Research Article

Anxiety as a Psychological Barrier to Students’ Speaking Fluency: IELTS as a Case Study


  • Oumaima Idrissi Doctoral student, Cambridge certified ESL instructor, Faculty of Languages, Letters, and Arts, English Linguistics department, Ibn Tofail University, Kenitra, Morocco


This study investigates the correlation between Foreign language anxiety and speaking fluency among IELTS test-takers at an X English Language centre in Morocco. The main objective of this paper was to examine whether there is a link between Foreign Language Anxiety (the independent variable) and English-Speaking fluency (the dependent variable). To verify whether there is an association between the two variables under investigation, to test the hypothesis, and answer the research question, two tests were used as research instruments. Students were asked to fill in a Foreign language anxiety questionnaire to estimate the frequency of anxiety and take an IELTS Speaking mock exam to measure the smoothness of their oral delivery. The data was collected in the X language centre during the academic year (2020-2021). The participants were 30 male and female students divided into three classes. In order to analyse the scores and frequency of responses that students obtained in the two tests, a Pearson correlation was used as a statistical procedure. The study results indicate a nonsignificant correlation between Anxiety and Fluency in the context under study. Therefore, the study concluded that other factors, such as fear of negative evaluation, are intervening and causing a decline in fluency among IELTS test takers, broadening the spectrum of research within language testing research.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

5 (12)





How to Cite

Idrissi, O. (2022). Anxiety as a Psychological Barrier to Students’ Speaking Fluency: IELTS as a Case Study. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 5(12), 111–120.



Speaking skills, IELTS, Pearson correlation, Foreign language anxiety, L2 Fluency, FLA