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.