A Study on Communication Breakdowns between Native and Non-native Speakers in English Speaking Classes

Communication breakdowns, plurilingual competence, pluricultural competence, speaking lessons, English proficiency


  • Tran Tin Nghi
    Ho Chi Minh City University of Food Industry, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Luu Quy Khuong University of Foreign Language Studies, The University of Da Nang, Da Nang, Vietnam
June 8, 2021


English majored students have a positive influence on intercultural awareness in learning a foreign language. In their classes, they are often asked to discuss some academic matters in British cultural beliefs. Although they have a high level of proficiency in English communication, there often encountered misunderstandings between them when they interpret things or present academic matters. As a result, students cannot achieve plurilingual and pluricultural competence in the course. This paper was conducted to investigate communication problems between Vietnamese learners of English and Native teachers at HUFI. The data were collected from 28 participants who are third-year students and four different lecturers from different countries. The findings revealed that sources were mainly clustered for the following reasons: perceptual and language differences, information overload, inattention time pressures, distraction/noise emotions, complexity in organizational structure, and poor retention. The perceptual and language differences, information overload, and emotions were mainly responsible for the quality of communication. This paper can help students engage in awareness-raising activities that promote understanding in some contacts and discussions.