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The mastery of speaking skills in English is a priority for English foreign language (EFL) students. Students consequently often evaluate their success in learning a language as well as the effectiveness of their English class on the basis of how well they feel they have improved in their spoken language proficiency. Speaking is one of the important and essential skills that must be practiced to communicate orally. According to Widowson (1994) speaking is the active production skill and use oral production. It is capability of someone to communicate orally with others. The one who has skills in speaking can be identified from his/her ability in using the oral language fluently, clearly and attractively. Brown (1994) says that speaking is a skill in producing oral language. It is not only an utterance but also a tool of communication. It occurs when two or more people interact to each other, which aims at maintaining social relationship between them. Speaking is a complex skill in interaction between a speaker and a listener. It involves an active process. A speaker should think idea to express while there are many aspects should be considered such as vocabulary, grammar and situation. Teaching speaking is not like listening, reading, and writing. Speaking needs practicing as much as it possible. It is not writing or reading but it must be practiced directly in full expression. Based on the previous definitions, it can be concluded that speaking is the process of sharing with other persons, one's knowledge, interests, attitudes, opinions or ideas. These are important aspects of the process of speaking which the speaker's ideas become real to him and his listener. In general, speaking skill is the ability to say, to address, to make known, to use or be able to use a given language in the actual communication. So, in the light of these highlighted definitions, the researcher can compose an operational definition of speaking skill in this study as "Speaking is a skill of comprehending, pronouncing, and being fluent and accurate in using grammar and vocabulary".

B. Functions of Speaking
Some language experts have attempted to categorize the functions of speaking in human interaction. Brown and Yule (1983) in Richards (2008) have made a distinction between the function of speaking, they are talk as interaction, talk as transaction, and talk as performance. 1. Talk as Interaction Richards (2008) explained that talk as interaction refers to what we normally mean by conversation and describes interaction that serves a primarily social function. When people meet, they exchange greetings, engage in small talk, recount recent experiences, and so, on because they wish to be friendly and to establish a comfortable zone of interaction with others. The focus is more on the speakers and how they wish to present themselves to each other than on the message. Such exchanges may be either casual or more formal, depending on the circumstances 2. Talk as Transaction Richards (2008) explained that talk as transaction refers to situations where the focus is on what is said or done. The message and making oneself understood clearly and accurately is the central focus, rather than the participants and how they interact socially with each other. Burns (1998), as quoted in Richards (2008) distinguished between two different types of talk as transaction. The first type involves situations where the focus is on giving and receiving information and where the participants focus primarily on what is said or achieved (e.g. asking someone for directions). Accuracy may not be a priority, as long as information is successfully communicated or understood. The second type is transactions that focus on obtaining goods or services, such as checking into a hotel or ordering food in a restaurant. 3. Talk as Performance The third type of talk that can usefully be distinguished has been called talk as performance. This refers to public talk, that is, talk that transmits information before an audience, such as classroom presentations, public announcements, and speeches. For example, here is the opening of a fall welcome speech given by a university president:

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C. Teaching Speaking Skill

Many experts have tried to identify things related to the purposes of teaching speaking. According to Harmer (1990), the aim of teaching speaking is to train students for communication. Therefore, language activities in speaking class should focus to language use individually. This requires the teacher not only to create a warm and humanistic classroom atmosphere, but also to provide each student to speak. Lawtie (2004) gives some reasons why teachers teach speaking skills in the classroom. First, 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. The success of learning language is measured in terms of the ability to carry out a conversation in the target language. Second, speaking is fundamental to human communication. If the goal of teaching language is to enable students to communicate in English, then speaking skills should be taught and practiced in the language classroom. Related to what activities the EFL teachers do in teaching speaking, Kayi (2007) suggest five principles for teaching. First, be aware of the difference second language and foreign language. Second, give students to practice with fluency and accuracy. Third, provide opportunities for students to talk by using group work and pair work and limit the teachers talk. Fourth, we plan speaking task to involve negotiation of meaning. Fifth, design classroom activities that involve guidance and practice in both transactional and interactional speaking. In the light of suggestions for teaching above, it could be concluded that EFL teachers should pay attention to students participation and interaction in learning process, apply students centered in order the students practice a lot in forms of pair work and group work, control students activities, correct the students mistakes in good way. Moreover, English teacher should create a classroom environment where students have real life communication, authentic activities and meaningful tasks that promote oral language. Teaching speaking, in the researcher's opinion, is the way for students to express their emotions, communicative needs, interact with other persons in any situation, and influence the others. For this reason, in teaching speaking skill it is necessary to have clear understanding involved in speech and also encourage the potential of the learners to develop their speaking skill naturally. Overall,
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teaching speaking skill emphasizes on the activities to make the students active and creative.

D. Principles of Teaching Speaking

To achieve the goals in teaching speaking, teachers should follow certain principles for teaching speaking, which may help them in designing the classroom activities and management. Nunan (2003) and Kayi (2006) suggest some principles that help in teaching speaking: 1. The teachers should be aware of the difference between second and foreign language. 2. The teachers should give students chance to practice with fluency and accuracy. 3. The teachers should provide opportunity for students to talk by using group-work and pair work and limit the teachers' talk. 4. The teachers should plan speaking task to involve negotiation of meaning. 5. The teachers should design classroom activities that involve guidance and practice in both transactional and interactional speaking. 6. The teachers should ask eliciting questions such as "What do you mean? How did you reach that conclusion?" in order to prompt students to speak more. 7. The teachers should provide written feedback like "Your presentation was really great. It was a good job. I really appreciated your efforts in preparing the materials and efficient use of your voice." 8. The teachers should not correct students' pronunciation mistakes very often while they are speaking. Correction should not distract student from his or her speech. 9. The teachers should involve speaking activities not only in class but also out of class; contact parents and other people who can help. 10. The teachers should circulate around classroom to ensure that students are on the right track and see whether they need a help while they work in groups or pairs. 11. The teachers should reduce teacher speaking time in class while increasing student speaking time. Step back and observe students.
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In the relevance of teaching speaking, Nation and Newton (2009) also formulated five principles for teaching beginners, they are: 1. Focus on meaningful and relevant contents. The main focus should be on language that the learners can use quickly for their purposes rather than on too much grammar explanation or on words that are not directly useful. 2. Maintain interest through a variety of activities. To maintain learners interest, activities need to be short and varied, and to involve the learners in responding to or using the language. 3. Avoid overloading learners with too much new language. 4. Provide plenty of comprehensible input. 5. Create a friendly, safe, cooperative classroom environment. In the light of the principles of teaching speaking as mentioned above, it could be concluded that English teachers, when teaching young learners, have constantly to keep in mind the fact that they deal with a mixed class with varied abilities, expectations, motivation level, and knowledge. Moreover, English teachers should create a classroom environment where students have real life communication, diagnose problems faced by students who have difficulties in expressing themselves in the target language.

E. Communicative Language Teaching

Richards (2006) stated, Communicative language teaching can be understood as a set of principles about the goals of language teaching, how learners learn a language, the kinds of classroom activities that best facilitate learning, and the roles of teachers and learners in the classroom. Littlewood (1990) stated, One of the most characteristic features of communicative language teaching is that it pays systematic attention to functional as well as structural aspects of language. Richards and Rodgers (2000) maintained that for some, communicative language teaching means little more than an integration of grammatical and functional teaching. For others, it means using procedures where learners work in pairs or groups employing available language resources in problem solving tasks. According to Yule (1985), CLT is characterized by lessons organized around concepts such as asking for thing in different social contexts, rather than the
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form of the past tense in different sentences. Johnson and Morrow (1981) defined CLT as second language teaching in which communicative competence is the aim of the course. Chastain (1988) claimed that a communication strategy is the approach speakers take to communicate with someone. Littlewood (1984) stated, W hen language learners are engaged in communication, they often have

communicative intentions which they find difficulty in expressing, because of gaps in their linguistic repertoire. Based on all the definitions above, it can be concluded that CLT is a broad approach to teaching which its primary focus is on helping learners create meaning rather than helping them develop perfectly grammatical structures. This means that successfully learning a foreign language is assessed in terms of how well learners have developed their communicative competence, which can loosely be defined as their ability to apply knowledge of a language with adequate proficiency to communicate.

F. The Goal of Communicative Language Teaching

Having seen the definitions of CLT above, it can be concluded that the goal of CLT is the teaching of communicative competence rather than only focus on grammatical competence. Richard (2006) explained that grammatical competence refers to knowledge of the building block of sentences (e.g., part of speech, tenses, phrases, clauses, sentence patters) and how sentences are formed. He also explained that communicative competence is being able to use the language for meaningful communication.

He continued by stating that communicative language teaching sets as its goal the teaching of communicative competence not only grammatical competence.
Littlewood (1990) also stated that one of the most characteristic features of communicative language teaching is that it pays systematic attention to functional as well as structural aspects of language. Based on the theories above, the researcher concluded that the goal of communicative language teaching is not only to teach the rules of sentences

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formation in a language, but also to teach the students to be able to use the language for meaningful communication.

G. Characteristics of Successful Speaking Activities

Ur (1996) listed some characteristics of a successful speaking activity which can be used to assess the teaching / learning as follows: 1. Learners talk a lot: As much as possible of the period of time allocated to the activity is in fact occupied by learners talk. This may be obvious, but often most time is taken up with teacher talk or pauses. 2. Participant is even: Classroom discussion is not dominated by a minority of talkative participants. All get a chance to speak and contributions are fairly evenly distributed. 3. Motivation is high: Learners are eager to speak because they are interested in the topic and have something new to say about it, or they want to contribute to achieve a task objective. 4. Language is of an acceptable level: Learners express themselves in utterances that are relevant, easily comprehensible to teach other and of acceptable level of language accuracy.

H. Information Gap Activities

Son (2009) stated, An information gap activity is an activity where learners are missing the information they need to complete a task and need to talk to each other to find it. In using information gap activity, the students are supposed to be working in groups or in pairs so that they can talk and communicate each other to complete a task. According to Penny Ur (1996), the activities and tasks based on the information-gap principle make students participate actively in the process of learning. This will, in turn, results in increasing students motivation to learn English much more enthusiastically. Richard (2006) states that in real communication, people normally communicate in order to get information they do not possess. This is known as an information gap. More authentic communication is likely to occur in the classroom if students go beyond practice of language forms for their own sake and use their linguistic and communicative resources in order to obtain information
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Amongst various activities in communicative approach information gap enjoys a great deal of popularity for those who try to practice communicative language teaching procedures in their classrooms. It is a type of activity which requires students to use the language to exchange some information and get their meaning across. It takes the students attention away from the form and directs it towards meaning. In other words it makes students to accomplish a task through using the language while concentrating on meaning rather than structure of the language. Many scholars have defined information gap, the following section includes some definitions presented by some of them. Swan (1985) views information gap as a basic concept in contemporary methodology then he goes on to elaborate more on information gap: When one student talks to another, we feel that it is important that new information should be transmitted across the gap between them. To do this end, ingenious exercises are devised in which half the class are provided with data to which the other half do not have access; those who lack the information then have to obtain it by using language in an appropriate way. According to Penny Ur (1996) information gap is A particularly interesting type of task which is based on the need to understand or transmit information finding out what is in a partners picture, for example. Larsen-Freeman (2000) claims that, an information gap exists when one person in an exchange knows something that the other person doesnt. If we both know today is Tuesday and I ask you, What day is today and you answer, Tuesday, our exchange isnt really communicative. This section argues the identified gaps in the body of literature concerning information gap in speaking ability on EFL. Many of the oral-exchange activities proceeding the communicative era were mechanical in nature and have little communicative value because there is no real information being exchanged. On the other hand, information gap is a questioning technique in which learners respond to a question whose answer is unknown to the questioner in contrast with display questions that both the sender and the receiver know the information. The question is not a real question, and the answer is not a real answer. So, information gaps in this way will be mechanical and artificial. According to the adherents of Communicative Language Teaching effective communication is the ultimate goal of language learning, Littlewood (1990).
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Therefore the ultimate goal of language teaching should be to teach the language based on the communicative principles. It means that some communicative activities should be carried out in English classrooms in order for the students to develop their communicative competence, and to make them able to communicate through using the language.


Steps in Information Gap Activities

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. Good technique should be supported with good procedures of applying. These are some steps to apply the information gap: 1. The teacher gives explanation about the activity which is going to be conducted; 2. The teacher reviews vocabularies that will be used based on the context; 3. The teacher may give a model of what the students should say during activity; 4. The teacher gives the activity papers consist of incomplete information that have been prepared for the students. It can be in the form of games, dialogues, pictures, etc. 5. The students in a pair or group complete the task. They are not allowed to see others paper to complete their task. They should communicate with other students to get the complete information. 6. Evaluate the activities. Since the activity consists of content of idea, the students will know what to say. They imitate the structure, and of course their talking time is increased. They do more practice than before. It is beneficial to develop their speaking skill. The context of information can be adopted based on the students need. The context should be comprehensible for the students. Even if the teacher wants to give the

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new context which tends to be unfamiliar for the students, teacher can give the key words or vocabularies.

J. The Advantages of Using Information Gap Activities

Research also suggests that the presence of information gap activities is beneficial both in teacher-student exchanges and student-student interaction in the form of pair-work and group-work. Kayi (2006) says that in information gap activities, students are supposed to be working in pairs or in groups. One student will have the information that other partner does not have and the partner will share their information. Furthermore, he adds that information gap activities serve many purposes such as solving 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. Son (2009) stated some benefits of using information gap, they are: 1. More communication takes place Extending speaking practice. Make learners to concentrate on the communication for information. Learners talk a lot/ produce more speech. Learners help one another. 2. Motivation can be high Give students a reason to talk. Keep them thinking. Represent real communication and factual learning. Equal opportunities of learning for mixed ability classes. 3. Build students confidence Less intimidating than presenting in front of the entire class. Comfortable, casual and no-threatened atmosphere. Free interaction with peers. 4. Develop other sub skills Clarifying meaning Re-phrasing

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Negotiating meaning Solving problems Gathering information Making decision. As mentioned above the researcher concludes that information gap activities will give valuable contributions to students. Personalization activities provide the learners with opportunities to express their opinions, suggestions, or taste, to share their real life experiences or ideas, and to apply these issues or concerns to some controversial issues. In these activities, students will have a chance to speak with their partner and exchange ideas. The students will have reasons to interact with their partners or classmates because they have to complete the communicative task. So, information gap activities are effective means to create the students interaction and to develop the students speaking skills.

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