Academic journal article K@ta

The Types of Communication Strategies Used by Speaking Class Students with Different Communication Apprehension Levels in English Department of Petra Christian University, Surabaya

Academic journal article K@ta

The Types of Communication Strategies Used by Speaking Class Students with Different Communication Apprehension Levels in English Department of Petra Christian University, Surabaya

Article excerpt

Abstract: This article reports on a study that aims to find out the types of Communication Strategies used and mostly used by students with high and low levels of Communication Apprehension and whether students with high level of Communication Apprehension used more numbers of Communication Strategies. The subjects in a created classroom were asked to retell a pictorial story and a pictorial instruction. The results showed that students with high Communication Apprehension level used more numbers of Communication Strategies.

Key words: anxiety, language anxiety, communication apprehension, Communication Strategies

Language Anxiety can bring about several problems in the process of language learning since it can hinder the students from mastering the language; for example, an anxious learner may avoid delivering difficult messages, avoid being involved in class discussion, reduce their performance in public communication, et cetera. Anxiety refers to concern and fear, especially about what might happen (Oxford dictionary, 1995, p. 16) and language anxiety refers to a type of anxiety unique to second language learning (Horwitz et al., 1991, p. 25). To speak or to perform something using foreign language in a classroom situation can cause students' anxiety because they have to perform unfamiliar sounds in front of an audience, or because teacher and other students ask questions and give corrections or comments excessively.

Once, a student of the English Department of Petra Christian University was asked about her feelings towards language skill activities in class. Her answer was surprising because she said that the most terrifying language skill class was speaking class since in this lesson she was forced to speak so that she always panicked. What she did was avoiding speaking although she had some ideas in her mind. She kept silent since she always got stuck in the middle of the conversation. Some students might even escape from class.

The highly anxious students usually construct learning strategies, such as learning certain tricks that help them to keep the conversation going on, in order to be able to perform well in their oral activities. Those strategies are called Communication Strategies. A Communication Strategy is defined as "a systematic technique employed by a speaker to express his or her meaning when faced with some difficulty (Corder, 1981, in Dornyei, 1995, p. 56). It can be in the form of using circumlocution, fillers, code switching, et cetera (Dornyei, 1995, p. 58). In other words, Communication Strategies can help the anxious students to be able to perform well in oral performance since they do their best to be able to give clear message to the listener.

Daly (1991) coined a term "Communication Apprehension" to identify anxiety of speaking a foreign language, which is defined as "the fear or anxiety an individual feels about orally communicating (p. 3). Communication Apprehension is one of the types of Language Anxiety which a person experiences in learning a second or foreign language. Horwitz et al. (1991, p. 28) stated that students with high communication apprehension tended to avoid delivering a difficult message, while students with low communication apprehension attempted different types of Communication Strategies to be able to deliver their message.

Communication Apprehension in this research was divided into two levels, high and low Communication Apprehension levels. Then the types of Communication Strategies used and mostly used by students with high and low levels of Communication Apprehension were investigated. It was assumed that students with high communication apprehension would use more Communication Strategies because if they were very anxious they might hesitate too much so that they forgot the words they intended to say and made many errors.

The subjects of this research were Speaking II and VI students of the English Department of Petra Christian University. …

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