Constraints in Spoken Proficiency: Causes and Remedial Measures

Shantha Sambath, Mekala Sethuraman


Spoken proficiency in English has become indispensable in engineering industry. It is expected of an engineering student to possess requisite spoken proficiency for his/her career growth prospects.The paper focuses on the impediments in the speaking skills of the engineering students and also finds the ways to improve students speaking skills using task-based pedagogical design. The article further investigates the factors that affect the speaking performance of the ESL learners. This article explores the pivotal role played by the pedagogical intervention in the classroom in enabling the learners to overcome the constraints in speaking. The participants of the study chosen for control and experimental group were first year civil engineering students comprising 38 in each group respectively. T-test was used to compare the performance of the students in control and experiment groups. The cross tabulation was also computed to know the scoring pattern of the spoken components in the assigned tasks. The results revealed that there was a significant level of improvement in the oral proficiency of the experimental group.


Affective factors; engineering students; oral communicative tasks; speaking constraints; spoken proficiency

Full Text:



American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication

manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.).

Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Benson, P. (2001). Teaching and Researching Autonomy in

Language Learning. London: Longman.

Brown, H.D. (2001). Teaching by Principles. An Interactive

Approach to Language Pedagogy. Englewood Cliffs:

Prentice Hall.

Bygate, M. (1987). Speaking. Oxford: Oxford University


Council of Europe (2001). Common European Frame work of

References for languages: Learning, Teaching,

Assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Drnyei, Z. (2001). Motivational Strategies in the Language

Classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Edge, J. (1989). Mistakes and Correction. Longman Keys to

Language Teaching. Harlow: Longman.

Ellis, R. (2002). The evaluation of Communicative Tasks. In

B. Tomlinson (Ed.), Materials Development in Language

Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Ellis, R. (2003) Task-based Language Learning and Teaching.

Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Harmer, J. (2007). How to Teach English-New edition. Harlow:

Pearson Education Limited.

Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B., & Cope, J. (1986). Foreign

language classroom anxiety. The Modern Language

Journal, 70(2), 125-132.

Jamila , M. (2013). Use of Learner Autonomy in Teaching

Speaking by Tertiary Level English Language Teachers in

Private Universities of Bangladesh. IOSR Journal Of

Humanities And Social Science . 18(4), 29-43.

Jianing, X. (2007). Storytelling in the EFL Speaking Classroom.

The Internet TESL Journal. 13(11), Retrieved on April 10,


Juhana. (2012). Linguistic Factors that Become Students

Obstacles to Speak in English Class. Journal of Education

and Practice.3 (12), Retrieved on 25.10.2016 from

Littlewood, W. (1981).Communicative Language Teaching: An

Introduction. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

Liu, M., & Jackson, J. (2009). Reticence in Chinese EFL

students at varied proficiency levels. TESL Canada

Journal, 26(2), 65-81.

Long, M. H. & Crookes, G. (1992). Three approaches to Task-

based syllabus design. TESOL Quarterly, 26(1), 27- 55.

Nunan, D. (1988). Syllabus Design. Oxford: Oxford University


Nunan, D.(1991a). Language Teaching Methodology. London:

Prentice Hall International.

Nunan, D. (1991b). Communicative tasks and the language

curriculum. TESOL QUARTERLY, 15(2), 279- 295.

Peloghitis, J. (2006). Enhancing communication through the

use of foreigner interviews. Journal of NELTA, 11(1-2),


Prabhu, N .S. (1987). Second Language Pedagogy. Oxford:

Oxford University Press.

Shanmugasundaram, S.(2012) . Factors Affecting the Spoken

English of Tertiary Level Students from Arts and Science

Colleges in the District of Tiruchirapalli and Thanjavur-

A Study, PhD Thesis, Department of Humanities, NITT.

Thornbury, S. (2005). How to Teach speaking. Harlow,

England: Longman.

Ur, P. (1995). A Course in Language Teaching. Practice and

Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Van Le, T. (2014). Factors Affecting Task-Based Language

Teaching from Teachers Perspectives. Study in English

Language Teaching. 2(1) 108-122.

Willis, J. (1996). A Framework for Task-Based Learning.

Harlow, Essex: Addison Wesley Longman. Longman.

Zaremba, A. J. (2006). Speaking Professionally. Canada:

Thompson South-Western.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

 Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics

ISSN 2149­-1135
Copyright © Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics

Ejal Editorial | Create Your Badge

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.