Students’ Difficulties in Speaking English and How to Solve It
Since English is a foreign language in our country, most students especially senior high school students are not familiar with it (Hetrakul, 1995). Kavin Hetrakul also said that they use English more frequent only inside the class and less frequent outside the class. Whereas, students’ have limited time to learn English in class, and they still do not have enough encouragement to practice English outside the class in order to get familiar with English. This case brings a problem that make senior high school students have difficulties to communicate in English. This article will analyze the causes that make the students difficult to communicate in English and suggest some solutions that can overcome the difficulties.
The first cause that makes the students difficult in speaking English is that the environment does not support the students to speak English frequently. The environment here means the people outside the class. Those people may think that the students just want to show off when they speak English for daily conversation. The response that the students get makes them loose their self-confidence to improve their speaking. Since the students do not want to be rejected by the people around them, so they use their native language in daily conversation. That makes the students unable to communicate in English fluently outside the class.
The second cause is problem with grammar. English always deals with reference of time while Indonesian does not have one. Moreover, there are singular and plural forms that the students have to distinguish and still many forms that have to be learned. Most students are very easy to get confused with English grammar, while grammar is very needed to form a right sentence. If the students do not have grammar mastery, of course they will not be able to produce sentences that grammatically right. Realizing that the grammar students have is very weak, so they feel embarrassed when they want to produce English sentences orally.
Now, English is an international language. Even technology and working world use English. It is believed that the students want to be the winner in working world competition that is getting tight day by day. One of the conditions that the students must require is having ability to speak English fluently. This skill will be their plus point in facing the working world. From now on, the students have to try hard to overcome their difficulties to speak English fluently.
There are two ways to encourage students to overcome their problem. The first one is a way for the teacher to do. It is considered necessary for the teacher to force the students only to speak English during the class. The teacher may fine the students every time they speak their native language. The teacher himself must be able to convince his students to be brave to speak English, does not matter if they have very bad grammar. Just say whatever the students want to say. And the teacher must convince his students that making errors is a normal thing in learning. This way will raise students’ confidence to try to speak English. It will be better if the teacher does not give correction every time his students make errors, but he should give feedback and give explanation for every error after the students finish their speech.
The second solution is for the students themselves. They can have an English conversation club that consists of their own classmates. They can share and talk about anything in English during that time. In this club, they can learn together. Students can correct each other without feeling embarrassed. English will become students’ routine by doing that activity (Hetrakul, 1995).
Every problem can be solved, likewise the problem to speak English fluently that senior high school students have. Even though the problem seems as students’ problem, but in fact teachers also play an important role in solving this problem. Students’ difficulties to communicate in English must be solved as soon as possible considering their needs in facing the working world. In conclusion, by forcing the students only to speak English during the class and having conversation club will solve their difficulties to speak English.
Hetrakul, Kavin. 1995. The Second Language. http://eserver.org/courses/spring95/76-100g/KavinHetrakul.html (Accessed on October 28, 2005)
The most common cause of the problems faced by a learner of the English language as a second language is existence of the inherent structure of their first language or mother tongue that they are exposed to since the first day. As such the problems that are faced by the students trying to learn the language are-
1. Understanding the grammar structure of the new language.
2. Pronounciations or the inability to understand or comprehend new words.
3. Most often students use the translation method to understand the second language, in this case English
3. Again they think of the reply in their mother tongue first and then form a reply by translating.
4. Vocabulary becomes a huge problem.
The above mentioned problems are just a few of other problems but in my opinion these are the major ones faced by students. the hardest for a teacher in this case is to actually create a new structure of the English grammar while trying not to dismantle the exisiting language structure of their mothertongue. The student should be able to use both the langauges with ease. Again it is fairly easier in the case of children.