27 August 2011
Widyaiswara LPMP Sulawesi Selatan
Students’ learning outcome, which is still considered as unsuccessful, has always been the focus of criticism towards the failure of teaching of English in Indonesia. As a consequence English teachers are demanded to be responsible for the failure in making the students capable of using English for communication both productively and receptively. To alleviate this ordeal, educators, practitioners, and policy makers quite often pay very much attention to research dealing with the curriculum, methodology and teachers excluding such significant variables as the learner perspective. They have rarely taken the learner perspective into consideration as a very important contribution to the learning process. Does the failure have any relations to these factors? Some English textbooks written for young learners seem to neglect these factors. As a matter of fact, many research findings have shown the powerful role of the students in improving their learning outcome.
Teaching speaking in Indonesia is considered to be the most difficult, pronunciation, structure, discourse, and the social context of culture and situation. In short, it needs the mastery of the linguistic and the cultural competence. Besides, as speaking is difficult, more effort is required on the part of the students and teachers. It is not enough for the students to listen or to speech only. The teachers need to give the students’ activities to practice the new speech among the four basic skills of language. Bourdons in Nunan (1993) stated that spoken language needs the mastery of vocabulary habit. This means that practice speaking needs much time to fulfil the requirements of the mastery of spoken English, either from school or the environment.
Teaching English at Senior High School in Indonesia as stated in Curriculum 1994 revised in 1999 covers abilities of language. One of them is speaking ability. Paultson and Brunder (1975) stated that the objective of the language teaching is the production of the speaker’s competence to communicate in the target language. Rivers (1968) stated that the teacher should give the students opportunities to practice speaking. She further stated that if the students are able to practice the new speech habit throughout as the children do in his native language, the problem of speaking fluency of foreign language would be lessened.
Teaching speaking at Senior High School in Indonesia is one of the main focuses in the English teaching. The principle of teaching English is all processes of teaching should be communicative because the graduates of the students of Senior High School are directed to have life skill for communication to meet the need for job opportunity, besides they can continue their study to the higher level. Therefore the English teachers should find out the effort on searching and creating a new model in presenting materials, in order to increase the students’ ability to speak English.
From the review of related literature, the researcher found some studies had been conducted using the students’ own picture through pair work in improving their ability to speak English. Some of them: (1) Clark and Clark (1977) stated on speaking talk in order to have some effect on their listeners. They assert things to change their state of knowledge. They ask them questions to get them to do things for them; (2) Shannon and Weaver in Jabu (2000) on the speaking found that the model of a communication system into interpersonal communication through speech. In this model, an information source emits a message, which is encoded for transition as signal. This signal passes through a channel to a receiver, which decodes the message for use at its destination. Besides, Crane et al: in Jabu (2000) defined communication as a process in which information is transmitted from a source, the sender to a goal, the receiver. This process involve the steps: encoding the information into a symbolic system, selecting a mode of communication, delivering the symbols through a medium, perceptual processing of symbols by the receiver, and decoding the symbols to obtain information; (3) Basturekmen in Syarifuddin (2003) conducted a study on differences in the discourse of native-speakers and non-native speakers in academic discussions and shows that analysis and non-native speakers provide a useful source of insight pedagogy; (4) Bordius in Goga (2003) reported that there are there integrated competencies that the essential to people in order to be able to communicate effectively which is suit to linguistic market. They are linguistic product (communication competence, linguistic competence, and cultural competence) and linguistic market (level of audience, cultural domination, and performance arts of speaking); (5) Westnood, Peter and Oliver (1975) stated that in improving oral language there are four ways should be considered in which teachers sometimes operate to restrict language development or indeed at times train students not to listen but to speak; (6) Hergenhalm in Elliott (1996) stated that good teaching begins with knowing what you want to teach: the stimuli, you must also identify the responses you want to connect to the stimuli and timing of appropriate satisfiers. Hulse in Elliott (1996) on the effective teaching and effective learning stated that feedback or reinforcement of asking question is very important. It is a powerful tool of controlling behavior of the students. If you praise students’ correct responses immediately and the students increase correct responses; (7) Elslee in Nappu (2003) who conducted a research on still pictures and written descriptions in teaching and the oral production to the second semesters of S1 English Education Department reported that still pictures can stimulate the oral production of the students more than written description can do. She also mentions that the students are more interested in still pictures; (8) Sari in Nappu (1995) who investigated the use of pictures in teaching reading concluded that there was a significant difference between the students reading achievement by using text with pictures and that without pictures.
It is often spontaneous, open-ended, and evolving. However, speech is not always unpredictable. Speaking requires that learners not only know how to produce specific points of language such as grammar, pronunciation, or vocabulary (linguistic competence), but also that they understand when, why, and in what ways to produce language (sociolinguistic competence); (2) another basic distinction we can make when considering the development of speaking skills is between monologue and dialogue or pair work. The ability to give an uninterrupted oral presentation is quite distinct from interacting with one or more other speakers for transactional and interactional purposes. While all native speakers can and do use language interact ional, not all native speakers have the ability to extemporize on given subject to a group of listeners. This is an ability which generally has to be learned and practiced; (3) Bygate in Nunan (1993) distinguished between motor-perceptive skills, which are concerned with correctly using the sounds and structures of the language, and interactional skills, which involve using motor-perceptive skills was all that one needed in order to communicate successfully. Besides, he suggested that, in particular, learners need to develop skills in the management of interaction involves such things as knowing when and how to take the floor, when to introduce a topic or change the subject, how to invite someone else to speak, how to keep a conversation going, when and how to terminate the conversation and so on. Negotiation of meaning refers to the skill of making sure the person you are speaking to has correctly understood you and that you have correctly understood them (making sure, in other words, that you are both ‘on about’ the same thing).
Speaking lesson can follow the usual pattern of preparation, presentation, practice, evaluation, and extension. The teacher can use the preparation step to observe, draw, and establish a context for speaking task on certain objects and things (where, when, why, with whom it will occur) and to initiate awareness of speaking skill to be targeted. In presentation, the teacher can provide learners with a reproduction model that furthers learner comprehension and help them become more attentive observers of language use. Practice involves learners in reproducing the target structure, usually in controlled or highly supported manner. Evaluation involves directing attention to the skill being examined and asking learners to monitor and assess their own progress. Finally, extension consists of activities that ask learners to use strategy or skill in a different context or authentic communicative situation, or to integrate use of new skill or strategy with previously acquired ones (Brown, 1994).
Speaking function as the productive and interactive skill. (1) What is productive skill? With reference to usage, it is then perfectly true to say that speaking is productive and makes use of the aural medium. Widdowson in Noni (2003) described that the act of communication through speaking is commonly performed in face-to-face interaction and occurs as part dialogue or other forms of verbal exchange. What is said, therefore, is dependent on an understanding of what else has been said, whether by the speaker or the interlocutor in the interaction; (2) What is an interactive skill? Richards et al. in Jabu (2000) stated that speaking is rarely done in one direction or in the form of monologue. It involves the participation of the listener. In an interactive communication, a speaker, and therefore the speaker also becomes a listener.
Why students’ own pictures? A wise statement says ‘I hear I forget, I see I know, and I do I understand. This means that if we have learning experiences by observing, drawing, doing and also what our eyes see and catch most of the time will stay long in our memory. Therefore, the statement strengthens to improve the students’ ability to speak English by using students’ own pictures (observing and then drawing pictures) of certain objects in the classroom as media to teach English. Pictures as visual aids will attract students’ attention, and motivate them to learn. In addition, using students’ own picture means that the students create or construct their knowledge as they attempt to bring meaning to their experiences.
Ruis (2003) said that teaching showing pictures can make the students remember more, more impressed, more interested and more focused. Ways, ideas, and criteria of using students’ own pictures: (1) the techniques of using pictures have been around for centuries and have had its place in all approaches to language teaching. Through traditionally the purpose of using pictures has been to describe or illustrate a written or recorded passage (Wright, 1000 pictures; (2) Brown in Nappu (2003) stated that picture can be used in many stages of the instructional process, to introduce and motivate study of new topics, to clarify misconceptions, to communicate basic information, and to evaluate student’s progress and achievement. Furthermore, he suggests some ways of using pictures for ensuring maximum students benefit from using them; (2) Using pictures can be an effective technique for any proficiencies level or language skill. The following is an example of how one picture can be used in improving the students’ ability to speak English. To teach speaking where the students share personal experiences that somehow relate to what is happening in a picture they have been given and drawn; (3) In teaching English using pictures need some criteria: make sure pictures are clear and unambiguous; make sure pictures provide reason to communicate (an opportunity or challenge); make sure pictures are interesting, simple, accurate, useful, legitimate, and visible.
The resources of pictures may be: newspapers, magazines, advertisements, brochures, catalogues, calendars, postcards, posters, instructions, stamps, family photographs, slides, and the teacher and students’ own drawing.
As teaching English based on meaning-based approach has to achieve the goal of teaching that is communicative competence in which students are encourage to negotiate the meaning. Various kinds of instructional media can be used. Teachers can prepare any media that meet the needs of the students to achieve the teaching objectives or they have to provide bank of games and activities.
Westwood, Peter and Oliver (1979) stated the principles of oral language should the language program of teaching speaking be based on: (1) create an enjoyable, entertaining, social learning situation, which gives pleasure to the students; (2) keep the pair work activity; (3) arrange for fragment, intensive sessions in two or three short sessions daily; (4) ensure active participation remembering that it is what a student practices saying, not what he hears, that improves communicating ability; (5) have clearly defined, short term goals for each sessions: teaching a certain adjective, adverb, or conjunction: ‘and’ and’ but’; (6) observe the slow learners and give some degree of repetition and our learning if necessary; (7) use material such as practices and games to hold attention as the basis for language simulation; (8) use pleasure and praise as reinforces.
Teaching communication skill through K - W - L model. K – W – L stands for Know, Want, Learn. It is teaching model that encourages students to have an active learning by activating their prior knowledge for anticipating the material that they are going to learn. It is also commonly used for teaching or developing reading, writing and speaking skills. There are three stages to K-W-L model as in the following: (1) know, at this stage students need to activate their prior knowledge by observing, drawing, talking, writing about anything they know about the topic/object of the reading/speaking. Each information gathered at this stage can be drawn or written on the piece of paper for everybody to see. If the students run out of ideas, they can start predicting information on more general categories; (2) want, at this stage students are encourage to ask question, think about what they want to say or present to speak from the their own pictures. So student can make a list of sentences/questions in which the answer will be derived from the pictures. Such activity will give students reason to speak or explain the picture because they are eager to practice their English freely; (3) learn, at this stage students describe their own pictures and then they write down or retell anything that they have learned from the pictures. It is the time when they confirm their prediction from previous stages.
The teacher should know the characteristics of a successful speaking activity. Characteristics of a successful speaking activity: (1) learners talk a lot; (2) participation is even; (3) motivation is high; (4) language is of an acceptable level and the speaking problems: (1) inhibition; (2) nothing to say; (3) low or uneven participation; (4) mother-tongue use. That is why the teacher can help to solve some of the problems with speaking activities: (1) monologue; (2) pair work; (3) question and answer drills; (4) retelling.
Pair work activities are the integral aspect of many teachers’ approach to language teaching. One of the easiest and the best ways of allowing all students in our class to speak English is to encourage pair work. “Pair” refers to groups of 2 or 3, as the odd number of students in the class under discussion necessitates one group of three students). Pair work is when the teacher divides the whole class into pairs. Every student has a partner to explain his/her picture in improving their ability to speak English and all the pair work activities take place at the same time.
Pair work activity consisted of dialogue, interview, and question and answer. In the pair work activity, the students could explain his/her own picture as in turn. It means that the interaction between one student and another might be carried out in the form of pair work, and Individual work activity can be in oral report or oral presentation, monologue, giving explanation, and describing pictures activity.
The application of using students’ own pictures through pair work as a teaching strategy motivated the students to improve their ability to speak English. In the implementation of teaching using students’ own pictures through pair work in improving the students’ speaking ability as the teaching strategy could develop the students’ speaking ability.
The students’ performance
The students’ performance was very important in improving their ability to speak English towards the use of their own pictures through pair work.The teacher/researcher motivated the students to speak English without paying much attention of the grammar’s mistakes. The most important things are how they speak English fluently and the content of their speaking were understandable by the listeners. The teacher should build up the students’ self-confidence and self-esteem in improving their ability to speak English using their own pictures through pair work. The researcher gave and trained them in building up sentences by describing their own pictures using the communication continuum activity starting from the simple sentence models up to the highly communicative activity.
The analysis showed that the use of using students’ own pictures in improving their ability to speak English significantly influenced the students’ motivation in improving their ability to speak English. This means that there is an applicable strategy in teaching speaking skill, to a large content, to develop the students’ speaking fluency. In other words, the students’ motivation is the indication of the degree of success that a foreign language learner is likely to have in real given language situation.
In improving the students’ ability to speak English, the teaching implementation using their own pictures through pair work was effective teaching strategy in building up the students’ motivation and improving the significant achievement of the students. Along with the implementation of the using students’ own pictures through pair work in improving their ability to speak English, the students could gain significant progress in improving their speaking ability covering pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, discourse, and performance in the context of situation.
The result of this research using observation noted that the implementation of using students’ own pictures through pair work as the teaching strategy in improving their ability to speak English, the teacher/researcher created some ways of teaching strategy in improving the problems faced by the students in their speaking ability, as in the following: (a) the students’ poor mastery of vocabulary. In overcoming the poor mastery of vocabulary, the sentence models are given. Vocabularies are used in context and the students are trained to practice individually, then they could create many sentences using their own words based on the given sentence models; (b) the students’ errors in grammar, some of the students still lack of applying the sentence structure. They made sentences influenced by the system of Indonesia system structure; and (c) the students’ performance, the students’ performance was very important in improving their ability to speak English towards the use of their own pictures through pair work.
The other findings of the researcher during the implementation of using students’ own pictures through pair work as the teaching strategy in improving their ability to speak English, the researcher noted the students’ characteristics in terms of their motivation, attitude, activeness in all interaction activities, and the students’ achievement during the process of teaching and learning either in the implementation of using their own pictures through pair work. During the implementation of using students’ own pictures through pair work as teaching strategy in improving their ability to speak English at the first cycle, some of the students’ problems are inhibition (worried about making mistakes, fearful of criticism or losing face), low are uneven participation, mother tongue used, nothing to say.
Based on the findings and discussion in the previous parts, the following conclusions are: (1) the implementation of teaching English in this action research using students’ own pictures through pair work as teaching strategy could nurture the students’ motivation in improving their ability to speak English both at the first cycle and second cycle; (2) the use of students’ own pictures through pair work as teaching strategy could improve the students’ ability to speak English significantly. This led to the conclusion that using of students’ own pictures through pair work as a teaching strategy is a need in English language teaching and learning in improving their ability to speak English in the term of vocabulary, grammar, discourse, and their performance based on the context of situation. It has brought a good nuance and variation in English language teaching particularly in teaching speaking ability.
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