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Ho Chi Minh City Open University

Graduate School
97 Vo Van Tan, Dist.3, HCMC, Vietnam

ASSIGNMENT COVER SHEET AND REPORT


GRADUATE DIPLOMA in TESOL

Name of candidate: NGUYEN MINH DUC

Student No: DIP15A06

Email address: reallyduc@gmail.com

Name of coursework subject: ACADEMIC WRITING FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Title of this item of work: DIFFICULTIES OF SPEAKING STUDENTS OFTEN MEET IN A JUNIOR HIGH
SCHOOL CONTEXT

Name of lecturer: Dr. NGUYEN THI BOI HOANG

Due date: 24/09/2014

STATEMENT OF AUTHORSHIP:

I certify that the above assignment is my original work; it is based on my own research. All sources used
by me have been documented. No other person’s work has been used without due acknowledgment. This
piece of work has not previously been submitted for assessment in this or any other subject or course at
this University or elsewhere.

Student’s Signature………………………………………… Date: 09/09/2014


Running head: STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING

Difficulties of Speaking Students Often Meet in a Junior High School Context


Nguyen Minh Duc

DIP15A, Open University Graduate School


STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 1

Abstract
After many years being taught in Vietnam, English is still one of the most difficult

subjects toward Vietnamese learners, especially speaking skill. A lot of researches have

been done indicated that after studying for 7 years from Junior High school to High

school, students seemingly fail to apply the linguistic knowledge to talk to anyone. This

study is designed to discover some popular difficulties and any other possible ones facing

by students in a junior high school context. Carrying the project, questionnaire and class

observation methods have been used for larger and clearer approaches. After collecting

the data, some problematic factors at this school have been revealed including: shyness,

lack of practice, lack of supporting medium, vocabulary shortage, class size and

pronunciation. To accelerate students’ result, these factors should be carefully considered

by the teachers in order to make suitable changes to the current teaching process.

Key words: Factors, difficulties, speaking skill, oral communication, junior high
school
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 2

Introduction
In his book, Friedman indicates that the world – in terms of globalization – is
giving opportunities to people to broadly cooperate around the world (2005). Going with
the growth of the economy all over the world, the need of communication between
people from different countries is higher than ever. To serve this necessity, the choice of
English as a bridge language, or a lingua franca used to communicate between two
people having different mothers’ tongue as defined by Harmer (2001), among people is
indubitable. As a result, this language is taught to diversity of learners in varied countries
with different aspects. Among those, people widely agree that the most common use of
studying English nowadays is speaking as it directly and instantly serves the process of
interaction.
For years, Vietnamese educational system has tried to integrate English to the
curriculum and done lot of changes for better results. However, after many years
following the English program in school, the level of Vietnamese students is still
somewhere around the beginning. In his work, Tien indicated the fact that the main aims
of the learning program are in perfecting grammar structure and glossary rather than
achieving fluent speaking resulted in the consequence that students cannot even read
simple English written text or interact with foreigners in some ordinary situations using
knowledge acquired through their study (2013). In fact, there are many barriers stopping
Vietnamese learners from being fluent speakers. The purpose of this study is to identify
those difficulties, analyze them and suggest some changes to adapt the revealed
problems.
Literature Review
The Current Status of English Teaching and Learning in Vietnam
In 1986, when the government performed the Renovation opening the door to the
world, the Vietnamese have had chance to communicate with people from all over the
world. Therefore, English is the first language being taught in Viet Nam. It becomes a
mandatory subject in Junior high school and High school with seven levels from grade
six to grade twelve and at university level as a requirement to be graduated. With the
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 3

rapid growth of the economy and the opening chance of tourism to our country, fluent
English communication appears to be a great advantage to find a good job in any
industries throughout the country. As a result, English subject is implemented in schools,
universities and other foreign language centers throughout the whole country with more
and more teachers and students. Along with the speed of the globalization, English
teaching and learning are said to be in troubles and difficult to adapt to the new
increasing standards unless diversity of changes must be applied in the curriculum and
methodologies.
The Necessity of Speaking
Despite the fact that the four English skills of speaking, writing, listening and
reading are strongly linked together, the ability to fluently speak gives the speaker
multifarious distinct advantages. Take a workplace as an example, speaking skills such
as discourse, group meeting, group discussion, conference competence are important for
an employee skills to work effectively because of the involvements from different
contributors inside and outside of a company (Bhattacharyya, Nordin, & Salleh, 2009).
Moreover, a working staff can improve his working result and have more opportunity to
be noticed by the employer if he is able to show his good communication skill and makes
himself distinctive from other trivial participants.
Some Particular Factors Possibly Affecting Students’ Speaking Ability
Definition of shyness
People are said to prefer living among the society where there is an instinctive
need of interaction between them. In fact, there is no such a simple thing in
communication process in the social being. Human interaction is a complexity of
different layer of people’s emotions including shyness, a feeling in which people don’t
want be a component in the social life. In a special aspect, shyness is the result of
someone’s unsafe feeling. A typical example of this is that when a person must overcome
the anxiety of speaking in front of another, he will show his fear of being embarrassed in
public, making mistake or being laughed by others (J. Collins, 2014). One more situation
where anxiety may happen is defined by Harmer that students might face a failure
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 4

previously or get negative feedback at school which would then lead to their nervousness
and lack of confidence in studying (2001). With the embarrassment in their mind,
students often have a tendency to remain at their seat and keep silent instead of starting
their talks.
Definition of motivations
Motivation plays an important part in the process of language teaching and
learning. It is vital for an English teacher to effectively transfer the lesson that he has a
clear understanding on the influence of motivation on language acquisition. Passion is
said to be the center of motivation which has a relation to a person’s inherent objectives
and expectations. A successful learner knows well his advantages and disadvantages.
Therefore, he has the cognition on how to take full use of his strengths and decrease the
weaknesses. As there is a link between language learning and learner’s passion,
successful teacher should make a good use of it (Karaoglu, 2008).
Definition of vocabulary

In his book, Schmitt mentioned that many researches on vocabulary tend to aim at
reading comprehension; actually, vocabulary is also important to three other skills
(2000). In speaking perspective, the definition of vocabulary is considered the
understanding of words being used in speaking (M. F. Collins, 2005). In order to have
high result in oral communication skill, students should have the ability to make a link
between vocabulary and their idea. To language learner, the more oral proficient that a
student could be, the higher chance he could be exposed to language acquisition (Burns,
K, Helman, & A, 2009).
In the conceptualizing stage of the three stage of speaking, students prepare idea in
their mind by searching for relevant words to describe it using their pre-existing lexical
cognition (Levelt, 1989). Then, they utter the speech at the articulating stage of the
process. This process should be automatically gone through in parallelism or the speech
is roughly expressed. Consequently, vocabulary takes the most important role in the
speaking procedure.
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 5

The term practice in speaking competence


There is an old saying that said “practice makes perfect”. In his book “How to
teach English” (2007), Harmer mentioned that the most popular factor making good
students is the time they would spend practicing. At the very first stage of language
learning, people naturally absorb the mother tongue language through listening and
repeating (Bashir & Azeem, 2011). This is basically a definition of practice where
students are required to have a lot of practice and attention to learn English speaking. As
a result, students should be involved in a lot of verbal communication activities with the
others inside the classroom and also with people in the society outside.
The mean of class size toward speaking capability
Teaching speaking skill requires a lot of time for teaching and practicing. It is
necessary to have an interchange between individual students with teacher as speaking
requires instant feedback from the instructor. Due to the large size of the class, the limit
of time prevents teacher from giving adequate practice to the whole class (Chowdhury &
M.Shaila, 2011). On the other hand, due to the variety of learners, in a small class,
teachers may have specific focus on each student’ need then distribute more suitable
approach. Hence, the smaller the class is, the more appropriate activities the students may
get from the teacher and achieve higher result.
Background of the Study

Despite the acknowledgement of the importance of English, Vietnamese students


often find it difficult to enhance their English even after many attempts to improve
themselves especially in speaking. A variety of researches has been done resulting in
many difficulties students might encounter so far. In a study conducted by Tran (2013),
she aimed to find the reason for the failure of many efforts done to improve the English
teaching and learning situation at high education service in Vietnam. The same topic was
targeted by (Nguyen, 2010) to figure out the difficulties Vietnamese teachers often meet
teaching IELTS oral communication at universities.
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 6

Participants
To find out the problems students often meet in studying spoken skill, the writer
carries the research at 6 different classes from class 7 to class 9 at An Phu Dong Junior
High school in district 12. The participants of this study are 264 students from two
categories: 136 students joining the Intensive English Program (IEP) and 128 students
taking the normal program distributed by the Ministry of Education (MEP). Before filling
in the questionnaire, students are clearly explained by data collectors about the aim of the
research and each question of the study without any possible interference to the result.
Hence, participants are well-understood and willing to honestly answer the questions with
a careful consideration.
Method
To collect the data for doing research, the writer applied questionnaire method for
fast and large responding. Classroom observation method was also used to have a deep
view on the situations exactly happening in classes. Those two methods were all used
with 6 classes from class 7 to class 9. For each class level, the research took one IEP class
and a MEP one as samples of that level. Students at class 6 were skipped in this research
as they are too new to English learning.
There are 279 questionnaires given to students and 264 reliable and completed
answers were collected. In the questionnaire were asked 13 questions in total including
11 questions using Likert scale, one multiple choice and one open-ended question where
students were free to tell all problems about which they concerned.
Finding and Discussion
In the first question, students were asked how they found it interesting to talk to
foreigners. This aims to analyze whether or not they feel shy when talking to native
speakers, especially the strangers.
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 7

100%

80% 47 46 46

60%
26 26 24
40%

20% 27 29 29

0%
Talking to foreigners Talking to friends Embarrassment while
making mistakes

1-2 3 4-5

Chart 1.1: IEP Students’ shyness


As being shown in chart 1.1, in question 1, 47% of the students in IEP classes like
talking to the foreigners while 27% dislike it. When being asked about talking with
friends in question 2, 29% of the answers fall into the disapproval area; this number is
slightly less equivalent than that of agreement with 46%. Question 3 asked students to
judge themselves about their shyness when making mistakes. The result shows us that
more students said they felt embarrassed anytime they make a mistake (46%) than those
who disagree with the statement (29%).

100%
37 30
80% 52

60% 23 30
17
40%
40 40
20% 30

0%
Talking to foreigners Talking to friends Embarrassment while
making mistakes

1-2 3 4-5
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 8

Chart 1.2: MEP Students’ shyness


The chart 1.2 shows that the number of students loving to talk to native speakers
(37%) is just under that of those who dislike it (40%). The same result is shown while
coming to the question about talking with friends; only 30% responded answers agree
with the statement. This attitude somehow answers the result extracted from the chart
about question 3, students’ agreement with the statement on the embarrassment is
substantially higher than their disagreement (52% in comparison with 30%).
To sum up, more students agree on having embarrassed feeling while making
misstate (46% in IEP classes and 52% in MEP classes) than those who do not (29% and
30%). This number proves that students tend to have anxiety when perform speaking
activities which may come from the worry of loss of face. This finding confirms the
Tsiplakides’s conclusion that students have a fear that their classmates would have
negative evaluation on them (2009). In another research, a group of authors agree with
the factor causing students’ hesitation in English speaking is that they have shyness and
nervous feeling in their minds because of the lack of confidence of English proficiency
(Shahzadi et al., 2014). According to Nguyen (2010), one of the popular difficulties of
the lecturers is to help students surpass the anxiety at the beginning of speaking tasks.
With the nervousness in mind, it is difficult for the students to speak the very first word
without the encouragement of the teachers. Succeeding the first stage, students may
progress up to the final stage of being proficient in English speaking easier.
When asking question 4, the researcher aimed to analyze students’ purpose of
studying English speaking skill. As this was a multiple choice question, one student
might give different ideas. The result is shown in the chart 4 below.
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 9

Chart 2: Purpose of English speaking studying


(Unit: responses)
MEP Classes IEP Classes

I love speaking to foreigners 50


52
I want to read English books 32
36
I want to study oversea 33
52
It's necessary for my future job 98
101
It's required at school 21
25
I don't know, my parents ask me to study 9
6

The data shown in the chart gives us an overview that most students from both
programs understand well the purpose of studying English speaking. Talking to
foreigners, exploring English written books and studying abroad are all considered as
positive reasons for studying oral English skill. Especially, nearly 200 ideas out of 515
responses agree that this skill is a necessity for their career afterwards. Moreover, 6 ideas
given at the open-ended question said that they would like to help the foreigner while
travelling in Vietnam which can be also counted as a positive purpose. In contrast, only
15 students don’t realize the need of speaking and 46 answers pointed out that they are
forced to learn this at school. Through this finding, we can conclude that most of the
students have positive inner motivation on studying English speaking.
To identify the outer motivation affecting learners speaking ability, the author
target at the teachers responsible for students’ outcome. Chart 5.1 and 5.2 reveal the
result for question 5 about how often the teachers themselves use English in class as an
inspiration.
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 10

Chart 3.1: Teachers communicate Chart 3.2: Teachers communicate


with students in English with students in English
(IEP classes) (MEPclasses)
1-2 3 4-5
1-2 3 4-5

29% 20%
42% 19%
61%
29%

As can be seen in chart 3.1 and 3.2 above, there is an interesting finding that more
teachers in MEP classes use English in their teaching than those in IEP classes (61%
versus 42%). In fact, thourgh classroom observation, the writer had a clearer view that in
MEP classes, students tend to speak Vietnamese rather than English; thus, they would
like the teachers to use mother tongue also. As a result, those learners always have a
thought in their mind that their teacher use too much English in classes.

Chart 4.1: Teachers' Chart 4.2: Teachers'


encouragement to speak English encouragement to speak English
(IEP classes) (MEP classes)
1-2 3 4-5 1-2 3 4-5
14% 13%
24% 21%
62% 66%

In question 6, students are asked whether their teachers often encourage them to
use English when giving questions and answers. From chart 4.1 and 4.2, most students in
IEP classes (62%) and MEP classes (66%) agree that their teachers usually inspire them
to use English in class to communicate with the lecturers.
Generally, students’ thought about their teachers is considered as positive
motivation when they often try to communicate with learners in English and encourage
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 11

them to give response also in the target language. This helps the writer to have a
conclusion on the affects of motivations on students’ speaking enhancement that students
in An Phu Dong Junior High school seem to have both good inner motivations and outer
motivations. Hence, this factor should not be concerned as an effect on students’ oral
communication improvement. This finding is in agreement with recent studies conducted
by other researchers such as Tran (2013), who indicated that most students agreed that
English had important influence on both their learning and future career, and Al-Tamimi
(2009) finding out students’ positive attitude toward becoming fluent in English
speaking. Students’ motivation may positively affect teachers’ effort in expressing
themselves as facilitators in their teaching fields as it makes them feel confident and
valuable in their career.
Participating in a group discussion is said to be a good method to improve the
ability to speak. Hence, the writer designed question 7 to test how much students are
willing to join the talk with others.

Chart 5.1: Participating in group Chart 5.2: Participating in group


discussion discussion
(IEP classes) (MEP classes)
1-2 3 4-5 1-2 3 4-5

16% 31% 32%

54% 30%
37%

Observing chart 5.1 and 5.2 above, we can realize that more than a half of students
in IEP classes would like to participate in the group assignment (54%). On the other
hand, in MEP classes, the quantity of students willing to join a group work in speaking is
quite as prevalent as that of unwilling ones (31% and 32%).
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 12

To understand more about students’ effort, the author asks students about their
everyday work in terms of improving speaking skill in question 8.

Chart 6.1: Students practice Chart6: Students practice English


English speaking everyday speaking everyday
(IEP classes) (MEP classes)
1-2 3 4-5 1-2 3 4-5
21% 24%

49% 45%
30% 31%

As being revealed from chart 6.1 and 6.2 there are few students in the school
usually have enough daily oral communication practice in English to improve their
speaking ability (21% in IEP classes and 24% from MEP classes). These numbers are
considerably less than those in the opposite side (49% and 45 %).
To understand more about the speaking environment and its support in students’
speaking capability, in question 9 and 10, the writer asks about the number of speaking
exercises given by the curriculum and the condition to practice at their school.

Chart 7.1: School's sufficience of Chart 7.2: School's sufficience of


speaking exercies speaking exercies
(IEP classes) (MEP classes)
1-2 3 4-5 1-2 3 4-5
19%
26%
46% 41%

35% 33%
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 13

Chart 7.1 and 7.2 presents the percentage of students who claim that there are
insufficient speaking exercises for them to practice. This factor is agreed in both IEP
classes and MEP classes (46% and 46%).
Chart 8.1: The school's practicing Chart 8.2: The school's
environment practicing environment
(IEP classes) (MEP classes)
1-2 3 4-5
1-2 3 4-5
18%
19%
48% 44%
34% 37%

Chart 8.1 above shows us the fact that in IEP classes, more students (48%) do not
think that the school environment gives them enough speaking opportunities to practice
than those who agree (18%). On the contrary, 44% of students in the MEP classes satisfy
with the school environment in terms of speaking practice while 19% of those disagree
(chart 8.2). This number can be further explained through classroom observation that
students taking the MEP often find it difficult to talk using English. Therefore, they find
no problems with the ecosystem in which they are studying.
In brief, despite of the fact that students seem to have positive attitude toward
speaking skill, the finding of question 8 indicates that a large number of students have
less practice than expected to improve their speaking ability. This is somehow explained
by the result shown at question 9 that their school does not have enough speaking task to
for them to practice. Moreover, students in IEP classes also complained that they do not
have the condition to practice at school. Hence, the lack of practice of students has
negative effect on their oral communicative result. The finding of this study provides
more evidence on the idea mentioned by Chamberlain in his book in 2010 that practicing
helps students improve both their speaking capability and confidence.
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 14

In question eleventh, the author asks students about their frequency of being
unable to find appropriate words to express their thought. Through the responses,
learners’ lack of vocabulary may be revealed.

Chart 9.1: Lack of vocabulary Chart 9.2: Lack of vocabulary


(IEP classes) (MEP classes)
1-2 3 4-5 1-2 3 4-5

30% 27%
41% 40%

29% 33%

As shown in chart 9.1 and 9.2 above, as many students from both program (41%
of IEP classes and 40% of MEP classes), who agree that they often have problem in using
suitable words to describe their idea, as those who disagree (30% of IEP classes and 27%
of MEP classes).
This finding would seem to imply that the lack of vocabulary is one of students’
concerns in terms of factors influencing English speaking. Similar results have been
found by other researchers in the field. A recent study by (Ditual, 2012) has shown that a
lot of Taiwanese students are unable to say more than five sentences because of their
lexical shortage. In another paper, Gan (2012) verified that most of the students
considered vocabulary factor the most typical difficulty that sometimes made them
unable to describe their idea accurately and appropriately.
In their book, Stahl & Nagy said:
“A person who knows more words can speak, and even think, more
precisely about the world. A person who knows the terms scarlet and crimson and
azure and indigo can think about colors in a different way than a person who is
limited to red and blue ... words divide the world; the more words we have, the
more complex ways we can think about the world” (2005, p. 5).
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 15

Without an effort to overcome the lack of lexicon, students are likely to have
many difficulties in their study as progressing in the educational system. In higher
education, students’ communicative ability is considered to be at advanced level. Hence,
inadequate vocabulary negatively affects students’ performance in expressing
presentations or speaking in public.
In the twelfth question, students are asked about how often they missed the
opportunity to express their idea in class. Analyzing the response to this question, the
author is able to identify the class size in terms of a factor negatively impacting learners’
speaking ability.

Chart 10.1: Class size Chart 10.2: Class size


(IEP classes) (MEP classes)
1-2 3 4-5 1-2 3 4-5

21% 35% 32%


53% 26%
33%

The chart 10.1 provides information about the IEP students who often miss the
chance to talk in classes (53%) is more than those who do not (21%). On the other side,
chart 10.2 presents a result in which 32% of the students in MEP classes think the
opportunity to speak in classes is contentment to them; this number is slightly less than
the percentage of learners who agree to the question (35%).
As discovered through class observation, students in MEP classes are inclinable to
passively act in class. They often remain at their seat waiting for teachers to explain the
lessons without expressing individual idea using oral communication as a practicing
method. This obviously explains the reason while only students in IEP class are
unsatisfied with the class size.
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 16

Through the finding extracted from chart 10.1, the author may have a conclusion
that students have problems studying in a large class where they do not have enough
opportunity to practice speaking through the interaction with teachers. This finding is in
alignment with the work of other researchers such as Todd who through his finding found
out that students in a large size class generally tended to have lower scores (Todd, 2012);
and Locastro who argued that there would be fewer opportunities for students to learn in
a large class (2001).
To achieve high result in speaking ability, students should have more interaction
with teachers in order to get feedback on each mistake they may produce. In large class, it
is quite hard for the teacher to listen to each individual student and correct their faults and
prevent them from future repetition due to the time limit. Moreover, teachers have chance
to apply more effective methods for teaching and evaluating in smaller classes such as:
discussion, presentation. Consequently, efforts to decrease the class size are potential
attempts that should be done to improve students’ abilities especially the speaking aspect.
To identify other difficulties students may possibly meet in their study, an open-
ended question has been used. Result is shown in table 1 below:
Problems IEP classes MEP classes Total
Problem in 74 71 145
pronunciation
Problem about 21 8 29
grammar
Problem in listening 1 2 3
Table 1: Students’ other possible problems. Unit: responses
As can be seen in the table, a large number of students said that they often
mispronounce words especially new ones (145 out of 249 responses). Some others
mentioned that they are not good in grammar and also listening (61 and 34 of 249
answers). As the number of responses on grammar and listening is quite low, these
aspects should be conducted in other researches.
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 17

The finding in table 1 seems to indicate that many students have a concern on how
to pronounce words correctly while performing their oral communication. As
pronunciation is one of the most important parts in linguistic implementation, this finding
is naturally understandable. Mispronouncing words while speaking may accidentally lead
to misunderstanding between the two conservational contributors. Hence, the result found
in this question is in agreement with that of (Khamkhien, 2010) who found out that most
of Thai students could not have correct pronunciation on a group of words that would
then keep the talk away from understanding.
Conclusion
As stated by Sedniev (2013), the chance of getting your desirable job is possibly
based on giving answers in an interview; the ability for a customer to appreciate one’s
competence is sometimes determined simply by a response in a discussion. Although a
person expects to be a professor, a businessman, a doctor or a journalist, having
proficient English is an indubitable advantage that does a great help in his or her work.
Having cognition on this necessity, a good teacher should understand the barriers
stopping his students from being fluent speaker in order to help. Through this research,
many difficulties available in the school are clearly exposure to the teachers. Thus,
further researches on each difficulty should be implemented to have a deep look on them
so that appropriate changes may be given.
The limitation of this paper is the young students joining the research. Most of the
participants are at the age from 13 to 16 that is said to be a little young to have awareness
of things happening around them. This explains why many students choose answer 3,
considered as neither agree nor disagree, in the questionnaire. In contrast, the number of
participants is large enough with variety of students from both IEP and MEP being used
in the school. It may adequately represent the whole population of the school. Thus, the
result collected tends to be more reliable.
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 18

Suggestion

Except the motivation aspect, students at An Phu Dong Junior High school seem
to meet many problems aimed at the beginning of the research along with the newfound
pronunciation one.
For the class size aspect, it would be better if the class is around 20 students rather
than approximately 45. This suggestion is based on my experience and also confirmed by
the finding of Todd (2012) who through his finding indicated that students’ score started
to drop when the number of pupils exceeded 25. In the current context of public schools
in Vietnam, this seems to be a difficult task for the government to build up more schools
in the future.
While the classroom capacity needs to wait for the government to adapt, more
changes applying inside classroom should be done from both students and teachers size.
To the teachers, they should give more suitable tasks to encourage students’ involvement
in the studying process such as: group discussion, group presentation or oral assessment.
These activities are doable even in large class size with better management. The
interaction between group members or with the teachers in the given tasks also helps
build up students’ self-confidence by practicing from easy tasks to difficult ones.
Moreover, the variety of topics gives students chance to learn more vocabulary relating to
the specific aspects. As a result, students’ lexical ability is unbelievably increasing.
To be better in pronunciation, While watching English movies and listening to
English music, students should try to copy what they hear as much as possible. By doing
this, they may build up their improvement in this aspect.
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STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 20
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 21

APPENDIX A: QUESTIONNAIRE IN ENGLISH

Dear participants,

I really appreciate your valuable time and effort that you will spend to complete this
questionnaire. This will help me analyze your situation and find out your problems in
speaking English. Based on the findings, I am able to give some suggestions to help
you overcome your difficulties and become better in English speaking. It should take
you less than 10 minutes to complete the questionnaire. Please be kindly aware that
your accuracy is vital to my research which will then provide you useful advice.

A. Background Information
1. Which class are you in?
6 7 8 9
2. Which English program are you taking?
Intensive English Program  Program of Ministry of Education 
B. Your experience and attitudes towards speaking English?

Instruction: Please circle a number from 1 to 5 to select the answers for the following
questions.

Not at all Very much


1. How much do you like
talking to a foreigner in 1 2 3 4 5
English?
2. How much do you like
talking with your friends in 1 2 3 4 5
English?
3. How much embarrassment
do you have when making a 1 2 3 4 5
mistake in speaking English?

4. Your reason(s) of studying English speaking (please tick the boxes to choose your
answer. More than one answer is acceptable)
 I don’t know, my parents ask me to  I want to study oversea
study.  I want to read books in English
 It’s required at school.  I love speaking to foreigner
 It’s necessary for my future job.
 Other:________________________________________________________
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 22

5. To what extent do you think your teacher often communicate with you using
English.
Never 1 2 3 4 5 Very often
6. How often or not often does your teacher encourage you to ask and answer in class
using English?
Not often 1 2 3 4 5 Very often
7. When teacher gives a task in English to discuss in a group, how much do you like
participating in the discussion?
Not at all 1 2 3 4 5 Very much
8. Please indicate how often you practice English speaking every day.
Never 1 2 3 4 5 Very often
9. The English curriculum applying at your school has enough speaking exercises for
you to practice.
Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly agree
10. How do you rate the school environment in terms of chance for English
practicing?
Poor 1 2 3 4 5 Excellent
11. How often do you find it difficult to choose a word that best describes your idea?
Never 1 2 3 4 5 Very often
12. How often do you miss the chance to answer an English question in class when
raising your hand?
Never 1 2 3 4 5 Very often
13. What is your other difficulty that you may encounter speaking English? (If you
don’t have any difficulties, please skip it. Otherwise, please briefly describe it
within the given place)

_________________________________________________________________

This is the end of the questionnaire. Thank you for your cooperation
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 23

APPENDIX B: QUESTIONNAIRE IN VIETNAMESE

Các bạn học sinh thân mến,

Tôi rất trân trọng sự cố gắng và thời gian các bạn sẽ bỏ ra để hoàn thành phiếu khảo sát
này. Điều này sẽ giúp tôi phân tích tình trạng của các bạn và tìm ra những khó khăn mà
các bạn gặp phải trong việc nói tiếng Anh. Dựa vào kết quả đó, tôi sẽ đưa ra một số đề
nghị để giúp các bạn vượt qua những khó khăn đó và nói tiếng Anh tốt hơn. Bạn sẽ chỉ
mất không tới 10 phút để hoàn thành bảng khảo sát này. Xin lưu ý rằng sự chính xác là
rất cần thiết cho bài nghiên cứu này và qua đó tôi sẽ có thể đưa ra được những lời khuyên
có ích cho các bạn.

C. Thông tin cá nhân


1. Bạn học lớp mấy?
6 7 8 9
2. Bạn đang học chương trình Tiếng Anh nào ?
Chương trình tiếng Anh tăng cường  Chương trình của Bộ Giáo dục 
D. Kinh nghiệm và thái độ của bạn đối với việc nói tiếng Anh
Hướng dẫn: Vui lòng khoanh tròn một số từ 1 đến 5 để trả lời các câu hỏi dưới đây
Không chút nào Rất nhiều
1. Bạn thích nói tiếng Anh
với người nước ngoài ở mức độ 1 2 3 4 5
nào?
2. Bạn thích nói tiếng Anh
với các bạn của mình ở mức độ 1 2 3 4 5
nào?
3. Bạn cảm thấy xấu hổ khi
mắc lỗi khi nói tiếng Anh ở 1 2 3 4 5
mức độ nào?
4. Lý do bạn học nói tiếng Anh là gì? (Vui lòng đánh các ô dưới đây để trả lời. Có thể
chọn nhiều câu trả lời)
 Tôi không biết, ba mẹ tôi bắt tôi học  Tôi muốn đi du học

 Điều đó là bắt buộc ở trường  Tôi muốn đọc sách tiếng Anh

 Điều này là cần thiết cho công việc  Tôi thích nói chuyện với người nước

của tôi sau này ngoài


 Lý do khác:_____________________________________________________
STUDENTS’ DIFFICULTIES IN SPEAKING 24

5. Theo bạn giáo viên của bạn thường sử dụng tiếng Anh để giao tiếp với bạn ở mức
độ nào ?
Không bao giờ 1 2 3 4 5 Rất thường xuyên
6. Giáo viên của bạn thường khuyến khích bạn hỏi và trả lời bằng tiếng Anh trong lớp
ở mức độ nào?
Không bao giờ 1 2 3 4 5 Rất thường xuyên
7. Khi giáo viên tổ chức một hoạt động thảo luận nhóm bằng tiếng Anh, bạn thích
tham gia và cuộc thảo luận ở mức độ nào?
Không chút nào 1 2 3 4 5 Rất nhiều
8. Vui lòng chọn mức độ thường xuyên luyện tập nói tiếng Anh hàng ngày của bạn
Không bao giờ 1 2 3 4 5 Rất thường xuyên
9. Chương trình tiếng Anh đang áp dụng ở trường bạn có đủ hoạt động nói để bạn thực
tập
Hoàn toàn không đồng ý 1 2 3 4 5 Hoàn toàn đồng ý
10. Bạn đánh giá môi trường thực tập nói tiếng Anh ở trường bạn ở mức độ nào?
Rất tệ 1 2 3 4 5 Tuyệt vời
11. Bạn có thường gặp khó khăn khi chọn một từ để diễn tả ý của mình không?
Không bao giờ 1 2 3 4 5 Rất thường xuyên
12. Bạn thường bị lỡ mất cơ hội trả lời một câu hỏi tiếng Anh trong lớp khi giơ tay phát
biểu
Hoàn toàn không đồng ý 1 2 3 4 5 Hoàn toàn đồng ý
13. Bạn có gặp khó khăn gì khác khi nói tiếng Anh không? (Nếu không có, bạn có thể
bỏ qua câu hỏi này. Nếu có, xin miêu tả ngắn gọn trong khoản trống dưới đây)
__________________________________________________________________


Kết thúc phiếu khảo sát. Rất cảm ơn bạn đã hợp tác