Investigating the Problems Faced by the University EFL Learners in Speaking English Language




English, speaking skill, EFL learners, public and private universities


Speaking English is a part of the daily academic life of the EFL learners at the undergraduate level of the major English programs in Bangladesh. This practice sometimes creates many problems for first-year undergraduate public and private university students. Despite its importance, sufficient data about the problems Bangladeshi university students face in speaking English was not found. To investigate the problems of speaking faced by the undergraduate students, the current study applied mixed methods, and eighty-eight students and four teachers from four universities participated in it. The result shows that both public and private university students with English majors face a lot of problems communicating in English. However, this study has found that public university students are slightly more competent in English and face fewer problems than private university students. The participants expressed different insights on the roles of curriculum, teaching techniques, and individual institutions to overcome the students' weakness in English speaking skills. Finally, the study puts forward some very specific recommendations on the basis of the findings for the concerned stakeholders.

Author Biographies

  • Wahidul Islam, Institute of Modern Languages, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

    Wahidul Islam has completed his MA in ELT from Institute of Modern Languages, University of Dhaka. He started his career as a lecturer in English at University of Global Village, Bangladesh. Currently he is working at United Commercial Bank-PLC as a compliance officer. He’s an ex-BMA cadet of 68 BMA L/C. Apart from his banking career, he enjoys reading books and has a very keen interest in educational research area. He has served as convenor of TESOL society of Bangladesh (Barishal Chapter) and worked under different govt. research projects earlier as a research associate as well.

  • Saleh Ahmad, University of Dhaka; Uttara University, Bangladesh

    Assistant Professor, Department of English, Uttara University, Bangladesh and Ph.D. Fellow (English), Institute of Modern Languages, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

    Saleh Ahmad is currently an Assistant Professor of English at the Uttara University, Dhaka. He is a Ph.D. Fellow (English) at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh. He has been teaching English at different universities at home and abroad and doing research for more than twelve years. His research interests include TESOL, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, CALL, translanguaging, and ethnography.

  • Md. Didarul Islam, Institute of Modern Languages, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

    Md. Didarul Islam is a former student of the Institute of Modern Languages, University of Dhaka. Previously, he pursued his BA ESOL from the same institute. His research interests include ELT and industry, Sociolinguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis, Education in Bangladesh, and Technology for Education. Besides, he is a professional proofreader, translator, copy-editor, and research assistant. He has already provided services to a number of relevant organisations of those fields.


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Research Article

How to Cite

Islam, W., Ahmad, S., & Islam, M. D. (2022). Investigating the Problems Faced by the University EFL Learners in Speaking English Language. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 2(2), 47-65.

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