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Challenges and Strategies in Speaking English: Analytical Essay

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Speaking is imperative to human communication in that it provides us to express our opinions, ideas, and feelings( Riverse1978: 162). Huebner (1969:203) states that speaking is the most important skill in communication. In our life, mostly, we use speaking skills rather than others such as reading or writing. Good communication skill leads to success in every aspect of our life whether it is education or work. Nunan (1991) noted, ‘success is determined in terms of the ability to carry out a conversation in the (target) language. Murcia (1978: 91) says speaking is the basic element of language and it develops from the beginning when someone was born, my first contact with the language. The learning procedure requires gaining comprehension, grammar, pronunciation, and fluency. Harris (1974: 81) states that fluency is the case of speed of the flow of the speech, while accuracy center on issues of appropriation and other formal factors. All of those factors mentioned above are essential for language teaching to be understood by others.

When it comes to learning to speak a second language, most learners find it difficult to succeed since it depends on speaking and listening simultaneously( Nunan 2012). Because speaking is a productive process that requires connecting sentences, and structures, and organizing ideas and responses without preparing. Speaking is ‘the process of building and sharing meaning through the use of verbal and non-verbal symbols, in a variety of contexts (Chaney, 1998, p. 13). During the learning and producing speaking process, all learners encounter difficulties that cause teaching them also seem to have challenges. Because the definition of learning and teaching is interrelated with each other that leads to successful results for both learners and teachers. Some of the theoretical findings suggest their studies to develop and facilitate the way of teaching particularly step by step for advanced level.

Problems and challenges of developing speaking Ur (1996) contend that speaking is the most crucial skill among four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) because knowing a language is referred to as speakers of that language. That means using a language is more important than just knowing about it because ―there is no need to know a lot about the language if we can’t use it (Scrivener,2005,p.146). Moreover, Zhang (2009) argued that most English learners consider speaking the most challenging area to enhance, and they are still unskilled to communicate. According to Ur (1996), there are many factors that lead to challenges in speaking:

  1. Inhibition- afraid of criticism, shyness to express ideas, produce speaking, and making mistakes.
  2. Nothing to say- lack of motive to express themselves.
  3. Low or uneven participation- while just one participation tends to talk much, others speak very little or not at all
  4. Mother-tongue use-learners prefer to use their mother tongue because it is easier to communicate and causes them to feel less exposed

Furthermore, Rababa’h (2005) pointed out that there are other factors that cause problems in speaking English among learners. Some factors are restricted to the learners themselves, the teaching techniques, the curriculum, and the learning atmosphere such as many lacks of necessary vocabulary and organizing sentences can be barriers to communicating a second language. Motivation is also the key element to urge learners to speak that cause to risk-taking without hesitation. Actually, motivation is an important power that determines how a learner acts for a task at, how much energy he or she dedicates to it, and how long he or she keeps (Littlewood, 1984, p.53). Interaction and communication with people provide the development of speaking step by step without them learners can not express their opinion and stay stable in their knowledge degree.

According to Hoge (2012) although learners know a lot of grammar rules, parts of speech, clauses, and phrases still they cannot perform their ability to participate in classroom interaction, instead, they rely on their teachers directly during classes. Brown (2000) states that interactive learning is on of the critical main element of all the existing theories concerning the evaluation of communicative competence in a target language. In that case, Interactive classes provide some strategies such as doing a lot of pair work, group work, and to receiving and producing language in a real-world context for meaningful communication purposes. Anderson (1993), Chowdhury (2001), Lui (1998), and Li (1998) support the idea of challenges during interactions in the classroom. Louma (2004) asserts that speaking in a second language is arduous that requires a long-term period to improve the communication process in the target language.

Admittedly, there are challenges in which learners to experience teachers are responsible to guide their learners with their teaching strategies and methods that help create a learning environment. Jabeen (2013) states Initial cause for students’ difficulties in speaking is that the atmosphere does not contribute to the learners regularly. Problems that students facing analyzed and data were collected from Prime University EFL learners and teachers. About 35 students participated in the classroom observation that shows the most and least difficulty percentages that students facing below :

One can discover from the information that mentioned above mastering traditional grammar, unproductive classroom surroundings, fear and anxiousness of making mistakes, vocabulary and motive shortage to convey opinions and use of mother tongue are the important demanding situations for L2 learners to grow their speaking skill.

Language learning strategies

Cohen (1998) categorizes techniques into two areas: those for the usage of language, and those for gaining knowledge of the language: Second language learning techniques embody both second language studying and second language use strategies. Taken collectively they represent the steps or moves consciously decided on by learners either to develop the learning, using it or each. (p. 5) A number of research (O’Malley & Chamot 1990; Oxford 1990: Rubin 1981) led to the advent and improvement of various taxonomies. Rubin’s studies (1981) include the following categories of strategies:

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  1. Clarification/Verification,
  2. Guessing/Inductive inferencing,
  3. Deductive reasoning,
  4. Practice
  5. Memorization and Monitoring

When it comes to O’Malley and Chamot (1990) they divide strategies into three dimensions:

  1. metacognitive techniques,
  2. cognitive techniques
  3. social-affective strategies.

And Oxford (1990) advanced a taxonomy that divides strategies into direct and indirect techniques:

  1. Direct
  2. Indirect

Direct strategies are those “that at once involve the intended language” (p. 37), while indirect strategies “provide indirect aid for language gaining knowledge of through focusing, making plans, comparing, seeking possibilities, controlling tension, growing cooperation and empathy and another manner” Studies from a number of international locations have informed a dramatic rise in the use of strategies through students, in addition to development of their language ability (see Chen 2007; Issitt 2008; Méndez & Marín 2007).

Speaking strategies

Speaking strategy is a critical component of language learning that includes oral communicative strategies, communication strategies, conversation skills or oral communication strategies. According to O’Malley and Chamot (1990), speaking strategies are crucial because they help foreign language learners“in negotiating which means in which either linguistic systems or sociolinguistic policies are not shared among a second language learner and a speaker of the goal language” (p.43). For Hedge (2000), an experienced speaker knows how to utilize speaking strategies and he remarks that: “These techniques come into play whilst learners are not able to express what they need to mention because they lack the resources to do so successfully” (p. 52). These verbal and non-verbal strategies (e.g. verbal circumlocution, clarification, non-verbal mimicry, gestures, etc.) may be used to fill for a breakdown in conversation or for unknown phrases or topics, and also be used to improve the successful conversation. In a current study, Nakatani (2005) confirmed that scholars who have been taught speaking strategies made a vast development of their oral exams. According to study by Gallagher-Brett (2007), the three strategies used maximum by way of students had been practicing, revising, and repetition at home after revision, and students stated that practice and revision are the most critical activities conducive to successful speaking of the second language. These strategies are metacognitive and even though they may be vital, Mariza Méndez López (2011)argues that educating students on the use of speaking strategies to help them higher their performance while interacting in English

As a skill, there are many strategies to evolve speaking area that O’Malley and Chamot (1990) divide strategies into three dimensions as I mentioned above:

  • metacognitive strategies, cognitive strategies and social-affective strategies.
  • Metacognitive strategies Cognitive strategies Social-affective strategies
  • Advance organizers Repetition. Cooperation
  • Directed attention to Resourcing Clarification.
  • Selective attention. Translation.
  • Self-management Grouping
  • Functional planning Note taking.
  • Self-monitoring Deduction
  • Delayed production. Recombination.
  • Self-evaluation Imagery.
  • Auditory representation
  • Keyword
  • Contextualization.
  • Elaboration
  • Transfer
  • Inferencing

Speaking strategies are critical, due to the fact that they provide foreign language learners with precious equipment to speak in the target language in numerous conditions


The paper concludes that students lack the ability to talk in English because of essential vocabulary and grammar structure shortages. They additionally lack of sentence formation abilities, which causes to use their mother tongue. Students also think of making errors in speaking in front of a gathering or their classmates as very embarrassing, which leads to preferring no longer to speak English. Besides, it was found that the environment does not provide students with opportunities to use learning strategies, and students tend to depend on the teachers’ role to speak that they do not participate in English communication. Learners can increase their speaking capacity by developing learning strategies that allow them to become independent learners (Nakatani,2010).

It is essential to pay attention that teachers should implement strategy training in the course of teaching. Strategies need to be offered and demonstrated first, with instructors then allowing time for exercise of the method. Next, teachers have to inspire the usage of the strategies already presented in class so that learners use many strategies in their studying procedure. According to Tudor (1996), a place of strategy studies that has attracted a great deal of attention is learner training. Providing strategy for students help them to take higher precedence of their studying.

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Challenges and Strategies in Speaking English: Analytical Essay. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from
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