Selasa, 25 September 2012

IMPROVING SPEAKING SKILL BY A CONNECTIVE GAME


IMPROVING SPEAKING SKILL BY
A CONNECTIVE GAME


Introduction
English language is a compulsory subject that is taught from elementary school until senior high school in Indonesia. One of the language skills that should be mastered by the students is speaking. Many students find difficulty in speaking English. Some factors are their fear of making mistakes, being laughed by their friends and lack of confidence of their own abilities. Therefore, a teacher should help the students in solving this problem by motivating them to speak. For this reason, the teacher can use effective methods that encourage students to take part actively in the class. The teaching learning process is not only involving the teacher and the students, but also between the students and the other students.
There is a method that can be used by the teacher to improve the students’ skill in speaking English. It is doing some games which are interesting and inviting the students to be curious. The teacher can search many games from many sources as his guide in teaching English skills, especially speaking. According to the reasons above, I decided to compose this paper by giving its title: “Improving speaking skill by a connective game”.

Theoretical Background
Speaking
For a start, speaking is interactive and requires the ability to co-operate in the management of speaking turns. It also typically takes place in real time, with little time for detailed planning. In this circumstances, spoken fluency requires the capacity to marshal a store of memorized lexical chunks. And the nature of the speaking process means that the grammar of spoken language differs in a number of significant ways from the grammar of written language. Hence, the study of written grammar may not be the most efficient preparation for speaking. No wonder speaking represents a real challenge to most language learners. Speaking is a skill, and as such needs to be developed and practised independently of the grammar curriculum. Speaking is the productive skill in the oral mode. It, like the other skills, is more complicated than it seems at first and involves more than just pronouncing words.
Speaking is so much a part of daily life that we take it for granted. The average person produces tens of thousands of words a day, although some people – like auctioneers or politicians – may produce even more than that. So natural and integral is speaking that we forget how we once struggled to achieve this ability – until, that is, we have to learn how to do it all over again in a foreign language.
A game is a structured activity, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Games are distinct from work, which is usually carried out for remuneration, and from art, which is more concerned with the expression of ideas. However, the distinction is not clear-cut, and many games are also considered to be work (such as professional players of spectator sports/games) or art (such as jigsaw puzzles or games involving an artistic layout such as Mahjong solitaire).
Key components of games are goals, rules, challenge, and interaction. Games generally involve mental or physical stimulation, and often both. Many games help develop practical skills, serve as a form of exercise, or otherwise perform an educational, simulational or psychological role. According to Chris Crawford, the requirement for player interaction puts activities such as jigsaw puzzles and solitaire "games" into the category of puzzles rather than games. Attested as early as 2600 BC, games are a universal part of human experience and present in all cultures. The Royal Game of Ur, Senet, and Mancala are some of the oldest known games.

Data Finding
The games in this section offer a reason for speaking, and thus they can give learners a confirmation and confidence resulting from the successful use of the language or a warning signal on the unsuccessful use of the language.
Some games give the learners considerable support in the language needed for the game, and other games offer a stimulus and context, but no specific language focus or support. Although some games are likely to cause the learners to focus on a particular language point, this section primarily offers practice in fluency rather than in grammar practice.
In these games the learners might make mistakes in their use of the language. As a general principle it is better not to interrupt the speaker but to wait until he or she has finished before first responding to the content, and only then pointing out a mistake in the formal use of the language, if you think it necessary to do so. A better way might be for you to note the mistake and to give focussed practice on that point at another time.
There are some connective games that can be used by the teacher to improve the students’s speaking skills. One of the games is connecting two pictures.

Two Pictures
Family Connect
Language Imagining and explaining connetions between pictures, objects or words
Preparation You will need two pictures big enough for all the learners to see, each showing a single object, person or place.

Procedure:
-Take two seemingly unrelated pictures and ask the learners to suggest a connection between them. Some learners will suggest very reasonable connections. Some learners will suggest crazy connections. In one sense, the latter are more useful since more people will pay attention and think about them!
Example:
Learner 1: He is going to the bank to get some money.
Learner 2: He is going to the bank to steal some money.
 If you wish, organise acompetition to find the most reasonable connection and the craziest connection.
-
 This game may be played in groups or with the whole class.
-

Variation 1 Three words
Preparation (optional) Bring 3 objects to the lesson.
Procedure:
 Show the class three objects or write three nouns on the board, for example: pencil, ball, table.
-
 Invite learners to find as many things as possible which connnect them, for example:
-
The pencil and ball are on the table.
Or:
She does her homework on the table and she uses a pencil. Then she plays table tennis on the table and uses a table tennis ball.

Data Analyzing
Playing such this game seems easy, but I have analyzed about this game, and I found some difficulties in playing it. First, if I want to play this game, I have to search some pictures and consider whether the pictures are connected each other. According to the picture above, there is a man who is bringing a case and he wants to go to a place. Another picture describes the place that is proposed by the man. There is a bank picture. Those are connected each other. If I want to find other pictures which relates to the man picture, I can use other pictures, for example: an office picture, and a school picture. The second, I have to think whether the students know about the pictures exactly. I should use the clear pictures in order to make the students see clearly and they do not confuse what the pictures are. The third, I should consider whether the students will get challege in doing this game, because the students usually like the challenge in their learning.
I found the difficulties in preparing this game. However, I should also think about advantages and disadvantages. Everyone likes playing the games, because they can find the challenge and its fun as long as or after playing it. The advantages of playing connective game are effective in improving speaking skills for the students. First, the game makes the students more creative in making sentence to say. They can imagine any activities that they will do if they bring the cases and want to go to some places, especially the bank. They can reveal their ideas and make it as good as possible. The second, the game makes the students more interested in learning English. They can learn pleasantly although they study in the class. The third, the students can increase their vocabularies by making many different sentences for the pictures. The last, the students learn to analyze the pictures and try to express anything after they saw the pictures. They can analyze something pleasant, and it can stimulate their mind.
The disadvantages of the game do not affect more for the students. First, I need more space to put the pictures in the class, because I have to use big enough pictures in order to be seen by the students. The second, I need more time in doing the game, because the students need more time to think about the pictures and express their ideas.
After analyzing the game, I got much more advantages that will be got by the students than the advantages. Except the pictures, there is another object that can be used in playing connective games. I can use a pen and a book, then I command the students to make a connection between that two things. So, if I want to play many games to improve the students’ speaking skill, I can find and use many objects as its devices.

Conclusion
Using the game in learning English is one of the effective methods that can be used by a teacher or other people. Some games give the learners considerable support in the language needed for the game, and other games offer a stimulus and context, but no specific language focus or support. Although some games are likely to cause the learners to focus on a particular language point, the game above primarily offers practice in fluency rather than in grammar practice, because I discussed about the speaking skill.

References
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game
http://www.sil.org/lingualinks/languagelearning/OtherResources/GudlnsFrALnggAndCltrLrnngPrgrm/SpeakingSkill.htm
Thornburry, Scott.2005.How to Teach Speaking.Malaysia:Stenton Associates,Saffron Walden,Essex,UK.
Wright, Andrew, David Betteridge, Michael Buckby.2006.Games for Language Learning.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.


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