Using Films to Teach Speaking in the ESL Classroom
A Case Study
Although the Malaysian school curriculum standard has emphasized the need to equip learners with basic skills and knowledge of the English language to enable them to communicate effectively in different contexts, the outcome has turned out to be very disappointing as most of them still fail to verbalize using the language. Malaysian students’ failure to speak and respond appropriately in English has always been attributed to the wrong choice of teaching approaches adopted by instructors. On this matter, many researchers have advocated the inclusion of technology such as films or movies in language classrooms as it could increase students’ motivation and spoken language proficiency at the same time. The present study investigates the effectiveness of using films as an approach to teach English language speaking skills with specific focus on four voice aspects - pronunciation, intonation, stress and pauses. The study was conducted on twelve pre-selected form four students who were divided into two groups namely control and experimental group. Before the three-month treatment period, they were pre-assessed on the four voice aspects. During study, the instructor used only simulated conversation tape recording and explanation with control group; whereas students from experimental group were taught using selected films. To measure the outcome of the study, the students were required to role-play a few situations. The data reveals that film only gives minor impact on the students’ pronunciation. However, it is a good source to help them to improve their mastery of intonation, stress and pauses.