(KODE : PENDBING-0047) : SKRIPSI COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING (CLT) APPROACH IN IMPROVING STUDENTS SPEAKING ABILITY IN EFL
This chapter describes the general issues related to the present study. These include the background of the study, limitation of the problem, formulation of the problem, hypothesis of the study, definition of the key terms, the purposes and significance of the research.
A. Background of the study
The recent change of our national curriculum has a great effect on the instructional procedures and material contents in Primary school, Junior High School and Senior High School. Especially in Junior High School, the curriculum change from Competence-Based Curriculum to School-Based Curriculum has given opportunities for teachers to plan and make the curriculum based on the set of competences. Teachers are obliged to be creative and innovative (Karnadi & Ansyar, 2007) in developing the curriculum and portraying lessons in classroom.
Karnadi (2006) stated that the Education Ministerial regulation no. 22, 23 and 24 year 2006, dated May 23, about School-Based Curriculum giving a broad opportunities for schools as well as the teachers to determine and develop the curriculum. The curriculum developed by the school should refer to national standard of education, and operationally should be in line with the standard of content and competence arranged by BSNP (The Board of National Standard of Education). In such a way, school has a full authority to determine and develop the syllabus, curriculum and indicators in order to show the schools' potentials and competitions (Bambang Wasito Adi, The head of Information centre of BSNP). Principally, it is always intended to have teaching and learning process that finally can lead to have better learning outcome.
The goal of teaching English in Junior High School level is to communicate in English at the level of literacy performative competence and literacy functional competence (PERMEN 22 in 2006). The literacy performative competence level leads the students to be able to read, write, listen and speak English in simple symbols. The literacy functional competence level encourages the students to communicate in English orally and written for their daily activity needs.
As such, the way of teaching and learning process of English should be taken more emphasize on communicative approach. This approach gives focus on communicative proficiency rather than on mere mastery of structure (Richards, 1986 : 64). It is in line with the function of language that is to communicate opinion, ideas, information, etc. So that language is to communicate meaning as effectively as possible in concrete situation.
Nowadays, communication becomes more and more important in our daily life, because they are indispensable as a means of communication for Indonesia international activities. But it has been a big problem for Indonesian learners of English to develop communicative competence. This is partly because we have few opportunities to use English in a real world and partly because we usually regard English as knowledge instead of a mean of communication. As English is not the main approach for the people to transfer information with each other in Indonesia, it's mainly as the way of finding a good job and passing an examination. As a result, reading skills and linguistic competence are emphasized in school. What is more, Indonesia and English are completely different languages in many aspects, so it's difficult for the students to learn English. Also in Indonesia, there are a few opportunities for students to speak and listen to English; there is no real language environment for students to improve their communicative competence.
Additionally, there are two reasons why we should teach speaking skills in the classroom, they are;
Many students equate being able to speak a language as knowing the language and therefore view learning the language as learning how to speak the language, or as Nunan (1991) wrote, "Success is measured in terms of the ability to carry out a conversation in the (target) language." Therefore, if students do not learn how to speak or do not get any opportunity to speak in the language classroom they may soon get de-motivated and lose interest in learning. On the other hand, if the right activities are taught in the right way, speaking in class can be a lot of fun, raising general learner motivation and making the English language classroom a fun and dynamic place to be.
- Speaking is fundamental to human communication.
Just think of all the different conversations we have in one day and compare that with how much written communication we do in one day. Which do we do more of ? In our daily lives most of us speak more than we write, yet many English teachers still spend the majority of class time on reading and writing practice almost ignoring speaking and listening skills. Do we think this is a good balance ?
If the goal of our language course is truly to enable our students to communicate in English, then speaking skills should be taught and practiced in the language classroom.
In case of teaching English as a foreign language, the goal of teaching as stated above is accordance with the standard and basic competence in school based curriculum (PERMEN 22 in 2006), especially for the eight-year of junior high school level, which take more emphasize on the students' communicative competence in speaking skill, as in the following that;
- The ability to express meaning in a simple short dialog with other people in transactional and interpersonal conversation.
- The ability to express meaning in a simple short functional and monolog in descriptive and recount texts for interacting and communicating with other people.
- The ability to express meaning orally in transactional and interpersonal for interacting and communicating with other people.
- The ability to express meaning in a simple short functional and monolog in recount and narrative texts for interacting and communicating with other people.
Additionally, the standard of competence as stated above encourages the students to have the basic competence (PERMEN 22, 2006) as in the following;
- Expressing meaning in transactional (to get things done) and interpersonal conversation (socialization) to ask for and give things.
- Expressing meaning in transactional (to get things done) and interpersonal conversation (socialization) to ask and give opinions (make questions).
Expressing meaning in transactional (to get things done) and interpersonal conversation (socialization) to invite people, agree and disagree, and talk about past experience.
- Expressing meaning in transactional (to get things done) and interpersonal conversation (socialization) to express admiration and congratulation ask for and give ideas and ask for information.
- Expressing meaning in transactional (to get things done) and interpersonal conversation (socialization) to talk about favorite tales, ask for a favor, ask and offer things.
- Expressing meaning in transactional (to get things done) and interpersonal conversation (socialization) to get information, ask and give opinion, predict and retell the story.
- Expressing meaning in transactional (to get things done) and interpersonal conversation (socialization) to ask for and give agreement, respond to a statement, talk about one's biography.
- Expressing meaning in transactional (to get things done) and interpersonal conversation (socialization) to make a telephone call, leave and take messages, make an appointment, and tell funny experience.
This paradigm shifting has happened in English teaching in Junior High School especially in SMPN X where the goal of teaching is aimed at teaching English for communication. However, the application of teaching in the field is still far from satisfying. For instance; it often can be seen that English teaching still emphasize on language form. It also can be observed that many Junior High School students who have been studying English for more than 3 years are not able to speak English, even though it is in a simple conversation. Their English mark in their final examination (NEM) is considered low and their communicative proficiency is also poor.
The students' achievement nationally makes parents as well as teachers unhappy. The unsatisfactory results make people then turn more intention to the implementers in the fields. The teachers become the scapegoat of the failure because they directly face the students in class. This phenomenon is concluded that English teaching result is still far from satisfaction. It means that the problem of English teaching still can not be overcome maximally. The implementation of the normative approach underlying the curriculum is considered on the teachers' hand. Teachers as the teaching implementers in the field should be able to understand the curriculum as part of the system, since it should be understood as guideline that give direction towards the target decided. Their understanding will very much determine their preparation and their actual implementation in class. But the case is not like what it has been expected. Teachers as the spearhead are not well prepared. They are predicted of not having enough knowledge or experience about the approach.
The purpose of English teaching in Indonesia is very often limited to the four language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking). And all the classroom activities are designed around the four language skills. However this is not necessarily the case. Many teachers and learners get accustomed to traditional teaching methodology and neglect the nature of language and language teaching. To avoid such misunderstanding the thesis insists that the aim of English teaching is to develop the learners' communicative competence.
In Indonesia, some existing problems, of which dumb English and low efficiency are most evident. Generally, the learners have spent at least three years or so studying English before entering senior high school. During such long learning span too much emphasis has been put on rote learning and accumulation of English knowledge, such as the mastery of usage words and grammatical rules. Many learners with many years experience in English learning still have considerable difficulty coping with English in its normal oral communicative use. Therefore, it is of great significance and urgency to further discuss the objective of language teaching and the approach in English language teaching is most self-evident. The learners are required to develop the comprehensive ability to communicate orally in English. In the process of improving the comprehensive proficiency the teaching should focus on the learners' proficiency instead of the presentation of abstract linguistic forms.
The objective of the English teaching is to develop the learners' English communicative competence likewise. Viewing English as a kind of meaning potential and a functional system, its learning should be the realization of English behavior potential. English teaching will focus on how to use English grammatically and appropriately. In a word, our English teaching will concentrate on the knowledge and ability to use. In addition to the ability to produce and understand grammatical utterances the learners are to develop the ability to know when to select a particular grammatical sequence that should be appropriate to the context, both linguistic and situational.
The common problems encountered by teachers with the teaching of English, especially teaching of speaking skills in junior high school can be seen in the following that;
1. Students won't talk or say anything
One way to tackle this problem is to find the root of the problem and start from there. A reason for student silence may simply be that the class activities are boring or are pitched at the wrong level. Very often our interesting communicative speaking activities are not quite as interesting or as communicative as we think they are and all the students are really required to do is answer 'yes' or 'no' which they do quickly and then just sit in silence or worse talking noisily in their L1.
2. When students work in pairs or groups they just end up chatting in their own language.
This problem is mostly happen when the activity or the task is not interesting to students. If students do not have something to say or do, or don't feel the need to speak, we can be sure it won't be long before they are chatting away in their L1.
3. Passive class
A common problem for EFL teachers is dealing with a passive class, where students are unresponsive and avoid interaction with the teacher. This is especially true when a teacher seeks interaction in a teacher-class dialog, such as asking questions to the class as a whole, expecting at least one student to respond. This can be a frustrating experience for both parties. Obviously, there will be times when no student can answer a teacher's question, but often students do not answer even if they understand the question, know the answer, and are able to produce the answer. Furthermore, students can often be very reluctant to give feedback or ask the teacher a question in front of the class.
This condition interests the researcher to investigate the effectiveness of CLT to EFL teaching in order to overcome those problems, to help students to learn English more effectively and efficiently, especially in improving students' speaking ability.
B. Limitation of the Problem
It has been previously stated in the background that students with many years experience in English learning still have considerable difficulty coping with English in its normal oral communicative use. In the other hand, students who have been studying English for more than 3 years are not able to speak English, even though it is in a simple conversation. Their English mark in their final examination (NEM) is considered low and their communicative proficiency is also poor.
Concerning the outcome that has not made us happy yet, it is necessary to take a look at the communicative language teaching approach to the teaching of English as a foreign language. Through this study the researcher will investigate the effectiveness of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) in the English Foreign Language (EFL) classroom, especially in improving students' speaking ability in SMPN X.
C. Formulation of the Problem
The problem that will be observed in this research is;
1. Is Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) approach effective in improving students' speaking ability ?
2. Is there any significant difference between the speaking ability of the respondents who are trained on applying CLT with those who are not ?
D. Hypothesis of the Study
The researcher sets the hypothesis as follows that students who are taught using Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) approach get higher speaking ability than those who are taught using the conventional method.
E. Definition of the Key Terms
Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is an approach to the teaching of second and foreign languages that emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of learning a language. In other words, Communicative language teaching (CLT) is the way of teaching language that takes more emphasize on communicative approach (Wilkins, 1980s). CLT refers to the process of learning which makes use of real-life situation that necessitate communication (Ann Galloway, center for applied linguistics). The teacher sets up a situation that students are likely to encounter in real life. Unlike the audio-lingual method of language teaching, which relies on repetition and drills, the communicative approach can leave students in suspense as to the outcome of a class exercise, which will vary according to their reactions and responses. The real-life simulations change from day to day. Students' motivation to learn comes from their desire to communicate in meaningful ways about meaningful topics.
Communicative language teaching (CLT) refers to both processes and goals in classroom learning. The central theoretical concept in communicative language teaching is ‘‘communicative competence,’’. Competence is defined in terms of the expression, interpretation, and negotiation of meaning (Sauvignon, 1971). Sauvignon (1971) used the term ‘‘communicative competence’’ to characterize the ability of classroom language learners to interact with other speakers, to make meaning, as distinct from their ability to recite dialogues or perform on discrete-point tests of grammatical knowledge.
Approach, according to Anthony as quoted by Richards (1986) is a set of correlative assumptions dealing with the nature of language and learning. Following Richards (1986), states that approach is theories about the nature of language and language learning that serve as the source of practices and principles in language teaching. Additionally, approach refers to the beliefs and theories about language, language learning and teaching that underlie a method. While speaking is an interactive process of constructing meaning that involves producing and receiving and processing information (Brown; Burns & Joyce, 1997). Its form and meaning are dependent on the context in which it occurs, including the participants themselves, their collective experiences, the physical environment, and the purposes for speaking.
F. The Purpose of the Research
There are two purposes of the research :
1. To investigate whether CLT is effective in improving students' speaking ability.
2. To find out the improvement of students' speaking ability after being trained compared to those who are not trained.