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Volume 10 Number 2, Summer 2013, Pages 1-148   


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Evaluating the Impact of Oral Test Anxiety and Speaking Strategy Use on Oral English Performance

    Wenxia Zhang and Meihua Liu


The present research explored the effect of Chinese university students' oral test anxiety and speaking strategy use on their oral English performance. 1697 university students answered the 19-item Achievement Test Anxiety Scale and the 32-item Oral Communication Strategy Inventory (OCSI) (speaking part) in study 1. In study 2, 493 university students answered the 25-item Oral English Test Anxiety Scale and the OCSI immediately after they had finished the oral English proficiency test. The major findings are: (1) although the respondents generally perceived test anxiety to be more facilitating than debilitating, oral test anxiety did exist during the oral English test and significantly debilitated their test performance, (2) more proficient students tended to be significantly less anxious during the oral test; (3) the participants used speaking strategies to varying degrees during the oral English test, and more proficient students tended to use more effective speaking strategies significantly more frequently; (4) speaking strategies both enhanced and debilitated students' oral test performance; and (5) oral test anxiety was significantly correlated with the use of different categories of speaking strategies.

Keywords: test anxiety, oral English performance, speaking strategy use