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Improving the Students’ Speaking Ability Through Ice Breaker Method to The Seventh Year Students of SMP


A.  Title: “Improving the students speaking ability through Ice Breaker method to the seventh year students of SMP ”

B.  Background

The teaching of English covers four skills, namely reading, writing, speaking and listening. Listening and reading are said to be receptive, while speaking and writing are said to be productive. Speaking in foreign language is very complex task because the speaker has to understand the nature of what appears to be involved.  For  example,  learners need  linguistic  competence  to  be  able  to  use  the  language  appropriately  to  give context.  It  means  that  learners  must  also  acquire  knowledge  of  how  the  native speaker uses the language in the context of structured interpersonal  exchange, in which many factors interact.

English teaching and learning has the goal of focusing students so that they are able to use English for communication and as a tool for furthering their studies. In the process of teaching and learning, the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) are simultaneously performed. Normally, learners in an EFL context do not use the language in authentic situations. They possess inability in communicating appropriately and correctly. In foreign language teaching and learning, ability to speak is the most essential skill since it is the basic for communication and it is the most difficult skill. Speaking English is the most difficult for learners (Oradee 2012:533).

Learning speaking is one important matter in learning language but it is not a simple work to do. Basically, the students only speak English but they do not pay attention to the sentence structure and correct pronunciation. Besides, the students still have limited vocabulary, due to they are seldom practice their English language. Some of the students are shy to have an opportunity in speaking, they prefer to be silent in speaking activity. The researcher has found similar case in class where the students cannot say something perfectly in English. They do not know what they must say and how to say, they look very confuse to express the ideas on their mind even not active enough on their speaking class.

This problem appears at the seventh grade students of SMP  where the Speaking ability of the students is still low. It is proved by their mean score in learning English when they were at the second semester in academic year 2014/2015 namely class VII1 (68.23), class VII2 (70.17), class VII3 (69.81), class VII4 (72.28), and class VII5 (69.37). It can be calculated that their mean sores were average 70.56 and classified as fair classification. Where the standard score for English is minimal score 75.

There is no specific method to teach English, teacher not controlling the class but controlled by the class and situation. Speaking is the most important lesson that the students should be mastered, but in fact speaking becomes the most difficult lesson to understand by the students, so thatthe speaking always becomes passive class in every meeting. To solve the problem in this research, the researcher would like to usedIce Breaker Method.

Fletcher and Kunst (2006: 6) give explanation that “People have got to get to know each other in social change work. Sometimes we assume that just because we share a common interest to get to know each other, and that’s just not true! Projects will go on for months before people really get comfortable with each other. These method(Ice Breaker) are great for introductions and getting to know people in new environments or to reminder us who we’re working with in established communities”.

According to Eggleston (2002:3) Ice-breakers used to build community in class and also to introduce the upcoming topical matter. The using ice-breaker activities allows students to be more engaged and interested in the topic.  Ice-breakers are certainly necessary in the first days of a course, but ice-breakers also used to build community throughout the semester and to introduce new course material.

Based on the explanation above the researcher will apply the Ice Breaker in teaching speaking at the classroom under the title “Improving the Students’ Speaking Ability Through Ice Breaker Method to The Seventh Year Students of  SMP  

C.  Problem Statement

By looking over the background, the researcher formulate the problem statement as follow: “Can the use of Ice Breaker improve the speaking ability of the seventh year students of SMP Negeri 5 Parepare?”

D.  Objective of the Research.

Based on the problem statement above, the objective of the research can be stated as follows “To find out the result of using Ice Breaker to improve students’ speaking ability to the seventh gradestudents of SMP 

E.     Significance of the Research.

The significance of this research can  contribute some benefits to students and teachers. They are:

1.      It may motivate students to improve their interest in speaking sincethey will find out that English speaking materials are not always complicated, boring, monotonous, and discussing uninteresting matters only. It is expected that students will find out that they can learn English through many sources that they like. By using Ice Breaker as teaching media, hopefully, the students will improve their speaking ability, which finally will help them to master English well.

2.      It may show teacher that Ice Breaker and other forms of interesting ways can be used for teaching speaking. At least, those kinds of material will become a stimulantntto build students’ interest in speaking. Moreover, this will give teachers inspiration in improving their teaching method so that they can attract students and will finally improve the students’ mastery of the material that they taught.

F.   Scope of The Research

The scope of the research which is restricted by discipline, content, and activity, is explained as follows: This divided into three parts as follow:

1.      By discipline: this research is limited to the field of applied linguistics, the teaching subject in terms of speaking ability by using Ice Breaker.

2.      By contents: this research covered some component of speaking there are Mechanics (pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary).

3.      By activity: the researcher used two ways in teaching vocabulary, they were:

a.       For the experimental group, the researcher teach speaking by using Ice Breaker. The researcher Focus on building the group, planning an icebreaker, give yourself plenty of time to describe the activity and debrief the activity and use the discomfort as a topic for discussion.

b.      For the control group, the researcher teach speaking by using traditional method. The researcher prepare the text and then asks the students to speak.


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