In Pakistan, language anxiety research is mostly focused on psychological, personal or classroom related factors that may cause language anxiety, thus neglecting socio-cultural and contextual factors that may enhance Foreign Language Classroom Speaking Anxiety (FLCSA). It presupposes that the immediate sociocultural surroundings of students regarding FLA have received very little consideration to this point (Lo, 2017). Therefore, this study aims to address the research gap by investigating the sociocultural factors causing EFL classroom speaking anxiety at university level in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Pakistan. To achieve the objective, this study utilizes a mixed method approach by following an Explanatory Sequential Research Design. Consequently, a questionnaire based on FLCA scale, (Horwitz et. al. 1986) was administered among 140 participants in two major public sector universities of KP, Pakistan. Based on the statistics obtained from the questionnaires, a total of 10 participants who had comparatively higher mean values at FLCSA scale were selected for semi-structured interviews. The quantitative data were analysed through SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences), while semi structured interviews were analysed through Qualitative Content Analysis. The findings of the study suggest a variety of sociocultural-related causes of SA that stem from geographical and educational divide in Pakistan. In addition, this study also pinpoints certain other social factors and their relation to learners’ SA including parents-child rearing practices, parental attitude and their social background. Likely, social construction of gender, identity related issues and factors related to social capital were also identified. This study is hoped to serve as an index for future FLA research in Pakistan.
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