John P Stevens, Saidu Challay, Philip F.Y Thulla


This study investigates factors and strategies to improve oral fluency, proficiency, and competency in English among senior secondary school students. Objectives include examining the influence of a speaker's first language and cultural factors on second language (L2) learning. Utilizing a mixedmethods approach, 25 out of 97 senior secondary schools in the southern province were chosen, involving 9,870.25 students and 59.5 teachers. The research assessed oral fluency enhancement using questionnaires and interviews, focusing on word pronunciation and public speaking exercises. Results showed over 80% of students had pronunciation issues and used frequent calques. Students in district headquarters performed better than those in remote areas. Common problems included poor sentence construction, spelling, pronunciation, and subject-verb agreement. Traditional teaching methods like grammar-translation and rote learning were prevalent but less effective. These teacher-centered approaches relied heavily on textbooks and did not promote student engagement or language acquisition. The study concludes that a shift towards student-centered teaching, involving classroom participation, interaction, group work, and public speaking, is necessary for effective English language learning. Keywords: speaking fluency, proficiency, competency, intervention strategies, sociolinguistic factors, public speaking

Full Text:



Aifuwa, O. B. (2013). The Problem of Teaching Oral English in Secondary Schools: A Case Study of Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State. A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of English and Literary Studies, Delta State University, Abrak.ijel.ccsenet.org International Journal of English Linguistics Vol. 8, No. 6; 2018

Ashraf, D. (1998), Teachers’ role in developing students’ oral proficiency in English as a foreign language (EFL) class. Unpublished master’s thesis, Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development, Karachi, Pakistan

Bahdur, K. (2009). Improving students’ English Speaking Skills through Interactive Approach in a Private Lower Secondary School in Karachi, Pakistan. Unpublished master’s thesis, Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development, Karachi, Pakistan.

Bandung: P T Remaja Rosdakarya. Schrieber, J., & Asner-Self, K. (2011). Educational research: The interrelationship of questions, sampling, design, and analysis. Hoboken. NJ: JohnWiley & Sons, Inc.

Bashiruddin, A. (2003). Learning English and learning to teach English: the case of two teachers of English in Pakistan. Unpublished doctorate dissertation, University of Toronto, Canada

Brown, H.D. (1994). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy. The United States of America: Tina Carver.

Burton, L. A. (2013). Mother tongue-based multilingual education in the Philippines: Studying top-down policy implementation from the bottom-up (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://goo.gl/e2jdVq

Bahdur, K. (2009).Improving students’ English Speaking Skills through Interactive Approach in a Private Lower Secondary School in Karachi, Pakistan. Unpublished master’s thesis, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.

Calderón, M., Slavin, R., & Sánchez, M. (2011) Effective instruction for English learners. Cameron, L. (2001).Teaching language to young learners. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Çelik, Ö, & Kocaman, O. (2016).Barriers Experienced by Middle School Students in the process of Learning English. International Journal of Psychology and Educational Studies IJPES, 3 (1), 3348. doi:10.17220/ijpes.2016.01.003.

Chan, Kit Ying, Hall,Michael, and Ashley Assgari. (2016). The role of vowel formant frequencies and duration in the perception of foreign accent. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 29 (1), 1–12.

Chan, V. (2011). Teaching oral communication in undergraduate science: Are we doing enough and doing it right? Journal of Learning Design, 4(3), 71-79.

Chang, S. C. (2011). A contrastive study of Grammar Translation Method and communicative Approach in Teaching English Grammar. English Language Teaching, 4 (2).

Chen, T. Y., & Chang, G. B. (2004).The relationship between foreign language anxiety and learning difficulties. Foreign Language Annals, 37(2), 279-289.doi:10.1111/j.1944-9720. 2004.tb02200.

Cheng, L. (2008). The key to success: English language testing in China. Language Testing, 25, 15-37.

Christian, D., McCarty, D., & Brown, C. (2020). Experiential education during the COVID- 19 pandemic: A reflective process. Journal of Constructivist Psychology. doi:10.1080/10720537.2020.1813666

Coady, J. & Huckin, T. (1997).Second language vocabulary acquisition. London , Cambridge University Press.

Couper, Graeme. 2006. The short and long-term effects of pronunciation instruction. Prospect, 21 (1), 46–66.

Cullen, R. (2012). Grammar instruction. In: Burns A, Richards JC (eds) The Cambridge Guide to Pedagogy and Practice in Second Language Teaching. Cambridge University Press, 258–66.

Crystal, D. (2020). Forensic Stylistic Challenge. London: Penguin Books.

Daily Guide (2019). “WASSCE Candidates Fail Maths and English”.Monday, 16th March, 2018 Edition. Retrieved from http://dailyguideafrica.com/wassce-candidates-fail-maths-english/

Demir, Y. (2013).The Role of In-class Vocabulary Strategies in Vocabulary Retention of Turkish EFL Learners. Elementary Education Online, 12 (4), 1173-1187.

Demuth, Katherine, Culbertson, Jennifer and Jennifer Alter. (2006). Word-minimalism, epenthesis and coda licensing in the early acquisition of English. Language and Speech, 49 (2), 137–173.

Diep, L. T. N. (2017). Measurement of Factors Affecting English Speaking Skills of Students at the Foreign Language Department of Van Lang University. Research and Science Today, 1(13).

Dinh Thị Bich Ngoc and Tran Thi Dung (2020). Key factors influencing learners’ oral fluency in English speaking classes: a case at a public university in Vietnam.VNU Journal of Foreign Studies, Vol.36, No.6 (2020) 93-108

Dincer, A., & Yesilyurt, S. (2013). Pre-service English teachers’ beliefs on speaking skill based on motivational orientations. English Language Teaching, 6(7), 88

Drobot, Irina-Ana (July 31st, 2021). Multilingualism and Awareness of Cultural Differences in Communication, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.99178

Ethnologue. (2017).Languages of the World: Ghana. Retrieved from https://ethnologue.com/country/GH

Gay, L. R., Mills, G. E., & Airasian, P. W. (2011). Educational research: Competencies for analysis and applications. Pearson Higher Ed.

Ghafoor, A. (1998). Promoting oral communication in a Pakistani EFL primary classroom.Unpublished master’s thesis, Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development, Karachi, Pakistan.

Gluszek, Agata and John Dovidio. (2010). Speaking with a nonnative accent: Perceptions of bias, communication difficulties, and belonging in the United States. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 29 (2), 224–234.

Graddol, D. (2006). English Next Why Global English may Mean the End of ‘English as a Foreign Language’.

British Council, 2006. http://www.britishcouncil.org/learning-research-english-next.pdf

Grant, Linda and Donna Brinton. (2014). Pronunciation myths: Applying second language research to classroom teaching. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Griffiths, C. (2015). What have we learnt from „good language learners‟?. ELT Journal, 69 (4), 425433.

Hall. G. (2011). Exploring English Language Teaching: Language in Action. Routledge- London.

Harmer, J. (2007). The practice of English language teaching.

He, D. (2018). Foreign language learning anxiety in China: Theories and applications in English language teaching. Singapore: Springer.

Hedge, T. (2000). Teaching and learning in the language classroom.US: Oxford University Press.

Hillman, S. (2015). The relationship between English language education policies and economic growth in Asia (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Digital Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 10002251)

Hinkel, Eli. 2005. Handbook of Research in Secong Language Teaching and Learning. London: Seattle University

Hodson, P. (2006). Listening to children’s voices: unlocking speaking and listening in the primary classroom. In J, Deborah & H, Pamela (Eds.) unlocking speaking and listening. Great Britain: David Fulton. Pp.1-16.

Horwitz, E. K. (2001). Language anxiety and achievement. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 21, 112-126.

Horwitz E. K & D. J. Young (Eds.), Language anxiety: From theory and research to classroom implications (pp. 101-108). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Hummel, K. (2014). Introducing second language acquisition: Perspectives and practices.West Sussex, UK: John Wiley and Sons.

Hussain, A. Z. (1998). Creating an enabling environment for students talk in ESL primary classrooms. Unpublished master’s thesis, Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development, Karachi, Pakistan.

Hurix, Digital (2021). Top 6 challenges in implementing competency-based curriculum. https://www.hurix.com/challenges-in-implementing-competency-based-curriculum

Irwan, Deni Asrida, Novria Fadli (2017). Contributing Factors to The Students’ Speaking abilities. Institut Agama Islam Negeri Batusangkar, West Sumatera.

Jabeen, N. (2005).Developing of listening and speaking skills in English for grade 6 teachers. Unpublished master’s thesis, Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development, Karachi, Pakistan.

Jacob, Ado Ama (Jan25, 2022) Challenges Encountered by Learners of English as a Second Language.

Jassem, Z. A. (1997). Towards better speaking in the English class: A sociolinguistic approach. The English Teacher, XXIV, 41-52.

Khan, I. A. (2011). Learning difficulties in English: Diagnosis and pedagogy in Saudi Arabia. Educational Research, 2 (7), 1248-1257.

Khan. 2005. Language in India. Available at: www.languageinindia.com.

Khan, B., & Khattak, Z.A.(2011). Anxiety as a Case of poor Language Learning in Pakistan: A Case study. In Miroslaw,P.(Ed.). Extending the boundaries of research on second language learning and teaching, 143-148.New York: Springer

Kirkpatrick, A. (2009). Learning English and Other Languages in Multilingual Settings: Myths and Principles. The Hong Kong Institute of Education. http://libir1.ied.edu.hk/pubdata/ir/link/pub/9917.pdf

Kottler, E., Kottler, J. A., & Street, C. (2008). English language learners in your classroom: strategies that work. (3rd ed.). USA: Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks.

Krajňáková, D. (2012). English as a World Language. Law on the usage of languages, Retrieved from: http://www.slvesnik.com.mk/

Lawtie. 2004. Biodiesel and Speech Difficulties. available at: z.mortonjones@worc.ac.uk http:/www.scips.worc.ac.uk/subjects_and_challenges/biosciences/bioscispeech.

Lee, G. (2009). Speaking up: Six Korean students’ oral participation in class discussions in US graduate seminars. English for Specific Purposes, 28, 142-156.

Lima, D. C. (2001). English as-a-foreign-language teacher-training programmes: An overview. Linguagem & Ensino, 4(2), 143-153.

Linse, C. T., & Nunan, D. (2006). Practical English language teaching: Young learners. McGraw-Hill.

Liu, M. (2006). Anxiety in Chinese EFL students at different proficiency levels. System, 34, 301316

MacLeod, F., & Larsson, P. (2011). Exposure to English outside the Classroom. https://dspace.mah.se/bitstream/handle/2043/12177/T9,Dissertation,

Mahmoudi, S., & Mahmoudi, A. (2015). Internal and External Factors Affecting Learning English as a Foreign Language. International Journal of Language and Linguistics, 3(5).

McCullough, Elizabeth. (2013). Acoustic correlates of perceived foreign accent in non-native English. PhD Dissertation. The Ohio State University, Columbus.

Mantz, C. (2007). The Role of English in a Multilingual European Union. Technische Universität Chemnitz. http://www.tuchemnitz.de/phil/english/ling/download/theses/

Mariche Cholakova, (2015). The influence of the English language in a multilingual and a monolingual environment – a comparative approach. European Centre for Research Training and Development UK (www.eajournals.org) International Journal of English Language Teaching Vol.3, No.4, pp.35-78,

Mely Fatmawati, Raudhatul Haura and Supiani(2020). Factors affecting efl learners’ confidence in speaking English at the mec English course Banjarmasin. Islamic University OF Kalimantan

Memon, R.Y. (2000). A study of how English is taught in government schools in Karachi. Unpublished master’s thesis, Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development, Karachi, Pakistan.

Mirhadizadeh, N. (2016). Internal and External Factors in Language Learning. International Journal of Modern English Teaching and Learning, 1(5), 188–196.

Mohamed S. M. Feika, (2019). Sierra Leone’s declining education results in the WAEC. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/africaatlse/2019/08/03/sierra-leones-declining-education-results

Moleong, J., & Lexi. (2010). Metodologi Penelitian Kualitatif Edisi Revisi.

Nation, I. S. P. (2002). Best practice in vocabulary teaching and learning. Methodology in language teaching: An anthology of current practice, 267-272.

Nair, Ramesh, Krishnasamy, Rajasegaran and Geraldine De Mello, (2006). Rethinking the teaching of pronunciation in the ESL classroom. The English Teacher, (35), 27–40.

Oxford, R. (1999). Second language learning: Individual differences.In B. Spolsky (Ed.), Concise encyclopedia of educational linguistics (pp. 552-560). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

Oya, T., Manalo, E., & Greenwood, J. (2009). The Influence of Language Contact and Vocabulary Knowledge on the Speaking Performance of Japanese Students English. The Open Applied Linguistics Journal, 2, p. 11-21. Retrieved from: http://benthamopen.com/toalj/articles/V002/11TOALJ.pdf

Panah, P. (2000). Teaching and learning primary school science through the medium of English in Pakistan. Unpublished master’s thesis, Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development, Karachi, Pakistan.

Phillipson, R. (2003). English - Only Europe? Challenging Language Policy. Routledge 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE. Retrieved from: file:///C:/Users/PC%20User/Downloads/422578__coinread.com%20(2).pdf

Phillipson, R. (2008). Lingua Franca or Lingua Frankensteinia? English in European Integration and Globalisation. World Englishes, 27(2), p. 250–267. http://charitos.wikispaces.com/file/view/Lingua+franca+or+lingua+frankensteinia

Qutbi Alam & Dr Ayesha Bashir Uddin, (2013) Improving English oral communication skills of Pakistani public school's students. International Journal of English Language Teaching Vol.1, No 2, pp. 17-36, (www.ea-journals.org)

Rahman, M. M. (2010).Teaching Oral Communication Skills: A Task-based Approach. ESP World,9 ( 1)

Rahman, T. (2002). Language ideology and power: language learning among the Muslims of Pakistan and north India. Karachi: Oxford University Press.

Reichelt, M. (2006). English in a multilingual Spain. English Today, 22 (03), 3-9.

Rezvani, E. (2011). Code-switching in Iranian Elementary EFL Classrooms: An Exploratory Investigation. Journal of English Language Teaching, 4 (1). 18-25

Richards, J. C. & Reppen, R. (2014). Towards a Pedagogy of Grammar Instruction. RELC Journal, 45 (1), 5 –25. Doi: 10.1177/0033688214522622.

Richards, J.C., (Ed.) (2015). Key issues in language teaching: Cambridge University Press.

Richards. J.C (2006). Communicative language teaching today: Cambridge University Press.

Richards, J. C., & Renandya, W. A. (2002). Methodology in language teaching:

Richards, J.C., & Rodgers.T.S (2001). Communicative language teaching (Vol. 2).An anthology of current practice: Cambridge university press.

Richards. 2008. Teaching Listening and Speaking from Theory to Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press

Richards, J. C. & Reppen, R. (2014). Towards a Pedagogy of Grammar Instruction. RELC Journal, 45 (1), 5 –25. Doi: 10.1177/0033688214522622.

Rifai, N. A. (2010). Attitude, motivation, and difficulties involved in learning the English language and factors that affect motivation in learning it. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.03.849.

Saito, Y., Horwitz, E. K., & Garza, T. J. (1999). Foreign language reading anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 83, 202-218.

Sarlota, S. F. (2003).The Function of the English Language in the European Union. European Integration Studies, Miskolc, 2(2), p. 53-64. Retrieved from: http://www.unimiskolc.hu/uni/res/kozlemenyek/2003-2/pdf/sarolta.pdf

Savignon, S. J. (2002). Communicative language teaching: Linguistic theory and classroom practice. Interpreting communicative language teaching: Contexts and concerns in teacher education, 1-27.

Seidlhofer, B. (2005). Key Concepts in ELT. English as a Lingua Franca. ELT Journal. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 59(4). http://people.ufpr.br/~clarissa/pdfs/ELF_Seidlhofer2005.pdf

Sheri Joy C. Namanya, (2017) the effects of mother tongue-based multilingual education on the English literacy of children in silang, Philippines. International Forum Vol. 20,N2

Shughri, G. (2007).Improving teaching English speaking Skills in Lower secondary school of Karachi. Unpublished master’s thesis. The Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development. Karachi, Pakistan.

Swann, J., & Seargeant, P. (2011). (Eds.). English in the World: History, Diversity, Change. A Global Language. Routledge. Retrieved from: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/flash/fl_313_en.pdf

Tagliamonte, Sali and Rosalind Temple. 2005. New perspectives on an ol’variable:(t, d)in British English. Language Variation and Change, 17 (03), 281–302.

Toci, A. (2009). Communicative Approach and the Role of Mother Tongue in EFL teaching: Case Study South East European University. In Journal of Linguistic Studies, ISSN 2065 - 2429.

Truchot, C. (2002). Key Aspects of the Use of English in Europe. Council of Europe, https://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/Source/TruchotEN.pdf

Thornbury, S. (2006). How to teach vocabulary. Pearson Education India.

Thulla, P. F., Moriba, S., Adom, D., & Mensah-Gborie, M. N. (2022). The Rate of Reading Poverty After the COVID-19 Pandemic School Shutdown and Specific Intervention Strategies for Lower Primary School Pupils in the Southern Province and Western Area of Sierra Leone. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 13(4), 689-696.

Tuan, N. H., & Mai, T. N. (2015). Factors affecting students’ speaking performance at le thanh hien high school. Asian Journal of Educational Research, 3(2), 8–23

Troute, L. (2016). Oral language and vocabulary development activities for student-student interaction.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.33365/jeltl.v4i2.4101


  • There are currently no refbacks.

The articles published in Journal of English Language Teaching and Learning are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Creative Commons License

Copyright © 2020 Journal of English Language Teaching and Learning
English Education Study Program, Faculty of Arts and Education.
Universitas Teknokrat Indonesia

All rights reserved.