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USING ROLE PLAY IN IMPROVING STUDENTS SPEAKING SKILL IN TRANSACTIONAL-INTERACTIONAL TALK (A Classroom Action Research At Tenth Grade Students

of SMK Bina Putra Sungai Raya in Academic Year 2011/2012)

I.

RESEARCH BACKGROUND

The mastery of speaking skills is considered as a priority by many teachers and students who teach and learn English as a foreign language. Most students and administrative of schools will evaluate the effectiveness of the English teaching on the basis of how well the students can speak. Other reason why speaking skill is a priority is that people who know a language will be referred as the speaker of that language, therefore most people are interested in learning to speak (Ur:2003). Such speaking skills are to express ideas orally without any confusion in the message due to the incorrect pronunciation, grammar, and/or vocabulary. Stovall (1998: 4) proposed three areas of knowledge learners should recognize in speaking, mechanics (pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary), functions (transaction and interaction), and social and cultural rules and norms (turn-taking, rate of speech, length of pauses between speakers, relative roles of participants). Harmer pointed out two elements of speaking in order to speak fluently; a knowledge of language features (connected speech, expressive devices, lexis and grammar, and negotiation language) and mental processing (language processing, interacting with others, and information processing) (2001: 269-271).

As the goal of speaking is to convey messages through spoken language, mechanics and language features are important to make the message become clear as well as the mental processing. Different functions of spoken language (transaction, interaction, and performance) have different features. It affects the focus of the language features. By helping students develop knowledge of language features (mechanics and expressive devices), functions, and mental processing, teachers may enable students to use the language in a variety of contexts inside and outside classroom. Thus, English is important to be developed not only to meet the students academic achievement at school, but also their usage of the language outside the school (e.g. working world and social life). Education in Indonesia has been reformed, especially in the English language teaching. Few decades ago, the teaching was emphasized on the grammar rules, lists of vocabularies, and sentence for translation. In recent years, English language teaching has focused more on teaching English language, rather than teach about English language. Thus, not only students linguistic competence but also students communicative ability is emphasized. In KTSP (Kurikulum Tingkat Satuan Pendidikan) 2006 for Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan (Vocational High School), the goal of English learning is to provide students ability to communicate orally or written in the context of their technical skills. In the competence standard of the tenth grade of vocational school, the students must be able to communicate using English in novice level.

The type of spoken language in the basic competence mentioned above is transactional. Harmer stated that transactional talk is to get business done and so it is message oriented (1998:5). Stovall was in agreement with Harmer by saying that in transactional talk, it is important that the message is clearly expressed so that there is less chance for misunderstanding (1998 :5). Richard in his article also agreed that the message and making oneself understood clearly and accurately is the central focus (2006 : 3). It can be concluded that to communicate orally, especially in transactional talk, message is the most important factor. Explaining need or intention, describing something, asking questions, asking for clarification, making comparisons, are some skills needed in performing transactional talk. However, transactional talk should not be separated from interactional talk since in transactional talk ones also need skills such as opening and closing conversations, choosing topics, turn-taking, and using adjacency pairs which are skills in talk as interaction. As it is stated by McCarthy (Burkart, 1998:5): Even in the most strictly transactional of settings, people often engage in interactional talk, exchanging chat about the weather and many unpredictable things. Transactional and interactional talk are both interactive and need cooperation between speakers in order to build interaction or transaction. Students at SMK Bina Putra Sungai Raya encounter problems in developing the speaking skills in order to transfer their message to make themselves understood clearly in transactional-interactional talk. They are not being able to use a range of vocabulary and grammatical structure and range of

basic phrases and expressions useful for everyday conversation (how to start and finish a conversation, how to buy things in a shop, etc.). By indicating the problems in improving students ability in transactionalinteractional talk, the writer is interested in investigating a method to develop the students speaking skill. The method that is going to be applied is role play. Ur stated that by using role play, teacher can give the students opportunity to practice improvising a range of real-life spoken language in the classroom (1991 : 133). Moreover, role-play is one of the technique that based on communicative language teaching method which provides whole-task practice, allows natural learning, and create a context which supports learning (Littlewood in Xu Liu, 2010:136 ). Richards and Rogers (1986 : 76) mentioned role play as one of examples of the social interaction activities compatible with a communicative approach which fluency and acceptable language is the primary goal. Varela and Torre support this idea by stating that role-play contributes to the development of conversational skills and are suitable to develop students fluency and interaction (2008: 5). Therefore, the main objective of this technique is to prepare students for the real-life language use by practicing in the classroom the situation that may happen in real life. In practicing transactional-interactional talk where message and interaction are important, role play can be used as a technique that require students to be involved in information sharing, participate a lot in order to convey the message by using suitable expressions and vocabularies in correct grammatical structures.

The effectiveness of role play in teaching speaking had been proven by Ayu Diyah Harni Susanti, a student at English Department Faculty of Tarbiyah and Teachers Training Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta, State Islamic University, in 2007 who had investigated the effectiveness of this technique in improving students score of speaking at junior high school. The investigation had proven that the students score taught by using role play is better. It means that the use of role play in teaching speaking is quite effective. Most students found it enjoyable and it leads to better attention in learning and stimulate them to participate in role play activities. This classroom action research will be arranged in Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan Bina Putra Sungai Raya. The subject of this research is tenth grade students. The students had learnt about the expressions in transactionalinteractional talk at junior high school. However, most of them still have lack of vocabulary and expressions useful for everyday conversation and have problems in constructing grammatical correct sentences. Their English achievement are still lower than Kriteria Ketuntasan Minimum (KKM) in SMK Bina Putra Sungai Raya which is 65. In conducting the study in this class, the writer as the teacher will prepare an interview for each student in order to know the real students communicative competence. The students will have to take performance test in every meeting in order to be administered to the sample as the comparison of the significant improving in speaking skill. Besides, interview, field notes and scoring criterions are used to support the data collecting. This research is expected to be one

solution to improve speaking skills of the tenth grade students of Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan Bina Putra Sungai Raya.

II.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS In order to carry out this research systematically, the problems of this

research needs to be formulated as follows: 1. How the using of role play improve the speaking skill of tenth grade students of Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan Bina Putra Sungai Raya in academic year 2011/2012?

III.

RESEARCH PURPOSE The purpose of the research is to find out the effectiveness of role play in

improving the speaking skill in transactional-interactional talk to the tenth grade students of Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan Bina Putra Sungai Raya in academic year 2011/2012.

IV.

ACTION HYPOTHESIS The action hypothesis is proposed as follows :

1.

Role play does not improve the speaking skill in interactional-transactional talk of tenth grade students of Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan Bina Putra Sungai Raya in academic year 2011/2012.

2.

Role play improves the speaking skill in interactional-transactional talk of tenth grade students of Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan Bina Putra Sungai Raya in academic year 2011/2012.

V.

TERMINOLOGY In order to clarify the terms and avoid misunderstanding and misinterpreting writing, the researcher provides the following explanation: a. Role play refers to the technique of teaching to improve learners ability in spoken language where learners are assigned roles which they act out in a given scenario. b. Students speaking skill is the students ability to express needs or intentions by using suitable expressions and vocabularies in correct grammatical structures. c. Transactional-interactional talk refers to interaction where the central focus is the message and making oneself understood clearly by using correct expressions and vocabularies in correct grammatical structures.

VI.

FRAME of THEORY

A. The Notion of Speaking Chaney (in Kayi, 2006:) defines speaking as the process of building and sharing meaning through the use of verbal and non-verbal symbols in a variety of context. Verbal symbols are words, sentences, sounds, or other utterances that

are said aloud to convey meaning. Non-verbal symbols are gestures or body language that are not spoken but still try to convey meaning. For instance, one can simply nod his head to express agreement or point to some direction to explain how to get to a place. However, speech is basically communication by sounds. Speech as spoken language has many uses in daily lives as stated by Mc Carthy in Burkart (1998:3). He suggests nine types of speech that are the most frequent used: a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. Casual conversation (with strangers, friends, and intimates) Monologues of various kinds (speeches, stories, etc.) Telephone calls (business and private) Service encounters (in shops, ticket offices, etc.) Language in action (talk that accompanies actions such as demonstrating, assembling, cooking, etc.) Organizing and directing people (at work, in the home, in the street) Interviews (jobs, journalistic, in official settings) Classroom talk (classes, seminars, lectures, tutorials) Rituals (church prayers, sermons, weddings)

The numerous using of spoken language in daily life making it appears very variable. Topics and functions are adjusted to avoid misunderstanding or giving unintentional insult. Topics about weather or interest are more brought up in a social phone call rather than in a business call. The language functions also vary from one talk to another. An employer cannot express displeasure with an employees work in the same way that a parent scolds a child. Thus, speaking is not merely a competence in sending and receiving messages, but it requires five competences (Burkart, 1998:4) : a. Communicative competence. It is the ability to adjust and accommodate ones language to the context.

b.

Linguistic or grammatical competence. It is the knowledge of grammar and vocabulary.

c.

Discourse competence. It is the knowledge how to interpret sentences within a larger linguistic context and how to construct longer stretches of language so that the parts make up a coherent whole.

d. Sociolinguistic competence. It is the knowledge how to use and respond to language appropriately, taking into account settings, topics, functions, and role relationship. e. Strategic competence. It is the ability to detect and repair communication breakdowns, to find alternative ways of saying things when words or forms fail, and even to use nonverbal means of communication. In order to use the spoken language, the knowledge of lexical, grammar, and context should be tied in with sociolinguistic and strategic competencies. The words and sentences are used appropriately so the messages can be conveyed accordingly. Students are not only taught about the vocabularies and grammar, but also how and when to use them in order to make the communication effective. Five competencies mentioned above supported by three areas of knowledge that students need to recognize (Burkart, 1998 in nclrc.org) : a. Mechanics (pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary): Using the right words in the right order with the correct pronunciation.

b. Functions (transaction and interaction): Knowing when clarity of message is essential (transaction/information exchange) and when precise understanding is not required (interaction/relationship building). c. Social and cultural rules and norms (turn-taking, rate of speech, length of pauses between speakers, relative roles of participants): Understanding how to take into account who is speaking to whom, in what circumstances, about what, and for what reason. Knowledge of mechanics are not only focused on pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary, but also on collocation, aspect of meaning (denotation, connotation, appropriateness, meaning relationship), and word formation (Ur, 1991). Since spoken language is essentially communication using sounds, it is obvious for learners to be able to recognize the sounds of the language, stress and rhythm, and intonation. Sounds might be the most obvious and clearly defined among the three. It can be defined by using phonetic transcription. However, stress and rhythm, and intonation should be deployed in order to make an effective communication. As it is stated by Harmer (2001:269) who classified pitch and stress of particular parts of utterances, variation of volume and speed, and physical and non-verbal (paralinguistic) expressions as expressive devices. He then added that meaning can be conveyed by the use of these expressive devices. The second area of knowledge is function. Burkart (1998) pointed out two functions in speech; (1) transaction, and (2) interaction. Whereas Richards (2008:21) expanded the functions: (1) interaction, (2) transaction, and (3)

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performance. Talk as interaction serves a social function. The focus is more on the speakers rather than on the message. Whereas, the focus of talk as transaction is the message not the participants. Talk as performance is talk for transmitting information before an audience.

B. Transactional-interactional talk

Brown and Yule (1983:14) emphasized on the importance of transactional talk in learning English. Those who wish to be able to speak in English need to be able to express their transactional intentions. Richards (2006:4) stated six main features of talk as transaction: a. b. c. It has a primarily information focus The main focus is the message and not the participants Participants employ communication strategies to make themselves understood d. e. f. There may be frequent questions, repetitions, and comprehension checks There may be negotiation and digression Linguistic accuracy is not always important Burkart (1998: 5) proposed that the main purpose of transactional talk is to get business done. Thus, it is message oriented and the message must be clearly expressed. The information delivered by the speakers is the focus in the conversation, rather than the speakers. In expressing the message, learners may use questions, repetitions, and employ communication strategies. Wenden and Rubin in Ya-Ni (2007) state that learners who focus on the importance of using

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the language often utilize communication strategies. Stern (1983) in Ya-Ni (2007:44) define communication strategies as techniques of coping with difficulties in communicating in an imperfectly known second language. Since the message is the focus in transactional talk and it can be conveyed by employing communicative strategies, grammar patterns, correct pronunciation, and appropriate vocabulary should not be emphasized. However, a successful transactional talk often involves specific vocabulary (Brown and Yule:1983:13). Thus, the language tends to be clearer and more specific. Richards (2008:26) makes a list some of the skills involved in using talk for transactions: a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. Explaining a need or intention. Describing something Asking questions Asking for clarification Confirming information Justifying an opinion Making suggestions Clarifying understanding Making comparisons Agreeing and disagreeing

He then adds some examples of talk as transaction: a. b. c. d. e. Classroom group discussions and problem solving activities A class activity during which students design a poster Discussing needed computer repairs with a technician. Discussing sightseeing plans with a hotel clerk or tour guide Making a telephone call to obtain flight information

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f. g. h.

Asking someone for directions on the street Buying something in a shop Ordering food from a menu in a restaurant. There are still many examples of talk as transaction, for instance taking a

message, requesting an appointment, or dealing with complaints. One example of a typical conversation where one might take a message is like this: A B : Good morning, Olympia Shipping. May I help you? (Greeting, offer of assistance) : Yes, good morning. This is Alice Stillman, I need to speak with Sven Jansen, please. (Response to question, introducing oneself, explaining a need or intention) : One moment please . . . I am sorry, but Mr. Jansen is out of the office right now, can I take a message? (Request for forgiveness, give information, asking question) : Yes, please. Would you tell him that we need to reschedule our meeting for tomorrow? I have a conflicting appointment that I can't change. (Answering the question, Ask for help) : Of course. I'll let him know that you have a conflicting appointment tomorrow that you can not change it, is that correct Ms. Stillman? (Confirming information) : Yes, that is correct. : And may I have you number please, Ms. Stillman? (Asking questions) : Yes, I am at 422-5692, that's Hanson Furniture Company. (Answering the question) : That's 422-5692. Is there anything else I can help you with, Ms. Stillman? (Confirming the information, asking question) : No, thank you. That's all I needed. Bye bye. (Thanking, parting) : Good bye, Ms. Stillman. (Parting)

B A B A

B A

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Even in transactional talk, the type of talk is not purely transactional. As in the sample above, the conversation that is included in a transactional form, involves greeting, thanking, and parting which is a kind of interactional talk. McCarthy (Burkart, 1998:5) stated that even in most strictly transactional situation, speakers often engage in interactional talk. Before one speaker get things done, he/she might have to open conversation and make small talk. Both kind of talk are interactive, requires cooperation between two speakers to construct interaction or transaction. Richards (2008:23) mentioned several skills involved in using talk as interaction: a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. Opening and closing conversation Choosing topics Making small-talk Joking Recounting personal incidents and experiences Turn-taking Using adjacency pairs Interrupting Reacting to others Using an appropriate style of speaking.

However, when a conversation focuses on gettting things done, two speakers are likely to minimize interactional talk in order to get directly to the point of the conversation. For instance, two speakers in a business telephone call might not joke or recount personal experiences. Thus, speakers should mix appropriately transactional and interactional talk.

C.

The Nature of Learning Speaking

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Being able to interact with a language is essential for language learners as the goal of learning a language is to communicate using the language orally or written. As for daily interaction, spoken language tends to be used more than written language. Thus, learners are encouraged to be able to use the spoken language. Characteristics of language can be described as follows : a. b. Language is a system for the expression of meaning. The primary function of language is for interaction and communicative uses. c. The structure of language reflects its functional and communicative uses. d. The primary units of language are not merely its grammatical and structural features, but categories of functional and communicative meaning as exemplified in discourse. (Richards and Rogers, 1986:71) Though it seems that speech contains simpler construction than written form, it is a complex skill which involves intrinsic and extrinsic aspect. As for the intrinsic aspects, students have to learn to group words, get familiar with informal words and reduced forms, learn how to use communication strategies, and become familiar with phonological aspects. As for the extrinsic aspects, speaking needs practice, confidence, and motivation ( Varella and Liste, 2006). Through practice, students are given opportunity to learn language easily. Practice forms habit of using language. Richards and Rogers (1986:72) underline three elements to promote language learning : a. Activities that involve real communication promote learning; b. Activities in which language is used for carrying out meaningful tasks promote learning.

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c. Language that is meaningful to the learner supports the learning process. Since one of the objectives of vocational high school is to provide students with experience in workplace environment, English in vocational high schools (SMK) is concerned with language for specific occupations and finding a job. The implication of this is the teaching-learning process should be carried out in a meaningful task focused on specific language skills related to their course.

D.

The Nature of Teaching Speaking

Stern (1991:21) defines language teaching as the activities which are intended to bring about language learning. He also identifies three characteristics of language teaching: 1. 2. Formal instruction or methods of training are included. Supporting activities, such as preparation of teaching materials or the

training of teachers; 3. Making the necessary administrative provision inside or outside an

educational system. The using of formal instruction (deductive presentation of rules, PresentPractice-Produce) is essential in most language learning contexts. However, the effectiveness of the instuction has been questioned by many researchers and teachers. Students who worked hard doing exercises to reinforce the language items and structures, failed in oral or written work. Even if they can say something, they usually speak with many pauses and difficulties (Chun Hua,

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2009). Therefore, language teachers may study and apply other methods suitable with the students in order to help them in improving their language skills, especiall their speaking skills. Methods and techniques used by teachers in a language classroom should be accomplished with teaching materials. Example of teaching materials are audio-visual aids, real objects, pictorial materials, and other two-dimensional objects. In improving the speaking skills, students will need a model on how a conversation takes place. This can be provided by using audio-visual aids. Nunan (in Kayi, 2006) defines teaching speaking is to teach learners to : 1. Produce the English speech sounds and sounds patterns; 2. Use word and sentence stress, intonation patterns and the rhythm of the second language; 3. Select appropriate words and sentences according to the proper social setting, audience, situation, and subject matter; 4. Organize their thoughts in a meaningful and logical sequence; 5. Use language as a means of expressing values and judgements; 6. Use the language quickly and confidently with few unnatural pauses, which is called as fluency.

To teach speaking, a well preparation (teaching materials and lesson plan) is needed before the teaching process takes place. A teacher also should determine the methods and techniques that suitable and appropriate with the students and the goal of teaching. The goal of language teaching is to develop communicative competence (Richards and Rogers , 1986:69). Burkart (1998:13) states that the goal of teaching spoken language for communication is to enable students to produce spoken messages as they carry out a range of tasks in a variety of

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contexts outside classroom. They should be able to use the language to interpret, express and negotiate meaning. In teaching speaking, a language teacher should pay attention on some strategies as teaching each language skills ae different from one another. Kayi (2006:4-5) proposes suggestions in teaching speaking: a. Provide maximum opportunity to students to speak the target language by providing a rich environment that contains collaborative work, authentic materials and tasks, and shared knowledge. Try to involve each student in every speaking activity; for this aim, practice different ways of student participation. Reduce teacher speaking time in class while increasing student speaking time. Step back and observe students. Indicate positive signs when commenting on a students response. Ask eliciting questions such as What do you mean? How did you reach that conclusion? in order to prompt students to speak more. Provide written feedback like Your presentation was really great. It was a good job. I really appreciated your efforts in preparing the materials and efficient use of your voice... Do not correct students pronunciation mistakes very often while they are speaking. Correction should not distract student from his or her speech. Involve speaking activities not only in class but also out of class; contact parents and other people who can help. Circulate around classroom to ensure that students are on the right track and see whether they need your help while they work in groups or pairs. Provide the vocabulary beforehand that studnets need in speaking activities. Diagnose problems faced by students who have difficulty in expressing themselves in the target language and provide more opportunities to practice the spoken language.

b. c. d. e. f.

g.

h. i.

j. k.

E. 1.

Role-Play Definition of Role-play In order to promote meaning learning and bring real communication in the classroom, role play is considered as a technique that can improve students

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speaking skill. Role play is one method of getting the students to imagine they are someone else and play that part (Shi Zeng, in Xu Liu, 2010). Ur (1991:131) defines role-play is an activities where students imagine themselves in a situation outside the classroom. The students will be given a role which may be written out on cards. The example is given below.

ROLE CARD A : You are a customer in a cake shop. You want a birthday cake for a friend. He or she is very fond of chocolate.

ROLE CARD B : You are a shop assistant in a cake shop. You have many kinds of cake, but not chocolate cake.

(Porter-Ladousse in Ur, 1991: 132-133)

Luoma (2004:152) gives an example of role-play written out on a booklet as follow : Student As test booklet : You will be interviewed by a couple who is going to go travelling. The couple needs someone to take care of their sons. Try to give a good impression in the job-interview. Tell him/her : o o o o Ask: Why you want this job; About your experience in taking care of children; About your language skills; That you can swim very well.

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o About the job description; o About working hours; o About salary and free time; o About oppurtunities for sailing. Students B test booklet. You will go travelling with your family. You need someone to take care of your sons. You will interview a person who is applying for the job. Start: o By introducing yourself; o By asking the interviewees name.

Ask: o Why he/she is applying for the job; o Experience; o Swimming ability; o Language skills. Promise: o A pleasant job; o Beautiful scenery; o Good salary; o Well-behaved children; o To inform the applicant the next day. Finish the interview politely and remember to say goodbye.

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The example above have some features as suggested by Richards (1985:83): a. They provide opportunities to practice strategies for opening, developing, and terminating conversational encounters; b. They require learners to develop meanings collaboratively; c. They necessitate the use of turn taking rules; d. They practice use of conversational routines and expressions; e. They involve learners in different kinds of roles, necessitating use of different styles of speaking; f. They require negotiated completion of tasks; g. They involve information sharing; h. They focus on comprehensible and meaningful input and output; i. They require a high degree of learner participation. In more specific explanation, Richards (1984:86) then mentions three things involved in role play : a. b. Description of a setting, participants, and a goal or problem; Descriptions of the role of each of the participants and the tasks he or she has to accomplish. c. Performing the task assigned to students, drawing on whatever language resources they can and improvising suitable responses to the situations as it develops. He then adds 3 characteristics of role-play : a. It focuses on using language and conversational resources in order to make oneself understood and in order to accomplish a task. b. c. It is a practice or revision activity rather than a teaching activity. It is suitable as a means of consolidating and practising aspects of conversational proficiency than of teaching new forms.

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Doing role-play activities is a way to practice, rehearse, situations that may happen in real life. The purpose of this is to prepare students for the real life-language use (Gu Yugeo, in Xu Liu, 2010). Moreover, role-play is one of activities that can enhance fluency. Non-challenging role-plays suitable with students level of proficiency may improve students speed and efficiency in using spoken language. 2. Types of Role Play Byrne (1986) grouped role play into two forms, scripted and unscripted role play. Those types of role play can be described as follows: a. Scripted Role Play In scripted role play, students intrepet either the textbook dialogue or reading text in the form of speech. The main function of the text after all is to convey the meaning of language items in a memorably way (Byrne, 1986:122). Doff (1988:102-103) proposed four steps to demonstrate a scripted role play based on the dialogue: 1) First, the teacher guides the role play by writing these prompts: (where?/air mail/how much?/post box?/thanks). Students are asked to talk as it is written to show what the prompts mean. 2) If necessary, go through the prompts one by one, and get students to give sentences or question for each one. 3) Call two students to the front. They should improvise the conversation using the prompts to help them. The conversation should be similar to the one in the textbook, but not exactly the

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same; the conversation can be shorter than the dialogue. It should just cover the main points indicated by the prompts. 4) Call out a few other pairs of students in turn, and ask them to have other conversation based on the prompts. The ways of organizing this dialogue can be carried out into pairs of students who would improvise a conversation in front of the class. The teacher can also ask the students to practice the conversation privately with their partners before they act it out in front of the class. b. Unscripted Role Play In contrast to scripted role play, the situations of unscripted role play do not depend on textbooks. It is known as a free role play or improvisation. The students have to decide what language to use and how the conversation should develop. In order to do this type of role play, a good preparation from teacher and students is really necessary. Doff (1988:103) proposed procedure below to bring out unscripted role play: 1) Teacher prepare the whole class by discussing what the speakers might say in a certain situation and writing prompt on the board to guide the role play, and any key vocabulary. 2) The teacher could divide the class into pairs. 3) Students try out the role play privately before they are called to act out in front of the class.

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This research will implement unscripted role play in improving students speaking skill. In unscripted role play, students are asked to internalize their English by deciding what language to use rather than just memorized the words or sentences. 3. Significance of Role-play in Teaching Speaking Role play is not only fun and make students learning more meaningful, but it also arouses students motivation in learning English. A reaserch conducted by Xu Liu in 2010 found that most average and low mark students chose role play on the aspect of arousing their motivation of English speaking. The finding of the research is shown in the table below.

methods

percentage

Traditional methods

Role-play activity method

Other methods

Students type

Excellent students Average students Low mark students (Xu Liu, 2010:143)

39 % 18 % 11 %

57 % 71 % 85 %

4% 11 % 4%

Harmer (2001: 274-275) also advocates the use of role-play in language class for the following reason : a. It is fun and motivating;

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b.

Quieter students get chance to express themselves in a more forthright way;

c.

The classroom is broadened by including the world outside. Therefore, students can use a much wider range of language. In conclusion, role-play is a technique which can develop students

speaking skill in transactional talk since it enhances students fluency and develops their communicative strategies. Role-play also increases motivation and makes the teaching-learning process more fun and enjoyable.

4. The Procedures of Role-play Kindsvatter, Wilen, and Ishler (1996:27-275) provide four phases in roleplay : o Phase I (orientation) : Explain role-play, the purpose of using role-play, and the general goals. Present the problem situation in role-play in order to make the students understand the characters/roles. Objectives to be achieved.

o Phase II (Participant Preparation) Prepare the situation. Manage the classroom. Select the participants. Give list of questions for students who are not yet participating.

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o Phase III (Enactment Operations) Enactment role-play. Teacher facilitates operations without giving too much

intervention. Close role-play.

o Phase IV (Debriefing Discussion) Review action. Relate the role-play to real world. Connect to previous learning and future goals.

In order to focus on the learning activity, Shaftels in Joyce and Weil (1996:94) suggest nine steps in the role-play activity : (1)warm up the group, (2) select participants, (3) set the stage, (4) prepare observers, (5) enact, (6) discuss and evaluate, (7) reenact, (8) discuss and evaluate, and (9) share experiences and generalize. In implementing role-play in language classroom, Richards (2008:31) mentions a simpler set of step : a. Preparing: reviewing vocabulary, real-world knowledge related to the content, and context of the role play (e.g., returning a faulty item to a store). b. Modelling and eliciting: demonstrating the stages that are typically involved in the transaction, eliciting suggestions for how each stage can be carried out, and teaching the functional language needed for each stage.

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c.

Practicing and reviewing: Assigning students roles and practicing a role play using cue cards or realia to provide language and other support. In the case of applying role play to SMK students, four phases proposed by Kindsvatter, Wilen, and Ishler will be applied. The phases give a clear yet simple steps in applying role play in the classroom. The last phase ask students to relate the role play to the real world which is important for SMK students whose orientation is work situation in real life.

VII.

FRAME of CONCEPT

A pre-experimental study conducted by Ayu Diyah Harni Susanti (2007) on using role play in teaching speaking proved that the students score of speaking taught by using role play is quite effective. Similar result shown in a classroom action research conducted by Henny Dwi Daryati (2007). The first semester students of XD class of SMAN 1 Sungai Raya of which the sample of Hennys research, showed improvement on their speaking ability. However, both studies do not specify what kind of spoken language been analyzed.Whereas, there are three different types of spoken language (interactiona, transactional, and performance) and each type will have implication for teaching and learning activities in an English class (Richards, 2008:29). This study then will focus on transactional-interactional talk covering skills opening and closing conversations, asking questions, responding to questions and explaining need or intention, Based on explanation above, this study will conduct a classroom action research to the tenth grade students of SMK Bina Putra Sungai Raya in

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Academic Year 2011/2012 to improve students speaking skill in transactionalinteractional talk using role-play. Improving students speaking skill in transactional talk using role-play will follow steps below: First step o Present the goal and objectives of learning. o Teacher introduces the topic, situation, and the script. o Explains the role-play. Second step o A preliminary demonstration by the teacher and a student or watching videos of native speakers performing the same role play. o Students read a dialogue on a related topic to provide examples of the kind of language that could be used to carry out such a transaction. o Teach the functional language needed. Third step o Select the participants/groups. o Give list of questions for other groups (observer) to be answered as the observer view the role-play. o Students perform a role play. o Students compare differences between the way each group expressed particular functions and o Feedback and follow up activities.

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VIII.

RESEARCH FORM Classroom action research will be used in accordance with the purpose of

this study. According to Kemmis and McTaggart (in Burns, 2010:8), action research consists of four phases : 1. 2. 3. 4. Planning; Action; Observation; Reflection.

Action research has recursive nature as shown in figure below :


PLANNING PLANNING

ACTION

ACTION

OBSERVATION

OBSERVATION

REFLECTION CYCLE 1

REFLECTION CYCLE 2

The classroom action research will be conducted in two cycles. Each cycles consists of two meetings. Every meeting will last for 90 minutes (2 x 45 minutes). The materials given in the first cycle considered as simple one (vocabularies commonly used in certain situation) and the purpose of giving non challenging materials is to drive students confidence in speaking English and to remind them about materials they have learnt in junior high schools. The

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second cycle will include a more challenging materials than in the first cycle (vocabularies and expressions used in certain situation). At the end of each cycle, students will be given an oral test in a form of role play. The test then will be analyzed to give information for the teacher about the students improvement in speaking skills. IX. RESEARCH PARTICIPANT Richards and Schmidt (2002:406) defines population as individuals who shares some common and observable characteristics. The population is defined by the reasearcher and must be accessible, quantifiable and relate to the purpose of the study. Therefore, the population of this research is tenth grade students of Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan Bina Putra Sungai Raya in academic year 2011/2012. By using cluster random sampling, the writer chooses X A class as the sample of this study.

X.

TOOLS OF DATA COLLECTING Tools of data collecting that will be used in this study are interview, field

notes, speaking test, and scoring table. Interview will be used in order to gather data on students speaking proficiency. There will be several questions in the interview in which students will respond. Field notes are used to gather data in detail during the observation and throughout data collecting process. Speaking test will be assigned in each cycle and it is in role-play format. The scoring of speaking test is rated into four levels of score criteria.

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XI.

TECHNIQUE OF DATA ANALYSIS The data collected in this study will be analyzed depending on the type of

data collected. First, the interview will be analyzed to know the students speaking proficiency before the action takes place. The second, will be the analyzing of data taken from speaking test. The scoring criterions and the formula are given as follows:

GRAMMAR

VOCABULARY (CHOICE OF WORDS)

EXPRESSIONS USED IN CONVERSATION

Correct grammar = 1 Wrong grammar = 0

Very good = 3 Good = 2 Bad = 1

Very good = 3 Good = 2 Bad = 1

Total score:

In analyzing the data, a formula will be used in order to know students mean score. The formula is as follows :

M = X N
M = the average of students score X = the sum of total score N = the number of students being observed

To interpret the data collected in the speaking test, scoring rubric for conversation test will be used.

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Band Score 10-40

Score Criteria Attempts to speak, but has difficulty to communicate. Has difficulty understanding clear and understandable questions and comments. Speaks with some hesitation, but can communicate intentions or needs.. Shows hesitation in understanding and responding to questions and comments. Present intentions and need well enough to be understood. Able to give brief and correct answers to questions. Able to fluently express intentions and ask and answers questions with ease.

50-60

70-80 90-100

(Modified from Scoring Rubric for Conversation Test, Lambert:2003)

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