Throughout history of language teaching, there have been numerous methods for the English teaching. Most of them have been used during a period of time and then have been upgraded or even replaced by new methods that proposed new ways for helping students to reach a better English proficiency as foreign language.
English language teaching methodology in Indonesia needs improvement in many aspects. The writer experience in observe the way English teachers teach while undergraduate research practice in specific schools in Bondowoso. The writer gets an Idea that English teacher still not get used to Integration teaching skills well in their classroom, most of them still use traditional segregation skills in teaching their students. The main reason that might hold up the teacher in use it is the planning. When teacher make a preparation about integration of skills, the instructor needs to stay careful of any problem that would hinder the process of application of integrated activities in the classroom. Actually, behind many difficulties of preparation in doing this method, the result of this method is really useful. Learners improve as usage of integrated skills by the instructor adds to their communicative efficiency. Hersan (1998) points out that “Nowadays, communication is the major aim for learning a foreign language. In daily life, these skills are seen in integration, for example, after reading a letter, usually an answer to this letter is written. So, in the classroom the activities should be taught in integration in order to arrive at ease in communication.” Appropriate application of integration of skills can assist the instructors in getting better output from the learners.
This paper discusses about the important of learning and teaching languages using the integration skills in English language classroom. It has been made as a guide for teachers of English as a foreign language to develop the students´ abilities in the language from the book of “Teaching by Principle” by Douglas brown. Integration skills is an approach for the communicative skills improvement in the classroom, in which the four major skills in the knowledge acquisition of a foreign language can be learnt by students in a comprehensible way.
The Integrated Skill Approach is a whole language approach where if a course deals with reading skills, then, it will also deal with listening, speaking, and writing skills. This approach is considered as one in which the English language is taught not just for academic but also for communication purpose (Brown 2001). In other words, it considers the communicational goal that every language course should achieve by exposing learners to the richness and complexity of the language. In order to know more about the important of using integration skill in English teaching classroom, it is better if we understand first about Brown types or models of integrated-skills.
There are five types of integrated-skills which Brown explain in his book. Content Based Instruction (CBI), Content Theme Instruction (TBI), Experimental Learning, Episode Hypothesis, And Task Based Instruction (TBI). In CBI, students practice all the language skills in a highly integrated, communicative fashion while learning contents such as mathematics, science and social studies. CBI is valuable at all levels of proficiency, but the nature of its content might differ by proficiency level. For beginners, the content often involves basic social and interpersonal communication skills, but past the beginning level, the content can become increasingly academic and complex. Theme-Based Instruction is a bit similar to CBI because purpose of a course is to instruct students in a subject-matter area, and language equally by structuring a course around themes or topics. Experimental Learning is students learns best by doing, by active experimentation. It is kind of inductive learning by discovery activates strategies that enable students to take charge of their own learning processes. Episode Hypothesis is about how the teacher teach English language by present their student interconnected sentences in an interesting episode rather than disconnected sentences. This method believed provoke the curiosity of students in learning language more. In Task-Based Instruction, students basic pair work and group work are often used to increase student interaction and collaboration. For instance, students work together to write and edit a class newspaper, develop a television commercial, enact scenes from a play, or take part in other joint tasks. More structured cooperative learning formats can also be used in task-based instruction. Task-based instruction is relevant to all levels of language proficiency, but the nature of the task varies from one level to the other.
When students communicate in real life, they often use more than a single language skill. For example, when we use our handphone to call our friend, we listen, speak and sometimes we also write down a message and read over what we have note in paper. Integrated approach helps to build new knowledge and skills on to what students already know and can do. So, if students are able to read a short story, this skill will help them to write their own story. Also, integrating the skills allows you to build in more variability into the lesson because the range of activities will be wider. Instead of just having speaking, the students can have listening, writing and reading practice. This can increase their motivation to learn English more. Above all, integrating the skills means that you are working at the level of realistic communication, which provides all-round development of communicative competence in English. According to Oxford (2001), one of the most relevant advantages of using the Integrated-skill Approach is that it exposes English language learners to authentic language and challenges them to interact naturally in the language. She also comments that exposing students to communicative situations helps them to get an idea of the richness and complexity of the English language.
In conclusion to what discussed before, it can be said that the Integration of the four skills of the English language give influences on the Students performances. Integrating of the four skills is concerned with realistic communication. This means that we as educator are teaching at the discourse level, not just at the level of words, phrases, sentences and grammars. Discourse is a whole unit of communicative text, either written or spoken. However, integrating the four language skills can be demanding of the teacher such as the flexibility, many time-consuming and requiring a lot of preparation. This means that teachers have to be skillful is selecting or designing integrated activities for their students, but it can bring worthwhile results.