Main Article Content

Lenis Aislinn Chua Separa
Leonila Javier Generales
Ruby Jean Siccion Medina


The knowledge in the first language serves as the foundation of an individual in verbalising thoughts using the second language. The goal of language acquisition and language learning is one’s ability to communicate effectively with other people in a situation that is ideal for a second language speaker.  In cases where a communication situation is not suitable for the second language learner, verbal expressions oneself becomes problematic. This study investigates the contexts wherein second-language speakers of English find difficulty in the various communicative tasks they encounter when dealing with other people. It was asked from the university students in the Philippines to recount their experiences using English as a language of oral communication and to describe circumstances which made speaking difficult for them. Narrative accounts of their lived experiences were analysed through a qualitative thematic approach and developed the categories from emerging themes. Data reveals that emerging difficulties in English speaking not only involve lack of linguistic competence but also encompass psycho-social fears of speaking across different communication tasks. A proposed model for the context-based speaking difficulty includes (1) prowess in speaking; (2) pressure by time; (3) political power and control; and (4) people as of press.


Keywords: communication, speaking, speech, difficulty, English, English as a second language


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details



Kelsen, B. A. Exploring public speaking anxiety and personal disposition
in EFL presentations. Learning and Individual Differences. Volume 73, July 2019, pp. 92-101.

Leong, L. & Ahmadi, S. M. (2017) An Analysis of Factors Influencing
Learners’ English Speaking Skill. International Journal of Research in English Education. March 2017. pp. 34-41.

LeFebvre, L., LeFebvre, L. & Allen, M. (2018) Training the butterflies to fly
information: cataloguing student fears about public speaking. Journal of Communication Education. Vol. 67, Issue 3.

Lo, E., Wong, A., Pang, J., Jin, X., & Chen, S. (2018) Effects of Stress on
Second Language Speech Performance in Real and Virtual Public Speaking Environments. Conference Proceedings: 7th Annual International Conference on Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology (CBP 2018). ed. / Craig Speelman; Dinesh Chhabra. Singapore : Global Science and Technology Forum, 2018. p. 2-11.

Nazir, M., Bashir, S. & Raja, Z. B. (2014) A Study of Second Language
Speaking-Anxiety among ESL Intermediate Pakistani Learners.
International Journal of English and Education, Vol. 3, Issue 3.

Pearson, J., Nelson, P., Titsworth, S., & Harter, L. Human Communication.
3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. p.34.

Verderver, R. F., Verderber, K. S., & Sellnow, D. D. Effective Speaking:
Challenges and Solutions. Singapore: Cengage Learning Asia Pte. Ltd.