Teaching English Language Skills as a Second Language



Widyaiswara Muda

Balai Diklat Keagamaan Palembang



 Pada proses pembelajaran bahasa diajarkan melalui empat keterampilan berbahasa. Keterampilan tersebut meliputi pembelajaran menyimak (listening), pembelajaran berbicara (Speaking), pembelajaran membaca (reading), dan pembelajaran mengarang ( writing). Keempat komponen tersebutlah yang kita terima dan pelajari di sekolahan serta institusi pelatihan Bahasa Inggris lainnya.Di dalam proses pembelajaran guru bertindak sebagai fasilitator, komunikator dan organisator sumber belajar, Sedangkan siswa dituntut agar selalu aktif dan kreatif dalam pembelajaran. Oleh karena itu, banyak cara yang dilakukan untuk meningkatkan keterampilan tersebut. Artikel ini membahas tentang bagaimana cara supaya keempat komponen keterampilan tersebut  mudah di peroleh dan dikuasai oleh siswa.

Kata kunci: Teaching English, Language Skills, Second Language


Why should students learn English in Indonesia? What language components should teachers teach to the students? What actually the ultimate need is in learning English for the students? Which one is the most important and should be prioritized: reading, writing, speaking, or listening? How are they to be organized and delivered in class? Should they all come altogether in an integrated course or be given discretely? These questions may have been stored at the back of every teacher’s mind. So many other questions bombard teachers when planning English teaching for the students especially it is as a foreign language.

In learning English, there are some skills that should be learnt by students, there are speaking, listening, reading, and writing, (DIKNAS, 2004:2). In speaking, students learn how to express something in English, in listening; students learn how to respond from a conversation, such as from tape recorder and dialog. In reading, students study how to read, to comprehend texts genre and in writing, students study how write by using many kinds of paragraph, such as narrative, recount, descriptive, expository and persuasive paragraph. The problem is how the teacher should teach and help the students master those language skills.

The theory of language acquisition postulates guidance about what a child does and does not do when learning or acquiring a language (Fromkin, et al., 1996):

1. Children do not learn a language by storing all the words and all the sentences in some giant mental dictionary. The list of words is finite, but no dictionary can hold all the sentences, which are infinite in number.

2. Children learn to construct sentences, most of which they have never produced before.

3. Children learn to understand sentences they have never heard before. They cannot do so by matching the heard utterance with some stored sentence.

4. Children must therefore construct the ‘rules’ that permit them to use their language creatively.

5. No one teaches them these rules. Their parents are no more aware of the phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic rules than are the children.

Teaching Listening

Anderson (1995) proposed listening comprehension problems in relation to three coqnitive processing phases-perception, parsing and utilization. Perception refers to maintaining attention to spoken input, parsing means encoding the input to establish a meaningful representation in short-term memory, and utilization concern using the background knowledge to interpret the input sor storage. First, in the perception stage, learners do not recoqnize words they know, neglect the next part when thinking about meaning, cannot chunk streams of speech, miss the beginning of text, and concentrate too hard. Second, in the parsing stage, Goh (2000) found that listeners are quickly forget what is heard, unable to form a mental representation from words heard, and they do not understand subsequent parts of input because of earlier problems. Third, in the utilization stage, they understand the words but not the intended message, and confused about the key ideas in the message. Listening skill has not been given proper attention of the teachers in teaching and learning English as a second or foreign language in secondary in Indonesia (Suparmin, 1992:221).

Listening skill of foreign language is not derived naturally, because the language itself is not applied in the society communication. The students may only be able to practice their listening in the classroom. The process of listening in the classroom involves students and teachers. In the classroom the students are given some list of exercises from a number of listening material. Probably the main source of listening for students is the voice of their teachers. It is because in a teaching learning process, a teacher talks as he/she gives some instructions to his/her students and students should understand him/her. On the other hand, listening to the teacher only can be boring and monotonous; in fact listening to other supplemented materials such as records from native speaker might produce a challenging experience.

Accordng to Saricoban (1995), there are some reasons why the students have difficulties in listening comprehension, such as: (1) they lack pronunciation mastery so that it is hard for them to discriminate sounds, (2) they lack familiarity with stress, intonation, and discourse, features that can cause them some problems when predicting waht will said, (3) they lack vocabulary mastery so that they don’t understand the words they were listening to and (4) listening lessons were not interesting enough for students to learn because of the teaching method used by their teacher.

To make students aware of English language features and cultural aspect, as Norris (1993) states that teachers need to design accurate activities to facilitate the practice of the listening skills, based on the students’ knowledge about the characteristics of the informal oral English language, to help students succeed in their learning. Thus, video materials are excellent sources of learning a foreign language. By using video materials, teachers can make them enjoy learning English, students pay attention to the lesson, arouse the interest and create a good learning atmosphere during the lesson. Moreover, through videos students notices stress and have an open mind to learn and perceive words. Video materials can be a learning alternative because they contain dialogues from highly proficient English speakers, which contribute to an easier understanding of their pronunciation.

Learning Listening in Class

In teaching and learning activities, the teacher is a just guide to develop the students’  motivation and students not only a listener but also use the language in both oral and written communication.

According to Hemei (1997:46) teacher should develop a plan for each video unit and encourage active viewing. To aid comprehension, prepare viewing guides which are easy and related to the language level of students. Teachers have develop a number of special techniques of using videos in the classroom such as the following.

  1. Active viewing and global comprehension

Provide students a cue sheet or viewing guides and let them watch the video presentation, section by section, asking them to watch and listen for specific details or specific features of language.

  1. Freeze framing and prediction

Freeze framing means stopping the picture on the screen by pressing the still or pause button. Freeze the picture when teacher want to teach words and expressions regarding mood and emotions, to ask questions about a particular scene, or to call students; attention to some point. This technique is also useful if teacher want students to repeat something or to identify body langauage, and if you want to explore background detail.

  1. Silent viewing activity

As video is an audiovisual medium, the sound and the vision are separate components. Silents viewing can be a prediction technique when students are watching a video for the first time. One way of doing this is to play the video for the first time. One way of doing this is to play the video segment without the sound and tell students to observe the behavior of the characters and to use their powers of deduction.

  1. Sound on and vision off activity

It can be interesting and useful to play a section of a video unit and remove the visual element from the presentation by obscuring the picture so that students can hear only the dialogue but are unable to see te action. Have students predict or reconstruct what has happened visually depending only on what they heard.

  1. Repetition

If there are some difficult language points in the video unit, closely controlled repetition is a necessary step to communicative production exercises. Replay a scene on video with certain pauses for repetition either individually or in chorus.

There are many teachers use video, it brings an extra dimension to the class and can be most enjoyable. Used carelessly, it soon loses any special quality and becomes instead a kind of second rate television.

According to Rubin (1995:151-165), in teaching listening using video, there are several important rules that used by teacher in teaching process:

  1. Plan for listening and viewing

–       Review the vocalubaly list

–       Review the worksheet

–       Review any information about the content of the video

  1. Preview the video

–       View the video without sound

–       Identify the king of program (news, documentary, interview, drama)

–       Make a list of prediction about the content

–       Decide how to provide the video into section

  1. Listen and viewing intensively section by section. For each section:

–       Put down key words you understand

–       Answer the worksheet questions pertaining to the section

–       If the students do not have a worksheet, write a short summary of the section

  1. Monitor student’s comprehension

–       Does it fit with predictions they made?

–       Does students’ summary each section make sense to other section?

  1. Evaluate student’s listening comprehension progress

–       To know the student’s ability in lsitening

To develop listening applying a video material in the classroom is necessary not only to choose a metarial according to students’ level but also the instruction during the lesson. In this way, Nunan (2003) argues that designing instructional listening cycles involve selecting listening input (live, or in the form of audio/video recordings) chunking it into segments for presenting to the students, and then designing cycles of activities for learners to engange in. Also, the teacher has to be a careful designer of activities; being a reflective observer in order to cath students’ attention. One of the startegies used by a facilitator is to use a variety of activities that involve them.

Teaching Speaking

According to the 2013 English Curriculum and its supplement, the emphasis of the curriculum is that the students are able to communicate in English by mastering the whole skills. However, it is not easy to master all the skills; there must be one important skill that covers the whole skills. Based on the statement above speaking is the most important skill that should be mastered by students in order to communicate in English fluently.

Speaking is an activity used by someone to communicate with other. It takes place every where and has become part of our daily activities. When someone speaks, he or she interacts and uses the language to express his or her ideas, feeling and thought. He or she also shares information to other trough communication.


Learning Speaking in  Class

In the classroom, the teacher must create the situation that can encourage real communication, many activities can be designed to make majors’ element lively. Intensive dialogue and group discussion is one of the strategy that can be applied in teaching speaking because its in one of potential activity that gives students feeling of freedom to express themselves. These strategy are also potentially useful to encourage students of interact with each other orally.     Dialogue is a special kind of communication. Communication is to convey information or knowledge from one person to another as accurate as possible.

Mackey in Magiono (2007: 3) states that teaching speaking involves three areas of knowledge:

a. Mechanics (pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary). It’s the ability to use the right words in  the right order with the correct pronunciation.

b. Function (transaction and interaction): knowing when clarity of message is essential (transaction/information exchange) and when précised understanding is not required (interaction/relation building).

c.  Social and cultural rules and norms. It consists of the knowledge of turn taking, rate of speech; length of pauses between speakers, relative’s roles of participants, understanding how to take into account who is speaking to whom, in what circumstances, about what and for what reason (Www.nelre.org).

 Intensive Dialogue

Today when we speak of dialogue between two-way communication between persons; one-way lecturing or speaking is obviously not meant by it. However, there are many different kinds of two-way communication: e.g., fighting, wrangling, debating, etc. Clearly none of these are meant by dialogue. On the other extreme is the communication between persons who hold precisely the same views on a particular subject. We also do not mean this when we use the term dialogue; rather, we might call that something like encouragement, reinforcement)but certainly not dialogue. Now, if we look at these two opposite kinds of two-way communication which are not meant by the word dialogue, we can learn quite precisely what we do in fact mean when we use the term dialogue.

Dialogue has become a faddish term, and is sometimes, like charity, used to cover a multitude of sins. Sometimes, for example, it is used by those who are quite convinced that they have all the truth on a subject, but feel that in today’s climate with “dialogue” in vogue a less aggressive style will be more effective in communicating to the ignorant the truth that they already possess in full. Therefore, while their encounters with others still rely on the older non-dialogue principle) that they have all the truth on a subject) their less importuning approach will now be called “dialogue.” This type of use would appear to be merely an opportunistic manipulation of the term dialogue.

Discussion Group

Discussion groups are an excellent method for engaging students in learning and  reinforcing course material. There are a number of creative techniques for facilitating effective discussion groups.

  a. Introductory activities

These are the activities intended to help get the conversation started

  1. Topic-icebreakers

At the beginning of the discussion, ask a relevant and provocative question that can be readily answered. Ask each student for a brief response to the question

  1. Polling

Facilitator asks a series of questions at the beginning of class to the students who respond with a show of hands or at the end of class that students respond to on paper. Comments are summarized and shared back to the group at the next class. When used at the end of class, this technique can ask students a variety of questions such as what they did not understand, what they would like to cover, where confusion exists or to gauge their level of knowledge on the subject material.

  1. Continuum or Value Line

Ask students to line up according to their understanding, experience, intensity, feeling, experience, confidence of the question or topic posed. Follow-up by hearing back from each student.

  1. Voting

Variation on polling. Students vote (or rank preferences) by sticking coloured stickers on their choice of answer(s) to a question (s).

b. In-depth Discussion Techniques

These follow well after introductory activities and are designed to help structure a discussion and involve.

  1. Buzz Group

Students in groups of 2 or 3, discuss topic question. Then a speaking person from each group or each student reports back to the larger group.

  1. Brainstorming

Create a focus question or topic for brainstorming. The question or topic needs to be broad enough to give opportunities for answers but not too broad. Make it relevant. Students provide input but no analysis or critique is allowed. Write suggestions on board.

  1. Round table

A question is asked and every student is asked to respond. Give students a few minutes to think, have them write down their responses, and then begin round table. Start at one end or side of room and work. The teachers should walk around the class so that no one is missed. Give students the option of a pass, so that no one is embarrassed by not having an answer.

  1. Debates

Divide class into two teams. Assign a role or perspective to each team. Each student on the team presents for a few minutes from that perspective only. Then switch.

  1. Posters

In small groups, students prepare posters that show their ideas, response or suggestions. Could be used to find out where students misunderstand the course material.

  1. Think-Pair-Share

Each student jots down their ideas in response to a posed question. In pairs, students exchange ideas. Lastly, these thoughts are shared with the larger group. Variation–students could present each other’s ideas to the group of students or could combine their ideas into a unified answer.

  1. Mind Mapping

For this exercise paper or black/white board is needed as well as markers. A question or topic is written in the middle of paper or board. Students working individually or on teams, write comments, ideas, or responses that are linked to the main topic. Additional comments build on these or start new threads. responses can be linked with other related ones and new ideas added on from others or from original. Mind mapping creates a visual record of a discussion that includes the links made between ideas.

  1. Fish Bowl

One group of students sits in a small circle discussing a topic. An outer ring of students observes [without any discussion] the interactions of the group in the centre. This is a useful technique for observing group behaviour.

  1. Circle of Voices

Students (in groups of 4 to 5) take turns speaking for 1-3 minutes on an assigned topic. While each student speaks, no interruptions, questions or comments are allowed. After each group member has spoken, open the floor for general discussion but do not allow any new ideas to be introduced. The purpose of this technique is to encourage active listening and to focus the discussion.

  1. Jigsaw

Groups are assigned a multi-faceted problem. Each member of the group then selects or is assigned a particular aspect of the problem on which to focus. Next, students move into expert groups that consist of students who are responsible for mastering the same material. In these expert groups, the students ensure that they understand their portion of the material and also know how they will teach it to their original group members. Students then regroup into their original groups, and each student teaches his or her material to the others. Individual mastery of the entire topic can be  evaluated through quizzes.

  1. Quescussion

Students present ideas in the form of a question [but avoid “Don’t The teacher think, xyz is true?” questions]. Nobody makes any statement or comment of fact. This is a tricky one to get used to but can be extremely effective in drawing out shy students or making the routine discussion group more fun.

  1. Summary

Rather than summing up the discussion, get the class involved! Have students take turns providing the summary and connections for the discussion. We can also get student summarize from the whole class by asking questions that encourage a summary of the material, probing students to make connections, or simply by having each student state the most important point they made to the discussion in 5 seconds or less.

Suggestions for Leading Small-group Discussions

According to  McKeachie (1986), the teacher should prepare a background for small discussion groups as follows.

1. Make a safe place.

Students will not contribute to a discussion if they are afraid that they will be ridiculed for what they say. This needs to be done by an explicit statement and by demonstration.

2. Have clear objectives for the discussions and communicate them clearly.

Are the small groups meant to discuss specific assigned readings? Are they where students ask questions to clarify what they do not understand (and if they have no questions are they all excused)? Are these “mini lectures” in which the teacher are presenting new information?

3. Formulate and communicate the teacher’s expectations of the students.

Will they be graded on participation? This is not usually a good incentive because it’s difficult to coerce participation and students have the impression that participation can never be graded fairly, anyway. It’s better if they form more intrinsic reasons for participation such as a feeling of responsibility to the group or because it’s fun and interesting. Also, let students know that a discussion is not a series of two-way exchanges between the instructor and each student. Some students have not had much experience with group discussions and do not really understand what is expected of them.

4. Avoid yes/no questions.

Ask “why” or “how” questions that lead to discussion and when students give only short answers, ask them to elaborate. Also, avoid questions that have only one answer. This isn’t “Jeopardy” and students shouldn’t be put into the position of trying to guess which set of words The teacher have in mind.

5. Don’t be fear silence.

This may be the most difficult thing to do but it’s absolutely essential. When we are responsible for facilitating a discussion, we tend to feel that a lack of response within one or two beats is stretching into an eternity. But even if the teachers have posed a very interesting question or situation, the students will need some time to think and formulate a response. If the teachers have very reticent students, the teacher can try asking them to write down one or two ideas before the teacher open up discussion or try handing out a list of discussion topics at the end of the session for the next session to give them time to think. Even so, there may be times when there is just no response. That’s when the teacher need to re-state the topic, use a different example, take only a part of it at a time, or throw out a “what if” scenario or devil’s advocate proposition. But the important thing is to learn to bide the teacher’s time and bite the teacher’s tongue and wait for the students to respond.

When possible, set up the room for discussion. A circle works best, especially if the group can sit around a table. If the teacher can’t re-arrange the furniture, then move around the room, sit among the students; become a discussion participant rather than a teacher.

6. Get to know the students’ names and who they are.

Students are more likely to be engaged with the group if addressed by name rather than by being pointed at. If the teacher know the interests, majors, experiences, etc. of the students, it becomes much easier to think of ways to involve them. For example, if the teacher ask “Jane” to contribute a perspective based on her semester in Rome, the teacher is more likely to get her involved in the discussion than if the teachers ask if anyone wants to say something about the Coliseum.

7. Provide positive feedback for participation.

If a student is reluctant to speak up and then makes a contribution that just lies there like a dead fish, that student is not likely to try again. If the teacher can’t think of anything better, thank the student for his/her contribution. But it’s much better to build on what the student has said, add an insight, ask others how they would respond to what the student said, and otherwise weave that contribution into the fabric of the discussion. Feedback can be a good means of getting through a lull in the discussion also. A recap of what has been discussed so far lets students know that the teacher heard what they said, helps to reinforce main points, and often stimulates further discussion.

8. Show enthusiasm for the subject.

The teacher can’t expect students to become interested in a discussion topic for which the instructor shows no enthusiasm. This usually means that the instructor has not done his/her homework, a part of which is to think about what is interesting, why the subject is worthwhile or relevant, personal experience with the subject, how the topic relates to current events, etc. If the teachers are interested in the subject, then the teacher will be interested in discovering what the students think and feel.

9. Teach the students how to participate.

Many of them may have had little or no experience with small group discussion, and most of those who have experience have never been taught how to do it well. There are all kinds of resources in the library in the Speech/Communications area about small-group discussion. The teacher could prepare a handout for the teacher’s students or assign a project (preferably in small groups) that involves their preparing information for the rest of the group about small-group communications.

10. Ease students into discussion.

One tactic is to arrive at the classroom early and engage the first students to arrive in “chit chat” about the weather, a recent sports event, something in the news, etc. The point is to get students comfortable and talking so that as the teacher eases them into the subject for the day, the teachers are not making a sudden demand for performance. The teacher will also be establishing the idea that discussion is a natural process, not cruel and inhuman punishment, or something with which they have no experience.

11. Clarify for the teacher him or herself how she or he see his/her role as a discussion facilitator.

If the teachers are uncomfortable, the teacher’s students will also be uncomfortable. So don’t try to make the teacher into the “Great Communicator” if the teachers are not. Are the teachers more comfortable with a prepared list of topics and questions or do the teacher like a more free-wheeling atmosphere? Do teachers feel that some topics are strictly off limits or do the teacher feel that the teacher can manage even very “touchy” topics by keeping the discussion relevant and on course? Are the teachers able to give over enough control to the students so that they feel some ownership and responsibility to making the course work?

12. Provide opportunities for students to talk to each other in smaller, unsupervised group so that they get to know each other and become comfortable with sharing ideas.

 The teacher can do this with small “break-out” groups which are assigned a specific task about which they will report to the larger group. The teacher can assign group projects, encourage the formation of small study groups, or have the class form interest groups which are responsible for contributing something related to their particular interest periodically. The point is to encourage interaction that is not under the watchful eye of the instructor and helps students to become comfortable with each other.

  13. Manage both process and content.

This is often rather difficult at first but becomes much easier with practice. Good discussion is as much about process as it is about content and if the teacher concentrate on one but neglect the other, the teacher are likely to have problems. The tendency is to become caught up in the content and forget to encourage quiet students to contribute or forget to minimize the teacher’s own contributions.

  14. Bringing students into the process of the course

Having them contribute to content does not mean that the teacher have to give over total control. It’s still the teacher’s course and the teacher’s responsibility to inform the students what information they should study, how they will be expected to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding, and the teacher’s standards for performance. It is their responsibility to read, study, participate, and perform. When the teachers ask students to participate, the teachers are not asking them to simply voice their unformed and uninformed opinions. At the developmental stage for most freshmen and sophomores, students tend to believe fervently that everyone has a right to his/her opinion. Unfortunately, the corollary, for them, is that therefore all opinions are equal. Part of the teacher’s mission, therefore, is to help them understand the difference.

  15.  Listen, learn, and adapt.

There is no single prescription for all groups. Much like individual people, groups have individual characters and the teacher will need to adapt the teacher’s style to them as much as is comfortable for the teacher. If the teacher can be open to those differences, they will become part of what makes teaching an interesting challenge year after year after year.

Davis (1993) states that there were some tips in applying small discussion group   techinque. They are as follows.

  1. Make certain each student has an opportunity to talk in class during the first two or three weeks. The longer a student goes without talking, the more difficult it will become.
  2. Plan an icebreaker activity early in the semester. Games can work well for the first or second class meeting if they aren’t too childish or embarrassing. For an architectural history course, for example, you could ask students to bring a picture of a building from any source and describe to the rest of the class what they like about that building. Or each student could be asked to introduce themselves and explain which historical period they would most like to live in and why. Or students could introduce themselves and explain what they think they will learn from the course or what they hope to learn. The advantage of the above exercises is that the instructor can gain some useful insight while the students get to know a little about each other. Often the most effective icebreaker can be a field trip because it moves the students out of the classroom and gives them a common experience.
  3. Ask students to identify characteristics of an effective discussion then ask them to list characteristics of poor discussions. Have the students contribute items from their lists in a “brain storming” method (meaning no criticism) while you make a list on the blackboard or on newsprint. Then encourage discussion about how the group can maximize the characteristics of good discussions while minimizing the characteristics of poor discussions. Students will take more ownership of the class when they have had a part in setting the expectation level.
  4. Periodically divide students into smaller groups with a specific goal such as a question to answer, a problem to solve, or perspectives to list then report back to the larger group.
  5. Assign roles to the students. You could have one or two students each session assigned to observe and assess the process of the group, with time set aside for their report and some group response at the end of each session. This suggestion has its drawbacks because it tends to draw one or more students out of the discussion. You could have one or two students assigned to summarize the discussion at the end of each session.
  6. One method to both encourage participation and limit those who tend to dominate is to hand out three poker chips (or something else) to each student. Each time a student contributes, he or she puts a chip into the pot. Students must spend all of their chips by the end of the session but when they run out of chips, they have to keep quiet. This may be helpful early in the semester but it could quickly become too artificial and stifling.
  7. Don’t forget non-verbal communication. Smiling and nodding are very positive reinforces. Look at the student who is speaking to show that you are listening and appreciate his or her contribution. Sit upright and a bit forward to show your interest and anticipation. And watch for non-verbal cues form your students as well. If they look bored, sleepy, disinterested, then it may be time to change tactics, stand and stretch, move on to another topic, etc.
  8. Be careful not to get into private conversations with one or two students which excluded the rest of the class. Where you stand or sit affects whether the entire class feels included so you may need to move away from one student to bring the rest of the students into the discussion.

Steps in Teaching Speaking by Using Small Group Discussion Strategy

Small discussion can develop the students’ instrumental skills of listening, presenting ideas, persuading,and working as part of a team. And discussionin small groups can or should give students the chance to monitortheir own learning and thus gain a degree of self direction andindependence in their studies. According to Bellafiore (1971:273) there are some steps in teaching learning process with small dialogue:

a) Steps 1: Selecting a topic and gathering material; probably the best way to arrive at     a topic is to have each member of the class bring in a suggestion. These may be listed on the board and voted upon by the pupils. The topic receiving the largest popular votes will attract more interest and volunteer speakers.

b) Steps 2: Choosing sides or teams; a debate is a real contest. Just as in sport, the teacher should elect a captain for each team and at least two or three others members for each side. The affirmative side upholds the question as stated. The negative team takes the opposite of the question. In a debate, as in any contest, one side should win. However, the judging should be based not on whether the teacher think the team is on the right side of the question, but whether the teacher feel that the winning team has done a better job in gathering material and a better job in presenting it to the class.


Teaching Reading

One of the crucial skills is reading. As we know that reading can affect the intellectual of students in every field of study for widening students’ mental horizons and especially reading take a part for emotional gowth, too. Good reading also can contribute students’ success in academic (Bhardwaj, 2004:1-2). For that reason, reading plays an impoortant role in academic success and doing students’ job.

Reading is the process of getting knowledge and information from many kinds of texts. The good ability in reading can help students to gain what students want to knnow. By learning reading students are able to comprehnd and to get much information from text. Cripe and Vetter (2011:3) state that reading is an essential component throughtout education, it enables students to be successful in all areas of curricula.

Farrel (2009:23) utters that concept of teaching reading to help students become more aware help their own habits, good or bad, as reflected on reading process. It can be assumed that an English teacher must be able to know what kinds of text that students need and like to grow the willing to read must be done by teachers for their students. Teacher gives advice to read a lot reading texts, and then try to accustom to read and how to make reading as part of students’ necessity in their daily day.

Ediger and Rao (2005:3) affirm that there are three goals in teaching  reading:

  1. Affective objective, pupils need to achieve well in affective dimension of objective. The objectives involve feeling and emotional aspects of learning. Certainly if pupils feel positively about learning, they will attain at a higher rate as compared to having negative belief about and pertaining to read.
  2. Multiple intellegences, to emphasize that pupils may read content based on their interest and strength as well as show what has been learned through one of more of the intellegences.
  3.   Philosophy of reading instruction, to look at values, beleifs, and strands of thought pertaining to reading curriculum as well as other academic areas.

According to Means (2010:23) basically there are many types of reading: skimming, scanning, and careful reading; skimming is looking over material quickly to locate specific data. Scanning  is an attempt to get a basic understanding of the objectives and the important points of the material you are going to read. Careful reading  is used when trying to understand and remember the material that is read. In reading skimming is very helpful to save readers’ time. For instance, readers want to get the meaning and specific information they can use skimming. Beside that, to draw a conclusion or to get the essence from some paragraphs in reading text the readers can use scanning. However readers sometimes feel necessary to remember some important information from reading text that is related to he/she study or duty. So, careful reading is the most appropriate is reading.

It can be assumed that types of reading are very useful for readers to gain certain information and based on what the reader wants to know. To get much information readers not only can read individually but also in many kinds of reading texts. Readers can sometimes understand and comprehend more by paired reading and buddy reading. From these type students can give feedback about much information and reading activity will be more intersting and easy going.

Learning Reading in Class

Anticipation guide strategy si one of teaching reading strategy that can help in learing reading; it is easy for students to comprehend text. Starting by answering agreement and disagreement or true and false from some general facts about a text and turn to the text to do scanning or skimming based on the   the statements and after reading, the students can do revision, (Westphal, 2008:41). By using anticipation guide students will be easy in reading texts without time consuming to reread reading text. Students can find mind idea in reading text easily. Students will be able to identify what reading text exactly about. Students will be able to get important information from reading text. By using anticipation guide students will be easy anf fast in understanding and taking a conclusion from reading text.

Fang, et. al. (2010:81) mention that students read and think about the statements before reading begins, during reading, and after reading. There some procedures in anticipation guide strategy, Buehl (2009:45-46) states that there are six procedures, they are;

  1. Identifying the major ideas and concepts in a text that the students will be reading.
  2. Considering what students might already know about the topic to ensure that they are able to respond to items on an anticipation guide.
  3. Creating and anticipation guide with four to six statements that change or modify students’ pre-existing understanding of material.
  4. Presenting the anticipation guide on an overhead projector as individual handout.
  5. Asking to read the selection. Ask them to focus on information in the text.
  6. Asking the students complete the reading have them return to the statement in the anticipation guide to determine how they have changed their thinking regarding any of them.

From some procedures above, it can be stated that was easy for an English teacher to apply this startegy in teaching reading comprehension. So, they can apply it anywhere and any time when reading many stories they can use anticipation strategy.

Anticipation guide strategy has some goals in an instruction. According to Rojas (2007:227) anticipation guide strategy will help students to identify purpose for reading, to monitor own reading (prediction/confirm), to support comprehension from forming predictions to drawing conclusions and to select ideas and information. Adjust reading rate according to purpose for reading, use self-monitoring strategies, such as rereading, attending to vocabulary, and crosschecking, relate data and facts from informational texts to prior information and experience.

Teaching Writing

Writing is not an easy task for both teachers and students because writing involves many linguistic aspects such as grammar, vocabulary, spelling, etc. Therefore, for teachers, writing instructions must deal with many issues, such as how to determine the importance of correct spelling and punctuation in early draft, how to treat the different steos in the composition process, and how to analyze a text for its context and purpose (Yan, 2005:15).

Some teachers do not like to teach writing because they think it is hard to do. Nunan (1999:271) ststes that writing is probably the most difficult task to do in teaching and learning a language. In line with that, Alwasilah (2001:108) also states that writing is perceived by teachers and students as the most difficult skill to teach and to learn, and unfortunately, it has long been neglected in Indonesia schools.

Since writing involves cognitive skills, ti does not mean that the proficiency in language makes writing easier. Students often complain about how difficult it is to write in English. The difficulty is not only concerned with finding the right words and using the correct grammar, but also about finding and expressing ideas in English. Therefore, the teaching of writing is becoming a vast and complex subject as well. As stated by Abdullah (2005:3), in order to produce stretches of written English, foreign language learners faced two problems. The first is a matter of selecting and organizing words to form grammatical sequences. This is aproblem that is obviously recognized even at an advanced level. The second is selecting and organizing of words to fulfill a particular rhetorical aim. This problem a learner may appreciate only a later stage learning.

In terms of those problems, choosing appropriate classroom techniques is the day-to-day business of every methodologist and writing teacher who has been doing number of reasearches to find out the proper ways for more varieties and options in English teaching.

 Learning Writing in Class

 In teaching of writing skill, there are many ways can be used on the material given, the program, and of course the students’ needs. And even sometimes a teacher should consider the students’ interest in choosing the suitable way to make the writing class be interesting and fun for the students.

According to Gillie, Susan, and Mumford (1996:206), there are four types of writing they are descriptive, narrative, exposition and persuasion. Derscriptive is a kind of writing that describes the objects using the 5 senses, these are seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and testing. And focus of the writing depends on the readers’ sense, such age and emotion which will be aimed to the readers. Narrative is a story telling. The function of this kind of writing is to explain a condition and amuse the readers. Meanwhile exposition is a kind of writing that its function is to explain a process or ideas. In this writing, it needs detailed information about the process or the explanation of a definition. And the last type is persuasion. This writing tries to persuade the readers to do something based on the writer’s recommendation.

In writing process, the emphasis is on the balance between process and product. Product is the writer’s purpose and also the reasons through pre-writing, revising concept and editing step (Gebhard, 1996:226). By following the steps in writing clearly, it is hoped the students can produce a good writing. Gebhard, (1998) said that the writing activity is a process that requires several steps, they are pre-writing, writing, revising, and editing. Pre-writing step is the time for the reader to think before he/she start to write. The step covers the reader’s reasons of writing, the choosing of desirable topic, how to deepen the topic, and collect the ideas. In other words in pre-writing, it is the time to generate their ideas in writing (Gebhard, 1996:228). One thing that should be considered in this step is readers to be who will read the writing. The readers to be are an important aspect in order to predict who will be the reader of writing. In order to communicate through writing, the writer should be able to understand to whom they write for example students, boys, girls, parents or even scientiests. By understanding their readers to be, the writers will decide the language pattern which will be used in their writing so the readers can understand it easily.

The second step is the writing step in which the time for the writer starts to organize all ideas into a unity of writing that relate each other. As stated by Gebhard (1996:228) that in drafting stage, the students are encouraged to do component writing. There are 3 things should be done in this step, they are start and end the writing clearly, write a statement or an opinion briefly, and write sentences fluently in which coherence and cohesion among paragraphs should be considered. By doing the 3 things, it is hoped that the product of writing will be able to explain something for teh readers. A good writing has also the meaning that it uses the pattern of three parts: introduction, content, and conclusion. Intraduction I started to give main ideas to the readers so they are easieer to understand the writing. Meanwhile the content is aimed state the topic that will be delivered by the writers together with example and description of the topic. The last part is conclusion. This part to conclude the topics that have been written in introduction and conclusion without repeating the same sentence. Beside that, this part also contains suggestions and predictions presented by the writers. And this last part, the writers have the chance to recheck their writing.

The next step is revising. In this step, the writers can give additional ideas and some specific opinion. Furthermore Gebhard (1996:228) states that in revising stage, the setudents can consider the revision of the content and organization of their ideas. Besides that, the writers can use facts, physical description, and experiences that can increases main ideas. In this case, the writer has chances to think how to make their writing be better for the readers. In this step, the writers can recheck whether the purpose of the writing has been achieved or not using the examples given in the writing. And this revising activity can be done by himself or with his partner. For revising with partner, it will be more effective because the partner is also a reader of the writing. Even thought it does not mean that all suggestions from a partner should be done, but of course they can be considered for the perfectness of the writing.

In term of revising, a writer can reread, change and strengthen his/her writing by considering the needs of the readers and the purpose of the writing. And also the writer should check the language pattern by reducing the mistake on language pattern, vocabulary and sentence pattern.

The last step is editing in which requires recoqnizing problems in grammar (e.g., subject-verb agreement, improper pro-noun use, incorrect verb tense), syntax (eg., fragments and run-on sentences),  and mechanics (e.g., spelling and punctuation errors) (Gebhard, 1996:230). And teaching students to edit their work is important during writing process.

Richards and Renandya (2002:350) add that teacher’s correction may lead to lead to the students’ improvement on writing work and may make writing interesting, challenging, and enjoyable. Responding and giving feedback to the students’ writing can be both oral and written form.


Teaching resources

Accompanied by sufficient budget, lessons organization is easier. Good books, software, teaching media are available at markets. However, for those with unfavorable condition, our surroundings can be a real abundant resource for the English teaching-learning in class. Used magazines, calendar, cardboard can be teaching media. Besides, many web sites in the internet also provides more than we can take for free.



 Teaching English as a second language must consider various things. To start with, teachers have to decide what they have to teach. Each of the language skills needs careful preparations. The next is how the teaching should be conducted in class. There are basic principles that the teachers should put into account including student’s learning characteristics, the nature of each of the skills, and how the teaching can be fruitful in helping student cope with foreign language.

Teaching reading, teacher should firstly decide what ‘reading material’ he/she will teach. Teacher can start it with content words and demonstrate them using concrete objects, pictures, gestures and others in which children can explore them using their senses.

Teachers are expected to apply various methods in teaching writing in order their students interested and enjoyable in learning. Variations of teaching methods not only the students’ knowledge and interest, but also to make them think critically by only seeing a picture without giving any explanation.

The teachers of English should keep trying to make English lessons especially speaking interesting to get the students actively  involved in the classroom activities. Teachers should also vary the classroom activities and provide various speaking materials to be used by the students. This attempt will develop students’ positive attitude toward speaking materials in English and will make them think that speaking is not difficult and boring.

Listening is an active process, as the mind actively engages in making meaning. It is therefore our duty as teachers to ensure that the materials we use are comprehensible to our students, as well as within the range of what they are developmentally ready for. Listening is also hard work! And can be stressful! So in order to maximise the potential for acquisition of language, we need to ensure that our students are not stressed about this process.


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Online resources




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