Thursday, April 2, 2009

Background of Study

Mastering spoken English is very important, moreover we have entered globalization information and free market era. Information from abroad comes rapidly and freely. Many foreign investors want to invest at many companies in Indonesia. Most of them speak English, although they do not come from England or America. Hence, if we want to communicate with them we have to be able to use English orally. It is not enough to master English structurally.
Nowdays, English is already taught as local content subject at elementary school in Indonesia, in addition, English has been taught in junior high school to university as compulsory subject , this fact is proves that English is important to be learn by all students. In studying English students develop all skill, there are 4 basic skill competence that student should master which are writing, listening, reading and speaking (Curriculum for SMP Department of National Education 2004 ),every skill has own goal to reached as the requirement of English mastery.

The goal of writing skill is to make the students have an ability making good essay that semantically and grammatically correct. For listening skill requires the students to comprehend the material through listening direct conversation or listening cassette. The skill expect the students to have good ability in listening the material and also understand what they have heard. Reading skill, students are expected to have ability comprehend the reading passage and read well. Speaking skill focus on the students' ability in producing English orally as well as they speak their native language.

One of the language skills that should be learned by English learners is speaking. Speaking is considered as a necessary skill because of its essential role in facilitating learners to master English. It enables students to express themselves creatively, imaginatively and to communicate with other effectively. According to Mc Donough and Shaw in Nunik (2008:2), “In many context, speaking is often the skill upon which a person is judged at face value. In other word, people may often form judgements about our language competence from our speaking rather than from any of the other language skills”.

So far, from four skills that students have to learn, the most difficult skill is speaking subject. According to Mc Donough and Shaw in Nunik (2008:2), “Speaking is a process difficult in many ways to dissociate from listening”. The difficulties may be caused by shyness or personality factors. And another factors that makes speaking does not run well was also caused by other factors such as difficulties in pronunciation, stress, intonation or overall rhythm (2003:134).
The students may have problems to speak English in class, but they create some ways or strategies to overcome their problems in learning speaking.
Fulcher has stated:

Learners use achievement strategies when they wish to express themselves but they have problems because they lack the knowledge of the language (grammar or vocabulary) to communicate. The learner tries to overcome this lack of knowledge by finding ways around the problems (2003: 31). 
The theoretical above is supported by a research. The research was conducted by Vika Kurniasari (2006).

In Vika Kurniasari's research (2006), about student's problem in learning speaking that was conducted at SMP Negeri 8 Malang and took 40 students of grade VII and 40 students of grade VIII as the sample, the result show that students grade VII and grade VIII thought that speaking is vary important and they have done some effort in order to improve their English. The general problems that faced by students grade VII and VIII were about vocabulary and low motivation. The others had problems in grammar, mother tongue use and low self confidence . Their ways to solve their problems in learning speaking were making conversation with their friends everyday, learning and memorizing vocabulary, making notes about vocabulary and grammar, joining some course and problem related to low motivation and self confidence, students try to keep motivation by keeping their selves active and learning speaking more creatively by joining English course and English conversation club. The instrument used in her study is questionnaire and interview.
Based on the background mentioned, this study is conducted to find out what students speaking problems and their strategies to overcome speaking problems in speaking class at second semester of English department IAIN Sunan Ampel Surabaya, so that speaking class will run well. The result of this study is expected to provide valuable contribution to the betterment of the English learning.


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