Poll: In your opinion, what is the biggest barrier to learning English?

In your opinion, what is the biggest barrier to learning English?

Lack of opportunities to practise
It is a difficult language to learn
Being laughed at if you make mistakes
Some other reason (please let us know by posting a comment)

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This Poll:

  • Votes: 787
  • Comments: 28
  • Added: October 2003



For a foreign student the worst thing to do is to hang around with people of its same country, the learning of a new language implies being with mother tongue speakers and a daily practice, which very few do.


That's fine if you have access to native speakers, but not so easy if you're in a non-English speaking country. You can always visit sites on the internet, though.


It has more to do with mastering verbal comminication, than with English itself - but here's my observation on myself & other newcomers: people who used to speak in rich, literary language at home, have more difficulties at first with verbal exchanges than those whose native language was poor and simple :).


Kluxx, what's your native language? Which native languages would you say were poor and simple? I'd imagine all languages are complex.


I think the biggest problem is that i expect to much about myself. I would like to be fluent as I am in my first language.
Also, a little mistakes and fiascos here and there have a negative impact in our learning process.
To understand english is a very smooth process. The difficult part is to be in control of all the data we have .
I don't mind to speak with accent. what bothers me is that i am not in control of my own communication.


You seem in full control to me. there are a couple of mistakes, but I wish I could do that in a foreign language.


my biggest barrier of learning English is writting


Barriers are psychological.


Lack in practice of loud reading.


The biggest barrier to learning English for me is writting. I am afraid of getting marks on my paper and I am afraid that the words I want to write will not be written correctly.


In my opinion, the hardest obstacle in becoming fluent in English is the ambiguous pronunciation.


People don't have patience to listen your beginner English. Most of time they don't want to speak with you.


There are some countries that they don't want the local peeps to learn English like Japan. I think that is one of the biggest barrier.

Jotter Scalems

I think the trouble is that few people really master the language. Everyone thinks they can speak English fluently once they are understood. My written English is good enough to give the impression that I'm a native speaker, but my accent still gives me away.


i think the biggest barriers in learning and speaking the english language is our native language it self or the what we called our mother tongue...because if were not really a native english speakers we cannot express our selves through the use of english language exactly and automatically!


I think that the hardest thing about learning english is all the inconsistencies it has. With words like "thought" and "laugh", it doesn't really make sense. Or like how comb is pronounced coe-mb, but bomb is pronounced bah-mb.


Lack oppotunities to practice is the biggest barrier to lerning english.


without patient audiences who is willing to pay attention to your poor speech. gradually lose the confidence to speak.


You brings yourself the knowledge of the language. Nowadays, the desinterestedness in knowing important new things is falling down gradually but, at the same time, consideribly.

Mazhar Shah

Lack of practice and hesitation towards audience is the biggest barrier i think.


The biggest barrier in English is speaking, sometimes I blame our teachers because they us their home language when they are teaching and they don`t encourage learners to speak english


cross-translation to the native language and attempt to think in native language and speak in a foreign language is the main barrier

essa ali khan

according to my point of view the most barrier is lack of speaking practise.


The most important thing about not learning English is that students do not know why they are learning that, which means they don't have a goal. I agree that lack of practice, fun and simplicity might hinder but if sb has got a big target and a lot of motivation they will easily overcome the difficulties of learning the language.


First of i would like to conngratulate you to ask this question and no doubt this is the question every english learner might asked to himself some point time . I have also encountered in this question so many times and i have done drill down and have reached this conclusion that the greatest week point for a english learner is Lack of english speaking opporunity that this also affect his moral and he loose this patience and forgive the english study .


Sometimes I feel stupid, because I have problems to catch some conversation from others. To hear and understand is my worst trouble.

giselle pons

The phonetic chaos is what causes great problems in students who come from a logically consistent language such as Italian or Spanish. Once you've learnt the rules of pronunciation, you can reasonably hope to pronounce correctly, wherease in English: there are 7 different sounds for the diphthong EA. Consider a word such as laugh /la:f/. Students can only learn through experience.

Camilo Diaz

In vocabulary between English and Spanish there is a ratio of 6:1. That shows how extensive the English language is. I can never finish learning a new word every day.

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