Yerri Kardiana. 2011. Using Pictures to Improve the Speaking Ability of the First Grade Students in SMKN 1 Kediri in Describing Things and People. Thesis. Graduate Program in English Language Education. State University of Malang. Advisors: (I) Dr. Enny Irawati, M. Pd. (II) Drs. Fachrrurazy, M. A., Ph. D.
Key words: using pictures, describing things and people, improve, speaking ability.
This research employed a classroom-action-research. Considering the fact that the students' speaking ability is still poor, the present researcher plans to promote a new technique that will improve the students' speaking ability. In addition, this technique should be interesting so that the students are motivated to engage communication in speaking activities based on the task independently. In this case, a picture is a suitable technique that can be used to overcome the existing problem. The preliminary study to find the speaking problems have been carried out. Classroom action-research design was used to investigate how the students' speaking ability can be improved using Pictures in Describing Things and People. The research problem is: How can the speaking ability of the first grade students of SMKN 1 Kediri be improves by using Pictures in Describing Things and People?" The procedure of the research consisted of the four main steps i.e. planning, implementing, observing and reflecting. This research was conducted in two cycles. Each cycle comprised of three meetings. The instruments for collecting the data were observation checklist, field notes, and speaking assessment.
The finding of the research indicated that Using Pictures in Describing Things and People was successful in improving the students' speaking ability. The improvement could be seen from the increase of students' speaking assessment from pre test to cycle one and cycle two. In cycle one, 60.71% of the students got poor score, 21.43% of the students got very poor score , 40.62% of the students got average score, and 3.12% of the students got good score. In cycle two, 50% of the students got average score, 28.12% of the students got good score and 6.25% of the students got very good score. Besides, the finding showed that using pictures in describing Things and People was effective in improving the students' involvement in the teaching and learning process. Implementing pictures in describing Things and People for teaching speaking involved the following steps: (1) showing a set of pictures to the students, (2) describing the things and people based on the pictures, (3) asking questions to the students to check the students' understanding about the story, (4) describing the pictures once more to make clear what the pictures are about while writing the description of things and people on the blackboard to become a model description for the students, (5) dividing the students into five groups, (6) handing out six sets of pictures to each group of the students, (7) giving the students guided vocabulary related to the pictures, (8) practicing the pronunciation of the vocabulary, (9) asking the students to make brief notes of their descriptions based on the pictures, (10) asking the students to describe the things and people based on pictures, (11) correcting the students' pronunciation and grammar usage, and (12) asking the students to describe people with the real pictures (famous people).
Based on the findings, it can be concluded that using pictures in describing things and people can be used to improve both the students' speaking ability and students' involvement in the teaching and learning process. Therefore, it is suggested to the English teachers to implement it as an alternative technique in their English class particularly in the speaking class. For the principal, it is suggested to provide facilities to improve the English teachers' teaching quality by making a policy of cooperating with some experts to hold an in-service training about teaching methods for English teachers. For other researchers, it is suggested to conduct other researches by implementing the pictures in describing things and people in other school levels and for other language skills such as listening and writing.