Mediating Effects of Communication Language Anxiety and Prior Learning Experience on Academic Listening of Libyan Students in Malaysian Higher Education


  • Ahlam Ali Salim Halali ,Lilliati Ismail ,Arshad Abd Samad ,Abu Bakar Razali ,Nooreen Noordin


Academic listening challenges. Academic listening strategies. Communication language anxiety. Prior learning experience


There are many international students in Malaysia, which is ranked among the top ten destinations for international students, globally. Libyan EFL students were reported in 2017 as being the seventh biggest ethnic group enrolled in Malaysian higher education institutions. Malaysian universities use English in instruction, thus providing Libyan students opportunities to gain knowledge and develop their fields of study. However, to achieve academic success in such environments, intellectual engagement is essential, and listening and speaking challenges associated with language anxiety and prior learning experience could impede Libyan students’ communication abilities. In response to these factors, the students develop mediating learning strategies. Therefore, this study investigated Libyan students’ academic listening challenges and the strategies used to counter them. Using an explanatory, mixed-mode, sequential research design, the researchers conducted a questionnaire survey among 223 participants and performed 15 interviews and focus group discussion with collection of field notes and member checks. It was found that academic listening strategies are influenced by language challenges when communication language anxiety and prior learning experience mediate the effects of listening challenges and the implementation of strategies meant to overcome them. From the results of the study, the researchers believe that stakeholders should seriously consider the challenges that Libyan international students face due to their negative prior learning experience, and future researchers should focus more in-depth on the roles of prior learning and emotional factors to provide more insight about the reasons for and understanding of international students’ learning experiences in ESL international institutions.