Investigation and Analysis of the Oral Expression Competency Among Students in Second-tier Universities: Based on China’s Standards of English Language Ability


China Standards of English
Non-English majors
College students
Oral English proficiency




By adopting quantitative analysis, based on the statements for oral scale of CSE (China Standards of English) level five, this paper investigated the current status, common difficulties and control factors on oral English competency of non-English majors in second-tier universities, which was conducted using questionnaires that includes six dimensions of language expression: accuracy, complexity, coherence, fluency, appropriateness, and flexibility. The results showed that: (i) the overall oral English competency of college non-English majors hasn’t met the statements of CSE level five; (ii) female students significantly outperformed male students, and business majors students significantly outperformed those in liberal arts majors who were significantly better than those in science majors; (iii) there was no significant difference between grades; (iv) the flexibility, coherence and accuracy of language expression almost reached the standard grade, but the common core difficulties faced by the students were mainly in pronunciation, scope of language expression, fluency and appropriateness. Unclear goals, less practice and poor vocabulary were major impact factors. The research is helpful for strengthening students’ knowledge on their own oral English competency as well as adjusting their oral practice objectives, thereby shedding light on students’ actual oral English proficiency and helping to clarify and refine the teaching objectives of speaking and promote the effective practice of oral English as well as the rational application of CSE.


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