EFL Young Learners’ Problems Encountered in the Learning of English Speaking: Teachers’ Perspectives

Nur Syafira Nikmah, Choiril Anwar


Teaching speaking to Indonesian EFL young learners is still problematic. It happens not only because English is not used in daily activities but also the government’s regulation to some extent does not support that. This qualitative study aims to describe the problems faced by EFL students in the learning of English speaking with teachers’ perspectives. The samples of this research were three teachers from three different elementary schools in Jepara, Central Java, Indonesia. The data were collected by using questionnaire, interview, and classroom observation. The data were then analyzed by 1) memoing or transcribing the interview data, reading them to make notes and finding the most important information that might be useful for the study, 2) describing the data to find complete explanation of context, setting, and interactions of participants, 3) classifying data—to break down the obtained result and put it into categories, and 4) interpreting the data to find the meanings of the data by connecting the findings with previous studies, personal experience, and expert advice to find the best result. The result showed that EFL students’ problems in the learning of English speaking came from some factors. They are 1) Native language, 2) Age, 3) Exposure, and 4) Motivation, and 5) Learners’ Autonomy.

 Keywords: speaking, Indonesian EFL students, young learners

Full Text:



Abrar, M. (2016). Teaching English problems: An analysis of EFL primary school teachers in Kuala Tungkal. In The 16th Indonesian Scholars International Convention (pp. 94-101).

Anwar, C., & Kusumawarni, W. (2018). A Descriptive Analysis of Young Learners’ Behaviours toward TEFL. Register Journal, 11(1), 79-100. https://doi.org/10.18326/rgt.v11i1.79-100

Anwar, C. (2016). Role-Play and Show-and-Tell in Grade 5 Students’ Speaking Learning. EduLite: Journal of English Education, Literature and Culture, 1(1), 76. https://doi.org/10.30659/e.1.1.76-102

Arif, N. (2015). Removing English as compulsory subject from primary schools on the 2013 curriculum based on teachers' opinion. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 5(8), 117-121. https://repository.unja.ac.id/id/eprint/1858

Bashir, M., Afzal, M. T., & Azeem, M. (2008). Reliability and Validity of Qualitative and Operational Research Paradigm. Pakistan Journal of Statistics and Operation Research, 4(1), 35–45. https://doi.org/10.18187/pjsor.v4i1.59

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research (4th ed.). http://library1.nida.ac.th/termpaper6/sd/2554/19755.pdf

Ellis, G. (2014). Young learners: Clarifying our terms. ELT Journal, 68(1), 75–78. https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/cct062

Freeman, D. L., & Anderson, M. (2011). Techniques & Principles in Language Teaching (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.

Gay, L. R., E. Mills, G., & Airasian, P. (2012). Educational Research: Competencies for Analysis and Applications. http://library1.nida.ac.th/termpaper6/sd/2554/19755.pdf

Hanafi, I., & Sumitro, E. A. (2020). Perkembangan Kognitif Menurut Jean Piaget Dan Implikasinya Dalam Pembelajaran. Alpen: Jurnal Pendidikan Dasar, 3(2). https://doi.org/10.24929/alpen.v3i2.30

Khetaguri, T., & Albay, M. (2016). The Use of Drills in the Development of Speaking Skills. International Journal of Social Sciences & Educational Studies, 3(1), 54–58. https://search.proquest.com/openview/a49cff0be78a11f87cbdd7ef09e9d4d0/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=4672073

Maili, S. N. (2018). Bahasa Inggris Pada Sekolah Dasar: Mengapa perlu dan mengapa dipersoalkan. JUDIKA (Jurnal Pendidikan Unsika), 6(1), 23–28. https://journal.unsika.ac.id/index.php/judika/article/view/1203/1013

Muharram, A. R. (2018). The English teachers’ challenges and efforts in teaching by applying 2013 curriculum. Unpublished thesis. http://repository.unissula.ac.id/9001/

Nihat, S. Ş. (2010). Theory–practice dichotomy: Prospective teachers’ evaluations about teaching English to young learners. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 9(1), 76–99. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273888609_Theory-practice_dichotomy_Prospective_teachers’_evaluations_about_teaching_English_to_young_learners

Nofrion, N. (2018). NOFRION: Pentingnya Keterampilan Komunikasi di Era Revolusi Industri 4.0. https://doi.org/10.31227/OSF.IO/KRW28

Novianda, R. (2017). Teaching speaking by using picture strip stories. English Education Journal (EEJ), 8(3), 386–403. http://jurnal.unsyiah.ac.id/EEJ/article/view/8925

Nuraini, K. (2016). The barriers of teaching speaking English for EFL learners. ELLITE- Journal of English Language, Literature, and Teaching, 1(1), 7–13. http://jurnal.unmuhjember.ac.id/index.php/ELLITE

Ohashi, Y. (2015). Communicative language teaching, young learners’ EFL, Play, Social constructivism 17. Fukuoka Jo Gakuin University Bulletin, 1, 17–30. https://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/120005602273/en

Pratama, E. Y. (2015). Teacher’s Strategies in Teaching Speaking to Young Learners. English Journal, 19–31. https://doi.org/DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.32832/english.v9i2.243

Ramadhani, P., & Bahri, S. Y. (2017). E-ISSN 2528-746X Teachers’ Problems in Teaching Speaking to Young Learners Putri. 2(February), 27–36.

Sadiku, L. M. (2015). The Importance of Four Skills Reading, Speaking, Writing, Listening in a Lesson Hour. European Journal of Language and Literature, 1(1), 29. https://doi.org/10.26417/ejls.v1i1.p29-31

Samosir, M., Rahayu, P., & Donal, A. (2017). Improving students’ vocabulary mastery through spelling bee game at fifth frade of SD swasta Kalampaian Kunto Darussalam. Jurnal Ilmiah Mahasiswa FKIP Prodi Bahasa Inggris, 3(1), 1–7. https://www.neliti.com/publications/110016/improving-students-vocabulary-mastery-through-spelling-bee-game-at-fifth-grade-o

Seel, N. M. (2012). Problems: Definition, Types, and Evidence. In N. M. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning (pp. 2690–2693). Springer US. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_914

Sulistiyo, U. (2016). Learning English as a Foreign Language in an Indonesian University: A Study of Non-English Department Students’ Preferred Activities Inside and Outside the Classroom. IJET (Indonesian Journal of English Teaching), 5(1), 1–26. https://doi.org/10.15642/ijet2.2016.5.1.1-26

Suryana. (2012). Metodologi Penelitian : Metodologi Penelitian Model Prakatis Penelitian Kuantitatif dan Kualitatif. Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, 1–243. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13398-014-0173-7.2

Suryati, N. (2013). Developing an Effective Classroom Interaction Framework to Promote Lower Secondary School Students’ English Communicative Competence in Malang, East Java, Indonesia. October, 323. http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/1038812

Widodo, A., & Dewi, S. R. (2019). Revealing Problems on Teaching English for Young Learners at Al – Azhar 55 Islamic Primary School Yogyakarta and How to Solve Them. Jurnal VARIDIKA, 30(2), 21–29. https://doi.org/10.23917/varidika.v30i2.7571

Zhu, D. (2012). Using Games to Improve Students’ Communicative Ability. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 3(4), 801–805. https://doi.org/10.4304/jltr.3.4.761-770.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18326/rgt.v14i2.301-316


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Nur Syafira Nikmah, Choiril Anwar

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

In the aim of improving the quality of the Journal since 19th October 2016 this journal officially had made cooperation with ELITE Association Indonesia (The association of Teachers of English Linguistics, Literature & Education). See The MoU Manuscript.