Challenges in EFL Speaking Classes in Turkish Context
This article presents the results of a research study conducted to reveal the reasons of problems Turkish EFL learners face while speaking in L2. In Turkey, there is a perception that although the learners can reach high levels of proficiency in reading, listening, and writing skills, they cannot speak in English like their peers do in other parts of the world. This is substantially concerning as these students have compulsory and selective English courses throughout their ten years of compulsory school education. The problem has formerly been addressed by language learning anxiety, learners’ autonomy, deficiencies in teacher education and teachers’ development, and lack of material or/and technology in EFL classes (Aydın-Zengin, 2008; Büyükyavuz-İnal, 2008; Haznedar, 2010; Solak- Bayar, 2015). This paper directly seeks answers from the students themselves. The study was conducted with 66 students who have to enroll one year of intensive preparatory English class before being accepted to their own departments. A mixed method research design was used to triangulate the findings for higher validity. Quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS 22.0 software package and qualitative data was analyzed using descriptive analysis. The findings showed that students have difficulty in speaking English mainly because of educational and social reasons, while personal reasons are not as influential as the others are.
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