This study, conducted over a 20 week period, focused on a group of primary school teachers as they implemented a variety of intervention actions, within their class programs, directed towards supporting the reduction of high levels of communication apprehension (CA) among students. Six teachers and nine students, located across three primary schools, six class groups, and four year levels, participated in the study.
An action research paradigm incorporating a series of case studies was used to describe each teacher's journey as he/she responded to the diverse needs of individual students with high CA levels. The principal data collection methods used in this study included the Personal Report of Communication Fear (PRCF) scale, semistructured interviews, and dialogue journaling. The PRCF scale was used as a screening tool to identify students experiencing high levels of CA.
Semistructured interviews, conducted by the researcher at the beginning and conclusion of the action research process, provided valuable information relevant to each student. Dialogue journaling was the medium by which teachers engaged in written discourse with the researcher, discussing the growth, development, and progress of individual students. Entries in dialogue journals comprised a significant component of each teacher's case study.
Six case studies document the teacher's action research journey. These case studies recount the teacher's perceptions of their endeavours to minimise the problems that arise with primary school students experiencing high CA levels. In particular, they highlight the fact that teachers are faced with diverse problems and plan to resolve these in different ways.