Isa Ismail, Achmad. 2014. Improving the Eleventh Grade Speaking Ability of SMAN 12 Surabaya through the Strategy of Small Group Discussion. Thesis. Postgraduate English Language Education Program, State University of Malang. Advisor: (I) Dr. Johannes A. Prayogo, M.Pd, M.Ed., (II) Dr. Sri Rachmajanti, M.Pd, Dip.TESL.
Keywords: speaking skills, small group discussion strategy.
Based on the results of preliminary research conducted by researchers in class XI SMAN 12 Surabaya showed that the students' average score was 52 for their English proficiency. This value is far from the Minimum Completeness Criteria (KKM) at SMAN 12 Surabaya, which is 75. Based on these conditions, this study was conducted to improve students' speaking skills through the use of a small group discussion strategy.
This study uses classroom action research conducted collaboratively with fellow English teachers in carrying out the research cycle procedures: planning, implementing, observing, and reflecting on classroom action. This research was conducted in a cycle which included four meetings. Through the implementation of the action, students should achieve the specified success criteria, namely: (1) students in the class will be divided into three groups: low, medium, and high abilities based on the results of initial research. Each group will have different criteria. The low group is 65, the middle group is 75, and the upper group is 85, (2) at least 90% or more students are actively involved in the learning process, and (3) at least 90% or more students respond positively during the implementation of small group discussions in class. Data were collected through a speaking test, an observation checklist, a set of questionnaires, and field notes.
The results showed that the small group discussion strategy could improve speaking skills through the following procedures: (1) Providing several pictures, (2) questions that led students to mention the physical characteristics of the pictures, (3) Classifying the class into small groups consisting of 4-5 students and explain the strategy procedure, (4) Provide a picture to each group and ask to describe it, (5) ask each group member to actively explain the picture, (6) monitor and provide assistance during the implementation of group discussions, (7) ) Proposing to report the results of the discussion in front of the class and asking other groups to guess it (Guessing Game), (8) giving awards to the winners, (9) providing feedback on student performance.
The results of the study also showed that the use of the small group discussion strategy was successful in improving students' speaking skills because 100% of each group (low, medium, and high) of students achieved the success criteria (Appendix 8). In addition, students are actively involved as long as the teaching process has been achieved, as student involvement reaches 100% (Appendix 9). In addition, more than 98% of students had positive attitudes towards the implementation of this strategy (Appendix 10).
Referring to the research results, the suggestion is aimed at English teachers to implement the small group discussion strategy in their class, especially in learning to speak English. Finally, future researchers are advised to carry out similar studies on the same or different language skills but with different settings and designs.