Promoting Students’ Speaking Skills Through 3 Ps Method (Presentation, Practice And Production)

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Nur Sehang Thamrin

Universitas Tadulako


Most of the on English department students who enter my university have low achievement in English. The students find it difficult to practice speaking skills in that level. It is far from what the English teachers expect that in the tertiary level, the students are able to construct the sentences in the simple conversation. To solve the problem, PPP (3 Ps) method is appropriate to be conducted in developing students’ speaking skills. It is not only interesting but also can encourage students in constructing sentences as it is provided by pictures. The sample of the research is the second semester students of non English Department. The implementation of this method is divided into three stages. First, in presentation stage, the teacher explained the material given and gave a model of sentences based on the pictures. In the practice stage, the students encouraged the students to practice the sentences in the simple conversation through picture. Finally, in the last stage, the students are asked to produce the sentences their self. Pictures used in every stage were different. After implemented the method, the students show their interest in practicing the conversation. The result of the achievement test, the students’ speaking skills is improved.

Key words:  achievement in English,  speaking skills,  practice


It couldn’t be denied that English has been colonizing almost all countries in this universe. Everyone competes to be able to communicate that language in oral or/and written context. Even, Japan which is known as the second powerful country in terms of technology still encourages his people to study English. The phenomenon is without any reasons. It is because English as a lingua franca is used in any sector such as trade, technology, education, politic, tourism, and culture. In addition, in the era of globalization, the boarder among countries is unidentified. As a result the knowledge of English is demanded.

The fact described previously makes the government of Indonesia recommends English to be taught as the first foreign language at secondary level to tertiary level as a compulsory subject. In tertiary education the purpose of learning English as general subject content (Mata Kuliah Umum) is facilitating students to understand and analyze subject content based on their study background. It means the students are expected to understand the English reading text to support their broad of knowledge. Furthermore, the students are demanded to be able to communicate in English as there are numbers of chances to have an experience to stay or study abroad.

The researcher’suniversity as the only public university in Central Sulawesi has been implementing such decision. The credit of English subject at each faculty is various; from 2 credits to 4 credits. If the subject consists of 4 credits, it is divided into subjects. The first is English I which focuses on the general knowledge of English. The other one is English II which focuses on disciple knowledge of the students.

To improve the quality of teaching process in secondary level, there are several efforts have been done by the government, such as conducting training and seminar about the method of effective teaching, enhancing the teachers subject community; MGMP, changing the curriculum regularly, etc. In fact, the students who enter university have low English competences. Most of non-English department students find it hard to construct simple English sentences. This is my problem every semester in teaching English I in several faculties. If the students try to construct the sentences, they are in the wrong construction. Here are several sentences produced by the students; I driving the motorcycle, a friend in the classroom, and many more. Speaking skill is considered as the difficult parts in learning English, because the students are afraid of being mistake when they speak such as less of vocabulary, lack of pronunciation and perhaps they are less of motivation in learning English. There are many indicators of speaking ability that should be improved before they master speaking skills such as accuracy, comprehensibility and fluency. Therefore, the teacher should provide the appropriate methods or techniques to make the students interested to learn English especially to practice speaking English.

For that reason as a lecturer, Presentation, Practice, and Production (3 Ps) was proposed to improve the students’ speaking skills. It is assumed that this method is effective to encourage the students to participate actively during the teaching-learning process as the students were not only explained the pattern of sentences but also were guided how to construct the sentences based on the context given. The teaching process is not monotonous as the process is presented by using pictures. As Brown (2004) describes that, “ pictures may be simple, designed to elicit a word or a phrase; somewhat more elaborate and “busy”; or composed of a series that tells a story or incident”. Pictures are media implementing 3 Ps method.


Research design that had been implemented in this research is case study research design as the test was not the main data. However, it focused more on the process of teaching. It was impossible as well for the researcher to conduct the CAR (Classroom Action Research) in terms of having the collaborator to observe the process of teaching-learning process as the characteristics of it. So that, during the teaching process, the researcher forced herself to pay attention to students’ active participation during the process of research. The subject of the students was the second semester students of Mathematic, period 2012/2013.

In improving the quality of teaching-learning process, teaching materials need to be considered. They are very important to enhance the students’ understanding in teaching English (Brown: 2000). The materials used in this research were selected from various books which were focused on both language components and language skills integrated. It was also considered based on the level of students’ competence and level of familiarity. Techniques in collecting data were field-note and achievement test. The data were analyzed in form of qualitative and quantitative data.


The steps of implementing 3 P (Presentation, Practice Production)

PPP is a method proposed by Harmer (1988) and Wills & Willis (1996). This method can be used in asking the students to practice and produce the language through present the pictures, games or real situation. 3 Ps method is very interesting for the students because the teacher can show interesting pictures. There are some advantages of PPP method, as follows:

  • By using PPP, the students can practice and produce the language easily because the teacher uses different kinds of media.
  • It can help the students to comprehend the pictures so they are easy to speak up.
  • It can motivate students to communicate meaning with the new language.

The teaching process used 3 Ps was conducted for seven meetings. In this process, the researcher did some steps in conducting the research. First of all, since the implantation of 3 Ps was done during the subject hour, the researcher prepared pictures related to the topic of English II syllabus. 3 Ps was given after she discussed the material from the text book.  In the presentation stage, the researcher showed the picture to the students. Then, she gave some questions based on the picture to stimulate the students to speak in English. In this stage, she gave a model of sentences. The students were also involved to construct the sentences. The researcher also gave chance to the students to ask some questions if there was any difficulty they found related to the topic including the picture.

Next, in the practice stage, she asked the students to choose the pictures that had been prepared and asked them to make sentences in group of four students. Every group described the picture in the class. In this stage she still guided the students in constructing the sentences. In treating the students’ errors, she didn’t interrupt the students while they were speaking, but she explained the errors after all group described the picture. It is intended to keep the students’ psychological barrier in learning.

Finally, in the production stage, the teacher showed a different picture and asked several students to describe naturally.  It means the students were not given a time to make concept.  In this stage, different students were asked to produce sentences in different meeting as the time allotment is not enough if all students were asked to describe a picture. Finally, after the students presented their sentences, to close the meeting the researcher concluded the material.

The data from field-note

The purpose of using field notes in this research because the researcher would see the progress of the students and in field notes she could write the mistake that done by the students. By applying field notes, the researcher could see the students’ progress, such as in the first meeting there were mistakes that done by the students.

In the first meeting, the research needed effort to encourage the students to produce sentences as the students felt shy and they were afraid to produce the wrong sentences. The teacher encouraged them every time to describe pictures given by guiding them how to construct the sentences. To solve the situation, she created comfortable teaching atmosphere so that the students felt secure during the teaching process. As the result, after two meetings the students showed their enthusiastic in learning English. They didn’t even felt afraid in constructing the sentences. They shown a significant progress in constructing phrases and sentences relating to the pictures, even some of them still did a mistake such as misspelling and mispronunciation.

If the teacher continue gave them a suitable method, the researcher trusts that the students can improve their ability in English subject.

Based on the data from field-note it is proven that 3 Ps method is very interesting to apply in teaching and learning speaking English, because it is more interesting through presenting some pictures, and then asking the students to practice and produce the language. Harmer  (2009: 12)

This method has similar with the classic kind of Audio Lingual drill but this method is more contextualized by the situation that has been presented, they carry more meaning than simple substitution drill. So the students can speak English by using their own languages. The procedures of this method are: the teacher presents the pictures, and ask the students to practice the language together with the teacher, and then ask the students to produce the language individually.

Based on Harmer statement above, PPP is the appropriate method to improve speaking ability of the students because it is more contextual and interesting.

Data from Achievement Test

To know the ability of the students in speaking ability through Presentation, Practice and Production (PPP) method, the researcher administered speaking test. The students described one topic from five topics prepared for five to ten minutes. The teacher focused on the three skills of speaking; fluency, accuracy and comprehensibility. Fluency refers to the vocabulary that the students have mastered and how the students deliver or convey their message, opinion and etc without a long break; the ideas, opinion that student’s express can run smoothly. Fluency means the learner is producing the text in ordinary situation, speaking at normal rate of speed, not too fast, not too slow and with sufficient accuracy to be understood by the listener of language with a minimum effort (Bailey: 2005). Accuracy is one of the components of speaking that is very important to be mastered by the students (Bailey: 2005). Good pronunciation in speaking makes the listener easy to understand what we are talking about. The most important factor in communication is comprehensibility. In speaking we should give attention to the rules of sentence in order to make our message can be understood by others. Accuracy refers to how the students pronounce the words in correct sounds (Heaton; 1988).

Students’ speaking performance, in terms of fluency and accuracy, was scored not at the time of their performance as it is very difficult for the teacher to implement Heaton’s score system. So that it was recorded. However, the teacher only took  band score  one to five of Heaton’s score system as the maximum score is band six is very high for the EFL students to achieve. the researcher considers that band score of five is the highest score.

The researcher uses wrong name to sign the sample of the research to avoid internal validity of the research. Here is the score of the students’ speaking achievement.

 Table 1

Students’ speaking score

No. Students’ Initial Speaking Score Total Standard Score Score

In alphabet

fluency accuracy Comprehensibility
1 S1 4 3 4 11 73,3 B
2 S2 5 4 5 14 93,3 A
3 S3 4 4 3 11 73,3 B
4 S4 4 3 4 11 73,3 B
5 S5 4 3 4 11 73,3 B
6 S6 5 4 5 14 93,3 A
7 S7 5 4 5 14 93,3 A
8 S8 5 4 5 14 93,3 A
9 S9 5 4 5 14 93,3 A
10 S10 3 2 3 8 53,3 D
11 S11 4 3 4 11 73,3 B
12 S12 3 4 4 11 73,3 B
13 S13 4 3 3 10 66,7 C
14 S14 3 3 4 10 66,7 C
15 S15 4 3 4 11 73,3 B
16 S16 3 4 4 11 73,3 B
17 S17 4 4 5 13 86,7 A
18 S18 3 3 4 10 66,7 C
19 S19 3 3 4 10 66,7 C
20 S20 4 2 4 10 66,7 C
21 S21 3 4 4 11 73,3 B
22 S22 3 3 4 10 66,7 C
23 S23 3 3 4 10 66,7 C
24 S24 3 3 4 10 66,7 C
25 S25 4 4 4 12 80,0 B
26 S26 3 3 3 9 60,0 C
27 S27 5 4 5 14 93,3 A
28 S28 4 3 4 11 73,3 B
29 S29 3 3 3 9 60,0 C
30 S30 4 4 4 12 80,0 B
31 S31 3 3 3 9 60,0 C
32 S32 5 4 5 14 93,3 A
33 S33 4 4 4 12 80,0 B
34 S34 3 4 4 11 73,3 B
35 S35 3 3 4 10 66,7 C
36 S36 4 3 3 10 66,7 C
37 S37 3 3 4 10 66,7 C

After computing the students’ speaking score from the achievement test, the research tabulated the score in alphabet to find out how many percentage the students got A, B, C, D, or E as they are the marker of the students achievement score  in the tertiary education level.

 Table 2

The Percentage of Students’ score in alphabet

A 8 21.62
B 14 37.84
C 14 37.84
D 1 2.70
E 0 0

The table shows that most of the students have high score; 8 students (21,62%) got A and 14 students (37,84%) got B, and only one students (2,70%) who got low score. It means that students’ speaking achievement is improved. The researcher is also interested to analyze the students’ speaking achievement based on Heaton’s speaking score criteria as follows;

Table 3

Percentage of Heaton’s Speaking Criteria

5 8 21.62162 0 0 8 21.62162
4 9 24.32432 17 45.94594595 14 37.83784
3 21 56.75676 17 45.94594595 25 67.56757
2 9 24.32432 3 8.108108108 0 0
1 0 0 0 0 0 0

 It is clearly stated from the table 3 that almost half of the students can speak fluency and the interlocutor was able to understand their utterances albeit none of the students got high score in accuracy. It means the students need to study more on how to construct grammatical sentences.


Most of fresh graduate students who enter my university have low achievement in English speaking skills. It is far from the objective of the secondary high school curriculum in which the students are able to use English in simple conversation. To solve the problem 3 Ps (Presentation, Practice and Production) is significant to improve students’ communicative competence. So that, the teaching process is divided into three stages; presentation stage, practice stage, and production stage. In each stage the students were encouraged to practice sentences in simple conversation by using pictures. Pictures are media in implementing 3Ps. The result both from field-note and achievement test show that the students’ speaking skills are improved.


Bailey, K.M. 2005. Practical English Language Teaching: Speaking. Singapore: McGraw-Hill  companies.

Brown, H.D.2000. Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. NewYork: Pearson.

Brown, H.D. 2004. Language Assessment; Principles and Classroom Practices. New York: Pearson Education Ltd.

Harmer. J. 1988. How to Teach English. England:Longman.

Harmer. J. 2001. The Practice of English Language Teaching. England: Pearson EducationLtd.

Heaton. 1988. Writing English Language . Hongkong: Longman .

Willis, Jane and Willis, Dave. Challenge and Change; in Language Teaching. China: Macmillan Heinemann.