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Speaking Challenges Faced By Introvert English Education Study Program Students

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People talk everyday where ever they live. They use language as their tool to interact and communicate with another people. Marzulina (2018) states language is a means of communication to connect people. Thus, language is required for interaction and communication. Talking about language, there are many languages in this world. Based on page of UNESCO, there are around 6.700 languages that spoken by people in this world (Hardyanto, 2018). Every country must have its own language. But nowadays, English is the most used in some countries in this world.

English is very popular language and it is used in every aspect. According to Abrar, Mukminin, Habibi, Asyrafi, Makmur, and Marzulina (2018) English is an international language since it has been largely spoken among foreign language speakers. Later, Pattymahu (2012) states that English has become a universal language used in the world of technology, education, politics, trade, and so forth. Besides, English also known as lingua franca. Harmer (2001) explains that lingua franca is a language widely adopted for communication between two speakers whose native languages are different from each other’s and where one or both speakers are using it as a second language. So, it is not surprised there are many countries learn about English. One of them is Indonesian. In Indonesian, English has taught when students in Elementary school. Instead, in the kinder garden, the students have introduced about English.

English is not mother tongue of Indonesian, so it is quite difficult to speak up in English for Indonesian. Arifin (2017) argues speaking in English for EFL students is not an easy task and needs much effort to produce acceptable words and utterances in English. Then, Mukminin, Noprival, Masbirorotni, Sutarno, Arif, and Maimunah (2015) claim that learning English for Indonesian students is a challenge subject. In another word, learning English needs time and also it take a long process to mastery. It cannot master in short time.

Basically, when people want to learn about English there are four main skills that they have to mastery. They are speaking, listening, writing, and reading. From those four, speaking is the most important. According to Afshar and Asakereh (2016) speaking is one of the four macro language skills which are required to be developed in order for EFL/ESL students to communicate effectively in different contexts. Mostly, speaking is used to communicate, convey information, and make relationship among people in the world, etc, because it is one of the abilities to carry out conversation (Sayuri, 2016). To make a conversation, people need communication. Verderber, Sellnow and Verderber (2012) claim that communication is the process of creating shared meaning. That is why speaking is really important to make understand about what people said.

Learning speaking in English is not easy, because there are challenge and difficulty. Thornbury (2015) states that speaking is a real challenge to the most language learner. Further, Al-Roud (2016) states that most people who learn English think that speaking skill is difficult task. In some cases, students have problems with their speaking. Students faced problems in speaking English related to pronunciation, fluency, grammar, and vocabulary (Sayuri, 2016). Next, Tokoz and Goktepe (2013) figure out most of the students complained that their language was limited to mechanic vocabulary and grammar structures. In addition, Hadijah (2014) in her research, she found out that students had difficulty to pronounce the English words correctly, arranging the words in good sentence grammatically, and limited vocabulary to express their ideas.

Speaking problem probably cause of the students don’t understand about their language learning strategy (LLS). Oxford as cited it in Rachmawati (2013) states that LLS are crucial aspect to consider because these strategies are essential for developing communicative competence that is needed in speaking. Besides, LLS also can be influenced by personality. In that case, Kayaoglu (2013) found out personality determine language learning strategies the students. Then, Kato (2009) also found the correlation between personality trait and LLS choice. In addition, Obralic and Mulalic (2017) claim that making students aware about their personality trait and the type of strategy they employ while learning the language may also increase their interests and motivation. Thus, personality has role in students’s strategy when they learn in their studying.

Moreover, everyone has different personality. Especially for students, they have their own personality. Personality refers to important and relatively stable aspects of behavior (Prakash, Singh, & Yadav, 2016). While, Akhavan, Dehghani, Rajabpour and Pezeshkan (2015) argue that personality refers to all traits and attributes of behavior such as feelings, self-perception, viewpoints, thinking styles and many habits. However, personality trait is different from sex, age, nationality, or the length of language learning which can be easily measured and judged (Noprianto, 2017). Hence, anything that related in someone’s behavior and identity.

Furthermore, someone personality can divides into some parts. Jung divided personality into two parts they are introvert and extrovert (Sharp, 1987). Some researchers mention extrovert by another term. Such as Marwa and Thamrin (2016), they claim extrovert personality is commonly called extroversion or choleric personality. The other hand, introvert personality is commonly called introversion. Akhavan, Dehghani, Rajabpour and Pezeshkan (2015) define introversion is a trait that is associated with subjective inner vision and extraversion is a behavioral trait that is associated with objective vision and focused on external perspective. Then, Zhang (2008) explains about one of personality, extrovert means a person more interested in what is happening around him than in his own thoughts and emotions. Usually, the extroverts are more popular and appear in education field.

Moreover, both extrovert and introvert are different. According to Marwa and Thamrin (2016), extroverts work better under stressful situations than introverts. Afterwards, extroverts may also have advantages in verbal information processing that support their sociability (Matthews, Deary & Whiteman, 2009). Compare to introvert, extrovert were better L2 speaker (Zafar, Khan & Meenaskshi, 2017). Then, Chen, Jiang and Mu (2015) state that extrovert learners are more likely to engage in oral participation than the introverts and students with quiet, reserved personalities are often treated as students with problem. So, no wonder if some people believed that extroverts are good in some aspects than introverts.

Some studies showed that extrovert people are superior in speaking. There was study conducted by Rofi’i (2017), his study to examine about the extrovert and the introvert students’ speaking skill, the result was extroverts got higher score in average than introverts. Then, Wulandari, Saputri, and Nurlinda (2017) also investigated extrovert and introvert students in speaking ability, they found that some students who had a good score in speaking score are extrovert. In brief, it seem that introvert students have difficulty in speaking.

Then, based on informal interview about personality. There are introvert students, most of them think that speaking is a challenge subject and difficult too. Some of them believe that they cannot express what are in their mind, they have difficulty how to speak, and also they feel nervous when they speak up.

Hence, based on the problem above, the researcher conduct a research about introvert student and speaking skill with a title Speaking Challenges Faced by Introvert English Education Study Program Students: A Case Study in State Islamic University of Raden Fatah Palembang.

Research Problem

Based on the general background of the study above, the research problem of this study is: What are speaking challenges faced by introvert English education study program students?

Research Objective

The research objective of this study is: To find out the speaking challenges faced by introvert English education study program students.

Significance of the Study

There are several significance that can be finding from this study. Some information will help and give positive contribution for many field especially for teaching and learning field. For the students, they know the speaking problems that the most students face in especially for introvert student. For the teacher, this study gives information about what problems that their students have in speaking. So they have to find out the solution to help for their students. For the next researcher, this study can be references especially for the researcher who wants to continue this study.



Definition of Speaking

There are many experts that explain the definition of speaking. Speaking is an interactive process of constructing meaning that involves producing, receiving, and processing information (Florez, 1999). In addition, Thornbury (2005) states speaking as a speech production that becomes a part of daily activities which involves interaction. Futher, Cornbleet and Carter (2002) claim that speaking is combining sounds in a recognized and systematic way, according to language-specific principles, to form meaningful utterances. While, Kathleen (Nd) argues speaking is such a fundamental human behavior that we don’t stop to analyze it unless there is something noticeable about it.

Factor Affecting Speaking

Ur (1996) stated the factors that affect speaking skill as follows:

  • a. Inhibition. Students are worried about making mistakes, fearful of criticism, or simply shy.
  • b. Nothing to say. Students have no motive to express themselves.
  • c. Low or uneven participation. Only one participant can talk at a time because of large classes and the tendency of some learners to dominate, while others speak very little or not at all.
  • d. Mother-tongue use. Learners who share the same mother tongue tend to use it because it is easier and because learners feel less exposed if they are speaking their mother tongue.”

Speaking Challenges

There are many challenges in speaking. Abrar et al. (2018) categorized them into some themes for speaking challenges of EFL student teachers’:

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  • a. Language barriers (the difficulty of speaking based on the language components such as: vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and fluency).
  • b. Psychological factors (there are three influential psychological factors including anxiety, attitude, and lack of motivation).
  • c. Learning environment (there are three consistent issues: lecturers, peers, and topics of speaking modules).
  • d. Practicing the language (self-practice, practicing the language with tutors and peers, practicing the language with media and technology, and maintaining a positive motivation).

In addition, another term of speaking challenges is speaking problem. Sayuri (2016) states students have problems related to:

  • a. Pronunciation is an important thing in the way how to pronounce a word correctly and how the interlocutor can understand what the speaker purposes.
  • b. Grammatical rules are often felt very confusing by some English learners when they are speaking. They sometimes get difficulty in arranging sentences, moreover related to the use of grammatical pattern correctly in those sentences.
  • c. Hesitations in speaking cannot be avoided, it is really hard for foreign language learners, moreover beginner
  • d. Restrictiveness of vocabulary is very disturbing learners in speaking English. Without words they are impossible to speak and to convey something to others. Words are the bridge of communication. By words they can create utterances as much as they want. Lack of words, the learners sometimes get difficulty in making and forming an utterance.


Definition of Introvert

According to Gass and Selinker (2008) the stereotype of an introvert is someone who is much happier with a book than with other people. Zhang (2008) states that introvert is a person who is more interested in his own thoughts and feelings than in things outside himself, and is often shy and unwilling to speak or join in activities with others. In addition, Arip, Mohammad, Ibrahim, and Husin (2017) believe that introverted individuals are individuals who are less active, emotional, not so talkative and less social. They would rather do some tasks individually without expecting help from others rather than working in groups. The introverted individual is a serious person, timid, thinking less into the future and dislike to think of the initiative to a problem.

Introversion and four functions

According to Sharp (1987), he mentions in his book about Jung’s model of typology, he also describes introverted attitude:

  • a. Introverted thinking type. Thinking in the introverted attitude is oriented primarily by the subjective factor. Whether the thinking process focuses on concrete or abstract objects, its motivation comes from within. Introverted thinking depends on neither immediate experience nor generally accepted, traditional ideas. It is no less (or more) logical than extraverted thinking, but it is neither motivated by objective reality nor directed toward it.
  • b. Introverted feeling type. Feeling in the introverted attitude is determined principally by the subjective factor. In its unconcern with the object it is as different from extraverted feeling as is introverted from extraverted thinking. What is true of introverted thinking is equally true of introverted feeling, only in the former everything is thought, while in the latter it is felt. Both are oriented to inner images rather than outer facts. Images in the introverted thinker are tied to thoughts and ideals; images in the introverted feeling type manifest as values.
  • c. Introverted sensation type. In the introverted attitude, sensation is based predominantly on the subjective component of perception. Although its very nature makes it dependent on objective stimuli, the sensed object takes second place to the sensing subject. The introverted sensation type is like a highly sensitized photographic plate.
  • d. Introverted intuitive type. Introverted intuition is directed to the contents of the unconscious. The introverted intuitive type, like the extraverted intuitive, has an uncanny capacity for smelling out the future, the notyet-manifest possibilities of a situation.

Previous Related Study

There are some previous related studies regarding this study. Kabir (2014) conducted a research with a title Challenges of Speaking English in Bangladeshi Classrooms. The participants were randomly chosen from 3 secondary schools and 1 college. The schools were chosen from different parts of Dhaka city and 1 was from a suburb named Kishoregonj. The only college was also from that suburb. The participants did vary in their classes and ages. However, the total numbers of these participants were 60. Among them, 40 were from Dhaka and 20 were from Kishorgonj. From Dhaka, there were 24 girls and 16 boys where it was 11 girls and 9 boys from Kishorgonj. The instruments of this research were questionnaire survey, focus group discussion, teachers’ interview and classroom observation. The result of his study were that the lack of logistic and administrative facilities, appropriate teaching-learning methods and lack of supportive environment are the challenges in teaching-learning spoken English in Bangladesh.

Heriansyah (2012) conducted the research speaking problems faced by the English Department students of Syiah Kuala University. The subjects of this study were all the third semester students at the English Department who got the lowest passing grades in speaking class. Many students in these groups had low performance in Speaking Class. They were taking Speaking III. The focus of the study was on 10 students, selected from 25 students. An interview was carried out to get the main data. The researcher figured out problems that most students faced in speaking was ’having a lack of vocabulary’, ‘not being confident to speak’, ‘not being used to talking in class’, and ‘difficulty expressing words or sentences.’


Research Design

This study will use a case study method in qualitative research. According to Creswell (2013) a case study is a problem to be studied, which will reveal in depth understanding of a case or bounded system, which involves understanding an event, activity, process, or one or more individuals. Another expert, Dawson (2002) explains qualitative research explores attitudes, behavior and experiences through such methods as interviews or focus groups. It attempts to get an in-depth opinion from participants.

However, there are five steps in conducting this study. First, I will have a classroom observation to find out the introvert students’s activities during speaking class. Second, I will gain depth information by interview the students to find the speaking challenges that faced by introvert students. Third, I will analyze the data from classroom observation and interview. Last, I will discuss the explanation and interpretation of the results.

Operational Definition

In this study, I provide some terms in order to avoid misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the readers. In addition, as stated previously, this study uses qualitative research design to reveal the phenomenon and explain and interpret the result. Speaking Challenge is the speaking problem or difficulty of speaking that face by students in learning speaking. Introvert Students refer to the students who have personality tend to less talking than the other students. And case study refers to phenomena which can be able to be learned.


This study is conducted at English Education Study Program in Islamic State University of Raden Fatah Palembang. The subjects for this survey are students in fifth semester. The students from the 2017 academic year are purposively chosen because they had already passed all speaking classes. Meanwhile, the objects of this study are introvert students who obtained in preliminary study.

In selecting the study subjects, I will use simple random sampling technique. I randomly choose the introvert students from four classes. There are 11 introvert students from the 2017 academic year. They are 1 student from class A, 3 students from class B, 4 students from class C, 3 students from class D. According to Creswell (2013) in some cases, you might study a single individual or a single site. In other cases, the number may be several, ranging from 1 or 2 to 30 or 40. Because of the need to report details about each individual or site, the larger number of cases can become unwieldy and result in superficial perspectives. Moreover, collecting qualitative data and analyzing it takes considerable time, and the addition of each individual or site only lengthens that time.

Data Collection

In data collection, I will find out the data through classroom observation and interview.

Observation Classroom

Classroom observation will be used in this study to find out. According to Creswell (2013) observation is the process of gathering open-ended, firsthand information by observing people and places at a research site.


In this study, I will use interview to collect the data. According to Creswell (2013), interview occurs when researchers ask one or more participants general, open-ended questions and record their answers. In social research there are some types of interview. Dawson (2002) argues the most common of these are unstructured, semi-structured and structured interviews.

The interview will be used in this study is one-on-one interview to the students. I will use open ended interview, then I will audio type the interview and transcribe it. Tape recorder will be used to record all the students’ conversation. The interview will be ended after the interviewee finish answering the questions.

Data Analysis

The data from observation and interview will be analyzed to determine information about speaking challenges that face by introvert students. After I collect the data, I will analyze the data by using thematic analysis. Thematic analysis is a qualitative analysis that used to analyze classifications and present themes that relate to the data (Alhojailan, 2012, p.10). In this study, I need to be able to draw interpretations about the speaking chellenges that face by introvert students. Thematic analysis is considered the most appropriate for any study that seeks to discover using interpretations (Alhojailan, 2012, p.10). In addition, Marks and Yardley (2004) state that thematic analysis gives an opportunity to understand the potential of any issue more widely.

There are steps that used to analyze the qualitative data by using thematic analysis based on Braun and Clarke. According to, Braun and Clarke (2006) states that there are six steps analyze the qualitative data by using thematic analysis. The first step is used by researcher is familiarising yourself with your data. In this step I will repeated reading‟ of the data and searching for meanings, patterns and so on. The second is generating initial codes. In this step, I will code the data from interview and observation. The third is searching for themes, I will make themes based on code. The fourth is reviewing themes. I will review the themes that I made. The fifth is defining and naming themes. I will redefine and rename the themes to be more complex. And the last step is producing the report. This step, I will make the explanation of the result about the speaking chellenges that face by introvert students in the fifth semester of English Education Study Program in State Islamic University of Raden Fatah Palembang.

Establishment of trustworthiness

In qualitative research, trustworthiness consisted of some terms such as credibility, authenticity, transferability, dependability and confirmability. For this research, I will use triangulation. In addition, Creswell (2012) state qualitative inquirers triangulate among different data sources to enhance the accuracy of a study. Next, I will use methodological triangulation technique in this study.

There are some steps in conducting this methodological triangulation. First, the data from classroom observation will be checked and compared by interview data to see if similar results are being found. Last, I will make the conclusion from the results of those data.


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