An Exploration of the Major Problems Hindering Learners’ Speaking Ability: Kotebe College of Teachers Education in Focus

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Addis Ababa University


The main purpose of this study was to explore some of the major problems hindering the English language speaking ability of Freshman English major students at Kotebe College of Teachers’ Education. The sample for the study consisted of 56 students and one spoken English instructor of the two sections. In the process, three different kinds of instruments: students’ questionnaire, students’ and teacher’s interview and classroom observation were used. Accordingly, all the sample students filled the questionnaire, eight selected students and their spoken English instructor were interviewed and classroom observation was held three times in each section. Finally, the results of the study indicated that the students’ native culture has greatly influenced their English language speaking ability. They also did not have the confidence to express their ideas in English both inside and outside the classroom. In addition, it was found that the teacher did not motivate them to the required level. Other problems like low vocabulary and poor grammar knowledge also affected their speaking ability of English. In the classroom, the students were often corrected for the errors they committed while speaking. Some students were also shy /afraid to participate in spite of the provision of a few activities to engage them into using the language. To improve their ability of speaking English, therefore, the instructor should create a free, enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere of learning and students, on their part, must use this opportunity to freely practice in the language and develop their speaking ability



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