learners. Therefore, it was suggested that the implementation of Socio-Cultural Theory (SCT) by Vygovtsky is suitable and might reveal interesting findings.

Instead of the previous attempts at decreasing anxiety and improving performance, this study will advocate implementing an intervention of technology integration through the use of Learning Management Systems (LMS), the foundation for which is already available, and activated after the remote teaching during the pandemic of COVID-19.

Microsoft Teams was used as a virtual learning environment for attending courses and social networking at Kuwait University. It was also a great prospect for a future study. In an English course from the English Language Unit (ELU), students are usually asked to give an in-class presentation, and due to the pandemic, this assessment was switched into a three minute video (previously recorded) presentation, followed with the teacher’s feedback and grade submission.

Strengthening the importance and curiosity of this research is the fact that the remote teaching assessment acted as a pilot study to see the effectiveness of technology integration in reducing FLA. Therefore, the involvement of socio-cultural theory is suggested to prepare the current study for a deeper investigation. The mixed methods approach is the suggested methodology for this study, where pre- and post-Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) surveys and semi-structured interviews are going to be applied on two groups (controlled/experimental).

Based on the previous studies, and the research from the current study at its preliminary stages, technology integration from a distinct perspective is worth implementing for its effectiveness in the field of education.

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