Nature of Speaking
Speaking is an interactive process of
constructing meaning. Brown (1994) and Burns and Joyce (1997) in Florez (1999:
2) who state “speaking is an interactive process of constructing meaning that
involves producing and receiving and processing information.” Florez (1999)
also states that speaking’s form and meaning are dependent on the context
including the participants, collective experiences, the physical environment,
and the purposes. Speaking process is often spontaneous, open-ended, and developing.
Speaking let the students require not only how to produce specific language
item but also how to produce language in sociolinguistic competence.
skills covers a wide range of different types of spoken interaction. Richards
(2015) calls this issue as genres of speaking skills which refer to the knowledge
of different types of spoken interaction as well as the sociocultural and
pragmatic dimensions of different genres. The spoken interaction mentioned
includes the discourse conventions of each kind of interaction. The genres
include small talk, casual conversations, telephone conversations,
transactions, discussions, interviews, meetings, presentations and debates and
each genre has distinct features and characteristics, and each poses quite
different issues for teaching and learning (Richards: 2015). In developing
speaking materials, we need to pay attention in these genres.
stabs have been made to categorize the functions of speaking in human communication.
Brown and Yule (1983, in Richards: 2008) mention talk as interaction, talk as transaction,
and talk as performance to make a difference between the interactional
functions and the transactional functions. Here are the explanation of talk as
interaction, talk as transaction, and talk as performance related to Richards
Talk as interaction refers to conversation. It describes
interaction among the speakers within their social function.
Talk as transaction refers to situations where the focus
is on what is said or done.
Talk as performance refers to public talk/ speaking such
as presentations, announcements, and speeches.
c. Micro- and Macroskills of Speaking
This part will discuss the micro- and macroskills of
speaking. Same as listening skill, speaking skill involves a variety of micro-
and macroskills. They are objectives
that should be assessed in the speaking activities. Here are micro- and macroskills of speaking skill
suggested by Brown (2004: 142-143).
Microskills of Speaking
Produce differences among English phonemes and
Produce chunks of language of different
Produce English stress patterns, words in
stressed and unstressed positions, rhythmic structure, and intonation contours.
reduced forms of words and phrases.
Use an adequate number of lexical units (words)
to accomplish pragmatic purposes.
fluent speech at different rates of delivery.
Monitor one’s own oral production and use
various strategic devices – pauses, fillers, self-corrections, backtracking –
to enhance the clarity of the message.
Use grammatical word classes (nouns, verbs
etc.) systems (tense, agreement, and pluralisation), word order, patterns,
rules, and elliptical forms.
speech in natural constituents: in appropriate phrases, pause groups, breathe
groups, and sentence constituents.
a particular meaning in different grammatical forms.
Use cohesive devices in spoken discourse.
2) Macroskills of Speaking
Appropriately accomplish communicative
functions according to situations, participants, and goals.
Use appropriate styles, registers, implicature,
redundancies, pragmatic conventions, conversation rules, floor keeping and yielding,
interrupting, and other sociolinguistic features in face-to-face conversations.
Convey links and connections between events and
communicate such relations as vocal and peripheral ideas, events and feeling,
new information and given information, generalisation and exemplification.
facial features, kinesics, body language, and other nonverbal cues along with
Develop and use a battery of speaking
strategies, such as emphasising key words, rephrasing, providing a context for
interpreting the meaning of words, appealing for help, and accurately assessing
how well your interlocutor is understanding you.
By analysing the theories above, we can
conclude that the microskills of speaking deal the internal structure of
speaking such as phonemes and allophonic variants, grammatical, fluency, and so
on. Whereas the macroskills of speaking deal with the external structure of
speaking such as styles, registers, meaning, participants, goals, and so on.
These aspects need to be given attention in speaking activities.
d. Types of Speaking Classroom Performance
as listening, we also need to know what we can do in bringing speaking
performance into the class. Brown (2004)
identifies six categories apply
to the kinds of oral production that students are expected to carry out in
classroom which are imitative, intensive, responsive, transactional,
interpersonal, and extensive. Imitative is focusing on specific elements of
language item, intensive is focusing on practicing phonological or grammatical
aspect, responsive is focusing on stimulating students in speaking,
transactional is focusing on stimulation students in conversation, interpersonal
is focusing in learning features of the conversation, and extensive is to
practice in the form of public speaking.