Quantitative Method to Explore the Critical Issues of Speaking Anxiety amongst Chinese PhD Candidates Doctoral Dissertation Oral Defense


Anxiety has a significant effect on oral communication, particularly when it occurs in the form of a public address. The quality of a public academic speaker's oral presentation may highly be determined by a variety of emotive elements. However, this has received much too little attention in the realm of academic dissertation oral defense presentations, despite the fact that this process may be incredibly nerve-wracking for both novice and experienced postgraduates, EFL learners in particular. In the current study, 68 Chinese EFL Ph.D. candidates consented to complete a revamped version of the Personal Report of Public Speaking Anxiety (PRPSA). Chinese EFL postgraduates reported an average high level of public speaking anxiety (X=4.34) during their doctoral dissertation defense presentations, as measured by three categorical variables: public speaking apprehension (X=4.40), self-behavior management (X=4.35), and fear of negative evaluation (X=4.26). Throughout Ph.D. candidate participants' dissertation defense, fifteen anxiety-related questionnaire items were recognized to be the most anxiety-provoking conditions in terms of public speaking anxiety. In addition, differences in gender and graduate study specialization were not significantly associated with Chinese EFL Ph.D. candidates' experiences with public speaking anxiety. Despite the findings, research has revealed that Ph.D. candidates in English as a Foreign Language from China exhibit statistically significant levels of anxiety related to public speaking, and as a result, pedagogical recommendations have been proposed.