Communication apprehension, identifi ed with feelings of tension or
embarrassment experienced in social interaction, induces an array of
communication avoidance behaviors. Meanwhile ethnocentrism, with its
negative view on other cultures, implies a tendency to avoid
communication with persons of different cultures, as well. The
cumulative effect of both phenomena may induce the catastrophic effects
of communication withdrawal, connected with deprecating views on other
cultures or their representatives. The uniqueness of the speech event
and uncertainty caused by the cultural differences, augmented by the
lack of skills and knowledge about the interlocutor, provokes anxiety.
The findings of this empirical study on the relationship between
ethnocentrism and communication apprehension taking place in the foreign
language classroom demon-strate that students with high levels of
communication apprehension display higher levels of ethnocentrism in
comparison to their non-apprehensive peers, mainly due to their
cognitive, affective, and linguistic barriers.