Speaking is an important language skill that students must acquire in their early stage of learning languages. It is considered the most important one due to the belief that language is the main tool for oral communication. People learning English, for instance, want to speak English well with native speakers in English speaking countries. Or they want to work there. Therefore, many language methods and courses emphasize the importance of speaking skill in the beginning stage of ELT.
Knowing the importance of speaking skill, I begin my English teaching program in the school with the strong emphasize on speaking skill. Firstly I author a small book entitled ‘Speak Up!’ It is a book consisting of some important basic conversations for beginner students. I compile the materials from many resources such as English 900, Question and Answers, etc. The method used in this book is Audiolingual which still emphasizes on acquiring language patterns and structures. This book becomes the main reference of speaking English course in my school for years.
My effort in teaching speaking skill continues. Years later I establish a debating club called Ruwaada English Debating Society (REDS). Its main activity is debating and discussing some important issues such as the demonstrations against SBY, woman trafficking, working mothers, etc. Actually I’m still encountering a serious problem in conducting this club; that students are very hard to express their thoughts in English. They are always speechless whenever I ask to speak. I have tried many efforts, but I’m still unsatisfied with my work. Another serious problem that I encounter is a students’ motivation in taking part in this course due to their anxiety in joining the debate.
Today, I’m still on my way to design many interesting teaching-speaking activities that will attract my students more to learn English. With my colleagues I plan to establish an institution called English Language Center which will be a media for creating other innovations in English Language Teaching. I hope this will help me reach my goal in the field of ELT: making English more familiar to most Indonesians especially my students.