This exploratory study was designed to investigate the role of students' perceptions on decreasing speaking anxiety within the Arabic as a foreign language classroom in the target language country. Qualitative methods were used in the research project. Qualitative instruments included: pre and post questionnaires, pre and post semi-structured interviews, and observation. Seven participants took part in the study; they were studying Modern Standard Arabic in an intensive program in Morocco. The results showed that students' perceptions and their suggestions had an impact on the learning process of the students and the importance to take into consideration students suggestions and to implement them within the classroom. The implications of the study include that (1) developing the proficiency of the students plays an important role in decreasing speaking anxiety; (2) the teacher's attitude has an impact on the process of learning and the classroom atmosphere; (3) providing students with speaking activities related to real life situations is an effective strategy to provoke student involvement and finally (4) the kind of teachers' feedback is an important factor for motivation and overcoming anxiety in the FL classroom.

Degree Name

MA in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language

Graduation Date


Submission Date

January 2014

First Advisor

El Essawi, Raghda

Committee Member 1

Gebril, Atta

Committee Member 2

Abo El-Seoud, Dalal


105 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Arabic language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers.


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This thesis would not have been possible without the help and support of many people. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each one of them. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the readers of my paper: Dr. Raghda El Essawi, Dr. Atta Gebril, and Dr. Dalal Abo El-Seoud who helped in various ways throughout the preparation of this dissertation with their guidance, enlightening suggestions, and continuous support, which helped me a lot in doing this research project. Beyond this thesis, I have learnt tremendously from their experience which has been influential in my academic development. Thank you very much. I owe also a great debt of gratitude to all my professors at the TAFL Department, the American University in Cairo, who helped me in various ways during my study in the TAFL program through their teaching and advice all the time: Dr. El Said Badawi, Dr. Zeib Taha, Dr. Ashraf Abdou, and Ms. Rasha Essam. I also like to dedicate this thesis to my amazing family, especially my mother and father for their continuous and non-stop support in assisting me in different ways all the time.