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IMPROVING THE STUDENTS’ SPEAKING SKILL THROUGH

LEARN TO SPEAK ENGLISH SOFTWARE


(AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY AT MUHAMMADIYAH UNIVERSITY OF MAKASSAR)

Yuditra Farmana
Graduate Program State University of Makassar
E-mail: yuditra.farmana@gmail.com

Abstract : The objectives of this research were: (1) to find out whether or not the use
of Learn to Speak English software improves the students’ speaking skill and (2) to find out
whether or not the students are interested in joining the speaking class through Learn to Speak
English software. This research employed Quasi Experimental design. The sample consisted of 68
students of third semester of English and Literature Department Muhammadiyah University of
Makassar, in academic year 2013/2014. The data were collected through two kinds of instruments:
speaking test for the students’ speaking skill and questionnaire for students’ interest. Data on the
students’ speaking skill were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics and data on the
students’ interest were analyzed using Likert scale. The results of the research were: (1) the use of
Learn to Speak English software in teaching speaking improved the students speaking skill; (2)
the use of Learn to Speak English software increased the students’ interest in joining the speaking
class. It can be concluded that the use of Learn to Speak English software is effective to be
implemented in improving the students’ speaking skills in terms of fluency and lexical resource
and the students have high interest and active toward teaching speaking through Learn to Speak
English software.

Key words: Speaking Skill, Learn to Speak English software, Interest.

Abstrak : Tujuan penelitian ini adalah: (1) untuk mengetahui apakah penggunaan
software Learn to Speak English meningkatkan kemampuan berbicara, dan (2) untuk mengetahui
ketertarikan siswa dalam mengikuti kelas speaking dengan menggunakan software Learn to Speak
English. Jenis penelitian ini adalah penelitian Quasi Eksperimental Design. Sample penelitian
terdiri dari 68 siswa semester dua, Program Studi Bahasa dan Sastra Inggris Universitas
Muhammadiyah Makassar tahun pelajaran 2013/2014. Data penelitian telah dikumpulkan dengan
menggunakan dua jenis instrument: tes speaking untuk data kemampuan berbicara siswa dan
angket untuk data ketertarikan siswa. Data kemampuan berbicara siswa dianalisa dengan
menggunakan statistik deskriptif dan inferensial dan data ketertarikan siswa dianalisis dengan
menggunakan skala Likert. Hasil penelitian adalah: (1) Penggunaan software Learn to Speak
English meningkatkan kemampuan siswa dalam berbicara, dan (2) Siswa memiliki ketertarikan
dan keaktifan yang sangat tinggi terhadap penggunaan software Learn to Speak English software.
Penelitian ini menyimpulkan bahwa penggunaan software Learn to Speak English dianggap efektif
untuk meningkatkan kemampuan berbicara siswa dalam kefasihan dan pengusaan kosa kata, serta
siswa sangat tertarik dan aktif terhadap pengajaran speaking melalui software Learn to Speak
English.

Kata Kunci: Kemampuan berbicara, Software Learn to Speak English, Minat.


INTRODUCTION
Language learning is important for human’s social development. As a language which
placed third rank with the greatest speaker in the world according to Ethnologue (2013, 17th
Edition), English holds the key as international language. English is a tool of communication
among people of the world to get trade, social-cultural understanding, science and technology
goals. Moreover, English competence is important in career development, therefore students need
to understand and use English to improve their confidence to face global competition. There are
four basic skills in English, those are listening, speaking, reading and writing skill. All of them are
very important for every human being to interact or getting information each other.
Speaking English is one of ways of finding information through oral communication in the
world. The person who knows and understands English well can easily communicate with other
people all over the world because English is an international language and it can make people get
a good job, spread news and social transaction in their business. In this study, the researcher
focuses on teaching speaking. In speaking class, the students should be taught about how to speak.
The components of English speaking skill that should be given and studied in English speaking
class are pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, fluency, accuracy and comprehension. Speaking is
the most important skill, because it is one of abilities to carry out conversation on the language.
Speaking is an interactive process of constructing meaning, receiving, and processing information.
As we know, there are many schools and even universities, which still use traditional media
in learning speaking as an example most of them only uses a book and white board in teaching.
From the observations and interviews with students and lecturers in Muhammadiyah University of
Makassar. Speaking subject is a very difficult subject, the students were only asked to tell a
collection of facts that they don’t understand. In the practice of English language learning, An
English lecturer generally still use lecture approach, they teach English according to the steps
which contained in the textbook. Students do not have direct observation of the real circumstances
and experiences around them. The results, there are a lot of English students still have low ability
in communicating or having conversation in English. Not only that, not a few English graduate
students who after graduation worked even in places that do not comply with their department and
even not related to the English language. Based on empirical data by using observation and
interview to some English lecturers in Muhammadiyah University of Makassar, only few students
were categorized as high achiever student, most of them were categorized as low achiever. It was
also proved by daily score of English department students especially in speaking class which were
still low (far from expectation).
The new era assigns new challenges and duties on the modern teacher. The tradition of
English teaching has been drastically changed with the remarkable entry of technology.
Technology provides so many options as making teaching interesting and also making teaching
more productive in terms of improvements.
This research is limited on the application of Learn to Speak English software in improving
speaking skill, which focuses on fluency, lexical resource and interest of the third semester
students, Muhammadiyah University of Makassar. These items are chosen because they are very
important to be identified by the researcher to know how far the improvement of the students in
learning English, especially speaking and to know the students’ interest toward to use of learn to
speak English software in learning process.

RESEARCH METHODS
This research applied quasi-experimental method using two groups’ pretest-posttest
design. It applied the pre-test, treatment and post-test design for experimental group and the
pretest, treatment and posttest design for controlling group.
The population of this research is the English department third year students of
Muhammadiyah University of Makassar year 2013/2014. The total number of population is 8
classes which consist of moreover 320 students.
The sampling technique that will be used is cluster random sampling. It is a kind of
sampling technique which all individuals in the defined population have an equal and independent
chance of being selected for the sample (Gay, 2006:106). The researcher takes two classes, one
class as experimental group (B Class) and another class as the control group (D Class). Each group
consists of 34 students.
Before analyzing the data, the researcher collected and analyzed the data from the test and
the questionnaire by using the following procedures:
1. Speaking Test
a. Scoring the result of students’ pretest and posttest by using IELTS speaking band
descriptors.
b. After collecting the data of the students, the researcher classified the scores of the
students into certain criteria
c. Calculating the mean score of the students’ answer. To find out the mean score, standard
deviation and the t-test value between the pre-test and the post-test of both experimental
group and control group by using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) program
version 20.0.
2. Questionnaire
The questionnaire was given to the students by using Likert scale. It aimed to ask the sample
to respond to a series of statements by indicating whether one strongly agree (SA), agree (A),
neutral (N), disagree (D), or strongly disagree (SD) with the statements given.

FINDINGS
1. The Improvement of Students Speaking Skill
Based on the result of data analysis as summarized in table 4.10 on pretest of experimental
and control Group, the researcher found that the Probability value (0.86) is higher than the level
of significance at t-table (0.05) and the degree of freedom 58. It means that H0 was accepted and
H1 was rejected. In the other words, there was no significant difference between the students
speaking skill both groups, experimental and control group before the treatment. It is supported by
Gay (2006:124) states that when variables have equal interval, it is assumed that the difference
between close score is essentially the same.
While the data on posttest of control and experimental group showed that the probability value
was smaller than α (0.00<0.05). It indicated that the alternative hypothesis (H1) was accepted and
the null hypothesis (H0) was rejected. It means that Learn to Speak English software significantly
increased the students’ speaking skill.
This means that the data of posttest as the final result gave significant improvement. It was
concluded that the use of Learn to Speak English software gave contribution in improving the
students’ speaking skill.
2. The Students’ Interest
The questionnaire was distributed to the students to know their interest toward Learn to Speak
English software in teaching speaking. The data showed that the use of Learn to Speak English
software could enhance the interest of the third semester students of Muhammadiyah University
of Makassar in academic year 2013/2014. This was indicated by the students’ scores of the
questionnaire as shown in the table 4.11 as follows:
The data of the students’ interval score based on the questionnaire in table 4.12 indicated that
11 students (32.35 percent) showed very high interest, 17 students (50 percent) of the students
were assumed as high interest, and 6 students (17.65 percent) were categorized as moderate.
Further analysis showed that the mean score of students’ interest toward the use of Learn to
Speak English software as teaching method were 71.41 which categorized as high interest.

DISCUSSION
1. The students’ speaking skill improvement
Based on the findings above, the comparison of the improvement of students’ in
experimental and control group can be proved by analyzing the posttest result. The result shows
that the mean score of the students’ posttest both the groups increased after giving the treatment.
It can be seen through the mean score of the students’ pretest was 47.03 becoming 64.47 in posttest
for the experimental group, while the students’ pretest for control group was 47.26 becoming 51.76
in posttest. In this case, both of groups improved after giving treatment. The improvement of
experimental group was higher than the control group (17.44 > 4.5). The result of posttest indicated
that the use of Learn to Speak English software gave significant progress towards students’
achievement.
Interesting to discuss is the improvement of each students was significantly improved.
Although the students mean score in experimental group seemed not satisfied it was 64.47 which
categorized as fair, but most of students in experimental could improve their speaking ability
especially in terms of fluency and lexical resource under the implementation of Learn to Speak
English software as teaching aid. The researcher believe if it has much time to apply the method,
the students’ speaking skill improvement would absolutely improve.
2. Students’ interest.
The questionnaire that was given to the experimental group covered general statements
about interest toward applying Learn to Speak English software as teaching method in improving
speaking skill. All these statements were related to implementation of Learn to Speak English
software as teaching method in this research.
Based on the results of the research showed that most of students were interested in learning
speaking by using Learn to Speak English software. This is based on Table 4.12 showing that 11
students felt strongly agree and 17 students felt agree to the most of statement related to students’
interest toward Learn to Speak English software in learning English especially in speaking.
The interest of the students can be also shown from the mean score of the students’ interest
toward Learn to Speak English software. The mean score of the students’ interest was 71.41 with
the standard deviation 11.22; the mean score of students’ interest was categorized as high interest
with the interval score 61 – 80. It means that the students have high interest toward the use of
Learn to Speak English software in learning English especially for speaking class.
The analysis showed that the use of Learn to Speak English software in learning speaking
influenced to the students’ interest. This means that there was a good applicable method in teaching
speaking. In other words, the students’ interest is the indication of a degree of success that a foreign
language student is likely to have in real given foreign language setting. As stated by Nasution (in
Setia, 2006:31) that interest is something very necessary for someone in doing better activities. It
can be stated that interest has very strong influence on someone to change the behavior or attitude
in their profession.
In this study, the interest of students was considered as output because they were expected
to have high interest category toward the use of Learn to Speak English software. The students
stated that learning speaking by applying Learn to Speak English software were able to improve
their interest in process of study. Most of the students agreed in applying Learn to Speak English
software as teaching method because it was able to improve the students’ motivation in learning
speaking.

CONCLUSION
Based on the research findings and discussion, the researcher come to the following
conclusions:
1. The use of learn to speak English software is more effective in improving the third semester
students’ speaking skill of English department, Muhammadiyah University of Makassar than
conventional teaching method in this case was reporting news. The improvement of students’
speaking skill after treatment in control group was higher than in control group.
2. The students interest in learning speaking skill by using learn to speak English is categorized
as high interest based on the result of Likert scale by distributing questionnaire. It means that
the use of CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) especially Learn to Speak English
software can engage or stimulate the students’ interest in learning English I terms of speaking.

SUGGESTION
Based on the result of data analysis and conclusions, the researcher concludes the following
suggestions:
1. Since using learn to speak English software can improve the students’ speaking skill it is
suggested that such teaching media can be continually implemented in teaching speaking.
2. The use Learn to speak English software is one of CALL (Computer Assisted Language
Learning) methods. In fact, teacher can apply another software which can improve the
students speaking skill.
3. For the next researcher, it is suggested to apply this method in other grade or level by using
different kind of test which appropriate with the students’ level of comprehension. It is also
suggested that the next researcher should conduct their research in the longer duration of
treatment than this research in order to find out the significant improvement of the students’
speaking skill.
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Likert, R. A Technique for the Measurement of Attitudes, Archives of Psychology, 1932, 22, 140
(orig.)i partly in G.F. Summers (ed.), Attitude measurement, Chicago, 1970.

Liu, Jing. 2010. An Experimental Study on the Effectiveness of Multimedia in College English
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Shyamlee, Solanki D. 2012. Use of Technology in English Language Teaching and Learning: An
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