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The Role of Psychological and Social Factors in Causing Hesitation During Speaking: The Case of Saudi EFL Learners

Amal Hussein Alenezi
Jouf University, Saudi Arabia.
Abdelrahim Hamid Mugaddam
Jouf University, Saudi Arabia, Khartoum University, Sudan
Keywords: Speaking, Hesitation, Psychological Factors, Sociocultural Factors, Saudi EFL Learners. ,


EFL learners worldwide find it difficult to acquire proficiency in speaking English, due to various barriers that impact their speaking skills, one of which is hesitation. The aim of this study was to examine the psychological and sociocultural factors that might lead to hesitation during speaking English among Saudi EFL learners. A mixed-method approach was used for collecting data for the study, combining both qualitative and quantitative methods, including questionnaires and interviews. The results indicate that hesitation is primarily caused by psychological factors, such as anxiety, lack of confidence, shyness, and introverted personality. Sociocultural factors, including limited use of English in daily life and gender differences, are also found to have played a significant role in causing hesitation. Female learners were found to be more hesitant in using English compared to male learners. The study concludes with recommendations for pedagogical interventions aimed at reducing the effects of anxiety and hesitation among the Saudi EFL learners when trying to speaking English.