Ranks of Difficulty and Frequency of Learning Attitude of Non-English Majors on Lecture-Discussion in a South Korean University

Ian Done D. Ramos


This paper determined university students' ranks of difficulty on lecture-discussion in terms of: 1) listening comprehension, 2) teacher’s speech production, 3) vocabulary, and 4) contents of lesson. Rank and frequency of attitude related to these difficulties manifested by these students in English classes were also identified. With the data gathered through 128 survey questionnaires, 7 focused group discussions, and 10 interviews with foreign English teachers/professors, the results were sought.

As for the difficulties on listening comprehension, listening once and understanding a message ranks first (47%). The researcher concludes that these students found listening a problem because they did not have enough proficiency to support understanding during lecture-discussion. As for the difficulties in understanding teacher’s speech production, discriminating good pronunciation from bad ones ranks first (47%). In conclusion, the students’ difficulties were caused by less (or no enough) recognition of English phonetics as they did not show any verbal and non-verbal responses, even when a teacher realized mistakes in her/his pronunciation. As for the difficulties in understanding vocabulary, understanding words when a teacher uses them in a fast conversation or lecture is the most difficult (43%). It is concluded that these students failed in this aspect due to lack of exposure to the English language in general; and, a teacher ended up using simpler words and even doing translation method to facilitate learning. As for the difficulties in understanding contents of lesson, learning a concept or a topic when a teacher presents its examples first ranks first (20%). The researcher concludes that there was no link between understanding of words a teacher used in English classes and amount of previous knowledge a student had learned. And, as for the attitude shown during the lecture discussion, going out when I don’t understand teacher’s lectures is the most frequently done (72% indicating never). It is concluded that the students were found to be passive in the lecture discussion and shy in the activities, while others remained though with commitment when activities seemed extremely interesting and fun. The researcher then recommends that inputs for a curriculum training program on lecture-discussion may be designed for English teachers to address students' real needs.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijelt.v1n2p1


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International Journal of English Language Teaching ISSN 2329-7913 (Print) ISSN 2329-7921 (Online)

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