Ehab El Shimi


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the causes and most common types of second-language writing anxiety among students taking an intensive English course in the English Language Institute (ELI) at the American University in Cairo (AUC). Towards this end, the study examined the problem from both the learners' and teachers' perspective in order to provide the teachers with the issues they could consider to help their learners feel less anxious about their writing. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used in this exploratory study. A convenience sample of 51 Egyptian ESL learners enrolled in the Intensive English Program (IEP) in the ELI was chosen to participate in the study. The researcher gave them a questionnaire adapted from the Second Language Writing Anxiety Inventory (SLWAI) developed by Zhang (2011) in order to identify the causes and most common types of writing anxiety among them. To investigate the teachers' perspectives of L2 writing anxiety, interviews with six teachers in the IEP with varying years of teaching experience were conducted. The results of the quantitative data, using descriptive statistics, show that the most common types of L2 writing anxiety among the students were Somatic Anxiety (SA) and Cognitive Anxiety (CA). On the other hand, a very small percentage of the students suffered from Avoidance Anxiety (AA). The reason why their level of SA and CA were higher is because most of their causes of L2 writing anxiety were associated more with physiological and psychological effects resulting from their anxiety experience. The teachers' answers to the interview questions corresponded with the students' responses to the questionnaire items. They reported that they notice and observe symptoms related to L2 writing anxiety very similar to those indicated by the students.


Applied Linguistics Department

Degree Name

MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2017

First Advisor

Agameya, Amira

Committee Member 1

Plumlee, Marilyn

Committee Member 2

Gebril, Atta


100 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

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