EFL is taught in most countries as a compulsory subject. However, most students in these countries do not show a good English proficiency or ability in using English in daily-life communications. It may mean that there is some kind of failure of TEFL in these countries. The following are four factors that may cause this situation.
1. It is not easy to learn English language.
Words are differently pronounced from one to another even though those which have the same form in writing or spelling. English idioms give another challenge to the learners as each idiom has a new meaning. In addition, there is what is called “English collocations” that learners must be acquainted with in order to speak well. Further in terms of grammatical rules, students are usually faced with some exceptions which must be kept in their minds when using English in communication.
2. There are six English language skills to be mastered.
Students must master six skills to be able to use English language in meaningful communication. These skills are listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary and grammar. English language learning success is measured by looking at learner’s ability in these skills. Meaningful practice on all these skills is significant for students to understand and convey the right meaning in real-life situations. These skills are the key components of English language learning so they must be given equal importance in teaching and practice.
3. English language learning is an accumulative process.
English language learning cannot be happened with a magic stick but it is an accumulative process that must take time and effort. It is like building up the stairs. We cannot build the upper stairs without constructing the lower ones or if the lower ones are too weak. This means that students should learn and practice the language continuously and they should have a good memory to remember everything taught and learned beforehand to show success and good results in learning English language. In this case, we can assure again that meaningful and continuous practice is the most important factor that leads students to remember the acquired English language knowledge. In fact, the more learners practice these items, the more they stick in their minds.
4. Teachers may use poor teaching methods and techniques.
Above all, teachers are still considered to be the determination of English language learning success. The methods and techniques they use in the classroom to teach and practice English language must be frequently discussed and reviewed. Moreover, EFL teachers are demanded to design and apply teaching strategies, methods, and techniques which are believed as the best ones putting in their minds the importance of learners’ contribution and participation in the learning process. Learners must take the responsibility and play an important role in their own English language learning.
Besides, students must be encouraged to change their old view that English language learning process is limited to studying certain English lessons in the classroom with the teacher. English language materials should be widely explored and English language learning and practice should occur in every place and at any time. In this case, the role of the teacher comes to be just a facilitator helping students to reach safe and useful resources so that they can learn and practice English language independently and make a success in their proficiency level in English language.
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