Enhancing ESL or EFL Speaking

Professional institutions across the world instruct students using globally recognized languages such as English and German. Although such internationally accepted languages are recognized across the world by people in different spheres, some regions of the world do not use English as their native language and have to acquire some language knowledge to effectively communicate in English (Zare, 2012). The most common way in which non-native English speakers understand or comprehend the language is when they directly interact with English speakers. This is possible through the use of organized groups such as learning communities which are composed of individuals of defined interests in a specific area of research. English remains one of the common languages accepted across the world due to its being easy to learn and wide application in the whole world (Maarof & Murat, 2013). Developing learning strategies for non-native speakers needs careful and adequate consideration of specific learning aspects since such a populace does not comprehend specific issues associated with English as a language. The entire learning process is supposed to be gradual where learners develop reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills over a defined period.

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The definition of learning strategies differs among scholars. Some define learning strategies as techniques or devices that a learner has to acquire to get some knowledge of a second language (Ma & Oxford, 2014; Maarof & Murat, 2013). Learning strategies are also defined as special behaviors or thoughts that assist new learners to comprehend and retain new information In addition, learning strategies can be referred to as how the learner acquires and integrates a new language by attempting to develop socio-linguistic competence (Zare, 2012). All of these new learning aspects revolve around the development of a new language. The above definitions have a firm background in the cognitive theory and would therefore apply the use of different cognitive theories to understand a new language. Metacognitive, cognitive, affective, and social strategies could enhance non–native learners’ acquisition of a new language.

Problem Statement

English is a universal language and mode of communication for people within learning communities. Although the universal nature of the language is recognized, English is not used as a means of communication in some parts of the world. There are other languages such as German, Chinese, French, and Spanish. These languages are native to those professionals who live in such environments. Most professional groups require constant sharing of information that emerges in the course of their research. In some cases, there is a direct need for these professionals to come together and collaborate on specific projects. If these parties engage each other in their native languages, there is an increased possibility that no communication would occur and, as a result, no information could be shared across the world. Therefore, there is a need for all these parties to speak a common language that is familiar to all of them. English as Second Language (ESL) refers to teaching non-native speakers English with the hope of being used as a communication means. English is commonly used as the language of choice since it is a more universally known language used by a substantive number of people across the whole world. For maximum benefit to be shared by all professionals, there is a need for all parties to understand English as a means of communication irrespective of their native language.

Significance of the Study

This study will provide information on how different strategies could be used to maximize the learning of English among non-native speakers. This will increase interaction between specific professionals and, as a consequence, increase sharing of relevant information among professionals within learning communities.

Research Objectives

Main objective: To find educational/ learning community’s effective strategies in enhancing ESL learner’s language acquisition.

Sub-objective: To find out how the concept of learning community could be connected to maximizing EFL learners’ language achievement efficiently.

Research Questions

Can metacognitive, affective, social, and cognitive learning strategies maximize the acquisition of English as a Second Language?

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Literature Review

One of the best works that focused on the second language learning strategies was conducted by several scholars in the United States who had an explicit approach to cognitive theory. These researchers were O’Malley, Chamot, Kupper, and Russo. Although the study was conducted in 1985, its findings are still applied as effective strategies in learning English. In the first study, O’Malley collected data based on interviews of secondary school ESL learners, and teachers as well as making personal observations during the entire learning process. A total of 26 different strategies were identified during this course. After completing the study with secondary school students, O’Malley extended its scope to higher institutions of learning including high school and college students. The studies were restricted to individuals learning a second language. The purpose was to examine whether similar strategies like those used in the first study would still be applicable in the current setting. The results provided refined the previous definitions as well as strategic differences that exist between effective and less effective learning methods. The results were classified into four different strategies including metacognitive, cognitive, social, and effective strategies. These strategies apply to the learning of four different aspects of any language such as reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Listening remains one of the key skills to be acquired by any second language learner. Good listeners have higher chances to learn specific aspects of language such as the use of tone, verbal and non-verbal cues as well as the correct pronunciation of all words. In most learner community settings, enough time should be taken by the learners to listen to the keywords that make up English or any other language. Specific keywords associated with a language must be first introduced to the learners. Some of these keywords include those associated with basic terminologies such as greetings, daily used words that indicate movement as well as those indicating key functions carried out within a specific setting. The frequency in which these words are utilized with a localized setting increase the probability of such words being used. Such simple words and phrases should be used daily especially when learner community members are meeting (Kosonen & Benson, 2013). Learners should be encouraged to listen carefully to some of the commonly used phrases every time the learning community meets with the sole aim of developing their language skills associated with a specific function. Learners could also choose to listen to specific musical components as well as games or any other pieces of information that come from the learning community. This information should contain subtitles to ease the learning process. Tone and specific stress on certain words should not be a source of concern for most learners during this specific period. Effective listening of some keywords in studying a specific language opens up other phases of learning such as the reading, writing, and speaking components as well as associated applied strategies.

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The reading phase in any learning community becomes critical in sharing of information between parties. This phase shows how the learner communicates to other people and how they pass information in their specific field of interest. In learner community settings where information may be read by the different professionals for the sole purpose of informing the other parties on some issues, taking notes and summarizing may be an effective strategy in learning a second language. For example, if English is the second language in question, the learner is supposed to write down all specific words that were being discussed during the entire period (Lightbown & Spada, 2013). The student can either choose to attempt reading the specific words that were being used during the discussion session or be assisted by one of the professionals or instructors to make the appropriate corrections about the use of specific words. The members of the learning community should be readily available to assist the new learners with specific words that might have been written incorrectly or words that are not classified as English. Learners should begin by writing simple sentences that make up the language as well as reading numerous different materials written in English. Some of these materials could be readily shared by members of the learning community while others could be found in numerous internet sources that are available across many different settings. Gradually, members of the learning community should introduce the learners to some of the complex English phrases based on how they learn and understand specific aspects associated with the language. Reading and listening are considered to be skills that are acquired through the use of the cognitive and memory processes through the contribution of the different members of the learning community may aid to develop this language faster as compared to when an individual relies solely on his/her memory and cognitive processes (Ettlinger, Morgan-Short, Faretta-Stutenberg, & Wong, 2016; Graham, 2012).

Skills directly dealing with speaking and writing involve the other associated parties. The major goal of having learners understand these specific skills is to ensure the development of the metacognitive, social, compensation, and effective strategies. Speaking skills utilize the social, compensation, and effective strategy to ensure maximum benefit for the learners. The social strategy is largely aimed at asking for corrections when an individual says something incorrectly. It is useful in learner-based settings as the members present can correct an individual on the post in a simple manner while at the same time offering new suggestions on how specific words or phrases are communicated within their setting. It increases an individual’s ability to directly understand the pronunciation of specific words as well as certain phrases. The learner could also choose to use some of those specific words while communicating or in other settings since they understand the meaning of the specific word or phrase and can use it effectively regardless of their setting. Apart from the social strategy where there is direct use of specific words in the presence of other parties, the learner may choose to utilize the compensation strategy which involves coining of specific words present in specific phrases (Conole, 2013; Luc De Raedt, 2015). In this case, the learner already used a specific word in a certain setting and chose to use it in a different setting by directly coining it to fit in a specific sentence structure. Speaking a second language is definitively considered one of the major signs that indicate mastery of a specific language. Direct coining of specific words used in particular phrases by one individual considered to be an expert in a specific field by a non-native speaker indicates the increased probability of mastering specific elements associated with the language.

Affective strategies require the student to relax and incorporate several important learning elements in the development of their second language. This strategy involves managing the positive and negative emotions before using specific words or speaking within a specific community-based setting. Ideally, it means that an individual first has to relax before engaging in any form of communication with any other party present in the immediate environmental setting (Bartolotti & Marian, 2017; Senowarsito, 2013). For example, for learners to provide the maximum results within a learner community setting, the environment must be largely positive. A negative environment composed of individuals who feel superior in understanding and speaking a specific language intimidates the other learners at the same time reducing their interaction through learning specific phrases or words. Better effective strategies should be aimed at assisting learners to develop themselves through several different approaches including pair and group work, encouraging autonomy, and personalizing some of the activities in class-based settings.

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Research Methodology

Research Methodology Paradigm

The research methodology will largely be based on whether the application of the metacognitive, cognitive, affective, and social strategies is efficient in instructing and teaching language.

Research Design

A cross-sectional research design will be carried out in the above order. It will involve investigating whether learners have grasped specific content in specific periods. The participants will be sampled from college and high school. Quantitative information will be obtained from specific tests given to the students after three, six, and nine months. All the teachings will incorporate aspects related to the aforementioned strategies.

Population and Sample

The population under investigation will be non-native language speakers. A random sample of 30 students both male and female will be included in the study. Any party willing to be left out of the study will not be restricted. Instructors will group these students into learning communities with each unit composed of five people being headed by a native English speaker as an instructor.


The population will be composed of non-native English speakers

Sampling and Sampling Method

The total sample will be derived from the population. The sample will be randomly selected among the non-native students. A total of 30 students both male and female will be involved in the study.

Procedure for Data Collection

Data will be collected through the use of questionnaires and English language-based tests. Questionnaires will be used to collect personal information. Tests will be used to assess English-based knowledge.

Data Analysis and interpretation

Data will be analyzed based on the students’ scores.

Limitations of Study

The initial English knowledge among the students will not be assessed.

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