Speaking is one of English language skills, which plays an important role for human beings. A person delivers and receives messages through speaking. In speaking especially in English, people must have good pronunciation and master the vocabulary in order to make the listeners understand what the speaker means and delivers his or her ideas. Most people in the world use spoken language rather than written language. Cameron (2001:40) argues, “Speaking is the active use of language to express meanings hence, other people can make sense of them”.
Speaking is one of the language skills that is very important in social life because we ask questions, give responses and make requests through speaking. In short, speaking activities dominate our language behavior. That is why, if speaking ability is so crucial in human communication, then the primary aim of any language teaching has to enable students to speak the language. It means that the teacher should give priority to speaking exercises in the process of teaching and learning the language. Speaking is a way for someone to do an interaction with one another. When students want to transfer messages, it means they may use spoken language. Spoken language has advantages such us, students may listen the voice directly and can get the message as soon as possible.
The purpose of speaking is to make listener easy to understand. However, it is difficult for students to use English if they rarely practice to speak it. However, the students have no self-confidence to use English in spoken language. Students have difficulties in learning English especially on speaking subject. It happens because some reasons such as students’ background, goals, ability, and interest. The teacher’s creativity is needed to create an interesting class, with the use of appropriate technique or method to make students enjoy studying English. According to Arends (2007: 25): Teacher needs many approaches to meet their goals with a diverse population of students. A single approach or method is no longer adequate. With sufficient choices, teacher can select the approach that best achieves a particular class of students, or the models that can be used to promote the students motivation, involvement and achievement.
The above statement reveals that having a great motivation can attract the students to learn English. To achieve this goal successfully, the teacher must understand what the students’ needs in order to produce better learning. Teacher technique determines students’ motivation to study and may increase students’ self-confidence, and brave to speak. There are some instruments that teacher may use to improve students speaking skill. Practice will make students be accustomed to speak English without worrying. In addition, students’ problems are not only from the classroom environment but also from the students themselves. The reality we often see is that many students master the theory better than practice. For example, in speaking, they may have the knowledge of how to speak, but in practice, they find difficulties.
They lack self-confidence. To support the students in learning English, the teachers can use some instruments in order to make them be more interested especially in learning speaking. One of techniques that teacher can use to make student get used to speak English is to promote English day. Through English day, students will enjoy speaking English that improves students’ ability and their self-confidence. Students will be more active and English day makes them get used to speak English. English day has been implemented in some schools and universities. Every school has different purpose in applying this English day. The study about English day has been written previously by some writers. However, each study has its own goals, roles, and limitations. The comparison of related studies with the recent study is provided below: Tanrin (2008) had done his research in SDN 4 Sukarsari Tangerang. English day has been implemented in this school for four years. English day has been implemented in order to improve students’ speaking skill and make students dare to speak English. In English day, students performed some performances by using English such as, drama, poetry, singing and speech, it was held every Saturday and students were guided by some English teachers.
Through his research he found that the implementation of English day at this school can improve students’ speaking skill. Students communicate by using English with their friends at school environment, but students are able to speak in short conversation only. In improving students’ speaking skill, students have to involve themselves in activity which can improve their speaking skill. The researcher assumes that English activity can improve students speaking skill if the students involve themselves. English day is one of activity which gives big chance to the students to be more active in speaking. English day separated students from formal and informal situation which make students easier to improve their competence in vocabulary, pronunciation, or speaking. Based on the observation, students of SMP Al-Azhar Palu get difficulty in expressing their ideas or opinions by using English. Students are not being able to speak English in the classroom due to having low motivation to practice English, having lack of vocabulary, being nervous and incorrect pronunciation. For example: when the teacher gives the students materials and opportunities to ask questions, they only keep silent.
They actually knew what they want to say but they do not know how to say that in English. To face this condition, the English teachers of SMP Al-Azhar Palu decided to apply English day to the students. Moreover, eighth graders because that class has applied English day since one year. Hence, the researcher wanted to know what is the influence of English day towards students’ speaking skill of the eight graders of SMP Al-Azhar Palu. English day has good and bad influence to the students achievement in speaking skill so that is why, the researcher is interested in conducting her research on English Day because she would like to find out the influence of English Day towards students’ speaking skill.
Based on that reason, the researcher entitled her research “The Influence of English Day towards Students’ Speaking Skill of The Eighth Graders of SMP Al-Azhar Palu. The research question was formulated in the following lines”What is the influence of English day towards students’ speaking skill of the eight graders of SMP Al-Azhar Palu?” Based on the problem statement above, the researcher accomplished the research objective in order to find out the influence of English day towards students’ speaking skill of the eighth graders of SMP Al-Azhar Palu.
Name : Wahyuni, Hasan Basri, Mashuri
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