Obstacles behind learning English at the College of Languages / University of Duhok


  • Suliaman Ismail Rajab Department of Kurdish Language, College of Languages, University of Duhok, Kurdistan Region of Iraq
  • Shireen Mohammed Jasim Department of Kurdish Language, College of Languages, University of Duhok, Kurdistan Region of Iraq




   English language plays an important role in technological, business, economic, political, and educational area and has become a part of educational policies in most countries. However, many students due to different factors have problems in learning English and face barriers. The main aim of this study is to investigate the barriers students face in learning English effectively. The study tends to indicate the kind of second language (English) learning difficulties the university students at the four grades experience in English and translation department, Languages college, University of Duhok. A descriptive study was conducted, a total number of 280 students participated in the study. The data were collected through questionnaire (open-ended question) and collected data were analysed, thus study reached several important results. The data were statistically and descriptively analysed. Consequently, most significant linguistic and non-linguistic barriers that have negative effect of students in learning English language were indicated. 



Second language learning, English language, second language learning barriers, linguistic barriers, non-linguistic barriers.




Download data is not yet available.


ژێده‌ر ب زمانێ كوردی

- سلیمان اسماعیل رجب، هدی عبدالقادر،(٢٠١٨)، ئیستراتیجیه‌تا وه‌رگێرانا ئیدیومان د ناڤبه‌را زمانێ كوردی و فارسیدا، گوڤارا زانكۆویا دهۆك، په‌ربه‌ندا ٢١، ژماره‌٢.

ب- ژێده‌ر ب زمانێ ئینگلیزی

- Alibec, C. & Sirbu, A. (2017). Do you speak English Language anxiety in the speaking skill. Volume xx, issue 1.

- Aboud, A. (2015). Culture as barrier to the acquisition of language and translation skills.


- Ahmad, J. (2015). Traditional and socio-cultural barriers of EFL learning, a case study. King Abdulaziz university, kSA. English language teaching. Published by Canadian centre of science and education. vol 8, no 12.

- Al Ghazali, F. (2006). First language acquisition vs second language acquisition, what is the differences. The centre for English language studies (CELS), University of Birmingham.

- Alhaysony, M. (2017). Strategies and difficulties of understanding English idioms: a case study of Saudi university EFL students. International journal of linguistics, published by Canadian centre of science and education. Volume 7, No 3.

- Avci, R. & Doghonadze, N. (2017). The challenges of teaching EFL listening in Iraqi Kurdistan universities. Universal journal of educational research, 5(11).

- Bahar, H. & Awal, E. (2013). Social, psychological and neurological factors in an ESL classroom. IOSR Jornal of humanities and social sience, volume 7, issue 5.

- Celik, O. & Kocaman, O. (2016). Barriers experienced by middle school students in the process of learning English. International journal of psychology and educational studies. 3 (1).

- Chenowith, N. (2014). Cultural and linguistic obstacles for English learners. Kent state university, vol 2, no 2.

- Cook, V. (2003).. Linguistics and second language acquisition, one person with two languages. The handbook of linguistics. Edited by Aronoff, M. & Ress-Miller, J. Black well publisher.

- Farthing, A. (2015). The effect of L1 interference on written English acquisition for Kurdish students. 6th international visible conference of educational studies and applied linguistics.

-Frans, T. (2016). Barriers to learning English as a second language in two higher learning institution in Nombia. University of south Africa, Pretoria.

- Gardner, R. & Maclntyre, P. (1994). The subtle effects of language anxiety. Volume 44, issue 2.

- Hashemi, M. & Abbasi, M. (2013). The role of teacher in alleviating anxiety in language classes. International research journal of applied and basic science .Vol 4, No 3.

- Ibrahim, M. (2015). Issues of pronunciation and the attitudes of Kurdish university students and teachers towards English language pronunciation in English language departments. Near east university, master thesis. NICOSIA.

- Kralova, Z. (2016). Foreign language anxiety.

- Littlewood, W. (1984). Foreign and second language learning. Language acquisition research and its implications for the classroom. Cambridge university press. Cambridge.

-M.Lightbown, P.& Spada, N.(2013). How languages are learned. 4th Ed, oxford university press., Oxford.

- Mohamed, A. (2015). Culture as barrier to the acquisition of language and translation skills.

- Nation, P. (2003). The role of the first language in foreign language learning. Asian EFL journal. Victoria university of wellington, New Zealand.

- Raju,N. & Joshith, V. (2017). Adversities and obstacles in learning English as a second language in Indian context. International journal of advanced education and research. Volume 2, issue 4.

- Ranjbar, N. & Narafshan, M. (2016). -Affective domain: The relationship between teachers affective factors and EFL students motivation. Journal for the study of English linguistic. 4(2):13.

-Toma, S.& Simo, H. (2020). Modality in English and Kurdish: A contrastive study. Journal of university of Duhok, vol 23. No 1.

- Yule, G. (2010). The study of language. 4th Ed, Cambridge university press, New York.



How to Cite

Ismail Rajab, S., & Mohammed Jasim, S. (2023). Obstacles behind learning English at the College of Languages / University of Duhok. Academic Journal of Nawroz University, 12(3), 165–176. https://doi.org/10.25007/ajnu.v12n3a1588