Improving the Students’ Speaking Ability through Role-Playing Technique
By: Chothibul Umam
Berdasarkan observasi pendahuluan, penulis menemukan beberapa masalah terkait dengan aktivitas pembelajaran bahasa Inggris di Madrasah Aliyah Sunan Drajat Sugio-Lamongan. Masalah-masalah tersebut adalah rendahnya kemampuan berbicara siswa, rendahnya motivasi siswa dalam belajar bahasa Inggris, dan penggunaan teknik yang monoton dan tidak tepat oleh guru. Oleh karena itu, peneliti termotivasi untuk mengatasi masalah tersebut dengan cara menerapkan teknik bermain peran dalam pengajaran ketrampilan berbicara.
Penelitian ini dimaksudkan untuk menggambarkan bagaimana teknik bermain peran untuk meningkatkan kemampuan berbicara siswa kelas 11 Madrasah Aliyah Sunan Drajat Sugio-Lamongan. Rancangan yang diterapkan dalam penelitian ini adalah Penelitian Tindakan Kelas (PTK) yang dilaksanakan dalam dua siklus secara kolaboratif dimana peneliti dibantu oleh guru kolaborator dalam melakukan penelitian. Penelitian dilakukan di dalam satu kelas yang terdiri dari 24 siswa yang secara keseluruhan dijadikan subyek penelitian. Prosedur pelaksanaan penelitian ini terdiri dari empat tahapan, yaitu perencanaan, penerapan, pengamatan (pengambilan data), dan refleksi. Untuk memperoleh data penelitian, peneliti menggunakan beberapa instrumen penelitian, yaitu lembar observasi, catatan lapangan, dan angket.
Temuan dari penelitian ini menunjukkan bahwa ketrampilan berbicara siswa meningkat secara signifikan dari satu siklus ke siklus berikutnya. Ini bisa dilihat dari hasil di tiap siklus. Kemampuan berbicara siswa meningkat dari 41.7% siswa yang mampu mencapai paling tidak tingkat baik (good) di siklus pertama menjadi 66.7% siswa di siklus kedua. Rasa percaya diri siswa juga meningkat dari 37.5% siswa di siklus pertama menjadi 62.5% siswa di siklus kedua.
Prosedur teknik bermain peran yang diterapkan oleh peneliti dalam penelitian ini terdiri dari 7 langkah pokok, yaitu: menentukan materi pembelajaran, mengatur kelompok siswa, memberikan teks situasi dan dialog yang harus dimainkan, mengajari teks dialog yang telah diberikan, menyuruh siswa praktek bermain peran dengan teman kelompoknya sesuai dialog yang telah diberikan, menyuruh siswa memodifikasi situasi dan dialog yang telah dimainkan bersama kelompoknya masing-masing, dan menyuruh siswa menampilkan dialog yang telah mereka buat atau modifikasi sendiri di depan kelas bersama anggota kelompoknya masing-masing.
Kata kunci: teknik bermain peran, kemampuan berbicara.
1.1 Background of the Study
English as a foreign language in Indonesia is taught at Senior High school (SMA/MA) as a compulsory subject. The implementation of English teaching at present is based on the Content Standard. Its target is to have the students reach an informational level of literacy. It means that the students are expected to be able to access knowledge by using English (Depdiknas, 2006). It is in line with the idea of Wells (1987, in Alwasilah, 2006:109) that learning a language, basically, aims at developing ‘the four levels of literacy, namely performative, functional, informational, and epistemic levels’. These four levels of literacy respectively refer to the ability to read and write, the ability to use the language in everyday communication, the ability to access knowledge, and the ability to transform knowledge. Alwasilah (2006:110) proposes that the four levels of literacy are taught in stages in accordance with the levels of education: the first level of literacy is taught to elementary school pupils, the second level to junior high school students, the third level to senior high school students, and the fourth level to university students.
O’Malley and Pierce (1996) say that speaking seems to be an important skill that a learner should acquire. It is very important in order to enable students to communicate effectively through oral language because the disability of the students to speak may lead them to be unable to express their ideas even in a simple form of conversation. In addition, Burn and Joyce (1997: 54-55) state that one of the aims of most language programs is to develop spoken language skills and most programs aim to integrate both spoken and written language. Learning a language means using it in communication in oral or written form, and being able to express feeling, thoughts, and experiences in various contexts. Lado (1964: 51) states that to know the language is to use it. He further states that students do not know a sentence until he can speak it.
In fact, the English instruction in some Senior High Schools does not demonstrate a satisfactory result. Many students fail to reach the goal of the English teaching. They are not able to communicate with the language either orally or in written form although they have learned English for many years (Lestari, 2000:27). Many of the learners in a speaking class are reluctant speakers. This reluctance is partly due to their prior learning experience. Many of them were educated in a large class in schools situated in noisy neighborhoods where opportunities to speak are severely limited. Others were taught in schools where speaking was simply not encouraged.
We cannot deny the fact that this failure is caused by many problems during the instructional process. The problems of English teaching seem to be of particular importance. They have become interesting topics to discuss and analyze, especially those who are directly involved with the teaching of English. However, the most important thing is that we, as the English teachers who are directly involved with the instructional activities, must try to look for the best solution to overcome the problems in order to reach the target of the teaching of English.
Based on the preliminary study conducted at Madrasah Aliyah Sunan Drajat – one private Islamic Senior High School in Sugio, Lamongan – on July 28th to August 16th 2008, the researcher found out some problems related to the instructional activities in this school. Those problems are that: 1) the students have low speaking ability; 2) the students have low motivation in learning English; and 3) the teacher still uses monotonous and inappropriate teaching techniques. Clearly, the description of the students’ problems obtained through preliminary study can be seen at Table 1.1.
Considering the problems faced by the teacher above, it can be said that the English teacher of MA Sunan Drajat Sugio – Lamongan still meets some serious problems in teaching and learning process. The three problems– the students’ low speaking ability, the students’ low motivation in learning English, and the teacher’s monotonous and inappropriate teaching techniques – are very close connected and correlate one another. Referring to the result of the observations, informal interview, document study, and analysis above, the researcher supposes that the above unsatisfactory proficiency of the students’ speaking is not caused mainly by the students’ low motivation, high anxiety, or limited vocabulary; rather, the primary cause of their poor skill is the inapt technique the teachers utilize and the inadequate “space” they provide to facilitate students’ speaking.
The monotonous and inappropriate teaching technique used by the teacher might cause low motivation on the students in learning English which affect their ability in speaking. Most students are unmotivated in learning as the result of the teacher’s monotonous teaching techniques. The students soon get bored and uninterested in learning
Table 1.1 the description of the students’ problems.
The students’ low speaking ability
- The students just spoke a few words when they were asked to introduce him/her self.
- The students just smiled when the researcher tried to converse with them out of classroom.
- The students just gave a little response when they were asked in English.
- When the students were asked to describe the pictures orally, they just spoke a few words.
The students’ low motivation in learning English
- The students did not pay attention to the teacher and were not enthusiastic to the subject matter.
- The students seemed get bored soon and uninterested in English subject.
- The students did not participate actively in the instructional activity.
- Some students look sleepy during the instructional process.
The teachers’ monotonous and inappropriate use of teaching techniques
- Classroom activities were mostly based on the students’ worksheet.
- The teacher just explained about the language, translated word by word, gave written task, and asked the students to look for the meaning of new words in the dictionary.
when they are always exposed to the monotonous instructional activities; and therefore, they do not participate actively. This instructional process happens even though the students are not showing their interest in this kind of classroom activity. Theoretically, it is impossible for the students learning English with low motivation to have good speaking ability if they are inactive during the instructional process. For example, the students with low motivation will be defensive to use their English in oral communication while monotonous classroom does not stimulate them to participate in classroom interaction. In fact, whether or not the students’ speaking ability improves is greatly influenced by the intensity and frequency of their participation in oral communication. So, it can be said that the root of the three problems above is the monotonous and inappropriate teaching technique used by the teacher. Hence, it needs to propose the appropriate technique to overcome the students’ low speaking ability. It is the responsibility of the teacher to find out effective techniques for presenting the materials in order to stimulate the students’ positive attitude toward the speaking class (Burns & Joice, 1997:10)
Comparing to other techniques, role-play seems the most interesting one for the students. In role-playing technique, the students act or pretend to be someone else in the actual world situation that is brought into the classroom. Utilizing the technique, peer learning is also encouraged and sharing of responsibility between the teacher and the learner in the learning process takes place. Besides, for the shy learners, for instance, role play helps them by providing a mask where learners with difficulty in conversation are liberated.
Based on some reasons mentioned above, the researcher implemented the use of role-playing technique at the eleventh year students of MA Sunan Drajat Sugio – Lamongan. Hopefully, it will be useful to be used by the English teachers at this school or other people as one of teaching strategies among many other strategies in improving students’ speaking ability.
Role-playing technique is one of the strategies to teach speaking skill to the students. Huang (2008), in her study, concludes that role play is really a worthwhile learning experience for both the students and the teacher. Not only can students have more opportunities to "act" and "interact" with their peers trying to use the English language, but also students' English speaking, listening, and understanding will improve. Role play lightens up the atmospheres and brings liveliness in the classes. Students learn to use the language in a more realistic, more practical way. Thus they can become more aware of the usefulness and practicality of English. Role play is indeed a useful teaching technique which should be experimented and applied by ESL/EFL teachers more often in the ESL/EFL classrooms.
Based on the theoretical background and the findings of some previous studies about the effectiveness of role-playing, the researcher chooses this technique to be used to improve the speaking ability of the eleventh year students of MA Sunan Drajat Sugio – Lamongan. This technique is chosen to improve their speaking competence since it provides the students with practices in using English and encourages them to make use of the language naturally.
1.2 Problem of the Study
Based on the background of the study, the researcher formulates the research problem as follows:
How can the speaking ability of the eleventh year students of MA. Sunan Drajat Sugio – Lamongan be improved through role-playing technique?
1.3 Objective of the Study
The objective of the sudy is intended to describe how the speaking ability of the eleventh year students of MA. Sunan Drajat Sugio – Lamongan be improved through role-playing technique.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The result of this study is expected to give practical contribution to the teaching of English, particularly at MA Sunan Drajat where the research is conducted. It is hoped that the use of role-playing technique will be profitable source to the English teacher as a reference of using role-playing technique to improve the students’ speaking ability and a valuable technique for teaching speaking to be applied in the classroom. The findings of this study will be the procedures or guidelines in implementing role-playing technique so other English teachers in different school can implement the strategy to teach their students.
II. Related Literature
2.1 The Nature of Speaking
The terms ‘speaking’, according to Brown (2001:267), is an interactive process of constructing meaning that involves producing and receiving and processing information. Its form and meaning are dependent on the context in which it occurs. We generally use speaking as a means of communication in daily interaction. The presence of speaker and listener is a must to build up a mutual communication in speaking activity. Thus, speaking is considered to be inseparable to something we call communication. Communication is the way individual can show the feelings, tell the thoughts, ask questions, ask for help, argue, persuade, explain, and give order each other.
Richard (in Nunan, 1992) provides characteristics of communicative competence including: a) knowledge of grammar and vocabulary of the language, b) knowledge of rule of speaking e.g., knowing how to begin and end conversation, knowing what topics that can be talked about in different types of speech events, knowing which address forms should be used with different persons one speak to and in different situations, c) knowledge of how to use and respond to different types of speech acts such as request, apologies, thanks, and invitation, and d) knowledge of how to use language appropriately.
Spoken language is the most familiar form of language that is used by members of society in order to build relation. As a means of communication, spoken language fundamentally occurs within a context. In some social contexts, spoken language is used as the dominant form of communication (Burns and Joyce, 1997:13). In addition, Burns and Joyce state that even in other contexts where written language is given ‘more status,’ such as in educational context, spoken language is still needed.
Mastering the spoken language is not merely mastering its articulation and forms. The ultimate aim of mastery of spoken language is to communicate. This means that mastery of rule of speaking and conversational skill is necessary. In other words, the students must be able to use English for either interactional or transactional purposes. Therefore, the students must be taught about the acceptable expression of language functions and formulaic expressions when opening, responding, and terminating a conversation. For this reason, the teachers of English need to use teaching techniques by which the students can be involved in the communication actively.
2.2 Role-Playing Technique to Improve Speaking Skill
Considering how important a teacher should make his or her lesson classroom activity enjoyable, active, secure, and full of more exposure to language input and more choice to practice the languages, he or she needs to develop his or her teaching techniques. One of the techniques to be used in teaching the speaking skill is role-play. Role play allows students to explore their inner resources, empathize with others, and use their own experiences as scaffolds upon which credible action. As a result, students can improve their ability to produce the target language, acquire many of its nonverbal nuances, improve the ability to work cooperatively in group situations, and effectively deal with affective issues. Role play has high appeal for students because it allows them to be creative and to put themselves in another person’s place for a while (Richard-Amato, 2003:214, 222).
To reach the objectives of the role-play technique, some important aspects should be considered. Those aspects are learning and teaching activities, role of instructional materials, the procedure of role-play, the media and the setting of role-play, the students’ role, and the teacher’s role. According to Brown (2001: 183), role-play minimally involves (a) giving a role to one or more members of a group and (b) assigning an objective or purpose that participants must accomplish. He suggests that role-play can be conducted with a single person, in pairs or in groups, with each person assigned a role to accomplish an objective.
2.3 The Concept of Role-Play
Role-Playing is “the act of imitating the character and behavior of a type of a person who is very different from yourself, either deliberately, for example as a training exercise, or without knowing it” (Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary, 1994:1526). In this sense, the students pretend as someone else in the real world situation brought into the classroom. As a kind of guided conversation technique that is essential to the development of the speaking skill, role-playing provides framework in which the students build their own sentences but they may decide by themselves what they want to say (Valette and Disick, 1972:231, 235).
Some teachers have students write their own dialogue, and students generally like this because they can consider their own interactive needs. When students act out their dialogue, they become skits, the idea being for students to practice and then give a performance in front of the class. Role play activities are similar to skits in that students are expected to act. However, unlike skits, in role play, students are not provided with lines but are given a situation and roles to play (Gebhard, 2000:176)
Shaftel and Shaftel (1967, in Richard-Amato, 2003:223) proposed 11 steps in implementing role-playing technique. Those are introducing the topic, stimulating student interest, presenting new vocabulary, reading a story that clearly identifies a problem, stopping the story at the climax, discussing the dilemma, selecting students to play the roles, preparing the audience to listen and later to offer advice, acting out the rest of the story, discussing alternative ways of dealing with the problem, and replaying the plays using new strategies if necessary.
Huang (2008) applies six major steps in the procedure for the role play activities in her classes. Those are 1) Deciding on the Teaching Materials, 2) Selecting Situations and Create Dialogs, 3) Teaching the Dialogs for Role Plays, 4) Having Students Practice the Role Plays, 5) Having Students Modify the Situations and Dialogs, and 6) Evaluating and Checking Students' Comprehension.
III. Research Method
3.1 Research Design
The design of this study was classroom action research. This design was chosen since this study dealt with the classroom setting and the study was directed to implement the teaching technique in that specific class in order to find out solutions to the classroom problems in the teaching of speaking. In conducting this research, the researcher worked collaboratively. It is in line with the characteristics of classroom action research proposed by Kemmis and McTaggart (1988: 22-23) who state that: 1) it is carried out by practitioner or a classroom teacher rather than outside researchers, 2) it can be conducted collaboratively, 3) the aim of action research is changing things, and 4) action research is group activity.
Considering this idea, the researcher worked together with the collaborative teacher. His collaborator was one English teacher of MA Sunan Drajat Sugio-Lamongan who had been teaching in this school for more than 5 years. In this study, the researcher aimed at implementing the role-playing technique to solve the problem of poor speaking ability of the eleventh grade students of MA. Sunan Drajat Sugio-Lamongan. The researcher implemented the action in the form of cycles that followed Kemmis and McTaggart’s model (1988:11) namely, planning, implementation, observation, and reflection. The visual illustration of the design of this study can be seen at Figure 3.1.
3.2 Setting and Subjects of the Study
This study was conducted at MA. Sunan Drajat Sugio-Lamongan, located on Jl. Raya Sugio Lamongan Sugio district- Lamongan regency, East Java. It is about 15 km from the center of the city, or it takes about 30 minutes to reach this place from the center of Lamongan city by motorcycle. There are only three classes in this school, each grade consisting of one class. There were 24 students of the eleventh grade in the second semester of 2008/2009 academic year participating in this research. The researcher chose the eleventh grade students as the subjects of the study.
3.3 Research Procedure
In conducting the research, the researcher followed several steps. Those were preliminary study or reconnaissance, planning the action, implementation, observation, and reflection.
3.3.1 Preliminary Study
To find out the factual problems in the teaching of English at MA Sunan Drajat Sugio-Lamongan, the researcher conducted a preliminary study on July 28th to August 16th, 2008. The preliminary study was meant to know the real condition of the classroom problems in the teaching and learning process so that the researcher can design the appropriate action plan to solve the students’ problem. In this phase, the researcher tried to have an informal conversation with the students. The researcher also assigned the students randomly to describe the pictures in his/her book and to introduce his/her self to others in the classroom. The researcher also conducted three-day classroom observation to obtain the data on the students’ problems.
3.3.2 Planning the Action
In this stage, the researcher and his collaborator made a preparation for the action. The preparation covered designing role-playing procedures and preparing the lesson plan.
126.96.36.199 Designing Role-Playing Procedures
In this study, the researcher implemented seven major steps in the procedure for the role play activities. Those were 1) deciding on the teaching materials, 2) organizing the group of the students, 3) providing the situation and dialogue to be role played, 4) teaching the dialogue for role plays, 5) having the students practice the role plays, 6) having students modify the situation and dialogue, and 7) having the students perform the dialogue in front of the class.
188.8.131.52 Preparing the Lesson Plan
In this study, it was agreed that the researcher acted as the practitioner who taught the students and the collaborator or the English teacher acted as the observer during this action research. At this stage, the researcher and his collaborator designed the lesson plan as the guide to conduct the instructional activities. It was developed based on the syllabus of the School Based Curriculum and was focused on the implementation of the role-playing technique in the speaking class. The lesson plan covered instructional objectives, instructional strategy, instructional materials and media, teaching procedure, and assessment procedure.
184.108.40.206 Designing Instruments and Technique of Collecting Data
To obtain the required data, it is very crucial for the researcher to use the appropriate instruments. The selected and developed instruments were based on the nature of the required data. The data were collected during the instructional process and covered the performance of the students during the instructional process. In addition, the data also included the students’ responses to the teaching of speaking by using role-playing technique. In this study, the researcher used observation checklist, questionnaire, and field notes as the research instruments.
220.127.116.11 Setting the Criteria of Success
The criteria of success were set in advance as a basis to determine whether the action implemented was successful or not. In this study, the researcher used two criteria of success. The action was considered successful when: 1) 60 % of the students reach at least the level good of speaking qualification for each language element when they performed their play in front of the class, and 2) 60 % of the students fulfilled 5 of 7 indicators of high self-confidence students when they involved in the instructional process as well as when they performed the conversation.
Concerning the first criterion of success above, the researcher needed to assess the students’ performance. In assessing the students’ speaking performance, the researcher applied an analytical scoring rubric. Language elements that were assessed by the researcher and his collaborator covered fluency, grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary. In assessing the students’ speaking performance, the researcher used observation checklist. Because this observation checklist was used to assess the students’ speaking performance, then analytical scoring rubric was provided. The analytical scoring rubric covered four language elements as shown in Table 3.1.
Table 3.1 The Analytical Scoring Rubric for Speaking Performance
From the scoring rubric of speaking performance, the computation of the students’ score used the following formula:
The Students’ Speaking Score =
Using the computation above, the students’ score ranged from 1 to 5. The researcher organized the students’ score into five categories. Those were 1) grade 1 to 1.9 was categorized as poor speaking performance, 2) grade 2 to 2.9 was categorized as fair speaking performance, 3) grade 3 to 3.9 was categorized as good speaking performance, 4) grade 4 to 4.9 was categorized as very good speaking performance, and 5) grade 5 was categorized as excellent speaking performance.
3.3.3 Implementing the Action
In this phase, all the procedures of role-playing technique designed in planning the action were implemented in the instructional activities. The implementation was adjusted with the English class schedule at the school where this study was conducted. The implementation of the action refers to the manifestation of the designed plan covering the seven major steps in the procedure for the role play activities. The designed plans were implemented in three meetings as stated in the previous section. Among the 7 major steps of role-play, the first to the forth step were implemented in meeting 1, the fifth and sixth step in meeting 2, and the last step in meeting 3.
In implementing the action, the researcher acted as the practitioner conducting the teaching in the class, while his collaborator acted as an observer observing the students’ speaking performance and the improvement of the students’ self-confidence during the implementation of the action.
3.3.4 Observing the Action
At this stage, the researcher and his collaborator observed the whole aspects of the implementation of the action covering the students' participation in the instructional activities and during the performance in front of the class. The observations were done during the teaching and learning process. The observations which were done during the instructional process dealt with the students’ involvement in classroom activities and their speaking performance when performing the dialogs.
3.3.5 Reflecting the Action
The data obtained through the observations during the implementation of the action were then analyzed and the results of the analysis were consulted with the criteria of success. The criteria of success of the action reflect the area of concern the teacher wanted to emphasize in the teaching and learning process. Since this study was aimed at improving the students’ speaking ability through role-playing technique, the criteria were set by considering some aspects related to the objective.
The criteria of success were set in advance as a basis to determine whether the action implemented was successful or not. In this study, the researcher used two criteria of success. The action was considered successful when: 1) 60 % of the students reach at least the level good of speaking qualification for each language element when they performed their role-play in front of the class, and 2) 60 % of the students fulfilled 5 of 7 indicators of high self-confidence students when they involved in the instructional process as well as when they performed the conversation.
The reflection was done at the end of each cycle. The results of the analysis of the implementation of the action were then evaluated to see whether the next cycle was needed or not. In this research, the reflection of the implementation of the action in each cycle was done by the researcher and his collaborator. The decision to continue the action in the next cycle was done when the criteria of success were not fulfilled.
IV. RESEARCH FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
4.1. Findings from Cycle 1
4.1.1 Findings on the Students’ Speaking Performance
From the analysis of the students’ speaking performance, it was found that they still made mistakes on some language elements being observed namely fluency, grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary. In terms of fluency in speaking, most students were influenced by their mother tongue. They had difficulties avoiding this since they seldom practice for several times. 6 students (25% of 24 students) hesitated in speaking; therefore, the message was not clear. They made a lot of repetition in the sentences. Most of them (14 students or 58%) hesitated in almost every sentences, ended sentences half-way, and then repeated them. Only 4 students or 16, 7% reached the level very good, which means that they hesitated at a few places and their fluency was not seriously affected. None of them could reach the excellent level.
In terms of grammar, 2 students made a lot of grammatical mistakes that meaning of message was not clear. 11 students (46%) reached the level fair, which mean that they made grammatical mistakes almost in every sentence. 9 students (36%) reached good level. They made one or two major mistakes which affected the meaning. Meanwhile, only 2 students reached very good level, which means that they only made a few grammatical mistakes that did not affect the meaning of the message they conveyed. None of them could reach the excellent level.
In terms of pronunciation, one student was very reluctant and shy to speak. Every word she spoke was incorrectly pronounced. One or two words mispronounced by 7 students (29%) made the meaning unclear. 11 students (46% of all students) reached good level in pronunciation in which they pronounced only a few words incorrectly and the meaning was not affected. For example, the word ‘title’ is pronounced ‘titel’ not ‘/taitl/’. In using suffix ‘-ed,’ for example, most students get difficulty. Such as the word ‘liked’ is pronounced ‘laiked,’ not ‘/laikd/.’ 5 students made incorrect pronunciation in one or two words that did not affect the meaning.
In the use of vocabulary, the students did not have a lot of problems when they were going to use certain words, as the teacher had provided the dialogue for them. They just studied the dialogues, made some changes or modification, practiced them, and presented them in front of the class. Based on the observation checklist, 5 students used very limited vocabulary, 11 students (46%) used adequate vocabulary, and 8 students (33%) reached very good level; they used varied vocabulary.
4.1.2 Findings on the Students’ Self-Confidence
Based on the data obtained from observation checklist, the researcher had the data about the students’ self- confidence during the instructional process. Concerning the students’ self-confidence in the first cycle, there were 16 students (67% of all students) who still hesitated in speaking and they did not express themselves at ease. Six of them (25% of all students) showed nervousness in speaking. 10 students (45% of all students) did not reduce the use of mother tongue. They tended to speak in bahasa Indonesia more than in English. The number of the students who hesitated to give feedback to their peers was 11 students (46% of all students). 15 students (65% of the students) thought too much about form and rules of language. This condition caused hesitation for them in the use of English in oral communication.
The data above then were used to measure whether the implementation of role-playing technique had met the criteria of success or not. The level of the students’ speaking performance in this study was grouped into five categories; poor, fair, good, very good, and excellent. The implementation of this technique was considered successful if 60% of the students reached all good level of language elements being observed: fluency, grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary. Based on the researcher’s calculation, there were 14 students who reached fair level, 8 students reached good level, and none of the students reached poor and excellent level. This means that there were only 10 students (41, 7% of all students) who reached at least good level.
Related to the students’ self-confidence, the criterion of success was 60 % of the students fulfilled 5 of 7 indicators of high self-confidence students when they were involved in the instructional process as well as when they performed the conversation. The data obtained from the observation checklist show that there were only 9 students (37, 5% of all the students) who fulfilled 5 of 7 indicators used in this study, which means that this percentage did not meet the second criterion of success yet. So, it can be said that the implementation of the technique was not successful in the first cycle.
Considering the fact above, the researcher made some reflections to do in the next cycle. First, the teacher had to change the way he delivered his teaching from speaking quickly to speaking at the students’ phase of understanding in order all of the stages in the instructional process could be smoothly followed by the students. Second, the teacher had to increase his guidance in every stage in order the students really understand the material taught by the teacher. Third, the teacher had to manage the students’ group; not allowing the students to choose the members of their own group. Besides, the teacher had to give more motivation in order they were not afraid in making grammatical mistakes, so they would not be reluctant and shy to use their English. Third, the researcher had to add the time for modifying the dialogue from 35 minutes to 50 minutes in the third meeting. It was because most of the students complained about the short time provided for them to modify the dialogue.
4.2.Findings from Cycle 2
4.2.1 Findings on the Students’ Speaking Performance
From the analysis of the students’ speaking performance, it was found that there was a very significant improvement of the students’ speaking performance. Although some of them still made some mistakes on some language elements being observed, namely, fluency, grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary, the number of those who did so had decreased. In terms of fluency, there were13 students (54% of the students) who could reach good level, 6 students (6% of the students) very good level, 2 students excellent level, and only 3 students stayed in fair level. None of them stayed in poor level.
In terms of grammar, 6 students still reached fair level, 15 students (63% of the students) reached good level, and 3 students reached very good level. None of them had excellent or poor score. These data show some improvement because in the first cycle, a half of them (11 students) still reached fair level. The same thing happened in terms of the students’ pronunciation. The observation checklist show that the quality of the students’ pronunciation improved significantly. 8 students could even reach above good level: very good and excellent.
In the use of vocabulary, the students did not have serious problems when they were going to use certain words, as the teacher had provided the dialogue for them. They just studied the dialogues, made some changes or modification, practiced them, and presented them in front of the class. Based on the observation checklist, 12 students reached good level and 10 students (33%) reached very good level; they used varied vocabulary. It was far better from the previous cycle.
4.2.2 Findings on the Students’ Self-Confidence
Compared to the first cycle, there was a significant improvement concerning the students’ self-confidence. The data show that 13 students (54% of the students) spoke without any hesitations and could express themselves at ease. 17 of them (71% of all students) did not show nervousness in speaking. 14 students (58% of all students) reduced the use of mother tongue. They did not tend to speak in bahasa Indonesia anymore and preferred using English in speaking class. Only 9 students (38% of the students) thought too much about form and rules of language.
4.2.3 Findings from the Students’ Questionnaires
The data were obtained through open-ended questionnaire distributed to the students at the end of cycle 2. The data obtained from the students’ questionnaires show that 14 students (58.3% of the students) felt happy when role-playing was implemented in speaking class. Most of them (19 or 79.2% of the students) stated that their ability in speaking had improved after learning speaking using this technique. 16 students (66.7% of the students) stated that they were braver to speak using English after being taught using role-playing technique. Most of them also stated that they felt more enthusiastic to use English orally if role-playing technique was implemented. 17students wanted that this technique could be implemented in the next speaking class.
The data above show that most of them gave positive response to the implementation of role-playing technique in speaking class for some possible reasons. They might get bored when they were always exposed to the monotonous teaching technique and this role-play was new for them. They stated that they got bored when the teacher always explained and asked them to do the task during instructional process. They also could express various expressions in different situation in learning speaking utilizing this role-play.
After all stages of role-playing procedures were implemented in the second cycle, the researcher and the observer collaboratively evaluated the instructional process that had been conducted in the classroom.
The researcher used the data obtained in cycle 2 to measure whether the implementation of the role-playing technique had met the criteria of success or not. Based on the calculation, there were 16 students (66.7% of all students) who reached at least good level. The data obtained from the observation checklist show that there were 15 students (62.5% of all the students) who fulfilled 5 of 7 indicators used in this study.
Referring to the data above, it can be inferred that the implementation of the role-playing technique could improve the students’ speaking performance as well as students’ self confidence. In preliminary study, there were 4 students stayed in poor level, 14 students fair level, and 6 students good level. None of them reached very good or even excellent level. After role-playing technique was implemented, their speaking performance improved significantly. The number of the students who reached fair level decreased from 14 students in the first cycle to 8 students in the second cycle. On the other hand, the number of the students who reached good level increased from 8 students in the first cycle to 13 students in the second cycle as well as 2 students who reached very good level in the first cycle to 3 students in the second cycle. None of the students reached poor and excellent level (see the figure 4.1).
Figure 4.1 the improvement of students’ speaking performance
This means that the students’ speaking performance improved from 41.7% of all students who could reach at least good level in the first cycle to 66.7% of all students in the second cycle. The students’ self-confidence also improved from 37.5% of all students who could fulfill 5 of 7 indicators in this study in the first cycle to 62.5% of all students in the second cycle. Since the criteria of success were 1) 60 % of the students reached at least good level of speaking qualification, and 2) 60 % of the students fulfilled 5 of 7 indicators of high self-confidence, so it can be said that the implementation of role-playing technique was successful and met the criteria of success.
Since the students’ speaking performance and their self-confidence for every meeting show significant improvement and at the second cycle had met the criteria of success, then the study can be stated as a successful research project, and accordingly, the action research was stopped.
Based on the findings of the study, it was shown that the appropriate procedure of role-playing technique gives beneficial contribution both in improving the students’ speaking performance and improving students’ self-confidence during the instructional process. Role-playing technique implemented in this study consists of seven steps. Those are 1) deciding on the teaching materials, 2) organizing the group of the students, 3) providing the situation and dialogue to be role played, 4) teaching the dialogue for role plays, 5) having the students practice the role plays, 6) having students modify the situation and dialogue, and 7) having the students perform the dialogue in front of the class.
The findings of this research show that the students’ skill in speaking had improved significantly from one meeting to the next meeting, from one cycle to the following cycle. This can be seen from the result of each cycle. The students’ speaking performance improved from 41.7% of all students who could reach at least good level at the first cycle to 66.7% of all students in the second cycle. Another finding shows that the students enjoyed performing role-play because of its challenging nature. It could be seen from their performance in front of the class. The classroom atmosphere became more alive and all the students were actively involved in teaching and learning process. They laughed at other group members who made any mistakes. They seemed relaxed and excited during the performance period. This means that there is an improvement on the students’ self-confidence. The findings show that the students’ self-confidence also improved from 37.5% of all students who could fulfill 5 of 7 indicators in this study at the first cycle to 62.5% of all students in the second cycle. This improvement might be due to some benefits of role-play technique. Since the criteria of success are 1) 60 % of the students reach at least good level of speaking qualification, and 2) 60 % of the students fulfilled 5 of 7 indicators of high self-confidence, so it can be said that implementation of role-playing technique was successful and met the criteria of success.
The improvement of the students’ speaking performance in this study might be due to some benefits of role-play technique and this result appeared to confirm the result of a previous studies. Furness (1976, in Huang, 2008) states that a student can enjoy and profit from a role play experience “in terms of improved communication skills, creativity, increased social awareness, independent thinking, verbalization of opinions, and development of values and appreciation of the art of drama”. It is in line with the statement of Siwu (2005) that the implementation of the role-playing technique had improved the students’ speaking skill. It is revealed through the improvement of the students’ speaking performance and their self-confidence.
V. Conclusions and Suggestions
In this study, the researcher implemented 7 (seven) major steps in the procedure for the role play activities. First, the teacher decides on the teaching materials. The second step is organizing the group of the students. The third step is providing the situation and dialogue to be role played. The forth step applied by the researcher in implementing role-playing technique is explaining the situation in the cue card as well as the dialogue. The fifth step is having the students practice the role plays. The sixth step is having students modify the situation and dialogue. The last step is having the students perform the dialogue in front of the class.
Based on the findings of this study, the strengths, and the weaknesses of this technique, then the suggestions are made. The suggestions are directed to other Senior High School English teachers whose students have similar classroom problems, characteristics, and situations with this school, and to the future researchers.
It is suggested to other Senior High school English teachers whose students have similar classroom problems, characteristics and situations with MA. Sunan Drajat Sugio-Lamongan that the Role-playing technique could be used as an alternative approach to teach speaking skill at SMA/MA level. Therefore, the English teachers are expected to socialize this approach through teachers’ forums such as in-service training, workshop like MGMP (which stands for Musyawarah Guru Mata Pelajaran), KKG (which stands for Kelompok Kerja Guru), or seminars.
Nevertheless, the English teachers should consider some aspects in implementing the technique. First, the English teachers should set the time as effective as possible by considering the length of time allotted in every activity. Second, the English teachers should deliver the explanation using clear voice, not too slowly and not too quickly. Third, the English teachers should use Indonesian language if the students find it hard to understand the explanation. Fourth, the English teachers should provide the students with lists of vocabulary or ask them to always bring dictionary since they still have poor vocabulary. Fifth, the English teachers should distribute high achiever students in each group that they can help their low achiever friends in their group. Sixth, the English teachers should approach and guide students when they work on their tasks. And seven, the English teachers should be patient since this technique employs a lot of time and activities at every stage.
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