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THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CONNECTING WORDS GAME TO TEACH SPEAKING DESCRIPTIVE

FOR SEVENTH GRADERS OF SMPN 1 TURI

THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CONNECTING WORDS GAME TO TEACH SPEAKING


DESCRIPTIVE FOR SEVENTH GRADERS OF SMPN 1 TURI

Yusuf Dwi Prasetyo


English Education, Faculty of Languages and Arts, State University of Surabaya
yusufprasetyo@mhs.unesa.ac.id

Abstrak
Berbicara adalah satu dari empat kemampuan yang vital dalam bahasa inggris; namun, dalam mengajar
berbicara tidaklah semudah yang dibayangkan, apalagi dengan ditambah kebiasaan siswa yang cenderung
pasif. Dengan memakai game Connecting Words, guru dapat mengajak siswa untuk aktif menggunakan
kemampuan berbicaranya dengan kegiatan yang menyenangkan serta memberikan kesempatan untuk
memakai dan mengasah kemampuan mereka tanpa harus khawatir dengan ketersediaan media. Tujuan
dari peneltian adalah untuk menjelaskan bagaimana game Connecting Words diterapkan untuk
mengajar berbicara dalam konteks teks deskriptif bagi anak kelas tujuh SMPN 1 Turi dan bagaimana
siswa menanggapinya. Penelitian ini memakai metode deskriptif kualitatif serta memakai lembar
observasi untuk mencatat aktivitas dalam kegiatan belajar mengajar, disertai interview dengan guru untuk
menambah data; dan beberapa siswa diinterview untuk dimintai pendapatnya tentang penerapan game
Connecting Words dalam proses pembelajaran. Hasil menunjukkan bahwa guru mampu menerapkan
game kedalam kegiatan pembelajaran dalam konteks berbicara teks deskriptif. Respon dari siswa yang
dari interview menunjukkan bahwa mereka cukup senang dengan penerapan gamenya; mereka setuju
kalau dengan memeaki game, mereka diberi kesempatan untuk berbicara dan berlatih teks deskriptif serta
gamenya memberi kesan baik dalam merubah keadaan kelas dari kegiatan pembelajaran yang
membosankan.
Kata Kunci: Berbicara, Game, Game Connecting Words, Teks Deskriptif

Abstract
Speaking is one of four important English skills; however, teaching speaking is not exactly easy with the
students often being passive. By using Connecting Words game, teacher can encourage the students to
actively use their speaking skill with fun and engaging activity, which also give them opportunity to use
and hone their skill, without worrying about media. The goals of this study are to describe the
implementation of the Connection Words game in teaching spoken descriptive text for the seventh
graders of SMPN 1 Turi and to describe the students responses towards the game. This study uses
qualitative descriptive research. Through observation notes the researcher described the teacher and
student activities during the class, followed by interview with the teacher to get more data. Then several
students were interviewed for their opinion toward the implementation of Connection Words game to
teach spoken descriptive text. The result showed that the teacher managed to implement the game into
teaching learning activity to teach spoken descriptive text. Students responses obtained through interview
indicated that they were fairly positive with the game. They agreed that the game gave them opportunity
to speak and practice on descriptive text as well as providing good change of atmosphere to break the
monotony in teaching learning activity.
Keywords: Speaking, Games, Connecting Words Game, Descriptive Text.

INTRODUCTION level of education, either formal or informal, for English


In current time, English has become a bridge for is covering so many aspect of life such as tourism,
international understanding, and absolute necessity for teaching, technologies, politics, etc. English language can
people to face modern era where first language is simply be divided into four skill, listening, reading, speaking,
not enough to express and understand others language. and writing, each skill must be taught integrated with
Therefore, English as second language is taught in early another, for one skill always linked with another.

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Mastering speaking maybe harder than other skill, and avoiding boring situation, by creating various
as speaking skill is occurred during real time/event, and activities based on real life to enable the students using
often spontaneous (Nunan, 2003:48) as well as connected their language (Savignon, 1982:34). In accordance with
to person mental conditions such as mood, determination, that problem, many teachers uses various media and
and preparation. So teaching speaking for students might techniques to keep the class interesting as well as
be need various approaches depend on the situation educational by using projection screen, music box, or
encountered. According to Johnson (1975:81-82) there even called English native speaker; however, not all
are generally five components recognized in the analysis school capable of using same media due to various
of the speaking process: 1.pronunciation (including reason, such as locational problem, equipment
segmental features, vowels, consonants, stress and availability, or electricity problem. One of school in
intonation patterns)2. Grammar 3. Vocabulary. 4. Fluency Lamongan, SMPN 1 Turi, is one of few school that
(the ease and flow of the speed) 5. Comprehension. encounter this problem and as the result, using game
However, it does not mean that the students have to known as Connecting Words to make teaching and
master their language components first before they learning activity fun, engaging, and give the students
practice to speak, but hey can improve their language opportunity to practice English, enrich their skill and
component by practicing speak. So, English teacher encourage them in creating and speaking descriptive text
should not give explanation about the language but they without afraid of problem such as media or electricity.
also have to give the opportunities to give the target The Connecting Words game is a combination of
language. guessing game and realia that combining competitive
Descriptive text, is one of important subject in game using media that easy to access, widely available,
English class that have been taught along with other type and low cost, the game was designed as individual
of text that essential in real life, by describing someone or competitive game with several rules involved. By taking
something, students can attempt to communicate with account of the flexibility of the media used in guessing
others. Rivers (1970:192) states there are three common game, Connecting Words created as a game that can be
problem during speaking class: implemented to all school without fear of limitations such
1. They have nothing to say as availability and complexity of media by pairing with
2. The teacher may have chosen the topic, which is
realia that already present, or to be more specific, the
uncongenial to them or about which they have
participants itself. Robert (1990:68) stated that by using
nothing to express whether in the native
students can learn how to decoding element of visuals
language or the foreign language
and translate it into verbal language.
3. They may be very conscious of their limitation
Therefore, the researcher used a game namely
in the foreign language or the feel that by
Connecting Words game, to teach spoken descriptive.
expressing themselves open to ridicule.
As game give the students an opportunity to put language
The students also dont have enough opportunities
in practical use (Halliwel, 1992:6), encourage them to
to practice nor hear English spoken to enrich their skill
keep their interest and work (Wright, 1989:1), and also
outside the classroom (Araujo, 1991). Hence, the students
provide them freedom of expressing themselves in
should be more involved with speaking activities,
language which lead them to create framework of
actively speaking with support of the teacher by using
spontaneous, communicative creation (Rivers, 1970:6).
any means necessary to make them interested.
By seeing the object directly and know its true nature that
We know that achieving knowledge cannot be
students will believe and understand it; and in descriptive
forced and must take place naturally, interesting to learn,
THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CONNECTING WORDS GAME TO TEACH SPEAKING DESCRIPTIVE
FOR SEVENTH GRADERS OF SMPN 1 TURI

text, providing an object that can be interacted will give game because the class has fairly balanced score in
the students vivid picture of the object. Giving visual English test, he often used this game as either media or
illustration let the students get many information, and ice-breaking activity to teach spoken descriptive text,
they turn that information into a verbal massages that depending on the situation he was in. This school was
describe someone/something, they can also use that chosen by the researcher because the teacher already
information as a tool to communicate with others and implemented the game in teaching and learning process.
able to express their thought, and by combining realia The data of research were based on the result of
with guessing game will caught students interest as well observation notes and interview. The researcher observed
as encourage them to compete with their friends while the implementation of Connecting Words in two
keeping the tension low. meetings and followed by interviews. The researcher
Finally, based on the thesis above there are two possible interviewed the teacher for the additional information
research questions that the researcher were able to take: related to implementation of the game, observing the
a. How is Connecting Words game applied teaching learning process using the game itself and
to teach speaking descriptive for seventh interviewing the students to find out their response
graders in SMPN 1 Turi? toward the implementation of game. By using
b. How are students responses toward the
observation field notes in observing the implementation
implementation of Connecting Words
of Connecting Words game to teach speaking
game to teach speaking descriptive in
descriptive for seventh graders of SMPN 1 Turi, the
SMPN 1 Turi?
researcher recorded the application of Connecting
By conducting this research, the researcher hopes
Words game in teaching spoken descriptive, and result
that teacher able to use other means to teach speaking by
from interview with teacher became secondary data to
using Connecting Words game, as well as making
strengthen the result. Then, five students were
teaching learning activity more interesting, and encourage
interviewed by the researcher to find out their response,
students to speak during the class. This research provide
the interview has a guideline but could be expanded if it
the reader with description and information about how to
deemed necessary, the data contains the students
use the game as an alternative way to teach spoken
responses toward the implementation of this game for
descriptive.
teaching English.
The data were obtained during the teaching learning
RESEARCH METHOD activities and students responses. The observation field
The researcher used descriptive qualitative method
notes which result of teacher-students activities during
to acquire the information, by noting down data such as
implementing Connecting Words game in teaching
the behavior, written form, or spoken words that could be
spoken descriptive were analyzed in descriptive form and
observed (Bodman and Taylor in Moleong, 2003:3). In
interview from both the teacher and students, the data
this research, the researcher studies the implementation
that being described are about classroom activities related
of the Connecting Words game to teach descriptive text
to the implementation of Connection Words as well as
for seventh graders. Then, the data written in form of
responses to the game to determine whether the goals
descriptive text.
successfully achieved or not.
The subjects of the study were Mr. Sofyan; an
To analyze the data, the researcher need to lessen the
English teacher for seventh and eighth grade students
data first, by shorten it into more specified and organized
from VII G class of SMPN 1 Turi, and five seventh grade
data that acted as a conclusion by whether creating a
students. Mr. Sofyan choose VII G class to implement the
summary, merging, or choosing the data that represent the

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whole result. Then, carefully choose which data that avoid identical sentences, but still can be reused
should be put it into a table for later conclusion. Finally, later on.
after specified data have been drawn and being put on 4. Students are not allowed to ask their friends to
table to create a final outline, the researcher can draw a help them creating a sentence, but allowed to ask
conclusion for the final result. (Miles & Huberman, the meaning of certain words or using a
1944:10-15) dictionary.
5. Other students are not allowed to provide help in
RESULT AND DISCUSSION form of creating sentences; they are, however,
The Implementation of Connecting Words Game allowed to help their friend as showed in point 4.
Before starting the game, the teacher tried explain 6. Teacher is acting as observer, he will not provide
what Connecting Words is and its connection with
any assistance for students except pointing out
descriptive text by giving some clues; Then, he asked the
their errors; but every once in a while, he will
researcher to accompany him and gave the students
acting as facilitator and provide a sentence using
example of describing someone using different adjectives
different adjective and noun to avoid monotony
to give them rough picture on how the game will be
during the game.
played and made them recall what is descriptive text, he
Since the game rules and examples were already
explained that by giving them a short recollection of
given earlier, the teacher jumped straight to the game.
previous topic and an example would gave the students
The teacher began the game by providing initial adjective
the basic idea on what kind of activity they will work on.
and noun to be used in form of sentence, then pointed
its just as you said, I give them explanation
student sat in right side on first row to start the game.
first, then examples; that way, the students will remember

what they have learnt before. And even if they still do not Teacher : Mr. Yusuf is very tall, he is 196cm and
remember, we can always use examples to remind has long fingers.ayo, come on,
them With this, I am sure students will get a firm grasp lanjutkan (pointed at student sat in the
on the material. Nah. Examples also can be used as right side)
Student 1 : Aku pak? UmtallAnis has tall
first step to start the game; rather than explaining,
hair! (students laughing) eh? Oh!
students will get the idea better if they just involved in
maksudku long hair! Ayo wayahmu!
the activity
Students 2 : (looking at student 1) rambutmu iku
Afterward, the teacher spoke with the students to
panjang juga ya -eh, gak boleh lagi ya?-
decide penalty / punishment by discussing it with
apa bahasa inggrisnya kriwul? (students
students before proceeding to explain the rules of the
talking) curly? Iya ta? Bahri have short
game. The rules of game are written below:
and curly hair. Bener kan?
1. Each student was given 15 seconds to create a
Teacher : Mr. Yusuf is very tall, he is 196cm and
descriptive sentence based on their friend sit
has long fingers.ayo, come on,
next to them.
continue (pointed at student sitting in
2. Students are limited to use adjective or noun
the right side)
from students latest sentence; but that does not
Student 1 : Me sir? UmtallAnis has tall hair!
mean they have to use both same adjective and
(students laughing) eh? Oh! I mean long
noun.
hair! Ayo it is your turn!
3. Same adjective or noun cannot be reused for Students 2 : (looking at student 1) your hair is also
twice in a row after the original sentence to long eh, I cannot use it again, right?- what
THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CONNECTING WORDS GAME TO TEACH SPEAKING DESCRIPTIVE
FOR SEVENTH GRADERS OF SMPN 1 TURI

is the English for curly? (students talking) critical so Time Class became
curly? Is that so? Bahri have short and and strict. limit becam noisy,

curly hair. Is that correct? creativ Class was e the


e. became quite noisy. sentenc
Gradually, the sentence made by students were Time noisy short. es made

starting to become bland, since they used similar words limit someti
was mes
and noun repeatedly; to solve this problem, every once in
quite similar,
a while the teacher provided a new adjective or noun by
short. and
creating a new sentence with the researcher. Some
only
students that unable to create a sentence and given
uses
penalty that had been decided together before, they were words.
called to stand forward and ordered to dance; teacher Whether Yes. Yes Yes Not Yes

assumed that by providing penalty, it is a good way to it can sure


help them
break the possible tension built up during the game.
to be
actively
The Result of Students Response
participat
To answer the second research question, students
e.
were interviewed after class ended to get specific answer Whether Yes Yes Yes Not No

related to their opinion towards the game; the results are the game sure

presented in Table 4.1 can


encourage
Students
Questions Rochm them.
Laili Rizky Ifadhah Fadhia Table 4.1 Students opinion towards the game.
an
Their Neutra Pretty Pretty Not Not For the first question, Rizky and Ifadhah responded
opinion to l interesti interest interest interest positive towards the implementation of the game; both of
the game. ng ing ed ed
them said that the game itself was interesting with reason
What The Class It uses Class Only
makes the senten became other becam uses that every student was involved during the game session.
game ces noisy. way to e words,
interestin made The learn noisy. the Rizky : It is pretty interesting (the game)I
g or are sentenc speak. sentenc mean the game is interesting to be used in
uninterest funny. es made es made English lesson, becausewhat is itit is
ing. Time are are almost like a competition, everyone
limit funny. similar,
participating, so it is lively.
made and
Ifadhah : The game is pretty fun sir everyone
her class
can play together, usually the teacher
nervou became
s. noisy.
only choose smart or noisy students; the
Advantag Stimul Everyo A good Everyo Everyo one that usually sit in the back.
es and ate ne can game ne ne can
disadvant studen particip change made particip
Laili gave neutral answer; Laili said that the game
ages with ts to ate, r for funny ate.
has good and bad points, she points that the game indeed
the game. be penalty learnin sentenc The
changed the atmosphere on class at cost of disordered
more are not g. es. class
class which leads into chaotic situation. Rochman and

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Fadhia showed disinterest towards the game; while frequently similar sentences and lack of media used in the
Rochman gave blunt opinion about the game does not game. Laili and Ifadhah gave different opinions that the
provide significant change in class atmosphere, Fadhia time given by teacher to create a sentence was yet
personally thought that the basic of the game does not another problem of the game, apparently they need more
interest her. time to come up with some idea or to arrange the
Next question, three of five students interviewed; sentences. Despite that, there are some advantages to this
Rizky, Rochman, and Fadhia, agreed that the biggest game; Rizky, Ifadhah, Rochman, and Fadhia had same
problem of this game was class disorder. While Fadhia opinion that the game make the entire students in the
added that the words used to make sentences were class participate; giving them opportunity to speak in
sometimes similar, Rochman pointed out that disordered second language while keeping the tension low; whilst
class made him harder to concentrate with subject. Laili said that the game can stimulate the students to be
more critical and creative in creating sentences
Rochman : Maybe it is because the class just got spontaneously.
even noisier, so it is hard to concentrate.
Fadhia : I just told you sir, it is because the game Fadhia : the advantage iseveryone in the class
only uses words that already exists, so has chance to speak, not only same
many sentences seems to be similar with students, everyone have to speak.
another, and the class became so noisy Rochman : that ishow should I put it
because everyone trying to speak at the everyone can joking around, everyone
same time. create random sentencessome describes
others face, hair, and so on
Despite agreed that the game made the class noisy, Laili : Oh just like I said before, the advantage
Rizky enjoyed when his friends made weird sentences is my friends can create funny and weird
that somewhat funny; Laili gave same opinion that the sentences, if we did not make a sentence as
game gave the freedom to make sentence which resulted soon as possible, we will have to step
in various funny sentences during the game and reduced forward.
students tension, yet believed that by providing time
limit resulted in nervousness. Ifadhah opined that this The fourth question, four of five students gave
game was a good game changer to break monotony in positive answer with some differences in reason behind
learning English as well as opportunity to train their them; Laili, Ifahdah and Fadhia explained that by
speaking skill using second language rather than relying providing limit of time to speak and penalty will boost
on book. students participation, since the punishment given are
In third question, the result were not much different considerably shameful. Laili also agreed with Rizky
from the second question. Three students; Rizky, opinion that by using this game, the class atmosphere was
Rochman, and Fadhia, generally agreed that class improved and good way to avoid boredom in teaching-
disorder was still the major downside in this game, many learning activity. On the other hand, Rochman gave
students spoke with their classmate whether debating uncertain answer regarding to this question, he was
about what they should do, or just plainly messing passively said that he did not see any difference
around. In addition, Fadhia mentioned similar statement whatsoever by using the game.
from first question where she disappointed with
THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CONNECTING WORDS GAME TO TEACH SPEAKING DESCRIPTIVE
FOR SEVENTH GRADERS OF SMPN 1 TURI

Rochman : Gak tahu pak, pokoknya kalo ndak All in all, the students seemed to have mixed
bisa njawab ya maju. opinion about the Connecting Words game, there are
Rochman : I do not know sir, if I cannot answer up and down to this game that might need to be
then I will just step forward. considered, but the game is fairly accepted by the
students.
For the last question, three of five students gave
positive answer, Laili and Ifadhah shared same opinion CONCLUSION
that the game was a good game changer to daily Based on the result of this research, it can be
teaching-learning activities and can relieve some stress concluded that Connecting Words game can be
and boredom; Rizky somewhat even more interested in implemented by teachers to teach and improve students
the class atmosphere rather than the actual activity. participation toward English subject; particularly to teach
descriptive text. The game gives the students opportunity
Ifadhah : iya, kadang2 kalo main kayak begini ya to be competitive with their friends, sharpen their skill
enakgak bosen lah mas. and more confident with themselves within considerably
Rizky : Gak tau yo mas, aku lebih seneng sama short time for the actual implementation of main game;
rame-ramenya, pelajarannya biasa aja though it took a considerably long time to introduce the
Iya sih mas, hehehe game, the teacher also uses this opportunity to review and
Ifadhah : Well, sometimes it is fun to play like ensure the students comprehend the material. The game
thisit is not boring. proven capable of boosting students participation and
Rizky : I do not really know, I am actually prefer their interest in learning English language.
the class atmosphere rather than the class Meanwhile, the game implementation appears to be
itselfbut yeah, I think so. positively received by most students. Results from
interviews showed that three out of five students agreed
As for Fadhia, she find the game did not affected that the game gave a fair chance for every student to be
her desire to learn English, since she herself admitted that actively participating in teaching-learning process, whilst
she was interested with English subject from the two other students gave neutral answers. The game also
beginning. provides a good example for them to be more critical and
confident with their own skill during teaching-learning
Fadhia : Nggak terlalu sih pak, dari awalnya saya session.
memang sudah tertarik sama pelajaran
bahasa inggris. SUGGESTION
Despite of positive response from the students, there
Fadhia : I am not really interested sir, from the
is no doubt that there are also several negative points and
beginning I am always been interested with
some aspects that needs to be polished. First, teachers are
English lesson.
expected to be flexible on explaining the rules of the

game depending on situations. The rules mentioned in
Rochman, however, was not encouraged at all; he
previous chapter implied that the students are limited to
claimed that English subject was too complicated for
one subject, it is possible for the teachers to expand the
him, although he also stated that the game itself did not
subject used during the game to add variety of sentences.
really that difficult.
Next, the problem with class management need more
attention; while it is partly because the teacher health

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conditions, since the game nature is to give students time Cohen, et al. 2007. Research Methods in Education Sixth
Edition. New York: Routledge
to creatively express their sentence within specific time
Depdiknas. 2004. Kurikulum 2004 Standard Kompetensi
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Mata Pelajaran Bahasa Inggris Sekolah
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Tsanawiyah. Jakarta: Depdiknas.
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Fulcher, Glenn. 2003. Testing Second Language
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