Speaking is not merely a matter of using words, but it needs a more complicated process of producing speech. Speaking is a productive skill that needs a lot of practices. In addition to listening, speaking is mostly taught to the students before reading and writing. By using spoken English, the students will be able to convey their idea. Therefore, speaking is a direct route from one mind to another and is the best way to ask a question or give an explanation. In one way, English is the language which connects people from different regions, cultures, religions, and nations. Brown and Lee (2015) claim that “English is increasingly being used as a tool for interaction among nonnative speakers”. Among the four language skills, speaking seems to play more important role in communication. Chastain (2005) views speaking “as one important element in developing each language skill and conveying culture knowledge”. Considering the significance of accuracy, more attention is drawn to fluency in achieving communicative purposes in conversations.
Also, Richards (2006) points out that fluency is the use of naturally occurring language when a speaker engages and maintains in meaningful communication. This communication would be comprehensible and ongoing in spite of limitations in one’s communicative competence. To Fillmore (2005), a fluent speaker knows what to say and how to say without frequent pauses to think. In addition, Harmer (2015) mentions that fluency refers to focusing on the content of speech to communicate as effectively as possible. Furthermore, Baily (2005) defines fluency as using language quickly and confidently, with limited hesitations, unnatural pauses, etc.
Nonetheless, the term “speaking fluency” is linked to the meaning of “communication” (Harmer, 2007). For example, in a conversation, a learner can make a grammatical error, such as Maria live in Cazenga [live vs. lives]), but the learner can still speak the sentence with some fluency. The learner can speak without searching for words, so that his or her speech is quickly understood. In fact, speaking fluency has been defined as the “automaticity and speed of speech production”. However, automaticity and speed of speech production may not always make a speech comprehensible, comprehensibility being “a measure of listeners’ perceived ease or difficulty of understanding L2 speech” (Crowther et al., 2015).
In addition, speaking fluency is determined by several components such as speech rate or number of filled and unfilled pauses, number of errors, and use of formulaic language (Bøhn, 2015). A broader definition of speaking fluency, therefore, is needed in exploratory studies. That is, speaking fluency should be more broadly defined as the learners’ ability to produce a speech that is rapid and comprehensible. In such a broad definition, searching for words is not observable. Furthermore, the grammar allows the listener to get information without ambiguities, and performance aspects of speech—such as er, erm, and ah—are used to maintain the flow of discourse (Brand & Götz, 2011).
Importance of Speaking Skills
Likewise, speaking skills empower human to create new ways of speaking to others about any topic or experience. To speak fluently, correctly with proper intonation and pronunciation especially in the second or foreign language adds to credit of the speaker. The excellence in the use of the ability to speak in second language makes the speaker a skilful communicator. Effective Communication skill is one of the standards for the teachers in many countries of world (Aslam, 2011).
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Indeed, second language follows the same pattern of learning as the first language follows: preproduction (the learner only listens), early production (can use short language chunks), speech emergence (they try to initiate short conversation with friends), intermediate fluency and advanced fluency (the students are nearly-native in their ability). Use of target language to talk about language is the best strategy for learning spoken language (Maguire et al., 2010). Teacher education programs need to be strengthened for effective oral English instruction and assessment (Wedell, 2008).
Speaking Skills and Speaking Effectiveness
In addition, there are a number of factors relating to speaking skills to be considered for effective English speaking performance. Pronunciation, vocabulary, and collocations are singled out as important factors to be emphasized in building fluency for speakers. Providing students with a variety of situations and frequent speaking tasks plays a significant role in the improvement of students’ fluency when speaking. Confidence and competence usually reinforce English speaking skills. Patil (2008) asserted that building up the learner’s confidence to eliminate their fear of making errors was a priority that a teacher should consider in order to make learners feel comfortable with their language use. Confidence and competence in speaking could be developed from appropriate syllabus design, methods of teaching, and adequate tasks and materials (Songsiri, 2007).
Regarding speaking effectiveness, Shumin (2005) pointed out a number of elements involved, including listening skills, sociocultural factors, affective factors, and other linguistic and sociolinguistic competences such as grammatical, discourse, sociolinguistic, and strategic competence. Grammatical competence enables speakers to use and understand English language structures accurately and unhesitatingly, which contributes to their fluency, which, in turn, develops confidence in communication.
Speaking Happens in Real Time
During conversations, responses are unplanned and spontaneous and the speakers think on their feet, producing language which reflects this. These time constraints affect the speaker’s ability to plan, to organize the message, and to control the language being used. Speakers often start to say something and change their mind midway; which is termed a false start. The speaker’s sentences also cannot be as long or as complex as in writing. Similarly, speakers occasionally forget things they intended to say; or they may even forget what they have already said, and so they repeat themselves (Miller, 2005). This implies that the production of speech in real time imposes pressures, but also allows freedoms in terms of compensating for these difficulties. The use of formulaic expressions, hesitation devices, self-correction, rephrasing and repetition can help speakers become more fluent and cope with real time demands (Hughes, 2005). Actually, exposing students to these spoken discourse features facilitates their oral production and helps them compensate for the problems they encounter. It also helps them sound normal in their use of the foreign language.
Accordingly, Sutiyatno (2018) stated that verbal communication gives a significant positive effect on the students’ English achievement. Improving both the verbal and non-verbal behaviour in performing will enhance positive and effective interaction. In relation, Andaya Iswara, Azib, & Rochsantiningsih (2012) stated that in order to develop this communication skill the students must be active, by not only mastering the theory but also having enough practices.
On the other hand, the Oxford English Dictionary (2019) defines monologue as a long speech by one actor in a play or a scene in a drama in which only one actor speaks. It is a generally uninterrupted speech or narrative that tells a complete story or expresses a complete line of thought. More importantly, the monologue is either literally or figuratively delivered to another character or characters, whether these characters are onstage at the time or simply part of the drama as a whole. Monologue can be planned or unplanned monologue, while dialogue consists of interpersonal and transactional. The interpersonal and transactional can be unfamiliar and familiar. Planned monologues usually manifest little redundancy and therefore are relatively difficult to comprehend. Unplanned monologues exhibit more redundancy which makes for ease of comprehension.
Importance of Monologue
Indeed, monologues give the audience and other characters access to what a particular character is thinking, either through a speech or the vocalization of their thoughts. While the purpose of a speech is obvious, the latter is particularly useful for characterization: it aids the audience in developing an idea about what the character is really thinking, which in turn helps (or can later help) explain their previous (or future) actions and behavior. In conclusion, monologues (and dialogues) are arguably the most fundamental parts of onstage drama and dramatic literature. Without them, essentially only silent film and theater could exist, as monologues provide the only way for the audience to witness a character’s thoughts.
On the other hand, Harmer (2012) stated that monologue does not only enhance the use of all the language skills but are also confidence building. It requires a clear task and time for preparation, which is followed by the performance, often extremely time consuming, though. Integration of the four skills is seen as a great advantage by Al Issa and Al Qubtain (2010), as well.
Socio-Economic Profile and English Language Learning
According to Tilbury, Clementson, Rea, Hendra, & Baigent (2013), there is a cultural hindrance to the practice of English among the youth. Many lack the self-confidence to speak English because they are afraid to make mistakes, and English is now perceived as elitist. In other words, it is perceived as yet another obstacle to social success and integration, rather than a means to achieve it. In terms of gender difference, Viriya & Sapsirin (2014) stated that males tend to be visual and females tend to be auditory. Moreover, males and females have their own style in a learning process which relates to their ability. Furthermore, dealing with female ability in speaking English, Erdiana, Bahri, & Akhmal (2019) cited that females are better than males. Female students are commonly more active and get better scores than male students.
In terms of income status, Phon (2017) suggested that students from poor families are believed to possess lower English language knowledge and skills than those from the rich and student proficiency are found different from one student to another. In like manner, Nyamubi (2019) points out that students coming from low social class families where academic needs such as availability of learning materials are often met poor performance results in English language. On the other hand, Butler (2014) stated that parents’ educational level influences their involvement to their children education. Parents with higher levels of education are also more likely to believe strongly in their abilities to help their children learn.
To note, Al Zoubi (2018) stated that there was a strong impact of exposure to English language on language acquisition. Thus, students who are more exposed to English language at home may develop positive speaking fluency that those who are not too exposed. Accordingly, Yanar & Tutunis (2016) supported that there is a positive effect of mass media tools on the students speaking skills. Television with its authentic audiovisual materials, radio with its authentic audio materials, news with its authentic everyday language and the internet facilities which has all sorts of materials will be an effective way of learning and using the language. The use of these mass media teaching materials can add zest, interest and vitality to the teaching learning situation or environment. In addition to that, using authentic mass media teaching forces the students will be encouraged to be interactive, to learn faster and to remember. Mass media is materials, devices and symbols make a subject more comprehensible and interesting. They provide learners with realistic experiences (real-life situations) which gets their attention and help in understanding of the mechanics of the language. They added that mass media can supply the words which go beyond the experience of the students. The teacher, by making use of mass media can bring in authentic materials that are real and life-like.
More so, Alaga & Palencia (2015) stated that the level of exposure to media may have impact to the English language learning of the students. On the other hand, Berman, Jonides, & Kaplan (2008) supported that nature helps in emotional regulation and improves memory function. The natural effects of environment contributed the performances of the participants. More so, being outdoor reduces stress by lowering the stress hormones resulting to lessening of anxiety.
Insights Learned from the Related Literatures
In the English learning, one of the macro skills in English teaching and learning is speaking. It is the means through which learners can communicate with others to achieve certain goals or to express their opinions, intentions, hopes and viewpoints. In addition, people who know a language are referred to as ‘speakers’ of that language. Furthermore, in almost any setting, speaking is the most frequently used language skill. On the other hand, fluency is related to using all speaking skills in the context of the time-bound nature of speaking. It relies on the speaker’s ability to use facilitation skills (fillers, lexical phrases, ellipsis…etc.) and compensation skills (self-correction, rephrasing, or repeating) to cope with ongoing fast communication. Speaking skill is measured in terms of the ability to carry out a conversation in the language. Speaking is a productive skill in which speakers expresses and responses their ideas by using language. From that statement, we can see that speaking is very important in our daily activities. Speaking help us to interact one each other to give information and the other as receives information in our community.
As researchers’ view, developing speaking fluency is important in this era. In this case, the researchers will apply monologue in developing speaking fluency of the students. However, some teachers allege that the language barrier does not exist, or that it was created by people. That’s why any person who begins to learn a foreign language should not think about any possible mistakes and misunderstandings. Everything depends on the ability to concentrate on the material and being a good listener. So, at the initial level one should listen and repeat as much as it’s possible. The best way to express one’s thoughts is by simple words and phrases. One can train the ability to understand the gist of speech using key words. More than that, it’s more important to discuss interesting topics. And, of course, the conditions of communication should be comfortable.