Smnr LT T.Speaking

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                             TEACHING SPEAKING

            Speaking is the process of building and sharing meaning through the
     use of verbal and non-verbal symbols, in a variety of contexts (Chaney, 1998:
     13). Speaking is a crucial part of second language learning and teaching.
     Despite its importance, for many years, teaching speaking has been
     undervalued and English language teachers have continued to teach speaking
     just as a repetition of drills or memorization of dialogues.
            However, today's world requires that the goal of teaching speaking
     should improve students' communicative skills, because, only in that way,
     students can express themselves and learn how to follow the social and
     cultural rules appropriate in each communicative circumstance. In order to
     teach second language learners how to speak in the best way possible, some
     speaking activities are provided below, that can be applied to ESL and EFL
     classroom settings, together with suggestions for teachers who teach oral
            Traditional classroom speaking practice often takes the form of drills
     in which one person asks a question and another gives an answer. The
     question and the answer are structured and predictable, and often there is only
     one correct, predetermined answer. The purpose of asking and answering the
     question is to demonstrate the ability to ask and answer the question.
            As far as learning English is concerned, students face a number of
     problems in learning speaking. English teaching usually starts at junior
     schools, in many big cities at upper grades in the elementary schools.
     Although an average college student has generally spent more than ten years
     in learning English, he is still extremely poor in the four skills of the
     language, namely listening, speaking, reading and writing, especially in
            Seen in terms of language education, what causes considerable
     problems in class, especially for teachers aiming at creating communicative


      competence in a second or foreign language, is the issue of getting students to
      produce spoken English.

      A. What Is Teaching Speaking?
                 What is meant by "teaching speaking" is to teach ESL learners to:
         1.   Produce the English speech sounds and sound patterns
         2.   Use word and sentence stress, intonation patterns and the rhythm of the
              second language.
         3.   Select appropriate words and sentences according to the proper social
              setting, audience, situation and subject matter.
         4.   Organize their thoughts in a meaningful and logical sequence.
         5.   Use language as a means of expressing values and judgments.
         6.   Use the language quickly and confidently with few unnatural pauses,
              which is called as fluency. (Nunan, 2003)

      B. What are the Problems in Teaching Speaking?
         1. The out-of-date teaching methods
              There have been several main teaching methods. Currently most
              teachers of English still adopt the Grammar-Translation Approach in
              their class. In this method, teachers ask students to repeat the words
              and expressions, then explain vocabulary and language points in the
              texts. Usually they teach students how to put sentences together to
              form paragraphs and how to analyze sentence structures in details. This
              approach assumes that when students know enough English grammar
              and lexis, they can then read and write well in English. It is very useful
              for academic work and for passing written exams, but it is less useful
              for improving students’ spoken ability
         2. Three-centered teaching form
              Three-centered teaching form, namely teacher-centered, test-centered
              and board-centered, can be usually seen in an English lesson. Students

   are taught to obey their teachers since their childhood. Students are
   seldom encouraged to challenge their teachers. Teachers write all the
   instructions on the blackboard, students are busy taking notes or
   concentrating their minds on receiving them passively. In most cases,
   if teachers don’t invite students to ask questions, the later will remain
   silent and not interrupt the teachers’ speech.
3. Low or uneven participation
   There are about 30-40 students attending one English lesson in China.
   This means that each one will have very little talking time. It is
   compounded by the tendency of some students to dominate while
   others speak very little or not at all.
4. No emotional climate of learning situation
   In an environment where learners feel anxious or insecure, there are
   likely to be psychological barriers to communicate with others. Also if
   anxiety rises above a certain level, it is an obstacle to the learning
   process. Unfortunately, the situation where English learning takes most
   often, the classroom can easily generate situations where students feel
   over- anxious. In an English class, students are often asked to perform
   in a state of ignorance and dependence may engender feelings of
   helplessness. They have to produce unfamiliar sounds in front of an
   audience when they do not perform adequately, they may be subjected
   to comment and correction, with their limited communicative
   competence, they may have difficulties in relating to others or
   presenting themselves adequately.
5. Mother-tongue use
   Students are often reluctant to say things in English, worrying about
   making mistakes, feeling fearful of criticism and losing face, or simply
   being shy of the attention that his speech attracts. Because all the
   students in a class share the same mother tongue, they may tend to use
   it, it is easier and nature.

   6. No chance to use English
      Many aspects of second language acquisition occur through natural
      learning mechanism that is activated when the learner is involved in
      communicative activity. If this is so, it is important for the learner to
      have access to the situations where the language is used as a natural
      means of communication.

C. How to Teach Speaking?
            Now many linguistics and ESL teachers agree on that students
   learn to speak in the second language by interacting. Communicative
   language teaching and collaborative learning serve best for this aim.
   Communicative language teaching is based on real-life situations that
   require communication. By using this method in ESL classes, students will
   have the opportunity of communicating with each other in the target
   language. In brief, ESL teachers should create a classroom environment
   where students have real-life communication, authentic activities, and
   meaningful tasks that promote oral language. This can occur when
   students collaborate in groups to achieve a goal or to complete a task.
   These are some language teaching method to promote speaking:
   1. Discussion
      After a content-based lesson, a discussion can be held for various
      reasons. The students may aim to arrive at a conclusion, share ideas
      about an event, or find solutions in their discussion groups. Before the
      discussion, it is essential that the purpose of the discussion activity is
      set by the teacher. In this way, the discussion points are relevant to this
      purpose, so that students do not spend their time chatting with each
      other about irrelevant things. In this type of discussions, the teacher
      can form groups of students, preferably 4 or 5 in each group. For
      efficient group discussions, it is always better not to form large groups,
      because quiet students may avoid contributing in large groups. The
      group members can be either assigned by the teacher or the students

     may determine it by themselves, but groups should be rearranged in
     every discussion activity so that students can work with various people
     and learn to be open to different ideas. Lastly, in class or group
     discussions, whatever the aim is, the students should always be
     encouraged to ask questions, paraphrase ideas, express support, check
     for clarification, and so on.
2. Role Play
     One other way of getting students to speak is role-playing. Students
     pretend they are in various social contexts and have a variety of social
     roles. In role-play activities, the teacher gives information to the
     learners such as who they are and what they think or feel. Thus, the
     teacher can tell the student that "You are David, you go to the doctor
     and tell him what happened last night, and…" (Harmer, 1984).
3. Simulations
     Simulations are very similar to role-plays but what makes simulations
     different than role plays is that they are more elaborate. In simulations,
     students can bring items to the class to create a realistic environment.
     For instance, if a student is acting as a singer, she brings a microphone
     to sing and so on. Role plays and simulations have many advantages.
     First, since they are entertaining, they motivate the students. Second,
     as Harmer (1984) suggests, they increase the self-confidence of
     hesitant students, because in role play and simulation activities, they
     will have a different role and do not have to speak for themselves,
     which means they do not have to take the same responsibility.
4.   Information Gab
     In this activity, students are supposed to be working in pairs. One
     student will have the information that other partner does not have and
     the partners will share their information. Information gap activities
     serve many purposes such as solving a problem or collecting
     information. Also, each partner plays an important role because the
     task cannot be completed if the partners do not provide the information

     the others need. These activities are effective because everybody has
     the opportunity to talk extensively in the target language.
5.   Brainstorming
     On a given topic, students can produce ideas in a limited time.
     Depending on the context, either individual or group brainstorming is
     effective and learners generate ideas quickly and freely. The good
     characteristic of brainstorming is that the students are not criticized for
     their ideas so students will be open to sharing new ideas.
6. Storytelling
     Students can briefly summarize a tale or story they heard from
     somebody beforehand, or they may create their own stories to tell their
     classmates. Story telling fosters creative thinking. It also helps students
     express ideas in the format of beginning, development, and ending,
     including the characters and setting a story has to have. Students also
     can tell riddles or jokes. For instance, at the very beginning of each
     class session, the teacher may call a few students to tell short riddles or
     jokes as an opening. In this way, not only will the teacher address
     students’ speaking ability, but also get the attention of the class.
7. Interviews
     Students can conduct interviews on selected topics with various
     people. It is a good idea that the teacher provides a rubric to students
     so that they know what type of questions they can ask or what path to
     follow, but students should prepare their own interview questions.
     Conducting interviews with people gives students a chance to practice
     their speaking ability not only in class but also outside and helps them
     becoming socialized. After interviews, each student can present his or
     her study to the class. Moreover, students can interview each other and
     introduce his or her partner to the class.
8. Story Completion
     This is a very enjoyable, whole-class, free-speaking activity for which
     students sit in a circle. For this activity, a teacher starts to tell a story,

   but after a few sentences he or she stops narrating. Then, each student
   starts to narrate from the point where the previous one stopped. Each
   student is supposed to add from four to ten sentences. Students can add
   new characters, events, descriptions and so on.
9. Reporting
   Before coming to class, students are asked to read a newspaper or
   magazine and, in class, they report to their friends what they find as the
   most interesting news. Students can also talk about whether they have
   experienced anything worth telling their friends in their daily lives
   before class.
10. Playing Cards
   In this game, students should form groups of four. Each suit will
   represent a topic. For instance: Diamonds: Earning money, Hearts:
   Love and relationships, Spades: An unforgettable memory, Clubs:
   Best teacher. Each student in a group will choose a card. Then, each
   student will write 4-5 questions about that topic to ask the other people
   in the group. However, the teacher should state at the very beginning
   of the activity that students are not allowed to prepare yes-no
   questions, because by saying yes or no students get little practice in
   spoken language production.        Rather, students ask open-ended
   questions to each other so that they reply in complete sentence.
11. Teams Games Tournament (TGT)
   Slavin has found that TGT increased basic skills, students’
   achievement, positive interactions between students, acceptance of
   mainstreamed classmates and self-esteem. Students learn material in
   class; this can be taught traditionally, in small groups, individually,
   using activities, etc. The heterogeneous Study Teams review the
   material, then students compete in academically homogeneous
   Tournament Teams. It should be noted that the Tournament is based
   on material often for which there is a specific correct answer.

   D. Application in Language Teaching
              Teaching speaking by applying CL model types TGT to the tenth
       year students of SMK N 3 Klaten.
       Material: Wh-Question (Kompetensi Dasar 8)
       1. Teacher presentation
          Wh- Questions allow a speaker to find out more information about
          topics. They are as follows:

          When?               Time
          Where?              Place
          Who?                Person
          Why?                Reason
          How?                Manner
          What?               Object/Idea/Action

          Other words can also be used to inquire about specific information:

          Which (one)?        Choice of alternatives
          Whose?              Possession
          Whom?               Person (objective formal)
          How much?           Price, amount (non-count)
          How many?           Quantity (count)
          How long?           Duration
          How often?          Frequency
          How far?            Distance
          What kind (of)?     Description

Question Word Function                                    Example
what          asking for information about                What is your name?
              asking for repetition or                    What? I can't hear you.
              confirmation                                You did what?
when          asking about time                           When did he leave?
where         asking in or at what place or               Where do they live?
which         asking about choice                         Which color do you
who                 asking what or which person or        Who opened the door?
                    people (subject)
whom                asking what or which person or        Whom did you see?
                    people (object)

whose             asking about ownership                    Whose are these keys?
why               asking for reason, asking what...for      Why do you say that?
how               asking about manner                       How does this work?
how + adj/adv     asking about extent or degree             see examples below
how far           distance                                  How far is Pattaya from
how long          length (time or space)                    How long will it take?
how many          quantity (countable)                      How many cars are
how much          quantity (uncountable)                    How much money do
                                                            you have?
how old           age                                       How old are you?

      2. Grouping
           There are 32 students in this class (X PH) dividing into 8 groups, each
           group contain of 4 students. Group A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H.
      3. Study Teams
           The students reinforce, review and study the material cooperatively in
           these teams.
           Set-up: Heterogeneous Teams
                  a. Generate a ranked class list of all students.
                  b. Team size: 4 students
                        To make the teams, divide the total number of students by 4
                        (32 students ÷ 4 = 8).
                  c. This will generate academically heterogeneous teams of
                        about equal ability. Balance the teams for sex, ethnicity,
                        etc. while trying to maintain academic “equalness”.
           Purpose: Students may review using a specific format, a review sheet,
                    informally, quizzing each other, etc.
      4. Scafolding
           Teacher checking and helping the student and observing the students’
           learning to each group concerning with the material.
      5. Games

   Each student in the same group compete in tournament and will be got
   the result which student to be the winner number 1, 2, 3 and 4 in each
6. Tournament
   After the designated study time, the students then compete in the
   Set-up: Homogeneous (Tournament) Teams
            a. Use the same ranked student list.
               Example: The winner number 1 in each group set up in the
               same table to compete in the tournament. The winner
               number 2 in each group set up in the same table to compete
               in the tournament etc.
            b. This will result in the 4 strongest students competing
               together, the 4 weakest together, etc.
            A. Prepare one set of flash cards (40 numbered questions)
               about Wh-Question for each tournament table.
            B. Tournament start from the first table.
            C. The game proceeds clockwise.
            D. The first student is given a question in flash cards and they
               should answer spontaneously if the answer is correct the 1st
               students keep the card. If incorrect, (2nd) student may
               challenge answer. If they get the answer correct, they may
               keep the card etc.
   Scoring is done for all the tournament tables using Table 1 (attached).
   Each player will take back 3 to 6 points to their Study Team. Study
   Team points are totalled.

        The members of tournament tables can be bumped up or down. Each
        winner moved to a higher-level table, the “loser” moves to an “easier”
        table. This ensures that students are playing with same-ability students
        and are winners about equally often.
        The Study Team which get the best score is the winner and given a
        free voucher to go to Depok beach fish market and restaurant.

        Teaching speaking is a very important part of second language
   learning. The ability to communicate in a second language clearly and
   efficiently contributes to the success of the learner in school and success
   later in every phase of life. Therefore, it is essential that language teachers
   pay great attention to teaching speaking. Rather than leading students to pure
   memorization,     providing    a   rich     environment   where     meaningful
   communication takes place is desired. With this aim, various speaking
   activities such as those listed above can contribute a great deal to students in
   developing basic interactive skills necessary for life. These activities make
   students more active in the learning process and at the same time make their
   learning more meaningful and fun for them.
        By giving emphasis on the students answer the question spontaneously
   and drill the students in many real situation of communication will help
   them in improving their speaking ability.
        Both teachers and students might face an uphill battle of how to
   modify teaching methods, how to use some of communicative strategies,
   and how to successfully absorb teaching experiences from our counterparts
   in foreign countries in English learning and teaching. Therefore, the
   adequate employment of creative teaching methods backed up by special
   talents of our teachers of English, must guarantee a prospective future of the
   English teaching and bring profits to teenagers.


Brown, G. and G. Yule. 1983. Teaching the Spoken Language. Cambridge:
       Cambridge University Press.

Chaney, A.L., and T.L. Burk. 1998. Teaching Oral Communication in Grades K-
        8. Boston: Allyn&Bacon.

Harmer, J. 1984. The Practice of English Language Teaching. London:
Nunan, D., 2003. Practical English Language Teaching. NY:McGraw-Hill



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