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A Comparative Study Between Male and Female Students’ Ability of English Speaking of the First Year Students of Madrasah Aliyah

Januari 10, 2010

The title of this research is A Comparative Study Between Male and Female Students’ Ability of English Speaking of the First Year Students of Madrasah Aliyah Hubbulwathan Duri.
This research consits of two variables: independent variable symbolized as “X” and depent variable symbolized as “Y”. Independent variable “Y” is sex of the students, while dependent variable “Y” is the students’ score in English speaking test.
The research was carried out of Madrasah Aliyah Hubbulwathan Duri that conducted in February to the end of March 2008. The subject of this research is to find out the student’s ability in speaking, while the object is to find out their differences in ability of speaking.
To collect the data of this study, the writer used speaking test. The writer interviewed the respondents. Then the collected data were analysed by using serial correlation formula

English is a compulsory subject in Indonesia which had been taught formally to Indonesian students since they were in Junior High School. The English subject consists of four skills such as listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Speaking skill has become the first priority to be taught between the four skills since communicative approach implementation has been influential in foreign language learning. It is based on instruction goal of curriculum 2006 of KTSP (Disdiknas 2006). English teachers should create active learning condition and develop their technique to help learners communicate more effectively by considering suitable activities for each group of learners. Brown and Yule (1983:103) say that one of the main aims of most English teachers is to make their students able to communicate and convey information effectively in spoken English. Besides, the teachers should create active learning condition and develop their techniques. They should attend factor of sex differences of their students.
The sex differences’ factor can not be ignored in learning language, because it can effect the students’ achievement and proficiency in learning. It is clear that the students may be grouped into two different sexes, male and female (girl and boy). As the writer’s observation, when he practiced teaching, he observed toward the students of the first year whom he taught. He found that most of the female students like to study English. They are able to finish more quickly than male students in making a short conversation. They also do better on the conversation in front of the class. Besides, many linguists believe that there is a significant difference between the two sex groups in the acquisition of the language. For example, Trudgill (1985:90-92 found that 60 percent of female use standard-high status speech forms while males use non standard, low-status speech forms. In working class speech, female get 68 percent in over-reporting. Farhady (1982) found that female students are significantly better than male students on a listening comprehension test in the study of 800 university students who take a placement test. Women are superior in verbal ability than men. One of the statement supporting this theory is women are more likely to excel in verbal ability, but men, in mechanical ability (Papalia and Olds, 1985:263).
In addition, Papalia and Olds also say that from adolescence throughout adulthood, females out-perform male in reading, speaking, spelling and grammar. They start to talk earlier and do better on vocabulary.
However, in measuring speaking ability, it is highly probable that performance on this theory is positively related to general ability to converse in a foreign language, although, as will be explained directly, it is still lack very reliable criteria to measure out the differentiation. General fluency, too, is fairly easy to assess, at least in gross terms. It usually takes only a few minutes of listening to determine whether a foreign speaker is able to approximate the speed and ease with which native speakers of the language typically produce their utterances. It is only when we come to the crucial matter of pronunciation that we are confronted with a really serious problem of evaluation.
The central reason is the lack of general agreement on what ‘good’ pronunciation of a second language really means: is comprehensibility to be the sole basis of judgment, or must we demand a high degree of both phonemic and allophonic accuracy? And can we be certain that two or more native speakers will find the utterance of a foreign speaker equally comprehensible, or do some listeners decode a foreign accent with greater facility than others? Until we can agree on precisely how speech is to be judged and have determined that the judgments will have stability, we cannot put much confidence in oral ratings (Harris, 1974: 83)
From the explanation above, the writer can make conclusion that the females are more consistent in using sentences and variety of words than male. The problem can be seen from the symptoms as follows:
1. Females usually do better in measuring verbal fluency than males.
2. Females are better in using sentences and a greater of words than male.
3. Females learn a little earlier than males to talk but clear in speaking.
Based on the background and the symptoms above, the writer is interested to conduct a research about “ A Comparative Study Between Male and Female Students’ Ability of English Speaking at the First Year Students of Madrasah Aliyah Hubbulwathan Duri.”

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