Speaking struggles of young EFL learners

English speaking struggles



English lessons are obligatory from second grade onwards in Turkish state schools which means that language learners are exposed to English early on. Despite an early start, language learners struggle to acquire foreign language speaking skills. The problem of speaking English is a frequently encountered topic of discussion in educational contexts. There are various factors that are listed as the possible causes of language learners’ incompetence in speaking English which have to be investigated. In order to explore the potential reasons behind young EFL (English as a foreign language) learners’ difficulties with foreign language speaking skills 88 young EFL learners were examined. The Foreign Language Speaking Delay Inventory was created and applied to 4th grade students from four intact groups of a primary school. Data were analyzed through frequencies that were calculated for each answer provided to the inventory. The results indicated that the young EFL learners in focus were eager to speak in the EFL lessons but that some factors such as attitude, language aptitude, negative beliefs about foreign language speaking skills, and linguistic difficulties evoked a delay in speaking.

Author Biographies

Çiğdem Güneş, Gazi University, Ankara Ministry of National Education, Turkey

PhD Student EFL Teacher

İskender Hakkı Sarıgöz, Gazi University

Prof. Dr.


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