Which Aspects of the English Language do Distance Learners Find Difficult?

George Boon Sai TEOH
Agnes Liau Wei LIN

This paper reports the findings of a research carried out on distance learners at the School of Distance Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia. The research aimed to identify the aspects of the English language which distance learners found difficult to learn. A total of 512 students who enrolled in the JUE300 English II course responded to the quantitative questionnaire. Findings indicate that the distance learners reported that speaking, vocabulary and grammar were aspects they found most difficult when learning the English language. Based on the findings, the researchers made several recommendations for designers and instructors of English language learning courses in distance education. The course designers should 1) be aware of the particular needs of the distance learners 2) increase the number of contact hours via teleconferencing sessions or traveling to regional centres to meet the students and create opportunities for students to learn, interact and seek answers to their queries in the target language 3) guide and motivate the students to spend sufficient time on reading and enriching their vocabulary, practicing their communication skills and learning grammar.

KEYWORDS: Distance Education, English Language, aspects

DOI : 10.17718/tojde.19593