Gaining Confidence Through English Tri Murniati, Universitas Jenderal Soedirman, Purwokerto kiske_t@yahoo.

com Abstract As English is widely known and used in most part of the world, its popularity is significantly increased. This motivates people to learn English based on various reasons. Some are motivated because English facilitates their business while some other, perhaps having different reasons such to improve their personal capability. Since the global era is started, people are more aware to English not only as something which can support their activities but also as a means of selfempowerment. Such phenomenon can be easily found in our daily life. University students, for example, are willing to join an English club wishing that they can master English comprehensively even though they are taking English as their major. It seems that learning English through lectures is not sufficient. That is why students are in a high spirit of following activities such as English club. Meanwhile, some competitions such debate, reading and speech competitions are always having a warm welcome. Those phenomena are certainly worth to have a deep exploration for the result will surely show how worth English is for us. This article will discuss about how English is used as a means of gaining confidence in the process of empowering oneself especially by the students of English major by joining English clubs and competitions. Key words: confidence, English, self-empowerment, students 1.Introduction This research begins with the basic assumption that students are all unique. During lectures, it is easy to spot students who are outstanding. The outstanding students are usually outspoken, active, and confident compared with the other students. This different behavior is usually obviously seen since it is revealed during lectures. One clear explanation for that phenomenon is that the outspoken students are actually those who join English club. Question such as how can English club influence students' performance during classes, then, pops up. What motivate them to join such club is worth to be questioned further especially because they are English Department students. This shows that English has attracted the students more and more. That is why learning English during classes is not enough. Further question which emerges is what are actually their motivations and expectations in joining such club. To accomodate the answers of those questions, a questionnaire is needed. The questionnaire will dig out the information which then will be used to answer the question research. Such a questionnaire is designed and intended to cover the information needed for the data analysis. This paper reports on a study undertaken to investigate the motivation of students to join English club. The finding will also be expected to cut open their expectations and also to reveal the impacts of joining such club. 2.Literature Review 2.1 English as A Global Language: Fame and Reputation English as the worldwide language is certainly has an undoubtful reputation. 1

English is currently the undisputed language of science and technology, and scientific journals in many countries are now switching from the vernacular to English. In specific disciplines, English appears to be the universal language of communication (Nunan, 2003). As the consequence of that fact, people nowadays must know English. Mastering English is also considered as a means of empowerment. Such case happened to the immigrants who come to USA. Without sufficient English-language abilities, the immigrants will have difficulties in doing their job and that will keep them in low-paid jobs. It can be concluded that English is the language of opportunity (Crystal, 2003). Such a phenomenon also happens in Indonesia. Nowadays, English is the language of people in doing their bussiness. It is used as the means of communication with their client or colleagues. As global era is started, English gains its reign. The ability in spoken and written English becomes one of the requirements of job vacancy. That is why job seekers try their best to be able to master English by following English courses for example. The society in Indonesia also perceive English as a most wanted language. Parents usually encourage their children to take English lesson seriously. They are indoubt of getting English tutor for their children. English teacher also has a good reputation since the society in Indonesia believe that English is important. Being English teacher, then, becomes one of the best future dreams of the children in Indonesia. As a result, English department is known as a favorite department for university student. 2.2 Maslow's Motivation Theory People do something because they have reasons to do it or they have something to be achieved. It is, then, known as a motivation. Motivation basically means as incentive or drive. To have a brief understanding on motivation, one should understand motivation theory. Motivation theory is not synonymous with behavior theory. The motivations are only one class of determinants of behavior. While behavior is almost always motivated, it is also almost always biologically, culturally and situationally determined as well (Maslow, 1943). One of motivation theories which has given a base-foundation in the development of motivation theory is Maslow's motivation theory. This 'classic' theory which is developed by Abraham Maslow concerns on the premise that human's need can be classified into five levels known as hierarchical needs. The five needs are the physiological needs, the needs for safety and security, the needs for love and belonging, the needs for esteem, and the need to actualize the self (Boeree, 2006). In fulfilling those need people tend to be motivated to fulfill the basic needs before moving on to other needs. The five-stage of human basic needs is summarized as follow: a)The physiological needs These refer to the human needs for oxygen, water, nourishment, sex, sleep, wages and food. If such needs are not fulfilled then one's motivation will arise from the quest to satisfy them. The higher needs such as social needs and esteem will not emerge until one has met the basic needs. b)The needs for safety and security Safety and security needs will come when the physiological needs are taken care of. People, then, will seek for safe circumstances, stability, and protection. If a person feels that she or he is in harm's way, higher needs will not receive much attention (Boeree, 2006). c)The needs for love and belonging During this stage, one might need a feeling of acceptance, a feeling of fitting or of 2

belonging to a group. People need to affiliate with others and to be accepted. d)The needs for esteem According to Maslow, there are two versions of esteem needs, the lower and the higher one. The first is the need for the respect of others, the need for status, fame, glory, recognition, attention, reputation, appreciation, dignity or even dominance. The latter includes the need for self-respect, such as feeling confidence, competence, achievement, mastery, independence, and freedom (Boeree, 2006). Self-esteem is the value you place on what you believe to be true about yourself. How you see yourself and feel about yourself determines how much value you place on yourself as a person. Self-esteem means appreciating your own worth and importance and having the character to be accountable for yourself and to act responsibly toward others (Mattews, 1998). e)The needs to actualize the self Even if all these needs are satisfied, we may still often (if not always) expect that a new discontent and restlessness will soon develop, unless the individual is doing what he is fitted for. A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately happy. What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization (Maslow, 1943). However, the latest development of this theory shows that there are three additional needs which complete Maslow's original theory. They are cognitive needs, aesthetic needs, and transcendence. Huitt (2007) notes that Maslow has broaden the fifth level needs. The first is cognitive needs which concern with the expression of the natural human need to learn, explore, discover, and create a better understanding of the world around them. It is about getting to know and to gain knowledge. Next is aesthethic needs. As Maslow has stated before that when one need is fulfilled the higher need emerges. Therefore after the cognitive needs are met aesthetic needs will pop up. People are then aware of fulfilling their desire of beauty, balance, form, order and symmetry. The last is self-trancendence. Actually Maslow puts selfactualization (from the first version) into the same level with self-trancendence (from the latest one). The final stage of Maslow's hierarchy of needs decribes how people's attempt to find themselves and also to realize their own potential. It is something that goes beyond their ego. When this final stage is reached, one feels of becoming self-actualized and self-trancendent, getting wiser and they automatically know what to do in various situations of their life. 1.Methodology This research was considered as a descriptive analytic research. The data gained from the questionnaire filled by students of English Department who join English club. About 20 students of English Department were taken as the respondents of this small research. The richness of the the respondents' explanation is the main consideration to be taken as data source that is why this research did not pay much attention on the number of the participant. The qualitatively gained data from the questionnaires were used as the source of the the next step, the analysis. The answers from the questionnaires then were classified and processed in order to answer the research questions. Those data were connected to the theory of Motivation by Abraham Maslow to reason and to prove the assumptions made in the first place. 2.Results and Discussions 3

This section reports on the finding of this research. Data gained from the questionnaire are analysed by using related theories. The questionnaire consists of 9 questions which cover the information needed for the analysis. Those questions are summed on the table below: No Questions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Are you a member of an English/Debate club? Mention in brief! How long have you been joining the club? Where did you get the information about the club? Why are you interested in joining the club? Explain your reason! What are your expectations by joining the club?Write down your explanation! Being a member of an English club, does it support your study during lectures? Explain your answer! Do you feel any changes after joining the club? Write down a brief explanation! Have you ever followed some competitions during your membership in the club?Mention them! Do you feel any changes when you followed those competitions after joining the club? Mention in brief!

Questions 1-3 are intended to give the background. Basic information on the membership. Question 4 is certainly to reveal motivation of students in joining English club. This section also shows whether their motivations are included as an effort of self-empowerment or not. The next question provides the benefit which the students might get when they decide to join such club. The last four questions dig out the possibility of the impacts of the club on the students. It is also shown by whether they have ever followed competition or not. The findings on this small research fall into two category. First category talked about motivations and expectations. The second one explained about the impacts of joining English club. 4.1 Motivations and Expectations The gained data from the questionnaire have shown that students join English club for various reasons. Those reasons fall into three major category, they are to master English/improve their English, to develop/empower oneself (organizational skill for example), and to get new experiences and friends. Of the 20 respondents, approximetely 75 % of the respondents state that their motivation in joining English club is to improve their English skill. We recognize this as a kind of selfempowerment. People are most likely to have some improvement in themselves by doing something which helps them to be better. In this case, the respondents make an attemp that joining club help them improving their English skills. They admit that following lectures is not enough to accomodate the need. As the student of English department, the respondents believe that English can be taken as a means of self-empowerment. English is their major therefore it also becomes their expertise. In accordance with Maslow's theory, improving oneself is considered in fulfilling the cognitive needs since during this stage people are ready to know, understand and explore something. Some of the respondents think that by joining club they find new things related to their English skills. Then, 25 % of the respondents admitted that they want to get some organizational 4

skills. By joining such club, automatically they deal with some organizational matters especially when they have to hold and organize events. This is also related to the fulfillment of cognitive needs. For those who never hold or organize events, they will have a full exploration and challenge. It can be said as a fulfillment of getting a brand new knowledge and information. Experiencing new activities will help people to widen and broaden their mind. In this case, respondents are motivated to join clubs because they want to have and experience such thing. The last 25 % of the respondents considered that they want to expand their network by getting many friends and link. They believe that by joining a club they will have the opportunities. It is actually proven since the members of the English club are from various departments. It is likely to happen that joining club will surely widen and broaden the respondents' network and link. Having many friends is considered the fulfillment of Maslow's third level needs, love and belongings needs. It happens when people feel affiliated with others and being accepted. No wonder some of the respondents feel that they have a new family after joining the club. It is because they have an attached feeling among their club's members. While motivations help individual to highlight their action, expectations also play a great role. Expecting something will give people a reason to do an action. In this case the respondents also have some expectations in joining the club. Some expectations found in this small research are getting personal development/empowerment, getting new experiences, going abroad opportunity, and achievements. Most of the respondents have a high expectation that they will have improvement in their English skill and also get organizational skill. They expect to have a selfimprovement. Almost 95% of the respondents have an expectation of an improved English skill. They all want their English skill to be better such as having a good public speaking and being good debater. Getting achievements is also expected since most of the respondents admitted to have followed some competitions (mostly debate competitions) during their membership. By getting achievement, people are recognized and got attention. It can be said that their esteem needs are met. About 10% of the respondents also hope to get scholarship and the opportunity of going abroad. They believe by mastering English they can explore the world. As the global language, English is surely the right key of entering the global world. Having new experiences also becomes the expectations of 40% of the respondents. It is quite clear that the respondents would like to fulfill their cognitive needs by joining club since they feel like to know and to explore many things. 4.2 Impacts of Joining English Club During their membership in the club, the respondents have some regular activities. For those who follow the club's activities regularly, they feel a significant change. However, for those who rarely follow the regular activities, they do not feel the same. It shows that changes are closely related to how often the respondents follow the regular activities in their club. It is proven that about 5% (1 respondent) thought that being a member of a club does not support the study. The main reason is that the respondent rarely follows the regular activities of the club. On the other hand, 90 % of the respondents agreed that joining a club supports their activities during lectures. It means that they feel suppported by following activities in the club. The respondents admitted that they were confident while having a presentation. It happens because their public speaking ability is improved. By joining a club and then follow its activities regularly really make a significant change for the respondents. Some of the respondents who think that joining a club 5

supports lectures have opinions that lectures give them theories while club gives them the opportunities to practice. The respondents think that they have intensive English speaking practices when they follow the activities in the club regularly. This is something they cannot have in lectures since they surely have limited time to practice English during lectures (many subjects are taken, and speaking classes are limited in time). Therefore lectures and club's activities fit each other. Related to Maslow's fourth level need, the esteem needs, it is quite clear that the respondents gain great confidence while having presentation or lectures for example since they do not have difficulties in delivering the speech. Therefore they get more attention and recognition from both lecturers and friends. This will increase their self-confidence. Following competition is also the media of developing the respondents' English skill. In debate system, 5% of the respondents believe to be considered the media of practicing some aspects of English namely speaking, listening, writing and reading. Most of the respondents admit that following competitions help them to improve their English skill In short, it can be summed up that the impacts of joining the club are increasing confidence, supporting study at campus and improving skills (such as public speaking, debate skill, and soft skills). People say practice makes perfect, this proverb is actually proven in this case. By following regular activities in the club, the respondents feel the direct impact on their personal life. It is also proven that following activities in the club helps them in dealing with their study. 3.Conclusions The findings of this research all point towards a general conclusion – that joining English club is considered as a means of self-empowerment. The eager desire to master English is the most recognized motivation to join English club. They are also expecting to be better in their English. It means that English departments students believe that English can be used as a means of self-empowerment and as an effort to improve their English skill ability. Besides, by joining English club they do not only get new experiences but also get new friends and broaden their network. Their expectations are more or less the same with their motivations. From the data, it can be concluded that the impacts of joining club are clearly seen and sensed. By joining club, the respondents have regular activities of practicing English therefore they have an improved English skill. It, then, helps them to deal with their study during lectures. They also gain a great deal of confident feeling in their performance during lectures since they feel an improved English skill. References Boeree, C. George. 2006. Personalities Theories: Abraham Maslow. Shippenburg University. Retrieved November 14, 2011 from, [ %7Ecgboeree/perscontents.html ] Crystal, David. 2003. English as a Global Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Huitt, W. 2007. Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University Retrieved on November 14, 2011 from, Maslow, Abraham H. 1943. A Theory of Human Motivation, Psychological Review, 50, 370-396, An internet resource developed by Christopher D. Green ( Nunan, David. 2003. The Impact of English as a Global Language on Educational 6

Policies and Practicies in the Asia-Pacific Region, TESOL QUARTERLY, 37, 590


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