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Oral English Language Reticence among Secondary School Students in Arumeru District, Arusha Region

©2013 Masterarbeit 119 Seiten


This research investigated about ‘Oral English Language Reticence among Secondary School Students in Arumeru District, Arusha Region.’ The research problem was to find out the causal aspects of reticence among secondary school students in oral English language classrooms. However, the study was further guided by three research objectives for instance, to identify causal aspects of students’ reticence in oral English language classrooms, to establish the extent to which students remain reticent in the oral English language classrooms and, to find out the level of oral language interaction in English teaching and learning classrooms.
Input and Functional theories were significant to enhance the relationship of the study with other findings. Nonetheless, other theories integrated in the study were; ‘Transformative Generative Grammar’ ‘Grounded’ and the ‘Central theories.’
Both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies were relevant in this study. Questionnaires were distributed to respondents in the selected schools and further, informal interviews were conducted for the justification of data collected from the questionnaire. Tables and Charts were applied in the presentation of data for simple interpretation. Findings, however, revealed that low English proficiency, cultural beliefs, habits, difficulty of learning tasks, personality, lack of confidence and fear of making mistakes were among the reticent inducing factors.
The Ministry of Education needs to sensitize its teachers on higher oral English training level which can adequately meet the oral English communication need of secondary school students.


Table of Contents

1.1 Background of the Study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Objectives of the Study
1.3.1 General Objectives
1.3.2 Specific Objectives
1.4 Research Questions
1.5 Significance of the Study
1.6 Scope / Delimitation of the Study
1.7 Theoretical /Conceptual Framework
1.8 Operational Definitions of Terms

2.1 Introduction
2.2 Theoretical Literature
2.3 Empirical Literature
2.4 Policy Review

3.1 Introduction
3.2 Research Design-
3.2.1 Quantitative research
3.2.2 Qualitative Research
3.3 Data Collection Methods
3.3.1 Procedure of Data Collection
3.3.2 Closed Ended Questionnaire
3.3.3 Informal Interviews
3.4 Sampling Procedures and Sample Size
3.4.1 Population/Target Group
3.4.2 Sample Size
3.5 Data Analysis Techniques
3.51 Validity and Reliability
3.6 Limitation of the Study
3.7 Ethical Considerations

4.1 Introduction
4.2 Data Presentation and Analysis
4.2.1 The Range of Measurement Items on the Questionnaire
4.3 Informal Interviews
4.4 Data Interpretation
4.4.1 Factors Contributing to Oral English Communication Reticence
4.5 Compromising Differences
4.6 Reticence Coping Strategies

5.1 Introduction
5.2 Summary of Research Findings
5.2.1 Findings of Objective
5.2.2 Findings of Objective
5.2.3 Findings of Objective
5.3 Conclusion
5.4 Recommendations



Appendix A1: Secondary School Students’ Questionnaire

Appendix A2: Students Self-reported Participation on Reticence Level through Hand Raising

Appendix B1: A letter of Research Permission from the University of Arusha (UOA)

Appendix B3: A letter from Head of School

Appendix B4: A letter from Head of School

Appendix B5: A letter from Head of School

List of Tables

Table 1. To Identify Causal Aspects of Students’ Oral Reticence

Table 2. To Establish the Extent in which Students Remain Reticent

Table 3. To Find out the Level of Oral English Language Interaction

Table 4. To Find out the Level of Oral English Language Interaction

List of Figures and Charts

Fig. 1. Variable Correlations

Chart 1. Graphical Presentation of Data on Lack of Shyness in Class Activities-

Chart 2. Graphical Presentation of Data on Being Uncomfortable to Learn English

Chart 3. Graphical Presentation of Data on Feeling Nervous on English

Interaction Chart 4. Graphical Presentation of Data on Strong Group spirit of English Speaking

Chart 5. Graphical Presentation of Data on Easiness of learning with the teacher-­

Chart 6. Graphical Presentation of Data on Responding to the Teacher with Questions

Chart 7. Graphical Presentation of Data on Raising up Hands to Answer Questions

Chart 8. Graphical Presentation of Data on Enjoying Talking with the Teacher--

Chart 9. Graphical Presentation of Data on Simplicity for Students to Ask Questions

Chart 10. Graphical Presentation of Data on Communicating Orally in English-

Chart 11. Graphical Presentation of Data on Activeness to Talk in English·

Chart 12. Graphical Presentation of Data on Being Active to Respond to the Teacher

Chart 13. Graphical Presentation of Data on Activeness to Speak English


1.1 Background of the Study

With a growing need for spoken English among non-native English speakers, Liu (2005:1) approves that reticence research in second language learning situations has captured the attention of language theorists and educators in recent years. From the study conducted in Tanzania, on the language of instruction in post primary education as a forgotten factor, Senkoro (2005:7) argued that when students from different language culture speak in a second or foreign language, they become more apprehensive and tense and thus more unwilling to participate in conversations.

Elsewhere, researchers have come up with findings on causative aspects of reticence in oral English classrooms. In the study conducted in Rwanda by Kagwesage (2012:5) on English language shift, findings based on qualitative study in secondary schools indicated that lack of oral English language command and the nature of topics under discussion were equally important hindrances in motivating students to participate fully in oral English discussions. It was argued that some students have problems in oral communication in a second language. This was related to unwillingness to engage in oral Language communication, lack of motivation for language learning, imperceptions of competence, lack of personality, insufficient intellect and the surrounding social context.

However, in the study conducted by Liu (2005:1) in Chinese secondary schools, on effects of reticence in oral English subject teaching and learning, through case study, it was found that many English Second Language (ESL) students were orally passive in classrooms due to effects of mother tongue and chose not to use oral English language most of the time, especially when responding to teachers.

In the local context of Tanzania secondary schools, the findings of Neke (2003:24) showed that, oral English language can be viewed as a system of symbolic resources designed for the production and interpretation of social and intellectual activities. In line with the latter, it is agreed that low English proficiency, personality, and cultural beliefs were found to contribute to students’ reticence in English language classrooms. Liu (2005:3) found that unwillingness to communicate was a good resource for students’ actual use of the target language in communication. All these findings were confirmed by a range of studies carried out both in English foreign language learning situations using both quantitative and qualitative methods (Tibategeza 2010:230, Liu 2005:3, Senkoro 2005:6).

Based on interviews, Kagwesage (2012:7) argued that students were reticent in ESL classrooms due to ‘fear of public failure, fear of making mistakes, lack of confidence, low English proficiency and inability to keep up with native speakers competence in the rules and norms of English conversation. This was supported by Senkoro’s (2005:10-11) comparative research review on students’ oral behavior in English-speaking countries such as Tanzania and South Africa.

On the basis of his study analysis, Rwezaura (1994:109) agrees that the students were rated as passive and reticent learners in the English classroom by their teachers who attributed this reticence to such factors as low English proficiency, fear of being embarrassed in front of their peers, inability to understand concepts, incomprehensible input, lack of preparation, and the passive learning styles acquired during their primary schooling. The findings were in conformity with a number of other studies which are noted in the interview conducted by Senkoro (2005:5) in the subsequent cultural observation.

“Mr. Msekwa led UDSM to take measures to strengthen it as a national university and to build into it the values that could identify it with the Tanzania government system and people. This was the context of bringing UDSM nearer to the Tanzanian society. One of these measures included conducting 1970/71 graduation ceremony in Kiswahili. These measures were perceived by foreign students and the students’ government as undermining and downgrading the status of the university.”

The latter study shows how Kiswahili affects even higher learning institutions which have an aim on developing the ongoing students after secondary school education. This implies some identified Kiswahili language cultural beliefs as being important reticence-inducers in Second Language oral communication fluency.

Neke (2007:22) established that, inconsistent pedagogical effects in relation to unavailability of textbooks and supplementary reading materials are inclusive issues against oral English language fluency. According to his investigations, 50% of the reviewed studies showed significant positive associations between academic achievements and oral fluency.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

This study is intended to find out the causal aspects of reticence among secondary school students in oral English language classrooms. Oral English approach is one of the most important strategies in promoting learning and understanding of English language. However, most of secondary school students concisely become reticent and fail to compete in oral English performances.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

This research was meant to focus on general and specific objectives focusing on Tanzania secondary school students, whose English is their second language.

1.3.1 General Objectives

To investigate the response of students in English learning classrooms.

1.3.2 Specific Objectives

a) To identify causal aspects of students’ reticence in oral English language classrooms.
b) To find out the extent to which students remain reticent in the oral English language classrooms.
c) To establish the level of oral language interaction in English teaching and learning classrooms.

1.4 Research Questions

a) What are causative aspects of students’ reticence in oral English language classrooms?
b) To what extent do students remain reticent in the oral English language classrooms?
c) What is the level of oral language interaction in English teaching and learning classrooms?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The relevance of this study was basically outlined following its impact on the personal level, the school level, the regional level and the government level.

On personal level, the research was projected to assist the researcher in establishing oral English reticent inducing factors among secondary school students. On the school level, the research would assist secondary schools to basically focus on the relevance of insisting practical oral English communication both in school and out of school contexts. On the regional level, the research was anticipated to motivate the regional education assessment team to emphasize more on proper language of classroom instruction so as to encourage students to avoid classroom reticence. However, on government level, the research would assist in reaffirming the ministry of education on the significance of emphasizing on the English speaking policy because of its global weight in commercial, education and administration sectors.

1.6 Scope / Delimitation of the Study

The research was conducted in Arumeru District, Arusha region. It was conducted in both Government owned and Private owned secondary schools. The population selected was of 400 registered students as it was confirmed from school attendance registers of form three students.

The research findings presented in the dissertation were collected distinctively from the ordinary level students in Ekenywa, Enyoito and Ilkiding’a secondary schools. Their age parameter ranged from 16 years. Study materials utilized in this research study basically addresses on oral English communication apprehension, English language as the second language and other resources related to the topic under study.

These resources were categorized as: Academic books from recognized authors, academic Journals and research thesis/dissertations from different authors both from Tanzania and other globally research based universities and accessible internet resources.

1.7 Theoretical / Conceptual Framework

Krashen (1982) as quoted in Koross (2012:29) stated, in the case of oral English reticence, the ‘input theory and functional theory’ which seem to provoke positive oral dynamism in the secondary school students. The input theory was used to show the oral English learning challenges, while functional theory was crucial in showing the causative factors of oral English reticence.

Figure 1. Illustration of variable correlations

Independent Variables Variable Moderators Dependent Variables

illustration not visible in this excerpt

From the study analysis on the problem of students’ reticence in oral English communication, the researcher suggested the following as being related causative aspects of the problem. The immense use of bilingual languages in classrooms. This implies on the improper input of oral English language by teachers who, in most cases use Kiswahili. Furthermore, the poor English language background from primary education has its place in developing the poor attitude on the emerging trend of using English language in post primary education.

Subsequently, lack of English language policy implementation in most secondary schools is also one of the crucial factors for reticence because of lack of immediacy in making follow ups from school administrators. However, poor ability of modeling students by school teachers during classroom sessions contributes to reticence in oral English teaching and learning.

1.8 Operational Definitions of Terms

English Reticence: in the researcher’s conception, this is the situation in which students become shy towards English language communication.

Language Apprehension: from the researcher’s view, it is the condition of hesitating to talk in English.

Bilingual: relating to the views of the researcher, the term refers to an act of using two languages in classroom instruction.

English Hegemony: in the researcher’s point of view, it refers to the language of influence.

Oral Communication: the researcher has a view that it is speech making.

In summary, chapter one has dealt with introduction of the study, statement of the problem, study objectives which are segmented into general and specific, research questions, significance of the study, scope of the study, theoretical/conceptual framework and operational definition of terms. Chapter two will deal with review of literature divided on the basis of theoretical and empirical literature.


2.1 Introduction

The chapter examines the relevant literature resources that had been done in the past with regard to the topic addressing the causative factors of oral English language reticence among secondary school students. These literature reviews have further been divided into theoretical and empirical literature. Under theoretical literature, assessments of oral English reticent variables have been subsequently dealt with. However, in the empirical literature, the other data findings have been taken into considerations on how they are interactively related to the topic under study. Nonetheless, Policy review has also been looked into with the facts on cultural and instructional policies in post primary education in Tanzania.

2.2 Theoretical Literature

Krashen (1982) as quoted in Koross (2012:29) states the ‘input theory and functional theory’ over which this study was based upon. These theories were important in enabling the study to come up with findings. The input theory was used to show the oral English learning challenges, while functional theory was crucial in showing the causative factors of oral English reticence. The functional theory further, shows that students learn various oral English language skills to be able to perform several functions such as the ability to communicate effectively. Senkoro (2005:6) on the other hand, argues that judging from the current projected global trends and the fact that English is fast becoming the global ICT language, institutions should positively embrace oral communications in English language. The oral use of English is effective in enabling the students to acquire the oral skills needed for learning and communication especially in the early stages of secondary education. Xianping (n.d:10) observes that many students experience varied language anxiety which could affect oral English performance.

The probability of oral ineffectiveness and incompetence of students in the secondary schools seem to be uniform. Liu (2005:11) on the other hand contends that personality and low English proficiency due to past educational experience are also the factors considered to be the causes for reticence in oral English performance. In his paper; ‘reticence in oral English language classrooms’, it is evident that reticence causes students in their study to basically focus on theory which implies that they dwell on the structure of oral English, its basic sounds and on the care of such sounds in the language for functional pedagogy but display inefficient communicative competence. In his paper, Kwasau (2004:103) bases on the ‘imaginative’ art of oral communication which is referred to as speech. The paper focuses on oral speech skill and how it can be improved by ways of remedial and recommendations that can be applied to improve the general standard of the language in Nigeria. However, in his research, Dada (2007:90) suggests additive bilingualism which is acquiring both mother tongue and the English second language skills to be among the oral English communication setbacks. Further, the subtractive bilingualism according to Dada, where a student has the ability to mislay the mother tongue when connected with the latter may become dual factors for inefficient language 2 oral proficiency. On the other hand, the study of Kwasau (2004:15) has a direct implication on English language as being the only language of instruction and communication whose knowledge and oral skills are much needed to successfully pursue academic studies in different areas of specialization. However, most institutions focus on grammar and syntax to the disadvantage of the oral genre of the discipline. Revolving around the subject of English Speaking Policy has a massive impact on the specific purposes of what should be done in the classroom just as we should construe students' specific language supposition needs. For example, according to Al-Sibai (2004:21) if we teach written communication, we teach it in the specific context of the society around, maybe, where applicable, in terms of 'learners’ awareness' with a sense of logical organization of knowledge or information, as noticed in actual use of that language.

However, students in light to Tibategeza (2010:230) need also to learn appropriate oral English communication constituting a range of authentic reporting situations from a series of several magnitude such as in business, commerce, finance, administration, marketing, production and personnel education. They need as well to understand the logical steps in report writing and oral presentations.

Students, as it is with Dada (2007:103) need, though superimposed, to be presented with task-oriented activities that are both challenging and authentic in the field of oral English communication, they need to be ‘forced’ to read and think about the content for any particular context, think about the structure and organization of oral fluency, consider about the language used to express the content and they should be made to apply this knowledge to the skills of communication. Ivone (2005:198) agrees that grammar is embedded in language and should be stored in the brain for frequent use. These may include a variety of writing exercises, paragraph writing, expansion of notes, completion of paragraphs, sequencing of sentences into paragraphs, and using the right punctuation marks, connectives, sub-headings and presentation of non-verbal information. Neke (2003:119) affirms to the latter by categorically saying it as a strategy of transferring ‘valued oral communication resources’ of information in connection to orally linking findings, extracting main points for making descriptive and evaluative summaries and orally making recommendations. As teachers, we teach all this in terms of what the secondary school students expect to learn from the English curriculum. They unlearn, learn, and re-learn, both formal and informal expressions within the conventions of the discipline they belong to.

As the researcher already said, the students’ career success depends on good writing and speaking skills along with proper etiquette and listening skills and understanding skills. Skills that need particular attention in light to Neke (2003:112) should be correlated with English language ‘symbolic value.’ Being acquainted with this value should encourage students to learn from each other via activities both of productive kind and of being receptive in nature. As teachers, we may exploit developments in the case study approach, use role plays and simulations that place the secondary school students in realistic and stimulating situations to create spontaneous personal interaction and creative use of the oral language in communicative context.

According to Adegbile et al (2001:9) integration of the task based on verbal ability, group oral dialogue, and simulations should help the future English people develop the skills for conferencing and negotiating for the necessary mastery of English for functioning autonomously in the field. However, the ‘how’ challenge according to Neke (2003:110) is not to teach a descriptive course on discourse, but to provide for a pragmatic and custom-tailored oral skills input, ready for being processed by secondary school learners in an authentic learning environment so as to remedy reticence. In other words, instead of mere oral English second language communications, the emphasis has, according to Odisha (2012:5) be on, what the researcher already mentioned, 'interaction in oral communicative context'. It is not merely the language of business, but also the cultural conventions of meetings and negotiations in an intercultural setting that one has to be aware of and learn. As far as teaching is concerned, it is rather helping secondary school students with learning how to learn, how to create the learning opportunities for themselves and appreciate the ways in which oral English language may become an interactive tool. Kwasau (2004:102) presupposes that oral English language may be part of aural following the prescribed patterns; ‘learner-centred approach, a three-step procedure could be: first, to illustrate then, to induce and finally, to interact. ’

However in view of the research conducted by Liu (2005:11) personality and low English proficiency due to past educational experience should also be considered as some of the best oral English language communicative setbacks among the school community. Being orally communicative is as much or more a matter of methodology something that teachers are uniquely qualified to contribute to. As teachers, we should therefore be willing to use our expertise, to innovate, to improve, to inform each other, and to criticize what we take to secondary school students. Nevertheless, the researcher may contend as well that the essence of good speaking is also the essence of good academic grooming. In his research on English in Tanzania as being an ‘anatomy of hegemony’, Neke (2003:20) maintains that, the negative idea that generally, English is a European, the less noble ability, that this foreign language possession may have marked the colonial elite, is probably one of the possible factors for lack of oral English proficiency in our secondary schools.

There are two consistent aspects that Rugemalira (2005:79) articulates; the perfect manipulation of sounds in the language and secondly, the aesthetic, or the intellectual aspect. During class sessions, the two aspects must be given due attention and be considered together and treated as a whole if genuine oral communication in English language is to become practical. Rwezaura (1994:118) argues that even lack of literacy skills on how to enhance oral English language speaking is connected with teachers persistently ‘emphasizing learning in Swahili language’. In his paper; theoretical and practical challenges in Tanzania English medium primary schools, Rugemalira (2005:78) particularly compares the effects bestowed on culturally Kiswahili oriented students and those of English orientation, only to establish the performance difference. According to the research conducted by Odisha (2012:5) on staff development program on emerging trends in business English and the methods of teaching, he indicates that in today’s globalization in business contexts, teachers of business English have to be conscious of various analytical and practical language applications in enterprises.

Reticence may prompt those who have not acquainted themselves on oral communication to encounter havoc in transactional issues. This may be the fact why Ndamba (2008:177) pre- determines that students in Tanzania favour the retention of Swahili because they could hardly express themselves in English due to infringed attitude towards English as a second language in the nation. So far to speak, in correlation to adoption of Kiswahili as a national language, Rwezaura (1994:117) asserts that this tendency of speaking of Swahili by Tanzanian teachers when they well recognize the language of instruction in secondary schools is a consequence of the falling command of oral English language among even the best students. This attitude makes them internalize Kiswahili as being legitimate. Such imitated attitude perhaps is compromised by Al- Sibai (2004:22) who in his paper on promoting oral fluency of English second language learners, suggests that rote learning, the so called ‘chunk’ may be the best contributing factor for oral English language fluctuation. In his research, he shows that students are trained on exam solving more than it may be with the communication skills exposed in different contexts such as in business, dialogue, general communications with peers and in official writings. Laurilla (2003:41) argues that self perceived communication competence where there is lack of speech tasks because of the poor nature of language learning in classroom affect the oral communication. This may not necessarily concede with the point that internal and external factors such as the classroom situation and the out ward view of English as the second language affect even the personality trait for communication.

However, in the research conducted by Hodges et al (1992:347) it is argued out that lack of motivational issues can also be expected to affect the oral communicative competence in secondary schools. It may be clear in this paper that the cognitive, which is one of the parts of learning in the mental realization, be subjugated with the oral stimulation skills which utmost can drive learners of ESL to possess effective oral English communication skills. With that, it is vital to compromise the cognitive with the psychomotor stages of learning. Where speech skills have been taught, there is a massive expectation that grammar, phonetics and phonological skills have to be put into action by practice. Consequently, Deumert (2000:6) is pre supposedly embedded with the idea that poor English language planning and its recognition as a societal resource, in the connotation that the authorities portray ‘elimination attitude’ is the best contribution against language acquaintance. This is clearly polished by the paper on Educational Sector Review Workshop, which holds that the expenditures on the studies show that there may be financial leakages that are assumed to cause limited facilities resourced on English language studies (Tanzania educational Network 2006:4).

2.3 Empirical Literature

According to the study which was conducted in China by Liu (2005:9) on classroom reticence level, which was based on presentations, findings revealed that limited number of students volunteered to give their discussion results in front of the class which was further confirmed through the videotaped observations where only 2 students volunteered to do that and all the rest remained quiet until singled out by the teacher. This indicates the existence of reticence occurrence. In the subsequent study that was conducted in South Africa by Muller (2010:636) on oral ESL learners and their own language proficiency, it was reflected that there was low pass rate in the Advanced Certificate Education rated as follows: a pass rate of 49.58% in 2006; a pass rate of 47.86% in 2007 and a pass rate of 44.39% in 2008. The possible explanation is that the logical problem of oral English learning was caused by messy and fragmentary input that made English become an abstract construct in that context. Maria (2002­2003:140) supports that there is improper pedagogical discourses instructors imply in struggling to issue out knowledge. It is with this poor instructional dimension that Barrett et al (2008:8) asserts that the curriculum should in any given case whether in the designed context or the planned context specify what students are expected to learn and how much in terms of content level on oral English language proficiency. In the study that was conducted in Tanzania by Tibategeza (2010:235) on language realities in schools, findings based on the documentary review methodology show that the rationale given in the document why English is to be used as the medium of instruction at post-primary education is that most instructional media and pedagogical materials are written in the English language and it is assumed that the situation is likely to remain so for a long time in the foreseeable future. However, he agrees that there has been no simple circular that has been issued from the ministry concerned in connection with how language policy should be implemented in and out of the classroom. Mafu (2004:70) is able to recognize some of the effects of reticence and the role of English language proficiency. In his research, findings reveal that the language which dominates the internet also blocks access because among the general population of Tanzanians, English proficiency is rather low. It is indicated that among 10,000, students who sat for the advanced level examination, only 50,000 were able to secure the entrance in the university. Well, there may be other contributory factors for the decline of the number of university enrollment, but Mafu (2004:72) agrees to the possibility of English playing the larger part in the failure to meet the university requirements. This may be sincere according to Omadiaogbe (1992:24) who confirms that the poor standard of English, the incompetence of teachers at this level, language ambiguity and inconsistency contribute to appallingly low oral English performance. In his research findings, based on the case study of some schools of Nigeria, approximately 17.5% of nearly 500,000 students who sat for West African examination council passed the English language examinations. This probably indicates that the attitude possessed by students on the subject was too low giving the poor impression even on the oral English communication performance to remain fluctuating. Comparatively, it may be the same with the situation of English proficiency in Tanzanian secondary schools where provisions of oral English communication skills may be deficient.

Equally important, in this age of accountability, Carrier (2005:3) and Armstrong (2011: unpaged) contend that there is a need for English language teachers to be knowledgeable when dealing with ESL learners so that they are well prepared in speech communication for a globally dynamic life. It is of similarity when, in the context of studying of English language to realize that even India may be experiencing the same fallacy (Shisharau 2009:135). In his study on English language teaching, Shisharau (2009: 134) claims that inadequacy of resources on language study ceases the acquisition of the right knowledge on oral communication. On the other hand, Kagwesage (2012:5) agrees to the latter with the fact that it is due to limited technological vocabulary in English, lack of sufficient capacity of understanding English as a medium of instruction that promotes failure in pure oral English language communication. In his research on reflection on learning in times of academic language shift, it is evident that insufficient capacity to comprehend the oral language communication skills can hamper oral fluency.

However, Tayo (2007:166) supports that negative perception of teachers knowledge on the subject matter can contribute to reticence leading to poor oral English communication. According to the researcher, English subject matter in oral communication is quite vital. Acquisition of vocabularies, word coinage and correct grammar are some of the crucial aspects included in the subject matter on oral communication. According to the study that was done in Malta by Angermman (2001:17) on oral English usage and attitudes, findings showed that 100 % (52 people) of the informants speak Maltese fluently. The great majority (90.4 %) also speaks English fluently. The remaining 9.6 % have a basic knowledge of English. About half of the informants (53.8 %) speak Italian fluently and 28.8 % have a basic knowledge of Italian. This assumption agree with oral English language deficiency in that, an additional dialect was highly codified and used as a vehicle of a large body of written literature for official speech making. Comparatively, in Tanzania, Swahili has been witnessed being used in many occasions which according to Angermann, may contribute to low English proficiency. Though the official language of instruction in secondary schools, according to Senkoro (2005:5) is English, many school activities including public speeches are actually conducted in Swahili. This situation may indeed affect other communications that rely much on English such as computer services and ICTs knowledge (The commonwealth of Learning 2000:13).

While contemplating on latter phenomenon, De-klerk (1998:8) argues that rejecting the “normative stand of English and valorizing indigenous language varieties is a refreshing oral English language setback.” On the same note, Dagneis (2006:8) and Swickard (n.d:1) argue that given the fact that there are multi languages, understanding English comprehension, becoming receptive, having auditory skills and language processing may provide adequate environment for better speech and oral communication. Multi-lingualism that is applied in the study setting culturally influences poor oral English performances in secondary schools because, even Utne (2005:4) supports that language policy which is confusing, contradictory and ambiguous is among the best factors for oral English inefficiency.

In his research on language policies in Tanzania, (ibid) the research reveals problems and challenges that students encounter while attempting to verbalize English. Some of these challenges according to Mulkeen (2008:14) include teachers’ poor deployment policy, poor teachers’ distribution, lack of teachers retraining and poor English language policy in the schools. However, according to American Institute of Research (2009:7) it was found out that lack of teachers’ participation in professional learning oral English language skills is indecisive in ensuring the quality of oral communication. This nevertheless, may prompt because of fear among newly trained and employed teachers that still have insufficient experience in ESL communication skills.



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oral english language reticence secondary school students arumeru district arusha region

Titel: Oral English Language Reticence among Secondary School Students in Arumeru District, Arusha Region