This paper presents the findings of a study of 125 tertiary students’ communication apprehension in two public universities in Malaysia. Data were collected using McCroskey’s (1982) personal report on communication apprehension (PRCA-24) which measures the students’ level of fear or anxiety associated with either real or anticipated communication with another person/s. The findings revealed that a majority of tertiary students (70.4%) recorded average levels of communication apprehension while 18.4% had high levels of communication apprehension in four separate communication contexts (public, small group, meeting and interpersonal). Many students in the focus group interviews expressed a dislike for oral communication skills in English and used communication avoidance and withdrawal as strategies representative of trait-like communication apprehension. The findings have critical implications for university curriculum and workforce readiness of local graduates.
|Keywords:||Tertiary Students, Communication Apprehension, Speaking Anxiety, Communication Avoidance, Higher Education|
Programme Chairperson, English Language Studies Section, School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Georgetown, Malaysia
Senior Lecturer, English Language Studies Section, School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia
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