Learners’ Perceptions of Difficulties in Orally Producing English Sentences


Japanese English learners struggle to speak English as they have few opportunities to use it in a truly immersive setting. We attempted to develop a new system for English-speaking practice to address this challenge. Our research suggests that Japanese students feel challenged when using English words and phrases orally, even if they know them. This study examines their perceived difficulties in the oral production of English sentences to identify the specific language items posing challenges. To ascertain the subjective difficulty levels of 60 English sentences, we administer pre- and post-practice questionnaires to 71 Japanese university students. The study’s results indicate that after practice, the average difficulty scores of 43 sentences are significantly lower, 14 sentences show no significant differences, and the average scores of the remaining three sentences slightly increase. These results suggest that short sentences, familiar content, and expressing sentences in chronological order are recommended strategies when learning unknown or unfamiliar words and phrases. The results also indicate that students need oral practice to fluently use inanimate subject sentences, causative verbs, phrasal verbs, relative pronouns, and sentences leaving out object pronouns. Additionally, using adverbs, such as “completely” is difficult for Japanese learners. Although further investigations are required, learners’ subjective perceptions of difficulty in the pre- and post-practice questionnaires clarify which language items are easier to handle. Furthermore, we aim to clarify the role of subjective evaluation of learner difficulties in spoken English by focusing on specific grammar and constructions, as well as controlling the length of target sentences.

Author Information
Harumi Kashiwagi, Institute for Promotion of Higher Education–Kobe University, Japan
Min Kang, Graduate School of Intercultural Studies–Kobe University, Japan
Kazuhiro Ohtsuki, Graduate School of Intercultural Studies–Kobe University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2023
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

This paper is part of the SEACE2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
Full Paper
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window

To cite this article:
Kashiwagi H., Kang M., & Ohtsuki K. (2023) Learners’ Perceptions of Difficulties in Orally Producing English Sentences ISSN: 2435-5240 The Southeast Asian Conference on Education 2023: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2435-5240.2023.41
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2435-5240.2023.41

Virtual Presentation

Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Research

Posted by James Alexander Gordon