Many people recognize English as a global or international language. It is based on the number of people who speak it. Crystal (2003: 67-69, & 2003: 108-109) estimates that in 2000 there were approximately 1500 million speakers of English worldwide, consisting of around 329 million L1 speakers (mostly in inner circle countries), 430 million L2 speakers (outer circle countries) and about 750 million speakers of English as a foreign language in the countries of the expanding circle. This means in effect that approximately one in four of the world’s population is capable of communicating using English. It can be said that a lot of Indonesians know English and capable of speaking English. By considering English position in Indonesia, English is taught as one of the subjects in Junior and Senior High School in Indonesia (Dardjowidjojo, 2003; cited in Lauder 2008).
One of the language skills in learning English as the compulsory subject in the school is speaking. It becomes the skill which must be highlighted in teaching English as a foreign language, because speaking is a productive skill when the teacher can see learners occupying the target language actively for real communication. According to Cameron (2001:40), speaking is the active use of language to express meanings so that other people can make sense of them. While speaking someone is required to be able to make the listener understand what information actually the speaker wants to deliver.
Speaking is interaction between two people or more in getting information where there is a speaker and a listener. In addition, Brown (2004:140) states that speaking is an interactive process of constructing meaning that involves producing, receiving, and processing information. When someone speaking, he or she has to be able to make meaning depending on the context of the information occur and consider some circumstances. Regarding the nature of speaking which is interaction between two or more people, Richards and Renandya (2002:210) say that speaking is one of the central elements of communication.
In learning English, speaking seems intuitively the most important skill because it is a productive skill in the oral mode which can show the learner’s output. From the learner ‘s speaking performance teacher can see what learner has achieved from the learning process and what aspects need improvement. Nunan (2003: 39) sees ― mastering the art of speaking‖ as the most important aspect of learning a language. Ur (2000: 12) agrees that ― of all the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), speaking is the most important skill.
In relation to the importance of speaking skill in language learning, the teacher will have a big responsibility to help the learners to speak English as much as possible. The teachers who teach English in Junior High School in Indonesia have greater responsibility in their teaching experiences because to speak English is considered to be a difficult task for learners. The learners recognize English as the language that they do not use every day. For them it is a new thing to speak English and they find some difficulties in speaking English. Based on the observation of teaching practice at Junior High School, there are some problems faced by learners in speaking. First, the learners do not have adequate vocabularies, so they are afraid of expressing their ideas. Then, the learners cannot pronounce the words correctly and it makes them feel embarrassed and it can increase their anxiety to speak because they are afraid of making mistakes. Beside that the learners are less motivated in the classroom. As a result, they do not engage actively in learning process.
Considering the difficulties faced by the Junior High School learners in speaking English as a foreign language, motivation has an important role in the learning process. Learner who has high motivation to learn English will almost always be successful in the learning itself. Research has found that when people are motivated by their own wants and needs, they are almost always successful (Brown, 2002). It means that having motivation internally or externally is very important in learning English. Therefore, the learners should have high motivation to learn English in order to master that language ideally. For example, to improve their speaking skill, they should motivate themselves to practice English orally whenever and wherever they are. In other words, learners’ motivation to learn English and to improve speaking skill will support each other.
Motivation can be said as the strength that leads human to get their target. People with their strength to get the target will have such big effort toward mastery, spontaneous interest, exploration, and curiosity. It can be done by doing an activity for the inherent satisfaction of the activity itself (Ryan and Deci, 2000). Gardner (1985) defined motivation as ― the combination of effort plus desire to achieve the goal of learning the language plus favorable attitudes toward learning the language‖ (p.10). He believes that motivation is concerned with the question ―Why does an organism behave as it does? In addition, Brown (1994) states that motivation is commonly thought of as an inner drive, impulse, emotion, or desire that move one to a particular action (p.152).