Improving the Students Speaking Ability Through Cue Card (Action Research)

Improving the Students Speaking Ability Through Cue Card (Action Research)
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  - 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 Cue Card. The technique was designed to create the students’ interest to learn with pleasant method. The core of Cue Card is corporation between groups and shared.
Cue card is introduced as one of the teaching media. Cue card is card with words or picture on, which are used to encourage the students to respond (Harmer, 2001:134). Cue card is interesting due to its simplicity and attractiveness. Besides inexpensive, the process of making it is not quite complicated. A teacher, sometimes, needs creativity to make the cards more attractive. Cue card as the modification  of picture has many advantages, one of  which is that it is clearly visible. Thus, when students are asked to describe something/someone in detail, cue cards can help them to produce the description easily
Based on the statements above, the researcher used cue cards 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  in order to improve their ability in speaking.


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