Vietnamese students start learning English at an early age since English is chosen as a compulsory subject at schools by the Minister of Education after the ‘open door’ policy. Moreover, English is seen as a means of access to scientific, technological development and an effective tool to better job opportunities. Unfortunately, teaching and learning English is still a matter of concern due to inappropriate teaching methods developing the basic skills and mainly speaking. The purpose of this study is to see how students’ beliefs affect their speaking skill by using the BALLI (Horwitz, 1988) survey instruments. The survey on these beliefs will examine whether students’ speaking beliefs could be linked to their speaking performance or not. The present study was designed to use both quantitative and qualitative research methods for the analysis on 40 intermediate English learners at the Faculty of the Foreign Languages in Ho Chi Minh City-Vietnam. The distributions of a questionnaire of Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory (BALLI) (Horwitz, 1988) provided quantitative data while the presentations of the students about given topic were used to elicit the qualitative data. The questionnaire data was analyzed in order of five themes of BALLI (Horwitz, 1988) to find out the beliefs of the students in achieving a good speaking skill. The influence of students’ beliefs on speaking performance was examined via students’ academic marks and their presentations. In conclusion the major findings revealed the connection of the students’ speaking beliefs and their speaking performance. From that, the findings in the paper may help teachers of speaking skill understand their students’ beliefs and have suitable and interesting activities. Moreover, the students may have more motivation and encouragement for their efforts in their performance in case of having the chance of entering such classes, which paves the way for further studies.
keywords: speaking.