Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 11. Number4  December 2020                                       Pp. 66-77

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Investigation of Factors Influencing Speaking Performance of Saudi EFL Learners

Saleh Alrasheedi
Department of English, College of Education
Majmaah University, Majmaah, Saudi Arabia


Equal focus needs be placed on teaching all four basic skills of language learning: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. However, it is observed that due attention is not devoted to developing speaking skills in Saudi EFL learners; this task is especially challenging as English is not widely used or spoken in their day-to-day communication. The current study aims to investigate the psychological factors which affect learners’ speaking performance by: (a) examining the strategies learners use for developing speaking skills, (b) identifying obstacles confronted by learners in developing speaking skills, and (c) suggesting ways to facilitate the acquisition of English speaking skills. The research seeks answers to these questions: (1) What are some psychological factors affecting speaking skills of students? (2) Why do learners find speaking in English so difficult? . I distributed a questionnaire among 200 female and male participants majoring in various fields at Majmaah university in Saudi Arabia. I employed SPSS to analyze the accumulated data and displayed the results in descriptive tables. The results reveal that affective factors impacting students’ performance in speaking skills are shyness, peer pressure, anxiety, and fear of making mistakes. Other factors that hinder speaking performance are paucity of necessary vocabulary, lack of exposure to the target language, and scarce opportunities to practice speaking outside the classroom. The study contributes to the existing English language learning (ELL) literature through its focus on the affective factors impacting speaking performance in Arabic-speaking EFL learners.
Keywords: affective factors, language learners, motivation, speaking performance, teaching strategies

Cite as: Alrasheedi, S. (2020). Investigation of Factors Influencing Speaking Performance of Saudi EFL Learners (1990). Arab World English Journal11 (4) 66-77.


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Dr. Saleh A. Alrasheedi is an Assistant Professor in the English Department of the College of
Education at Majmaah University in Saudi Arabia. He holds a PhD in Computer Assisted
Language Learning, an MA in TESOL, and an MA in Applied Linguistics. His current research
interests are ELT via mobile assisted language learning (MALL), eLearning, ELL through social
media, and speaking performance of EFL learners. ID ORCid: