The Factors Causing Student’s Reluctance in English Oral Performance in Classroom Activities

, , Leave a comment

English oral performance is one of the important English skills that should be mastered by students, especially for students of English Education Study Program. English oral performance is the essential role infacilitating learners in Englishspeaking mastery and it enables students to express themselvescreatively, imaginatively and to communicate with other effectively.It is not only to produce sound of words or sentences but also to express the ideas, opinions, and everything that the students want to say.As Horsley (2006, p.45) says that oral performance means to involve such interaction. Meaning that how the students interact or participate in classroom activities. FKIP of Tanjungpura University is one of faculties that has English major. Many students come to this faculty to take English as their major. As the students of English education study program, they have a responsibility to use English as their language learning to communicate in classroom. But in fact, the students do not show the English zone. The situation of classroom activities is still Indonesian. Some of the English majoring students do not use English as their tool of communication in teaching and learning process in classroom activities. So, they get the difficulties to reach their achievement especially speaking mastery. Actually, the learner‟s knowledge will get larger if she has the high curious in learning, especially in how to speak in English well. Speaking in English is not only used when presentation and discussion sessions in classroom activities, but also it is used in any situations such as when she is going to do the teaching practice and after she has done her study, she is going to be the teacher.However, she should be able to adapt in classroom situation especially in these two subjects, i.e, business correspondence and pragmatics.

The formal condition or situation of business correspondence subject is described as follows. It had presentation and discussion sessions.There was also the group of presenter and the audiences. The audiences could ask or give questions about the materials that were already delivered by the group of presenter. Then, the group of presenter gave the assignments to the audiences in group work. So, they can practice their English when doing the group work discussion. In pragmatics class, it started with lecturer‟s explanation about the materials. The lecturer asked the students who wanted to read the materials before he was going to explain the materials. After the lecturer already explained the materials, he asked the students to give questions or comments about the materials. Then the lecturer gave assignments to all students. The students did the assignments and they can present the answers of the questions in group work. The lecturer did not appoint the group who should come forward and present the answers of the questions, but the lecturer just asked who wanted to be the group of presenter. Before presenting, the students discussed the answers of the questions in group work. So, they could practice their English in discussion before they were going to present the answers of the assignments. In this research, the researcher took one student only as the participantin the sixth semester of English Education Study Program class B PPAPK at FKIP Tanjungpura University academic year 2016/2017.The researcher chose the student X to be the participant of this research because she had low oral performance and she seldom participated in classroom activities.Her GPA is also less than 3. The researcher observed the participant in classroom activities in ten times. Based on the observations of business correspondence and pragmatics subjects, the researcher found that she was reluctant. For example when pragmatics subject she did not read the materials when the lecturer asked the students to read. As the other students did,one of them always read the materials, but she never did it. She also did not ask questions about the materials to the lecturer. Another students did it when they do not understand. Then, she spoke in Indonesian when communication with her friends. At least she should be able to use mixing language between Indonesian and English, but she got used to speaking in Indonesian dominantly.When discussion session, she did not do the group work with her friends, but she did it alone, and she did not come forward to present the answers of the assignments that were given by the lecturer. Another studentsdid the assignments in group work and some of them came forward to be a group of presenter. Then, when business correspondence subject, she also did not participate in classroom activities. The researcher chose these two subjects because the activities of these classes happened naturally.

The students were not demanding to be active or to speak in English, but the students can act initiatively. So, the researcher knew who was really active and vice versa. As the other subjects activities, i.e., micro teaching, drama, and statistical in educational research, the students were demanding to do the activities in classroom. The situation of those three subjects did not happen naturally.The researcher also did not focus on speaking subject on the second semester because this level is still beginner. As the facts of the sixth semester students, they still used Indonesian dominantly. Moreover the second semester students, their experience in presentation, discussion and also their vocabularies mastery are not as large as the advance level. The researcher also did not take the debate subject on the fourth semester because the students‟ activities are forced to be active. The setting of this class was such as demands and rules. The researcher got the information from the fourth semester student of debate subject class, that the audiences must give comments or suggestions to the groups of debate discussion. So, the activities of this class did not happen naturally. Oral performance or speaking is the activities of student in producing and receiving information. It is the process of interactive to construct meaning and it involves producing, receiving and processing information. Its form and meaning are dependent on the context in which it occurs, including the participants themselves, their collective experiences, the physical environment, and the purposes for speaking. As Horsley (2006, p.44) says that oral performance calls an “oral-derived text”. Meaning that how the student delivers her ideas orally during presentation and discussion sessions in classroom activities. It also could be the most important skill than others such as listening, reading and writing. As Luoma (2004, p.9) says that speaking is as interaction, a social and situation-based activity. It means that how student is actively in practicing English oral performances, how she socializes with her friends, how she participates during presentation and discussion sessions and how she does the activities in classroom interactions that she is the foreign language learner. Then, speaking is also as the process of student to enhance her English acquisition. Actually, student‟s acquisition in English is not really bad, but she cannot use English yet in classroom naturally. According to Yule (2006, p.163) the acquisition is used to refer to the gradual development of ability in a language by using it naturally in communicative situations with others who know the language. Barras (2006, p.16) claims that the development of oral communication skills, supported by sincerity and politeness is important in study. It means that how the student participateswhen discussion session in order to be able to enhance student‟soral performances.

She should be aware to motivate and appreciate herself to use English naturally in classroom activities. As Ur (1996, p.120) says that classroom activities that develop learners‟ ability to express themselves through speech would therefore seem an important component of a language course. This statement can refer to the classroom activities of the participant in this research, how she utilizes the opportunity to express her English oral performances during discussions. Reluctance is the student‟s condition or feeling of unwillingness to speak English due to psychological constructed, other factors in individuals in the classroom and the quality of being reluctant or inactiveness of the student. Burgoon (1982, p.141) says that the unwillingness-to-communicate construct focuses exactly on what its name implies, the unwillingness of an individual to communicate with others. It means that how the student minimize her reticence. Additionally, Burgoon (1982, p.141) also says that reticence is concerned with people who do not communicate effectively; unwillingness to communicate is concerned with one of the reasons that people may not do so (i.e., they do not want to). The student‟s reluctance to speak English in classroom is a problem commonly experienced in English majoring classroom context. For this reason, in learning English, the English majoring studentshave faced a very common issue regarding the students‟ „reluctance‟ to speak English (Babu&Rao, 2012) or „fear‟ of speaking English (Cutrone, 2009) in EFL classrooms. There are some factors that can cause student‟s oral performance/ speaking in learning English. Those are coming from the language factors; pronunciation, grammar and vocabulariesand the psychological factors; inhibitionor lack of confidence, anxiety or shyness and motivation by Thornbury (2005, p.11). Therefore, the causes are discussed as follows. It is necessary for both speaker and listener when communication in classroom activities. It will create a good feedback and overcome misunderstanding during spoken discourse. Yates (2009, p.12) claimsthat pronunciation refers to how we produce the sounds that we use to make meaning when we speak. It includes the particular consonants and vowels of a language (segments), aspects of speech beyond the level of the individual segments, such as stress, timing, rhythm, intonation, phrasing, and how the voice is projected (voice quality). The point of speech is sound. As Yates (2009, p.12) says the way we say something can be very different from the way it is written down. This makes it useful to have a way of representing how speech sounds that does not rely on conventional spelling. The first, student must decide what she wants to say and be able to articulate the words. The student can create the physical sounds that carry meaning in order to be able to understand. Brown (2001, p.283) says that pronunciation was a key to gaining full communicative competence. Without pronouncing the good pronunciation in oral performance or speaking is possible to gain the misunderstanding both speaker and listener. The student should understand the concept of pronunciation. It is to help both speaker and listener understanding of the communication. As Ur (1996, p.47) also says that the concept of „pronunciation‟ may be said to include: the sounds of the language or phonology, stress and rhythm, and intonation. Beside the sounds of words, the stress and intonation are very necessary aspects of English oral performance as those are giving a crucial rule to help listener understand what speaker says.Yates (2009, p.25) also says stress patterns are really important.

In English, we listen both for how many syllables there are and the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in order to decipher what a person is saying. So, If there is something that is not quite right about a student‟s syllable stress pattern in a word or across a series of words in connected speech, the listeners might find them difficult to understand and might even hear something completely different to what they are trying to say. Actually the sounds have contrast eventhough they are a bit similar in pronouncing them. As Harmer (2001, p.188) says that contrasting two sounds which are very similar and often confused is a popular way of getting students to concentrate on specific aspects of pronunciation. The sequence starts with students listening to pairs of words and practicing the difference between /∫/ and /t∫/, for example: ship/chip, sherry/cherry, shoes/choose, sheep/cheap, washing/watching, cash/catch, mash/match, and wish/which/witch. The word “grammar” is used in several different senses. It may mean a particular kind of book, a textbook for learning a language, or a reference of book for looking up various point of usage. Grammar is a description of the language form and pattern we use in communication. According to Ur (1996, p.75), grammar is sometimes defined as „the way words are put together to make correct sentences‟. She also says that a specific instance of grammar is usually called a “structure”. A structure is a description of the rule of tenses that influence how a language‟s sentences are formed or the way in which words are arranged in a sentence or syntax. English has large number of tenses that should be understood by the learner. For example, the use of simple past and simple present when communication. Ur (1996, p.87) also says that grammar is a set of rules that define how words (parts of words) are combined or changed to form acceptable units of meaning within a language. Beside the rule of tenses and part of words, there are word classes that can be the student‟s reluctance in English oral performance. As Harmer (2001, p.21) says that within word classes there are a number of restrictions. A knowledge of these allows competent speakers to produce well-formed sentences. The student should be able to speak in the right rule of sentences. Harmer (2001, p.22) also says that the way in which words can occupy different word classes, sometimes without changing, sometimes by altering their morphological shape. Vocabulary is one of the necessary points in target language acquisition.

The student cannot communicate without mastering an adequate number of vocabularies. Ur (1996, p.60) says that vocabulary can be defined, roughly, as the words we teach in the foreign language. Bogaards and Laufer (2004, p.40) claim that a wider range of vocabulary is necessary to engage in spoken discourse. The student is able to express herself in spoken discourse if she has much more vocabularies. Bogaards and Laufer (2004, p.41) also claim that what size of vocabulary is necessary to reach viable levels of coverage in each of the context types. So, if the student has enough size of vocabulary, the student can speak in English in any situations, whether to speak with her friends or lecturer. However, the student does not just need enough size of vocabulary. She can also be extended word use. As Harmer (2001, p.19) says that words do not just have different meanings, however.

They can also be stretched and twisted to fit different contexts and different uses. We say that someone is in a black mood or someone is yellow, yet we are not actually describing a color. In such contexts black and yellow mean something else. „Someone is in a black mood‟ means he/she is feeling unhappy, and „someone is yellow‟ means he/she is feeling happy. The other factor that can cause the student‟s reluctance in oral performance is inhibition. As Ur (1996, p.121) says that learners are often inhibited about trying to say things in a foreign language in the classroom: worried about making mistakes, fearful of criticism or losing face, or simply shy of the attention that their speech attracts. Worried about making mistakes becomes one of the main causes of students‟ reluctance in English oral performance in classroom activities. As a result, students commonly stop participating in speaking activities. The primary reason of worried about making mistakesis that students are afraid of looking foolish in front of other people and they are concerned about how other will see them (Juhana, 2012). It means that the students do not want their friends to criticize their English. Feeling shy is also an emotional thing that many students suffer from at some time when they are required to speak in English.

This indicates that it could be a source of problem in students‟ learning activities in the classroom especially in discussion session. In this case, the students are not very courageus and they tend to be shy because most of them find it very intimidating when speaking English in front of their friends and lecturer. As Juhana (2012)indentifies that most of English students feel shy when they speak the language because they thinkthey will make mistakes when they talk. In line with this, Baldwin (2011) further explains that speaking in front of people is one of the more common phobias that students encounter and feeling of shyness makes their mind go blank or that they will forget what to say as cited in Juhana (2012). This is also supported by the performance of students in which they participate in speaking as they say their inability to show their ability is fully affected by their feeling of shyness. In other words, it can be said that shyness plays an important role in speaking performance done by the students. Those factors make the learner feels inhibited. Actually, the learner should be able to overcome those factors in order to be able to practice English in classroom activities. As Reid (2007, p.39) claims, the outcome of any learning activity can be determined to a great extent by the level of a learner‟s self-concept. Great effort needs to be made to ensure that a learner feels comfortable in an environment as otherwise it may affect his/her selfconcept. So, the students should build the self-concept of learning, how they should do in classroom activities, and how they participate in learning process.

The student anxiety can affect her language learning involves various aspects of emotion, feeling, and attitude of the learner. Arnold (1999, p.55) says that affect is a term that refers to the purposive and emotional sides of a person‟s reactions to what is going on. Those aspects may affect the learner‟s when learning process. Anxiety is one of aspects that makes the learner nervous and afraid, which may cause to learner‟s oral performance. As Toth (2010, p.7) says that anxiety is as general personality trait, as a “here-and-now” experience and what has come to be known as a situation–specific approach. It means that how the learner‟s experience during presentation and discussion sessions in classroom activities, what she feels to interact with other students. Sometimes some students are anxious in any speaking situation. As Toth (2010, p.15) also says individuals who are generally anxious or experience anxiety in certain types of situations have a predisposition to also experience anxiety when learning of using a foreign language. Beside the student‟s anxiety, the student‟s self-confidence is also related in her learning process. As Brown (2001, p.62) says that learners‟ belief that they indeed are fully capable of accomplishing a task is at least partially a factor in their eventual success in attaining the task. It means that the students should have belief that they will get success in learning English.

This belief is to avoid students‟ anxious to speak or use English inclassroom activities.According to Horwitz (1986), in many cases, students‟ feeling of stress, anxiety or nervousness may impede their language learning and performance abilities. These statements indicate an important problem that majority of students face in learning and particularly in speaking as a second foreign language. It is necessary for students learning progress. One of the learning progresses that student should be reached is her English oral performance. Motivation tends to influence the confidence of student to speak in public place. It helps student to awake from her laziness and to avoid her reluctance in English oral performance. Brown (2001, p.75) claims that motivation refers to the intensity of one‟s impetus to learn. In facts, the student is not really motivated in her learning because she does not pursue the goals in classroom activities, i.e., to participate the learning process. She also does not devote an effort to encourage herself in applying English oral performance. As Brown (2001, p.72) also says that motivation is the extent to which you make choices about (a) goals to pursue and (b) the effort you will devote to that pursuit.

Motivation is classified into two types, i.e., intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. According to Mahadi (2012) stated that intrinsic motivation is a motivation to do an activity because of itself. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is a motivation to do a work or an activity as a means or way to achieve a target. It means that the intrinsic motivation is how the student applies her English because she is the English language learner. Then, the extrinsic motivation is the student‟s motivation to learn or practice her English language learning because she would like to be able to speak and master her target language fluently. Student‟s motivation to learn and her achievement in English oral performance have the significant correlation. As Kolodziej (2010) claims that the achievement motivation is a constant drive to improve one‟s level of performance, to accomplish success in contention and the need for achievement is the result of emotional conflict between the hope to approach success and the desire to avoid failure. Unfortunately, she does not really care how far she had mastered her English oral performances. Actually, she has to be able to build the instrumental motivation in order the purpose of language acquisition is more utilitarian, because the student‟s high motivation to learn comes from the level of student‟s achievement. As Brophy (2010, p.3) says that student motivation is rooted in students‟ subjective experiences, especially those connected to their willingness to engage in learning activities and their reasons for doing so.

Name : Siti Hafsah

Source : https://media.neliti.com/media/publications/215241-the-factors-causing-students-reluctance.pdf