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This chapter presents the background of the study, problem and its
significance, and the scope and delimitation of the study.

Over the years, there had been a growing concern in the development of oral
communication among second-language learners with regards to the deterioration of their
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oral English skills.1 Many have voiced their sentiments on the needs to strengthen every
student’s grasp of the English language.2 According to Rama (2000), the main reason why
the Filipinos are employed abroad is their ability to speak and understand English and so
when all countries in the world struggle to learn English, we Filipinos should not unlearn it.
English is a global language and in ad in the worlds of former Education Secretary Richardo
Gloria (Castro, 1994), “mastering it will be beneficial to all our students for they can then
compete internationally.”3 Moreover, Roces (1999) emphasized that the Department of
Education should prepare its pupils for the Information Revolution and that “…isolating
them linguistically from the world’s chief language of information is to doom them from the
very start.”

Students’ poor command of the English language has challenged many

secondary-language teacher to continue redefining or “…elaborating methods
systematically trying them out and judging the results” (Sevignon, 1983) to come up with
novel ways of developing students’ competence in the spoken language. 4 Sadly, some
methods scare if not bore students or fail to spark their enthusiasm that they end up sitting
in the classroom simply staring at teachers who do all the talking. The quality of education
according to Dela Rosa (2000) has “to start going up or we can call the whole deal off.
Government owes us the services of good teachers, especially language and science

New Era University, in its 27 years of educating the youth, recognizes and
encourages novel and effective ways of teaching specially the English language. In its desire
to give students exposure in the use of English language in oral communication, the
administration has on several instances directed the faculty and staff to use the English
language in their dealings with students. In an August 2002 memorandum to all the New
Era University workers, Dr. Corazon C. Osorio, President, reiterated the need to strengthen
skills in English as a second language. She enjoined all employees to transact business in English
and all department heads to apply effective measures to encourage all their colleagues to
cooperate in this endeavor.

The researcher, in her eight years of teaching the English language in the
university, is saddened by the students’ lack of confidence in communicating in English. Many
students prefer to keep quiet in class for fear that when they speak, they might commit errors
in grammar pronunciation, and that their classmates might laugh at them.5 This is alarming
most especially when a student is in an Oral Communication class and the whole semester slips
away without a word from a very shy student.

1 The hook statement

2 What is the problem
3 Why the problem is important
4 The rationale (Enovations had been done)
5 The rationale (The problem in more details)
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English 3 which is Oral Communication at the New Era University aims at making
every student gain confidence in oral communication through practice. To achieve this end, the
researcher developed a drama production-based module as a means to improve their oral
communication skills in English.6 Drama production could prove to be a very good vehicle to
expose students to oral communication practice.

No one perhaps can question the universal appeal and impact drama can
make. Drama sparks wonder that creates a multitude of human reactions such as
imagination, self-expression, social awareness, independent and analytical thinking, and
communication. This is why drama is a tool widely used in education for better
understanding of various subjects in all levels.

In the words of Evans (1982), “Drama provides opportunities for pupils to

use a variety of purposes.” She adds that drama also provides a realistic context for talk
which gives students opportunity to debate, deduce, plan, and persuade. Furthermore,
dram techniques according to her can:

1. Make the easily forgotten memorable;

2. Demonstrate communication in its fullest and truest sense;
3. Encourage active and discriminating observation and listening;
4. Allow the less academically-able potential scope for success, which
may inspire grater confidence generally;
5. Encourage a more sensitive awareness of the human relationships at
the heart of literature, and thus hopefully of life.

Drama production activities utilized well may prove to be of significant help

to the acquisition of effective oral communication – the goal of every oral communication


In the light of the theories cited in the review of related literature and
studies, specially the insights from Via (1979), Smith (1984), and Russel (1974), this study
aimed to develop and try-out a prototype drama production-based module for improving
students’ oral communication skills in English.7

Figure 1, shows the conceptual framework of this study. Via’s (1979), and
Smith’s (1984) ideas formed the bases for using drama production as tool in improving
students’ oral English skills. Russel’s (1974) “General Characteristics of Modular

6 The rationale (the solution to the problem)

7 The author’s position
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Instruction” on the other hand became the guideposts of the researcher in the development
of the said module.8 In the framework, and arrow points to the three process enclosed in a
rectangle. Fist among the three was the identification of competencies of effective oral
communication. This was important since the module to be developed would be used as a
strategy to improve oral communication skills. Second was the development of a module
and its validation by experts. In the development and validation stage, would go through
revision and editing considering the suggestions of experts. Lastly, the module would be tried-
out for use by student-respondents and would then be finalized.9 The output of these processes
would be the drama production-based module aimed at improving students’ communication
skills in English.

1. Identification of
the competencies
Richard A. Via’s
of effective oral
bases on the choice
of a drama for communication9
language teaching,
Stephen M.
Smith’s ideas on DRAMA
drama rehearsals, PRODUCTION-
& James P. 2. Development &
validation of the BASED
Russel’s “General MODULE
Characteristics of module9

Try-out and
finalization of the


8 The previews models

9 The new models
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This study aimed to develop and try-out a drama production-based module
as a strategy to improve oral communication skills in English.10

Specifically, this study aimed to:

1. Identify the competencies of effective oral communication.

2. Develop and validate a drama production-based module.
3. Try-out and finalize the developed module.11


The researcher intended to enrich and upgrade Oral Communication (English
3) course by developing a drama production-based module for use as a teaching guide for
teachers and for students to develop their oral communication skills in English. Moreover,
this study addressed itself to: educators, specifically speech teachers, that they may gain
valuable insights on the use of drama production in developing the oral communication
skills of students in the target language, while providing them enjoyment in the process;
school administrators, supervisors, that they place due emphasis in the curriculum on the
importance of drama towards the acquisition of effective oral communication skills in English;
interested practitioners that they gain insights and judge on the applicability of the drama
production-based module and of the researcher’s findings and conclusions; students and other
individuals that they gain some understanding and find joy in the study of drama and the
contribution it can make to the improvement of their oral communication skills.


This study was delimited to the preparation, implementation, and evaluation of a
prototype drama production-based module aimed at improving students’ oral communication
skills in English.

There was only one drama used in the module which was “New Yorker in Tondo”
by Marcelino Agana. The choice of the drama was anchored on Via’s (1979(views that a good
play for language teaching is “culturally loaded” and one that fits the language to the culture.

10 The main objective of the study

11 The specific objectives, how to arrive to the main objective
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Furthermore, the study was confined to getting the responses of the student-respondents and
did not include teacher-respondents.12

The study involved a class of sophomore students, thirty eight all, in the
tertiary level enrolled in Oral Communication (English 3) during the first semester of the
academic year 2002-2003 at the New Era University, Quezon City. The class was picked by
the researcher out of the two English 3 classes she handled during the first semester
because it was composed of students majoring in different fields of business, therefore
were not classmates in all their subjects and would make extra effort to know each other,
interact, and go through the stages of drama production.13

For clearer understanding of the terms used in this study, below are their meanings:

Communication- It means getting one’s message across or the transmission of thoughts or

sharing of ideas.

Drama- It refers to a dramatic literature written by a playwright. In this study, drama refers to
“New Yorker in Tondo” by Marcelino Agana Jr.

Drama Production- This involves the following stages: pre-production which involves planning,
casting, meetings/discussions, rehearsals; production which is the performance stage; post-
production which is an evaluation of the whole production.

Drama production-based- This describes the module. It means the activities employed are
centered on drama production such as pre-production, production, and post-production.

Enrichment Module- It refers to a study guide. It is the drama production-based module

developed by the researcher to supplement lectures and other activities in Oral Communication

Oral Communication- This refers to English 3, a course at the New Era University that deals
with speech improvement.

Prototype Module- It means an original module. In this study, it pertains to the drama
production-based module developed by the researcher.

Second-language learners- These are the participants of this research. They are the students
who are to learn how to use the English language in communication.

Target language- This refers to the language to be learned or acquired, which is the English

12 The limitation
13 The scope