Foreign Language Anxiety

Foreign Language Anxiety

Foreign language anxiety (or xenoglossophobia) is the feeling of unease, worry, nervousness and apprehension experienced when learning or using a second or foreign language.

What is Foreign Language Anxiety?

Foreign language anxiety (or xenoglossophobia) is the feeling of unease, worry, nervousness and apprehension experienced when learning or using a second or foreign language. These feelings may stem from any second language context whether associated with the productive skills of speaking and writing, or the receptive skills of reading and listening.


The fear or phobia of foreign language can produce both physical and physiological symptoms. In some cases, the physical symptoms are similar to those associated with typical anxiety disorder such as sweating, nervousness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, increased blood pressure, and tightness in the chest. Some psychological symptoms may include panic, overwhelming fear or dread, as well as general emotional distress. Depression symptoms or depression disorder may also accompany the phobia of foreign language or those like it. The depression could be a symptom of the phobia or an effect of the phobia and how it can change a person’s day to day life.

Foreign Language Anxiety
Foreign Language Anxiety

Comprehension and Treatment

A phobia like this one can affect anyone of any age, sex, race, or background. Some people may be more prone to phobias like this one or may experience more severe symptoms than others. Fear is a natural human feeling and anyone can develop a phobia.

The phobia of foreign language can be treated. Cognitive behavioral therapy is usually the most effective treatment for a phobia like this one. It is also used to treat certain anxiety disorders, depression disorders, and mood disorders. Through cognitive behavioral therapy, a person affected by this phobia will essentially “learn” to not fear foreign language anymore. This will be achieved by changing the behavior of the person and the person’s brain when they come in contact with or see foreign language. This can be achieved without the use of anxiety medication, eventually a full recovery from this phobia is possible.

Commonly, people do not understand why they have a phobia of foreign language. Fears like these can cause embarrassment and further anxiety because it’s hard to understand why phobias like this arise. Many people may feel silly or fear that others will judge them for being afraid.

Fear and anxiety are natural parts of life, everyone is afraid of something and it is common for people to avoid the things that they are afraid of, especially when they feel what they fear may be potentially dangerous to them or those they care for. In the same sense, it is common for those with a phobia of foreign language to avoid situations where they will be near them or see them.

Phobias like the phobia of foreign language vary from person to person, some people who suffer from this will have severe anxiety attacks because of it and some will only have minor anxiety. What triggers this phobia will also vary depending on the person who suffers from it. Some only feel this fear when they are near foreign language while some experience anxiety attacks associated with this phobia from simply seeing a picture of a foreign language or thinking about one.

It’s suggested that a person suffering from a phobia of foreign language take steps to begin conquering this fear. For example, most who have this fear understand that it is illogical. They have no real or logical reason to feel this crippling fear. Even so, it continues to frighten them and affect their day to day lives. Beginning to understand this fear is a step in the right direction. Understanding a phobia is one of the first steps in being able to recover from it. After that, receiving treatment from a licensed specialist to help battle a phobia like this one is one of the best things a person can do. It may also be helpful to address other problems a person may have like anxiety, depression, or other phobias.

A foreign language, sometimes referred to as a foreign tongue or foreign idiom, is A systematic means of communicating by the use of sounds or conventional symbols which are from a different country or culture. It may come as a surprise to you, but there are people who suffer from a phobia of foreign language. A phobia is defined as an extreme fear of something that is often irrational. In many cases the person suffering from the phobia of foreign tongue has no idea why they feel the fear they do. However, even if the person knows that their phobia of foreign idiom is irrational, they will usually remain afraid until some kind of treatment for this phobia is implemented.

It is common for a person suffering from a phobia like the phobia of foreign language to feel embarrassment over their fear. This can increase the anxiety they feel or even eventually cause feelings of depression. Some people will be understanding about a person’s phobia of foreign tongue, while others won’t understand and may even be mean or make fun of the sufferer. To an outsider, the phobia of foreign language may seem silly or stupid, because it is essentially an irrational fear.

Many times embarrassment or ridicule due to an individual’s phobia of foreign idiom can severely slow down treatment, cause a more severe anxiety condition or even depression syndrome. Fear, anxiety, and depression often go hand in hand and this becomes increasingly true when outside circumstances, such as a person feeling stupid or ridiculed by their peers, occurs. Depression treatment or anxiety treatment may be needed to help with this issue.

Foreign Language Anxiety


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