Understanding English Speaking Difficulties: Implications for the English Language Curriculum for the Arab Students in a Pakistani University
This study aimed to identify the difficulties and their causes, with oral English skills of the Arab students at a leading international university in the South Punjab, Pakistan. To achieve the objectives, the study, using structured questionnaire and semi-structured (semi-standardized) interviews, addressed to the issue and reported the results indicating the relevant problem areas. The quantitative analysis of the data was performed through a one-sample t-test using SPSS version 21, whereas the qualitative analysis of the data acquired from the interviews was accomplished through open-coding and thematic analyses. The deficient oral English academic background, insufficient oral English activities in the current English language curriculum, lack of language classroom plans that provide opportunities to speak English, lack of proficient English language teachers and absence of foundation courses in English at the start of the educational programmes are found to be responsible for the oral English difficulties that these learners are currently facing. The results lead us to question the oral English curriculum for these Arab students and a lack of focus in taking the relevant remedial measures.
KeywordsEnglish speaking difficulties Arab students Tertiary level education Low competence in spoken English
- Ahmad, J., & Muhiburrahman, M. (2013). Teachers’ perspectives on errors in English consonant sounds by Saudi EFL learners. Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(3), 150–163.Google Scholar
- Canagarajah, A. S. (1999). Resisting linguistic imperialism in English teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Corder, S. P. (1975). Applied linguistics and language teaching. Papers in applied linguistics, 2, 1–15.Google Scholar
- Crystal, D. (2012). English as a global language. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Dearden, J. (2014). English as a medium of instruction—A growing global phenomenon. British Council. http://www.Britishcouncil.org/education/ihe/knowledge-centre/english-language-higher-education/report-english-medium-instruction. Accessed 2 2 2016.
- Doughty, C. J. (2008). Instructed SLA: Constraints, compensation, and enhancement. In C. J. Doughty & M. H. Long (Eds.), The handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 256–310). Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R., & Jackson, P. R. (2012). Management research. Los Angeles and London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R., & Lowe, A. (2004). Management research: An introduction (2nd ed.). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
- Gao, M., & Liu, Q. (2012). Effective teacher attributes: A comparison of American and Chinese secondary teacher candidates’ perceptions. Journal of the International Society for Teacher Education, 16(2), 85–95.Google Scholar
- Gomez, L., & Karatzas, D. (2016, April). A fine-grained approach to scene text script identification. In Document Analysis Systems (DAS), 2016 12th IAPR Workshop on (pp. 192–197). IEEE.Google Scholar
- Hajar, A. (2015). ‘Significant others’ in influencing Arab EFL learners’ learning strategy use and development: A qualitative study. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 6(3), 257–270.Google Scholar
- Hamad, M., & Hussain, M. (2011). Arabic text-to-speech synthesizer. In Student Conference on Research and Development (SCOR&D) (pp. 409–414). IEEE.Google Scholar
- Javed, F. (2013). Arabic and English phonetics: A comparative study. The Criterion: An International Journal in English, 4(4). Retrieved from www.the-criterion.com.
- Kadasah, N. (2000). ISO 9000 implementation in a range of manufacturing sectors in Saudi Arabia, Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of Stirling, UK.Google Scholar
- Laufer, B. (2009). Why are some words more difficult than others?—Some intralexical factors that affect the learning of words. IRAL—International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 28(4), 293–308.Google Scholar
- Litwin, M. S. (1995). How to measure survey reliability and validity (Vol. 7). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Lotbinière, M. D. (2011, November 8). South Korean parents told: Pre-school English ‘harmful.’ The Guardian Weekly. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com.
- Macaro, E. (2015). English medium instruction: Time to start asking some difficult questions. Modern English Teacher, 24(2), 4–7.Google Scholar
- Norton, B. (2000). Investment, acculturation, and language loss. In S. L. McKay & S.-L. C. Wong (Eds.), New immigrants in the United States (pp. 443–461). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Price, M. L. (1991). The subjective experience of foreign language anxiety: Interview with highly anxious students. In E. K. Horwitz & D. J. Young (Eds.), Language anxiety: From theory and research to classroom implications (pp. 101–108). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. S. (2014). Approaches and methods in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2007). Research methods for business students (4th ed.). Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.Google Scholar
- Songsangkaew, P. (2003). The language function difficulties experienced by Thai students in real situations in America. Unpublished master’s thesis, Faculty of English of Applied Arts, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology North Bangkok, BKK, Thailand.Google Scholar
- Yang, B., & Clum, G. A. (1994). Life stress, social support, and problem-solving skills predictive of depressive symptoms, hopelessness, and suicide ideation in an Asian student population: A test of a model. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 24(2), 127–139.Google Scholar
- Hidri, S. (2018b). Introduction: State of the art of assessing second language abilities. In S. Hidri (Ed.), Revisiting the assessment of second language abilities: From theory to practice (pp. 1–19). Basel: Springer.Google Scholar
- Hidri, S. (2018c). Assessing spoken language ability: A many-Facet Rasch analysis. In S. Hidri (Ed.), Revisiting the assessment of second language abilities: From theory to practice (pp. 23–48). Basel: Springer.Google Scholar