In this paper the authors analyze the possible causes of psychological barriers preventing students from fluently speaking English. As studying a foreign language is a complicated process which includes both learning and communication, there can appear various obstacles of a psychological nature while language practicing. These obstacles, or barriers, are of different origin, but, for all their diversity, they can be divided into two groups:
1) obstacles originating from the learner’s personality, and
2) obstacles caused by the person’s negative attitude to learning English.

These two factors, in turn, have their own roots. Here, we discuss the peculiarities of family, social, cultural and educational background that lead to the formation of timid, reserved and unsociable characters reluctant to communicate even in their mother tongue, let alone foreign language; also, we criticize teaching techniques that result in negative attitude to learning English. Finally, we suggest some ways to address students’ psychological problems basing on our own and our colleagues’ experience. This paper also discusses problems which are specific for students of Russia and considers their possible solutions.