This study was conducted to identify the factors affecting the learning and practice of oral communication in English among university students specifically Art and Design (AD) Semester One students by gathering information from both the students themselves and their English lecturers. The findings reveal that the students’ background especially their home environment, socio-economic status, their early schooling experiences as well as their general exposure to the English language affect their motivation in learning the language and the overall usage of oral communication. Other factors are the emphasis given to oral skills in the course content, materials used for oral activities, lecturers’ approach in the classroom and personal factors stemming from students’ inadequacies in using the language inside and outside the classroom. The students’ continued practice on campus is not only affected by their background but also by the use of English by their peers and lecturers in other classes and the importance given to the language in their core subjects. The study also provides some recommendations to improve students’ learning and practice of oral communication in English. It is hoped that the integration of language with
2 Students"tm exposure and contact with the English Language The findings shows that irrespective of their SES, most students started learning English language in school. The instruments used for data collection are:i. Factors that influence students"tm usage of the language on campus were also analysed such as course content, materials used and lecturers"tm approach in the classroom. Although, students of the Malay socio-cultural group tend to speak in their mother tongue more often, it is still evident that the frequency of English usage increases as their socio-economic status rises. The socio-economic background is the most obvious factor that can affect the students"tm frequency of English Language use. Auditory materials such as news reports, dialogues and audiovisual materials such as films and video tapes not only provide interesting informative material but also provide exposure to a varied range of authentic speech, with different registers, accents, intonation, rhythm and stresses. However, their frequency of spoken English increases in their interactions with their siblings and friends. However, the findings from the study reveal that less than half of the AD course work actually requires them to use English. 6 are from lower mid (RM501-RM1500), 28 are from low (RM500) income group while another 16. Most of the lecturers indicated that students have problems grammatically and produced inaccurate, structurally weak sentences. In response to the question on the suitability of the present syllabus for English in UiTM, 53.