Difficulties in oral communicating in english perceived by economic and information technology majored juniors at can tho university

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CAN THO UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH DIFFICULTIES IN ORAL COMMUNICATING IN ENGLISH PERCEIVED BY ECONOMIC AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MAJORED JUNIORS AT CAN THO UNIVERSITY B.A. THESIS Supervisor: Student: PHẠM THỊ HUỲNH ANH TRẦN THỊ PHƯƠNG THẢO, M.Ed. (TESOL) Student code: 7106949 Class: NN1054A2 Can Tho, May 2014 DECLARATION The thesis entitled “Difficulties in English oral communication perceived by Economic and Information technology-majored juniors at Can Tho University” is conducted under the supervision of Tran Thi Phuong Thao, an English instructor at the English Department, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Can Tho University. I declare that the information reported in this paper is the result of my own work, except where due reference is made. The thesis has not been accepted for any degree and is not concurrently submitted to any candidature for any other degree. Phạm Thị Huỳnh Anh May, 2014 1 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This study has been completed with the help and support of many persons. Therefore, I am grateful to all of them. Firstly, I would like to express my special thanks to my supervisor, Mrs. Tran Thi Phuong Thao, who shaped me on the path toward being an independent researcher. Dear Teacher, thank you very much for your interest in the field on which I am doing the current research. Thank you for your initial ideas of the research topic and your support during the time I was conducting the research. You have invested a lot of energy and valuable time counseling and correcting my thesis. Without your help and support, I would have been in much trouble completing my study. Working with you, I have learned a lot of valuable knowledge and experiences in doing research. Next, I would like to send my deep gratitude to Mr. Nguyen Van Le and Mr. Tran Dong Khiem, two brothers at CTU, who gave me useful advice on my study. Their advice and guidance helped me overcome difficulties while I was implementing the research. Besides, my deep gratitude is sent to Mr. Nguyen Huynh Anh Duy, my close friend at CTU, who helped me install SPSS program and instructed me initial steps to use SPSS program for data analysis. My thanks are due to teachers and students in the two classes at CTU, who involved in my experiment. Without their assistance, my study could not have been conducted. I am also grateful to my teachers and classmates at the English Department, Can Tho University, who gave me good conditions during the time I followed the course. All of their help meaningfully contributed to the completion of my study. Finally, I owe everything to my family, especially my parents, who gave me good conditions during four-year I followed the course and gave me mental support to complete my course. 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS DECLARATION .......................................................................................................1 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.......................................................................................2 TABLE OF CONTENTS...........................................................................................3 LIST OF TABLES.....................................................................................................5 TÓM LƯỢC...............................................................................................................6 ABSTRACT ...............................................................................................................7 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION .............................................................................8 1.1. Rationale ..........................................................................................................8 1.2. Research aims and research questions ...........................................................9 1.4. Research significance ....................................................................................10 1.5. Thesis organization........................................................................................10 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW................................................................11 2.1. - Definitions of oral communication: ............................................................11 2.2. Factors influencing speaking and listening abilities: ...................................15 2.2.1 Factors influencing Speaking ability: .........................................................15 2.2.1.1. Linguistic factors:...............................................................................15 2.2.1.2. Socio-cultural factors: ........................................................................16 2.2.1.3. Affective factors:................................................................................17 2.2.2. Factors influencing listening ability ..........................................................19 CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY....................................................22 3.1. Research design .............................................................................................22 3.2. Participants....................................................................................................22 3.3. Instruments....................................................................................................23 3.4. Procedure.......................................................................................................24 3.4.1. Data collections ........................................................................................24 3.4.1.1. Questionnaire .....................................................................................24 3.4.1.2. Interview performances ......................................................................24 3.4.2. Data analysis.............................................................................................25 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS.........................................................................................26 4.1. Common difficulties and possible causes .....................................................26 3 4.1.1. Difficulties relating to language knowledge and possible causes ...............26 4.1.2. Difficulties relating to socio-cultural factors and possible causes: .............27 4.1.3. Difficulties relating to affective factors and possible causes:.....................28 4.2. Difficulties in each group ..............................................................................29 4.2.1. Economic students: ...................................................................................30 4.2.2. Information technology students: ..............................................................33 CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSIONS ................................................................................35 5.1. Discussions .....................................................................................................35 5.1.1. Difficulties and their possible causes identified in the research: ................35 5.2. Implications ...................................................................................................37 CHAPTER 6: LIMITATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS............................39 6.1. Limitations.....................................................................................................39 6.2. Suggestions for further studies .....................................................................39 APPENDICES..........................................................................................................44 APPENDIX A .......................................................................................................44 APPENDIX B .......................................................................................................47 APPENDIX C .......................................................................................................50 APPENDIX D .......................................................................................................51 4 LIST OF TABLES Table 3.1: Profiles of the students.............................................................................23 Table 3.2: Clusters of items in the questionnaire......................................................23 Table 4.1: Descriptive statistics for the responses to items about difficulties relating to linguistic factors and possible causes……………………………………………..27 Table 4.2: Descriptive statistics for the responses to items about difficulties relating to linguistic factors and possible cause.....................................................................28 Table 4.3: Descriptive statistics for the responses to items about difficulties relating to affective factors and possible cause ......................................................................28 Table 4.4: Descriptive statistics for the responses to items about economic students’ difficulties .................................................................................................................32 Table 4.5: Descriptive statistics for the responses to items about information technology students’ difficulties................................................................................34 5 TÓM LƯỢC Trong thời gian gần đây, việc cải thiện khả năng giao tiếp của sinh viên học tiếng anh như là một ngoại ngữ đã được chú trọng nhiều hơn. Việc xem xét những khó khăn của người học trong việc học giao tiếp bằng ngôn ngữ khác là rất quan trọng, để hỗ trợ người học đạt được các mục tiêu mà họ mong muốn diễn đạt bằng Tiếng Anh. Do đó, nghiên cứu này hướng tới việc điều tra những khó khăn mà sinh viên chuyên ngành Kinh tế và Công nghệ thông tin tại Đại học Cần Thơ gặp phải khi nói chuyện bằng tiếng Anh và những nguyên nhân dẫn đến những khó khăn đó. Đối tượng tham gia nghiên cứu là 80 sinh viên năm thứ ba, chuyên ngành Kinh tế và Công nghệ thông tin tại trường Đại học Cần Thơ. Các dữ liệu được thu thập từ một bảng câu hỏi, bao gồm 23 nhận định . Chương trình Thống kê Xã hội học, phiên bản 16,0 (SPSS 16,0) được sử dụng để phân tích dữ liệu. Độ tin cậy của nghiên cứu là 0,702. Kết quả phân tích cho thấy những người tham gia bị ảnh hưởng bởi các yếu tố về ngôn ngữ, văn hóa - xã hội và cảm xúc khi giao tiếp bằng Tiếng Anh. Vốn từ vựng, kiến thức ngữ pháp, tốc độ và ngữ điệu của sinh viên là những yếu tố ngôn ngữ được xác định trong nghiên cứu này, những yếu tố đó đã ảnh hưởng đến kỹ năng giao tiếp của sinh viên. Mặt khác, vấn đề thiếu kiến thức về văn hóa và phong tục các quốc gia khác của sinh viên cũng gây khó khăn cho họ khi nói chuyện bằng tiếng Anh. Nghiên cứu cũng đã phát hiện được rằng sinh có nỗ lực thực hành nói, nhằm nâng cao khả năng giao tiếp của họ; Đặc biệt, họ rèn luyện để có được ngữ điệu giống người bản xứ. Tuy nhiên, nếu những nỗ lực của họ không đạt được kết quả tốt sẽ gây trạng thái nản lòng cho người học. Trên cơ sở những kết quả thu được, tác giả đã đưa ra các thảo luận và đề xuất hướng tìm hiểu cho những nghiên cứu về sau. 6 ABSTRACT Recently, there has been more emphasis on the improvement of students’ communication ability in EFL learning. Consideration of learners’ difficulties in learning to communicate in another language is highly important in order to assist them to achieve the intended performance goals in English. As a result, this study aims at investigating the difficulties that Economic and Information technology majors at Can Tho University encounters when oral communicating in English and the possible reasons of these difficulties. The participants of the study were 80 juniors majoring in Economy and Information technology at Can Tho University. The data were collected from a questionnaire of 23 items. The Statistics Package for the Social Science (SPSS) software, version 16.0 used to analyze the data. The research’s reliability was 0.718. The results indicated that the participants were affected by the linguistic, socio-cultural and affective factors when communicating in English. Students’ vocabulary, grammar knowledge, speakers’ speech rate and accent were among the linguistic factors identified in the study to have influenced the students’ communication skills. On the other hand, students’ lack of knowledge about other countries’ culture and custom also caused problems when students talked in English. It was also revealed that students have motivation to practice speaking to enhance their communicating abilities, especially to develop native-like accent. However, it was also discouraging for them if their efforts did not have good results. On the basis of the findings, discussions and pedagogical implications are accordingly proposed. 7 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION This chapter will address the following parts: rationale for the research, research aims and research questions, hypothesis, significance of the research and organization of the thesis. 1.1. Rationale English has been widely accepted as the most widespread language used in the world as it is the prime means for communication globally (Kitao & Kitao, 1996). English can often serve as the global language between two people from two different cultures, neither of whom speak English as their native tongue. It is therefore very important for university students to learn English and be able to master the language; this skill could help them greatly in securing and keeping a job, especially with multinational companies. Multinational companies utilize English as the medium of communication among the workers. Consequently, if students would like to be a part of globalization, they must be able to communicate well in English. However, learning a foreign language is not an easy task. It could be related to different factors, the main two of them are: mother tongue interference and no real situation for applying what has been learned (El- Majdalawi :2005,p.45). English learners at Can Tho University face the same challenges in learning a foreign language. These challenges affect the four English language skills. Oral Communication skills, they don't have enough opportunity to practice oral communication skills. They speak English with their classmates in lectures or breaks between lectures. Also, they can listen to cassette or radio or television. In fact, the time needed to practice English language through all these opportunities is not enough. English learners could do these things maximum five hours daily. So, it could affect English learners oral communication skills. After years of learning, the majority of students at Can Tho University are neither fluent nor confident English speakers. Some may attribute this deficiency to the limited time for oral practice in classrooms and the lack of conversational opportunities outside of them, especially in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) setting. However, it may, in fact, stem from the myths that students hold regarding 8 communication in a foreign language, such as the necessary possession of excellent pronunciation, a good accent, a large vocabulary size, and an in-depth knowledge of grammar. Moreover, some learners who perform well in English classes still find themselves at a loss when interacting with native speakers in everyday life (Yang & Gai, 2010). This dichotomy arises from the somewhat unreal and comparatively safe context of the classroom, since teacher-student and peer interactions are often restricted to basic patterns and prefabricated situations or topics (Scarcella & Oxfored, 1992). Real-life interactions, a major factor for second language acquisition and the development of communicative competence, “demand a great deal of spontaneity and the ability to cope with the unexpected” (Peloghities, 2006, p.48). In authentic communicative situations, language learners are often unable to retrieve a word, to use or comprehend an idiomatic expression, or to grasp a topic; consequently, communication breaks down (Willems, 1987). Therefore, they must develop specific communication strategies that enable them to compensate for their target language deficiencies, enhance interaction in the target language, and eventually develop communicative competence (Willems, 1987; Faerch & Kasper, 1983; Bialystok, 1990; Dornyei, 1995). This study chooses the economic and information technology students. The economic students are extremely active in using English while the information technology students interact frequently with English of computing; and we are studying to know what the difficulties they encounter and the causes of their difficulties. Therefore, this study is conducted in order to investigate the difficulties in English oral communication perceived by Economic and Information Technologymajored juniors at Can Tho University. It is hoped that this study will encourage a more serious reflection on the oral proficiency of students. At the same time, teachers, by better understanding their students’ strategy use, will more effectively develop their communicative competence. 1.2. Research aims and research questions This research aims to find out the difficulties students encounter in their oral communication in English and the causes of such difficulties. To be more specific, this research seeks for the answers of the following questions: 9  What are perceived by students as difficulties in their oral communication in English?  What are perceived by students as the causes of their difficulties in oral communication in English? 1.3. Research hypothesis Based on the related literature review and research questions, it is hypothesized that there are difficulties in communicating in English relating to linguistic factors, socio-cultural factors and affective factors. 1.4. Research significance This research is designed in order to provide some insights into the aspect of students’ communicative ability. The findings of the research are expected to provide the students and their English teachers at Can Tho University with an understanding of the difficulties and the causes of these difficulties so that possible solutions will be drawn to improve students’ communication ability. 1.5. Thesis organization The research is divided into five chapters: Chapter 1: Introduction, presents the rationale for conducting the study, the research aims and questions and hypothesis, the research significance and the organization of the thesis. Chapter 2: Literature review, includes a theoretical framework for the study. In particular, the definition of oral communication, factor influencing speaking and listening abilities are presented. Chapter 3: Research Methodology, presents the methodology used in the research including participants, instruments and the procedures for data collection and analysis. Chapter 4: Results, reports the findings Chapter 5: Discussions, addresses discussions on the study of the research. Chapter 6: Limitations and Recommendations, includes the limitations of the research and some suggestions for further research and summary of the content of the thesis. 10 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW In this chapter, the literature review of the study, including two parts definitions of oral communication and the factors that may have interfere with students’ English communicating listening abilities will be presented. 2.1. - Definitions of oral communication: Communication is a dynamic interactive process that involves the effective transmission of facts, ideas, thoughts, feelings and values. It is dynamic because it involves a variety of forces and activities interacting over time. The word process suggests that communication exists as a flow through a sequence or series of steps. The term process also indicates a condition of flux and change. The relationships of people engaged in communication continuously grow and develop. (Rahman, 2010) Communication is an exchange of meaning and understanding. Meaning is central to communication. Communication is symbolic because it involves not only words but also symbols and gestures that accompany the spoken words because symbolic action is not limited to verbal communication. Communication is an interactive process. The two communication agents involved in the communication process are sender (S) and receiver (R). Both the communication agents exert a reciprocal influence on each other through inter-stimulation and response. (Rizvi, 2005) At its most basic level, oral communication is the spoken interaction between two or more people. The interaction is far more complex than it seems. Oral communication is composed of multiple elements which, when taken as a whole, result in the success or failure of the interaction. Not everyone is an effective communicator. In order to function successfully academically and professionally, one needs to learn effective oral communication skills. For many, conversational speech comes naturally. However, in more formal speech, effective communication skills are essential. A poorly conducted interview, sales presentation, or legal argument could have ramifications that affect many more people than the speaker. By becoming an effective communicator one will be able to conduct himself in a variety of personal, professional, and academic environments with confidence. 11 Oral communication can take many forms, ranging from informal conversation that occurs spontaneously and, in most cases, for which the content cannot be planned, to participation in meetings, which occurs in a structured environment, usually with a set agenda. Apart from the language used for communication, there are several other elements which the speaker should learn to communicate effectively. The Skills are eye contact, body language, style, understanding the audience, adapting to the audience, active and reflexive listening, politeness, precision, conciseness, etc. Oral communication reflects the persistent and powerful role of language and communication in human society. Halliday (1978, p. 169) explained, communication is more than merely an exchange of words between parties; it is a “sociological encounter” (Halliday, p. 139) and through exchange of meanings in the communication process, social reality is “created, maintained and modified” (Halliday, 1978, p. 169). Such a capacity of language is also evident in Austin’s earlier work (Austin, 1962) on speech act theory where, as cited by Clyne (1994, p. 2), language and thus communication is a “…instrument of action”. Speech act theory, concerned with the communicative effect, that is, the function and effect of utterances, dissects an utterance into three components: the actual utterance (the locution); the act performed by the utterance (the illocution); and the effect the act has on the hearer (the per locution). Searle (Searle, 1969) further defined speech acts as directives, imperatives, and requests. To be more specific, oral communication is “a two-way process” in which the speakers and listeners use both productive skills to speak and receptive skills to understand (Byrne, 1986). As defined in Tubbs (2003) communication is the process in which meaning is created among two or more people. A model which includes merely two people was used by Tubbs to clarify the concept. There are two parties in his model: Communicator 1 (the sender/receiver) and Communicator 2 (the sender/ receiver). In the communication process, both parties have an influence on one another. In real-life situations, sources of communication come from both of communicators and they interact with one another at the same time. 12 2.1.1. Communicator 1 Communicator 1 refers to the one who is trying to transmit message(s) by kinds of channels with minimum or no interference. As a result, there are three factors relating to the process of communication of communicator 1: message(s), channels and interference. Firstly, messages may fall into four kinds: verbal, nonverbal, intentional and unintentional. Only by having knowledge about these kinds of messages can communicators manages to control their conversation well. A verbal message is a kind of spoken communication using one or more words. Verbal messages are also spoken intentionally and unintentionally. The former is the act of communicating that we are aware of. The later is described as the things that we utter without paying attention to. Nonverbal messages are the ones that we send to the others without words. They can also be the meaning beneath the words we use. They refer to all of the nonverbal expressions we apply in our conversation: facial expression, posture, tone of voice, hand movements, manner of dress, and so on. Intentional nonverbal messages sent under our control may express the speakers’ implication or simultaneously consolidate verbal messages. For example, a person may say “hello” to his or her friend and smile, wave, nod his or her head at the same time. On the other hand, unintentional nonverbal messages relate to all the nonverbal behavioral features used by communicators uncontrollably. For example, a student could tell his friend “I am relaxed” before the exam, yet with a low voice, sweaty palms his friend would not totally believe him. His entire nonverbal message can be understood as he was not relaxed as he seemed to be. According to Argyle (1988; cited in Melinda & Narissra, 2002), the receiver may get the nonverbal messages in different ways. In general, three types of meaning are obtained from nonverbal messages (Mehrabian, as cited in Knapp & Hall, 2002). The first is immediacy which is a tendency to evaluate the message as good or bad, positive or negative. The second meaning is status; the speaker’s social status or position may be determined thanks to the nonverbal behaviors. The final kind of meaning mentioned by Mehrabian (2002) is responsiveness; whether the perception of communication is slow or fast, active or passive. 13 The second factor that influences the communication process is channels. In faceto-face communication, the senses such as: sight, hearing and touch. For example, two friends exchange glances of agreement when listening to someone sharing a point of view. The third party is interference, or noise. It relates to anything that distracts the receiver from getting the sender’s message correctly. There are also two kinds of interference: technical interference makes it difficult for the receiver to perceive the information and semantic interference occurs when the meaning of the sender is not understood accordingly. 2.1.2. Communicator 2: Receiver Another party in the communication process is the Communicator 2 or the Receiver who receives and analyzes the messages. In order to receive the messages, the communicator 2 needs to go through three other processes: attention, hearing, and understanding. Firstly, hearing is the process in which aural input is received. Hearing is the automatic physiological process of receiving aural stimuli. If it is assumed that our hearing organs function properly, problems will not occur in this hearing process. Then sounds will be placed in a meaningful order to be recognized as words and words patterns later, which helps to carry the message from the speaker to the receiver (Brooks, 1981). Goss (1982, cited in Nopadon (2010) said that human beings are able to understand up to 400-500 words per minute. However, a speaker produces between 100-150 words per minute. It turns out to be the Receiver’s advantage that we hear more quickly than the Speaker can articulate his/her thought. That is also the reason why we need the second process: attention. Attention is the ability to choose a certain stimuli to attend regardless of the others. Attention to stimuli in our environment is like focusing our conscious awareness on certain specific stimuli. Attention is also affected by a person’s arousal level. Arousal level relates to the willingness we have for listening. It means our listening ability decreases when we feel sleepy or tired. Understanding is the complicated process referred to as auditing. In this process, the words we hear are transferred so that the meaning is understood. We need to associate a message whit our past experiences to understand it appropriately. 14 As aforementioned, there are three components that participate in the communicating process: communicator 1, channels and communicator 2. In the next part, three factors that affect learners’ communication abilities will be mentioned. 2.2. Factors influencing speaking and listening abilities: Brown (1994) suggested that there is a close connection between listening and speaking which mean in a conversation there is an interaction between the performances of both two skills. In order to communicate well in English, effective listening and speaking are needed. 2.2.1 Factors influencing Speaking ability: According to Richard and Renandya (2002), speaking the target language is difficult for EFL learners. The most difficult skill to master could be speaking because learners are required to have both linguistic competence which is the ability to know how to produce the language such as grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary and sociolinguistic competence which refers to the understanding of when , why and how to produce the language (Phan, 2009). Nunan (2001) states in his survey that as observed by EFL teachers; there are problems in students’ motivation to speak English and the use of their mother tongue. Besides, many learners could be good at other skills but when mentioning about speaking many of them believes to have a “mental block” (Horwits et al., 1986, cited in Muhammad, 2007). These learners were also able to realize their inabilities in speaking the language. Suthee (2009) claimed that many other factors are needed more than just acquiring a foreign language’s grammatical, semantic rules and vocabulary to speak that language. Communicating in a foreign language requires learners’ ability to use the language properly in social contexts which means that it is essential for the learners to know how language is used in particular situations as well. Factors influencing oral communication can be listed as follow: 2.2.1.1. Linguistic factors: Levelt (1989) considered vocabulary knowledge as “the mechanism the drives speech production”. Taeko, Emanuel & Jackie (2009) stated that vocabulary is an essential factor that leads to the success of learning another language. It is reasonable that most 15 learners pay much attention to vocabulary learning. Moreover, Saville-Stroike (1989) concludes that there is a link between students’ vocabulary and their academic achievements (cited in Taeko, Emanuel & Jackie (2009). Besides, grammar competence is the linguistic competence (Savignon; 1983, cited in Utami & Bambang, 2006). It is the ability to “perform the grammatical wellformalness”. Utami & Bambang (2006) claim that grammatical competence is the mastering of linguistic codes, the ability to recognize and use of the lexical, morphological, syntactic and phonological features to construct words and sentences. Grammatical competence allows students to understand English language structures correctly which contributes to their fluency. 2.2.1.2. Socio-cultural factors: According to Dimitracopoulou (1990, cited in Kang, 2002) the meaning of a language relates to the social actions as linguistic communication happens in the interpersonal exchange. Frake (1980, cited in Nelli, 2009) posit that people talk to construct cultural worlds, display and recreate their social orders. In order to speak a language effectively, one must master the language’s use in social context. Because “shared values and beliefs create the traditions and social structures that bind a community together and are expressed in their language” (Carrasquillo, 1994) one must know how to use the language culturally appropriate in different social situations. Culture, as defined by Samovar and Poster (2004, cited in Hong & Eleni, 2007), is “an integrated system” which includes history, religion, values, social organization, and language. Hong and Eleni (2007) say that Chinese students are hesitate to talk about serious and personal topics because they know a little about values, common faith or political views of people from other countries. Liao (1996) suggests that students’ general and simple concept about foreign countries or stereotyping of foreign countries’ culture can cause more serious misunderstandings in communicating than linguistic mistakes. Besides, oral communication includes nonverbal communication which may differ depending on cultural backgrounds. It is EFL students’ low exposing to nonverbal communication system of the target language that leads to their confusing in acquiring nonverbal messages. Canale and Swain (1980) emphasize that knowing what is expected socially 16 and culturally is crucial for EFL students which means they must know the rules and norms for appropriate interactions which will help students know how to the response in the conversation and how to use nonverbal language accordingly. On the other hand, Burns and Joyce (1999) concluded that cultural factors cause students’ reluctance to speak in the target language. 2.2.1.3. Affective factors: The affective factors that influence language learners’ performance are anxiety, attitude and motivation. It is explained that besides learners’ main difficulty in their speaking skill limitation, they also have to face affective factors relating to students’ affection, anxiety is widely discussed by many researchers as having a great impact on students’ performance. Anxiety is defined as the feelings of uneasiness, self-doubt, apprehension or worry (Brown (2003), cited in Eulis, 2010). Moreover, the reasons leading to students’ anxiety may be their inability to pronounce strange sounds or words, not understanding new vocabulary, inability to response to questions during conversations, failure in language learning attempts or the fear of making mistake and “losing face”. In Nelli’s research on “Exploring students’ problems and expectations in Speaking class” (2009), it was found that 64% of the population of 105 students reports to have anxiety in speaking classes. Some researchers have also drawn a conclusion about the relationship of anxiety and language performance as: the higher the anxiety level, the lower the language performance (Clement, Gardner, & Smythe, 1977, 1980, cited in Muhammad, 2007). Lindy (2006) claims that anxiety lowers the language learning process. Anxiety in communicating may occur in specific settings like public speaking or even in daily communication situations. Factors leading to anxiety come from learners’ personal characteristics like shyness, quietness, reticence (Friedman, 1980 cited in Muhammad 2007). Students’ fear of negative evaluation from teachers and peers is also another cause of communication anxiety (Shams; 2006 cited in Muhammad, 2007). Horwitz K., Horwitz B., & Cope (1986) believe that “we conceive foreign language anxiety as a distinct complex of self-perceptions, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors related to classroom language learning arising from the uniqueness of the language learning process”. Lindy (2006)’s research “Anxiety and Speaking English as a Second Language” shows that interacting with native speakers is the most frequent source causing anxiety. 17 Motivation also has a significant role in enhancing students’ communicative ability (Amin et al. Shahram, 2007). Ghaleb (2002) has concluded in the research about Arab learners of English’s communication problems that lack of motivation leads to learners’ weakness of English language. Rochelle (2010) asserts that motivation is one of the key factors that influence the learners’ achievement and attainment. There are three components ion motivation: effort, desire and affect. Effort deals with the time spent for studying the language and the drive to study of the learner. Desire shows the degree of learners’ expectation to be fluent in the language and affect relates to the learners’ feelings about the language develop a real interest in the speech community. All in all, “low motivation, low self-esteem, and debilitating anxiety can combine to ‘raise’ the affective filter and form a ‘mental block’ that prevents comprehensible input from being used for acquisition” (Schütz, 2007). As a result, in order to speak a foreign language, learners need to know grammatical rules as well as the knowledge of how the language is produced in particular cases. Learners must also acquire the knowledge of how native speakers use the language in the particular contexts. Canale and Swain (1980) have concluded that discourse, both sociolinguistic and strategic competence are essential parts to form proficiency in speaking skills. Discourse competence is the way a series of sentences or utterances or intersentential relationships are connected to form meaning (Savignon; 1983, cited in Utami & Bambang, 2006). In the communicating process, it is important that one knows how to perceive and formulate the meaning from both previous and following sentences in the conversation. As a result, speakers ought to know a wide variety of structures to express ideas, proposition, context and socio-cultural norms in each speech to take turn and form a continuous flow of speaking. Sociolinguistic competence: Kang (1997) suggests that speaking a language requires understanding of the social context in which the language is used. Every language has its own principles of usage so the speaker should be aware of the rules so as to know how ro react in particular contexts such as how to give comments, what to 18
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