the use of information gap technique in speaking

A.   Background
 Language as the tool of communication has an important role to reveal an intention to someone else. People will be able to express their thought and feeling by using language. Language, communication and life can not be separated. Language can be applied in many aspects, such as: education, society, politics, economics, and culture. One of the ways in communication is through speaking.
Speaking is one of the important and essential skills that must be practised to communicate orally. By speaking people are able to know what kinds of situations the world. People who have ability in speaking will be better in sending and receiving information or message to another. Speaking is the process of building and sharing meaning through the use of verbal and non verbal symbol in various contexts.
According to Stevick (1982: 103) speaking refers to the gap between linguistic expertise and teaching methodology. Linguistic expertise concerns with language structure and language content. Teaching speaking is not like listening, reading, and writing. It needs habit formation because it is a real communication. The speaking needs to be practiced as often as possible. It is not like writing and reading but speaking must be practiced directly in full expression.
Related to the statements above, the researcher did pre - observation that was done at the eighth year students of SMPN 27 Makassar, the researcher faced many problems in teaching learning English. The crucial problems were the students’ problems in speaking. The problems were; first, the students always did mistakes in grammar and pronunciation aspect. Basically, they only spoke English but they did not pay attention to the sentence structure and correct pronunciation. Second, the students were afraid of making mistake in speaking English. It indicates that the students had limited vocabulary. Third, the students were difficult to speak fluently because they were seldom to practice their English language.
Based on the result interview of the English teacher at the eighth year students of SMPN 27 Makassar in VIII - I stated that the mean score of the students’ achievement in speaking English was very low. It was about 5.5 mean score and the target score that would be achieved was 7.5.
 From the problems above the researcher applied one of teaching techniques. That was an interesting technique and it could improve the student’s speaking ability, namely information gap technique. The technique was designed to create the students’ interest to learn with pleasant method. The core of information gap technique is corporation between groups and shared.
  Information gap is a useful activity in which one person has information that the other lacks. Another advantage of information gap activities is that students are forced to negotiate meaning because they must make what they are saying comprehensible to others in order to accomplish the task Neu and Reeser, 1997 in Sari (2008:3)
Based on the statements above, the researcher used information gap technique to overcome the students’ problems in speaking. The researcher was interested to apply this technique to teach speaking at the eighth year students of SMPN 27 Makassar in order to improve their ability in speaking.
B.   Problem Statement
        Based on the background   above, the research questions are formulated as follows:
1.         How is the improvement of the students’ speaking accuracy through information gap technique?
2.         How is the improvement of the students’ speaking fluency through information gap technique?
C.   Objective of the Study
  Based on the research questions above, this research aims as follows:
1.         To explain how the improvement of the students’ speaking accuracy through information gap technique.
2.         To explain how the improvement of the students’ speaking fluency through information gap technique.
D.   Significance of the Study
   The findings of the research are expected to be useful information and positive contribution to the English teacher, English students and those who concern with the language learning process. This research gives the teachers a new method to encourage the students to speak accurately and fluently.
   The results of this research are expected to suggest the teacher to give special attention to the students’ needs in teaching and learning process such as a good atmosphere in the classroom, good materials and good method. It is also hoped that the findings of this research will be a piece of worthwhile references for English teacher in teaching speaking by using information gap technique.
E.   Scope of the Study
This research is limited to the use of information gap technique to improve the students’ speaking ability. It is focused on students’ speaking accuracy that covers (vocabulary, grammar) and fluency that covers (self-confident, effectiveness).  These items are chosen because those are very important to be identified by the researcher to improve the role of information gap in motivating and overcoming the students’ problems in learning speaking in English language.


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