Tuesday, 12 March 2013



NPM 306.07.12.088

1.1 Background of the Study

English is spoken all over the world. It is used as a means of international communication such as in daily life and international affairs among countries for example in United Nation Organization. English is always used when they have meeting. Beside that English is applied in many aspects of life like book are written in English, information about technology is often using English etc. That’s why Indonesian government obliges English is being taught in every school from elementary school until university.

Pronunciation teaching is experiencing a new resurgence, fuelled largely by the increasing awareness of the communicative function of suprasegmental features in spoken discourse (Brazil, Coulthard, & Johns, 1980; Brown & Yule, 1983). Pronunciation Practice is one of these courses in English Department of STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin. It is consist of Pronunciation Practice I and Pronunciation Practice II. There is very important for the students in STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin because they have to master these PP I and PP II subjects so that they won’t wrongly teach the students about how to pronounce or intonation English words and sentence.

Pronunciation (also known as phonology) includes the role of individual sounds and sound segments, that is, features at the segmental level, as well as suprasegmental features such as stress, rhythm, and intonation (Richards and Renandya 2002 :175). English intonation is English; it is not the same as the intonation of any other language. Some people imagine that intonation is the same for all languages, but this is not true (O’Connor 1998:108)

In fact, according to Amelia, Siska (2008:31) Stated in her Skripsi, “ from 30 sample students, there are 9 students or 30% who get fair category, and students who get bad category are 9 students or 30%. Rahman, Yudi (2006:22) stated in his skripsi, “from 48 students there is no students got score in range 80-100 or in category good. There are 13 students or 27,08% in the enough category and 35 students or 72,92% in bad category.

Many of students still facing many problems to master their pronunciation ability especially in using English intonation. For instance, some of students at the second semester of STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin still get some difficulties to indentify patterns of intonation. It is supported by Harmer, Jeremy he state that in his book, Some of us (and many of our students) find it extremely difficult to hear ‘tunes’ or to identify the different patterns of rising and falling tones. (p.185)Based on the explanation above, this research is necessary to conduct in order to describe and interested to know how is the ability in using English Intonation of the Second-Semester Students of English Department of STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin academic year 2010/2011.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The nations ‘stress’, ‘tone’, ‘accent’, and ‘Intonation’ all refer to suprasegmental aspect of the phonological structure, but they are in fact rather different. Many phonologists would argue that all languages have phonological stress in the sense of foot structure, even though the phonetic salience of stressed syllables will vary considerably from language to language, to the extent that some languages have no observable phonetic stress. Probably all languages have structural intonation. However, only about half have lexical tone, while for many languages it will not make sense to speak of ‘accent’. (Gussenhoven 2004:12)

In this case, the object of this research is the English students ability in using English intonation especially intonation in the sentence, because intonation one of these suprasegmental aspects and all language (especially English) have structural intonation. The subject of the research is English Department students of STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin especially second-semester students.

The problem formulated as follows: “How is the ability in using English intonation of the second semester students of English Department of STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin academic year 2010/2011?.”

1.3 Purpose of the study

The research objective is to describe the ability in using English intonation of the second semester students of English Department of STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin Academic year 2010/2011.

1.4 Significance of the study


The result of the study will give contribution to the teaching English pronunciation especially using English intonation.


The research is expected to give valuable contribution to the students, lecturer, and next researchers.

1. Students

The result of this research is hoped to improve their ability in pronunciation, especially in using English intonation.

2. Lecturer

The result of this research, it can be used as a significant input to the lecturer for improving method and technique of teaching pronunciation.

3. Next researcher

This can be used for other researcher as reference in doing similar research studies or conducting a further research.


2.1 Definition of Intonation

When speaking, people generally raise and lower the PITCH of their voice, forming pitch patterns. They also give some syllables in their utterances a greater degree of loudness and change their SPEECH RHYTHM. These phenomena are called intonation. Intonation does not happen at random but has definite patterns (see INTONATION CONTOUR). Intonation is used to carry information over and above that which is expressed by the words in the sentence (Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching & applied Linguistics)

Another book gives some definitions of intonation such as: the pitch of a speaker’s voice can go up or down at the end of a sentence this is called intonation (Hadfield 2011:60)

Intonation is also used to convey emotion, involvement, and empathy (Harmer:28) Intonation is also a way of modifying the strength or intonation of what we are saying (Harmer:28)

Intonation is the combination of musical tones (pitch) on which we pronounce the syllables that make up our speech. Intonation is important grammatical in distinguishing one type of sentence from another; and it is also important in signaling the attitude of the speaker in what he is saying (Syafei 1988:28)
Intonation is treated as the use of phonological tone for non-lexical purposes, or – to put it positively – for the expression of phrasal structure and discourse meaning (Gussenhoven 2004:12)

According to Avery, Peter and Ehrlich, Susan (1994: 76), Intonation is often called the melody of language since it refers to pattern of pitch changes that we use when we speak. Avery, Peter and Ehrlich, Susan give other definition in their book, intonation is not only central to conveying meaning in spoken English but is also important in conveying attitude of the speaker towards what is being said, (1994: 192)

2.2 Function of Intonation

This list of function can form the basis of an intonation syllabus which teachers can refer to in their work on this complex aspect of pronunciation.

1. Foregrounding. Intonation is used to put certain words in the foreground. Speakers use pitch, along with volume, extra length on the vowel, ‘full’ pronunciation of consonant, etc. to give words prominence or stress. There are basically two ways in which pitch is used: (1) the speaker can make a word much higher in pitch than others, by ‘jumping up’ in pitch; (2) the speaker can use varying pitch, rising or falling sharply or ‘wavering’ in pitch to make a word stand out. (In our approach, this foregrounding function has been covered in the sections on sentence stress, but it must be remembered that pitch change is involved)

2. Back grounding. Just as high pitch or drastically changing pitch is used to show prominence, low pitch is used to put things in the background, to treat something as old or shared information (as in the ‘You don’t have a car’ example). (‘Low pitch’ means in the lower region of the speaker’s voice range, falling or rising slightly)

3. Intonation is used to signal ends and beginnings. For example, when a speaker is listing things, it’s easy to tell when the last item has been reached because the voice pitch usually drops. Conversely, if the speaker is giving an open-ended list, the voice will not drop, but hover on a middle pitch or even rise slightly. In conversation, most people have a normal ‘starting pitch’. They also have s ‘finishing off’ pitch, at a fairly low point in their range. Being able to tell whether a person has finished what they are saying or not is vital in conversation. If you start speaking when your conversational partner’s voice still ‘up’, then this will be counted as an interruption.

4. Intonation is used to show whether a situation is basically ‘open’ or ‘closed’. It may be unresolved, or incomplete, or ‘open for negotiation’ or confirmation, in which case a high or rising pitch is usually used. Hence the rise on open-ended list (see above), on the conversational OK? people often use, and on statements in which something is reserved or kept back, either positive or negative, for example: ‘I like his wife, (but not him).’ ‘Closed’ situation are usually indicated by falling pitch, hence the use of falling pitch for answer to question, strongly affirmative statements (I did do it), and some types of commands- especially where the listener is expected to comply unquestioningly: ‘Do it now!’

5. Intonation is used to show involvement. This involvement may be emotionally highly charged, as when a speaker’s voice jumps up in pitch because of anger or excitement, or it may be interest or commitment: ‘You’ve got may attention.’ It is usually possible to tell how involved someone is in a conversation by listening to the noises they make as they listen. If the listener says ’yes… yes… ah…’ with very low pitch, this may indicate anything from utter boredom to moderate contentedness (‘I’m happy to listen to you’). Noises made on quite high or even high rising pitch usually show more involvement.

6. Intonation is used to show expectations. The best example of this is the use of tag questions. If we say: ‘He doesn’t know, does he?’ with a falling pitch on the tag, this shows we expect the answer to be: ‘No, he doesn’t, i,e. Confirmation or agreement. We are showing through use of our voice that we have some information that we are quite sure is correct, and that we expect that the other person has that information too – it’s almost a way of making what two people know explicit (‘You know that I know that you know…’). Generally, strong expectations are shown by low falling pitch, lack of any expectation are shown by high or rising pitch. (This function is very close to 4 above.)

7. Intonation is used to show that one speaker respects or cares about the other (especially as regards his or her status or feelings). Such feelings can be shown in two ways:

(a) Through the use of very conventional politeness patterns. These usually consist of a higher than usual starting pitch (see 3 above) and/or a final rising pitch. A classic example is the pattern English people use when accosting someone, or as a prelude to a request (‘Excuse me’.)
(b) Through the use of ‘mitigation’ pitch patterns. Mitigation is an attempt to soften the blow. If you are put in a position where you are forced to challenge or affront the other person (for example by having to disagree or give what you know is the unexpected answer to a question) you show through your voice that you are unwilling or unhappy about doing this, and through this your respect for the other person. The verbal equivalent is the frequent use of: ‘Yes, but….’ By English people in discussions or arguments. The intonation used is often a fall, and then a rise. The speaker often starts quite high in pitch as well.

8. Intonation is used to show the relationship between the parts of a speaker’s message. Are things essentially the same, or different? In the other words, speakers can show whether one point follows automatically from another, or whether it is a new dimension, or perhaps a summary of what has gone before, i.e. ‘the same’. Here’s example:
(The speaker is describing a recent argument.)
‘It was just silly, really embarrassing – a total mess’.
‘Just silly’ gives one point of information (and will be said with falling intonation), ‘really embarrassing’ gives another point (so falling intonation again), but ‘a total mess’ may be said on a much lower pitch, because it is viewed by the speaker as a kind of summary. Or ‘a total mess’ could be seen as the third dimension, in which case it’s intonation pattern will be similar to that oh the previous two points. (Kenworthy 1988:88-90)

2.3 Types of Intonation

The basic kinds of falls and rises used in normal, polite speech in American English are as follows:

1. Fall (high to low)

The fall is normally used at the end of factual statements and commands and the end of information questions, question that begin with a question word like who, what, when, where, how, how many, etc.

2. Rise (low to high)

The rise is normally used on yes-no question. These are question that begin with an auxiliary verb such as are, was, do, did, have, can, etc.. and must be answered with yes or no.

3. Low-rise (low to mid)

The low-rise is used for all words but the last in a series and for any mid-sentence pause, such as the end of an introductory phrase, a dependent clause, or a long subject. It is often used before a comma (in reading) or before coordinating conjunction such as and and or.

4. Fall-rise

The fall-rise is a combination of a fall followed by a low-rise. The fall-rise is similar in meaning to the low-rise and can be used in most of the same situation. Like the low-rise, it indicates incompleteness and can be used before any mid-sentence pause when the speaker intends to continue or connect his or her ideas to following information. (M. Dauer 1993:223-225)

Anas, Syafei states that two types of intonation, there are falling intonation and rising intonation.
Falling intonation is normally used:
a. At the end of simple statement
b. In giving commands and making requests
Rising intonation is commonly used:
a. At the end of question which begin with auxiliary
b. For question with statement word order
c. On series with and (the last member of the series is with falling intonation)
d. On alternatives with or
e. On direct address
f. On question tags (1988: 29-32)

McCharty, Michael states that five types of Intonation, these are:
1. Fall
2. Rise-Fall
3. Fall-Rise
4. Rise
5. Level (2000:105)


3.1 Research Location

The research was conducted at STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin at Jl. Sultan Adam Komp. H. Iyus Banjarmasin. Because this place has Pronunciation Practice subject in curriculum 2007 of teaching and learning process.
The course of PP II is the last of Pronunciation Practice course series given at the second semester and stands for local curriculum. It studies English sounds and sound productions and focuses on nasalization retroflex sounds, similitude, assimilation, elision, length, and rhythm, stress, breath, and sense group, intonation, and syllable separation. (Kurikulum Program S-1 STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin 2007)

3.2 Research Design

This is a descriptive quantitative design. It is called descriptive because the research tries to describe about the ability in using English intonation of the second semester students of English Department of STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin academic year 2010/2011. According to McMillan and Schumacher in their book “Research in Education”, they said, Research using a descriptive design simply describes an existing phenomenon by using numbers to characterize individuals or a group (1997: 37)
It is also called quantitative because the data obtained from the test result done by the students. Gay et. al. state in their book “Educational Research”, Quantitative is the collection and analysis of numerical data to describe, explain, predict, or control phenomena of interest. (2009:7)
Describing how is the ability in using English intonation of the second semester student of English Department of STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin academic year 2010/2011.

3.3 The Procedure of Data Collection

3.3.1 Data Sources

The data source of this research is taken from English Department students of STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin especially students of the second-semester academic year 2010/2011. The primary data are taken from the result of the test all students, they are students of English Department of STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin at the second-semester.

3.3.2 Research Variables

“How is the ability in using English intonation of the second semester students of English Department of STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin academic year 2010/2011?”

3.3.3.Research Instruments

The data are collected through test. The test conducted two times, the first test on June 15, 2011, the total sample is 68 students. The second test on June 24, 2011, the total sample is 41 students The test is in the essay form because measures an individuals current proficiency in given areas of knowledge or skill.

3.3.4 Technique of Collecting Data

The data are taken from the students test result. Test is the instrument of this research. The test is applied to all students who are taking Pronunciation Practice II in STKIP-PGRI Banjarmasin, test instrument is in essay form, it consist of 40 sentences. The test is divided into four parts, that is 10 sentences fall intonation, 10 sentences rise intonation, 10 sentences low-rise intonation, and 10 sentences fall-rise intonation. The students have to read the sentences with right intonation. Then their voices of pronunciation will be recorded in a mobile phone (Nokia type 5320 ExpressMusic) by which the data analysis is done.
The total sample is 180 students, but when collecting the data this research get the problem, from 180 students, 71 students is absent.

3.4 Population and Sample

3.4.1 Research Population

The population in this research is the students of English Department of STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin especially all students of second semester who take Pronunciation Practice II course.

According to McMillan and Schumacher in their book “Research in Education” they said, A Population is a group of elements or cases, whether individuals, objects, or events, that confirm to specific criteria and to which we intend to generalize the results of the research (1997:164

3.4.2 Sampling Technique

This research is used stratified sampling. Gay et. al. state in their book “Educational Research”, Stratified sampling is a way to guarantee desired representation of relevant subgroups within the sample. In the other words, some populations can be subdivided into subgroups, known as strata (one is called a stratum). Stratified sampling involves strategically selecting participants from each subgroups. (2009:127)

McMillan and Schumacher state in their book “Research in Education”, A common variation of simple random sampling is called stratified random sampling. In this procedure, the population is divided into subgroups, or strata, on the basis of a variable chosen by the researcher, such as gender, age, or level of education. (1997:168)

The total population of the Pronunciation Practice II course students at STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin are 350 students. According to Krejchi and Morgan (1970:48), they said
Misalkan ukuran populasi yang dimiliki adalah 350 subjek. Titik perpotongan antara garis vertikal yang merentang daari skala absis 350 dapat dihubungkan melalui garis horizontal yang menghubungkan titik perpotongan tersebut dengan skala ordinat 180. Jadi ukuran sampel untuk mewakili populasi yang berukuran 350 adalah 180.

From opinion Krejchi’s and Morgan’s above, it’s means that point of intersection between the vertical lines that extends from the abscissa scale 350 can be connected through a horizontal line connecting the points of intersection with the ordinate scale of 180. So the total sample to represent the total population 350 students is 180 students.

3.5 Technique of data analysis

The data are taken from the students test result. The students will be asked to read the sentences with right intonation. The test is applied to all students at second semester especially who are taking Pronunciation Practice II subject at STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin. It is done in order to find out how is the students ability in using English intonation. The students answer will be analyzed by using the following formulas:

Formula of finding degree of mastery (individual) is:
Degree of mastery = (Number of correct answers )/(Number of items)×100

Formula of finding mean score from all the students is:
Х= Σx/n

Note :

Х : The mean or arithmetic average of the scores
Σx : The sum of all the scores
n : Number of subjects in a particular group
(Gay et. al., 2009:307)

Standard of Qualification

In the order to know how far is the ability in using English intonation of the second semester students of STKIP PGRI Banjarmasin academic year 2010/2011, this research using the classification table below: