“Improving the Students’ Pronunciation through Homophone Games

A.   Background
In English language teaching, there are four language elements namely: structure, vocabulary, pronunciation and spelling. Those elements are though in order to develop the students’ skill in the language learning. One second of them should be noticed is pronunciation is considered difficult element method that can be applied in learning pronunciation.
The researcher has observed that in junior high school students are lack of pronunciation while Nurhayati (2008:1), states that the pronunciation means knowledge of knowing to produce word which is very essential in oral communication. When speakers mispronounce some words or phrases, people can be misunderstanding. To reduce it, the teacher must equip the learner with English certain degree accuracy and fluency in understanding, responding and in expressing him self in the language in speech in other the learners communicatively in using the language.
The specific characteristic of English learners who categorized as a good and successful oral skill developer is those who have a good pronunciation of English consonant and English vowel. A good pronunciation of English consonant and English vowel suggested is a consonant and vowel of pronunciation that sounds like native speaker. Therefore, it is necessary for English learners to have a good pronunciation to support them to be good speaker (Nurhayati, 2008).
Due to the problem above, most of the result indicates that the students have low ability in pronunciation included the students of the second year SMP Negeri 15 Makassar. Based on the researchers’ observation, she got that the students still have much difficulty when they are asked to pronounce especially English vowels. Besides that, based on the students’ mean score is still low. 
              There are many interesting media that can be applied to serve the pronunciation in the class; one of them is Homophone Games. With the reason that games offer students a fun-filled and relaxing learning. After learning and practicing new vocabulary, students have the opportunity to use language in a non-stressful way (Uberman, 1998:2).
              Games also motivate students to introduce an element of competition into language-building activities. This provides valuable impetus to a purposeful use of language (Prasad, 2003). In other words, these activities create a meaningful context for language use. Most students who have experienced game-oriented activities hold positive attitudes towards them (Uberman, 1998:2).
              Homophone Games are a natural follow on from the homophone dictation and can be used to help the students to practice and remember homophones (Editor, 2000). A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning. The words may be spelled the same, such as rose (flower) and rose (past tense of “rise”). So that they are pronounced the same but have different meanings. A homophone is a type of homonym, although sometimes homonym is used to refer only to homophones that have the same spelling but different meanings (Wikipedia, 2010).
              Based on the explanation above the researcher would like to take a class action research under the title of “Improving the Students’ Pronunciation through Homophone Games (A Classroom Action Research at SMP Negeri 15 Makassar)”.
B.   Problem Statements
Based on the background above, the researcher formulates the research questions as follow:
1.    How is the improvement of the students’ pronunciation of English long vowels through Homophone Games?
2.    How is the improvement of the students’ pronunciation of English short vowels through Homophone Games?
C.   Objective of the Study
The objectives of the study are as follow:
1.    To find out the improvement of the students’ pronunciation of English long vowels through Homophone Games.
2.    To find out the improvement of students’ pronunciation of English short vowels through Homophone Games.
D.   Significance of the Study
            It is expected that the finding of the study will be significant information for teachers of English in general and for the teachers of English in SMP Negeri 15 Makassar in particular.
E.   Scope of the Study
              The scope of the study is limited on the application of Homophone Games in improving the students’ pronunciation, focused on the students’ English long vowels and English short vowels.

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