The primary goal of English Language Teaching (ELT) is to develop the students’ communicative competence in which the students are expected to be able to communicate messages in various communicative situations especially in spoken form. Thus, communicative competence has five components, namely grammatical, sociolinguistic, discourse, and strategic competence (Canale and Swain (1980), and another component is actional competence (Celce-Murcia (1995). Bailey and Savage (1994: vii) in Fauziati (2010: 15) state that “speaking in a second or foreign language has often been viewed as the most demanding of the four skills”. So, speaking cannot be seen as an easy task to be learned but vice-versa, it is a formidable one. It leads the researcher to observe several problems when the Indonesian English learners communicate in English. She has observed the Indonesian English learners in various proficiency levels, from basic to advance level. Most of them feel difficult to speak English as their foreign language. Although they are, they do not seem having an intention to speak in English. They keep speaking in Bahasa Indonesia and only few English words to be spoken by them. Basically, it is because that speaking is not only about “to speak”, but also how a speaker gives feedback to her speaking partner during a conversation in her foreign language spontaneously. Besides, limited knowledge of English can make them difficult to express the intended message in their conversation.

To overcome the previous problem, a strategy must be applied in speaking class whether to overcome the lack of learners’ speaking skill or to develop learners’ speaking skill. Thus, communication strategies can be taken as a consideration as strategies to overcome the problems above, helping the learners to ease their real communication. “With reference to speaking, strategic competence points out the ability to know how to keep a conversation going, how to terminate the conversation, and how to clear up communication breakdowns and comprehension problems” (Shumin, 1994) in (Yaman, Irgin, and Kavazoglu, 2013: 1). In addition, Felix (in Tarone, 1981: 63) in (Fauziati, 2010: 167) maintains that “Communication strategies may viewed as attempts to bridge the gap between the linguistic knowledge of the second language leaner and the linguistic knowledge of the target language interlocutor in a real communication”. Even more, Cohen, Weaver and Li (1998) claimed the use of strategies in communication raises learners’ language awareness and solves the interlocutors’ potential communication problems. Dörnyei (1995) asserted that communication strategies develop learners’ oral proficiency. “It is believed that learners’ communicative skills can be improved by developing strategies for communication” (Yaman, Irgin, and Kavazoglu, 2013: 256). Fauziati (2010: 167-168) states that, “communication strategies refer to strategic competence.” Thus, there are four components of communicative competence according to Hyme (1983) in Fauziati (2010: 168), namely:

1.      Grammatical competence

Knowledge of the language code such as grammatical rules, vocabulary, pronunciation, spelling, etc.

2.      Discourse competence

Ability to combine language structures into different types of cohesive texts (e.g. political speech, poetry).

3.      Sociolinguistic competence

Mastery of the sociocultural code of language use such as appropriate application of vocabulary, register, politeness and style in a given situation.

4.      Strategic competence

Knowledge of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies which enhance the efficiency of communication and where enable the learner to overcome difficulties when communication breakdowns.

Furthermore, based on the problems which have been discussed, the researcher is interested in conducting research focusing on communication strategies used by eighth grade students in developing their English speaking skill at SMP N 1 Surakarta year 2014/ 2015. The first reason, the researcher would like to observe the communication strategies used by the eighth grade students in speaking class. Furthermore, the researcher would like to contribute for the improvement of students’ speaking ability by conducting this research, because, technically, conducting this research means the researcher socializes the communication strategies for both teachers and students who might not know about the existence of communication strategies.

There are many studies related to the development of speaking ability, but, they are not concerned with the communication strategies in developing speaking ability. Besides, to know more about the specific classification of the communication strategies can be very useful for learners in their speaking skill development.

Thus, there are many taxonomies of communication strategies, such as Dornyei’s taxonomy, Celce-Murcia, et al.’s taxonomy, and Tarone’s taxonomy. The taxonomies are quit similar, but there are also some differences between them. Tarone classifies communication strategies into some categorizations, they are topic avoidance, message abandonment, the use of paraphrase, coinage (creating new words), native language switching, miming, and appeal for assistance.

Furthermore, the researcher chooses Tarone’s taxonomy with reasons that Tarone’s taxonomy is simple and easy to be understood and a good example to understand what is meant by communication strategy. In other words, the researcher hopes in using the Tarone’s taxonomy as the theory which is used to analyse the data, the readers of this research can understand easily on what the meaning of communication strategies are. So, this research is only focused on the description of communication strategies types, the dominant type, and their functions used by the respondents analysed by Tarone’s taxonomy.




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