The investigation of in-class silence behavior among adult EFL learners: A case study at a private University in Yogyakarta

(1) * Bambang Widi Pratolo Mail (Universitas Ahmad Dahlan, Indonesia)
(2) Pabelina Virgin Gustriani Mail (Universitas Ahmad Dahlan, Indonesia)
(3) Dat Bao Mail (Monash University, Australia)
(4) Arum Priadi Mail (Universitas Ahmad Dahlan, Indonesia)
*corresponding author


In the context of a foreign language classroom, oral participation is essential. The process will not be fully complete until students are willing to express their ideas and speak up to demonstrate their understanding. Students tend to stay silent more than participating in class discussions. This behavior is also known as silence. Therefore, if students do not participate in a teaching and learning process, they cannot effectively master English. The aim of this research is to investigate the underlying factors contributing to the lack of verbal participation within the English as a foreign language course at the university level and analyze which difficulties students find most influential in their silence in EFL classrooms. This research used qualitative methods, the participants in this study were students of Speaking in Professional Context class, consisting of 5 students, 3 female students, and 2 male students. The selected participants were students who tended to be silent and did not participate in class during the observation activities. Observations were conducted to find out directly the situation during the class and interviews were conducted to collect data for analysis. The research results showed that student silence in speaking classes was caused by eight factors, divided into two categories: lecturer factors and student factors. Lecturers who have an assertive personality can create an intimidating atmosphere, while unsupportive or overly critical assessments can lead to student fear. From the students' side, fear of making mistakes, especially in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary usage, can be a major factor. Lack of vocabulary can hinder students' ability to convey ideas effectively. Not understanding the learning material can also discourage students from participating. Low self-confidence and introverted personalities can also affect the level of engagement in class.



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