Vlogging as an effective method to improve students' fluency

Vlogging as an Effective Method to Improve Students’ Fluency
Ika Yulinda Fansuriyah
Undergraduate Students of English Department
State University of Surabaya
How to quote this paper:
Fansuriyah, Ika Yulinda (2017). Vlogging as an Effective Method to Improve Students’ Fluency.
Surabaya: Unesa Press.
Since the Communicative language Teaching was introduced in 1970, researcher try to look for some method in the
purpose of assisting students in improving their fluency in speaking (Richard, 2006). This makes speaking become the
main role and the main indicator of the successful of learning a language. This situation face the new problem where
Indonesian students are anxious in speaking ad delivering their ideas (Young,1990). Then, Vlogging is introduced as an
effective method because of some theoretical foundation which are Social Constructivism, Media Richness Theory,
Students Centered Approach, and Social Presence Theory(Ahmad, Samah). Nardi et al. (2004), stated that vlog serves
documentaries of their life, commentaries as an expression of their opinion and make their voices heard, catharsis, muses,
and community forums that post some knowledge. In this paper there are three features that increase students’ fluency
through vlogging which are reading the script, freedom to speak with no time limitation, and freedom to speak without
any interruption. These features will done by students during they do vlogging. Vlogging is a cycle process meaning that
students have to do the same thing in many times. In one side, this repetition means that students will be more fluent in
speaking. However, in other side repeating the same activity will create a tendency that students will be bored. This
situation could be faced by giving the different topic in every chance they do vlogging. Therefore, in the end, students;
fluency is increased by doing something which is enjoyfull.
Keywords: vlogging, fluency, improving fluency, vlogging improves fluency
In the 1970’s traditional grammar-translation method (GTM) was substituted by Communicative
Language Teaching (CLT) as the new method (Richards, 2006). As a consequence, educator has
changed their focus from teaching about the language into teaching the language (Asrobi, Suarnajaya,
Seken, 2017, p.2). GTM has created a common phenomenon that Indonesian students are excellent in
dealing with text, yet they are weak in speaking ability. This also occurs because they are lack of
speaking practice and also they do not have tutor to share with and correct their speaking, and also
they do not have any desire to correct their speaking practice by themself. Compared to other skills
such as listening, reading, and writing, speaking is the rarest skill practiced by students. Not only
because of laziness and lack of practice, but also because of anxiety that makes Indonesian students
are weak in their fluency. Anxiety is meant to be a negative feeling that influences tension and
apprehension (Spielberger, 1983; as cited in Ozturk & Gurbuz, 2014). Indonesian students are
anxious or scared to speak English, as the consequence, they extremely never express their ideas
using English. Even Young (1990) stated that learners are afraid to the spontaneous speaking.
Anxiety of course affects to students fluency when they speak.
One way to minimize students’ anxiety is vlogging. Vlogging is an activity to improve students’
fluency and confidence. It will minimize the cause of students’ problem in speaking which is the lack
of practice and the language anxiety. Videoblogging is a new trend for youtubers providing them the
accessibility to communicate through picture and sounds. Bryant (2006) in his paper use the term
videoblog (vlogging) to refer to blogging activity; vlog to the result or material uploaded and
videobloggers (vloggers) to the doer or the videoblog user. Vlogging is an activity where people
create a video to be uploaded in youtube. Vlogging becomes a trend and many young students like do
vlogging because it could be as a way to show off, earn money, and also to spend time. The content of
the video is various. It could be the daily activity of the vlogger, the special event, challenge, tips, and
many others. By only creating a video in 5-10 minutes length, the vloggers could share what they
want to share. This becomes a good opportunity for educators to make use this type of invention as a
tool in education. Believing or not, the trend of vlogging has created a new culture for youth. The
most obvious change is there is a tendency to compete showing off. Showing off is a sign that
Indonesia students are no longer shy generation. By making vlog, the vlogger has to speak up in front
of camera. This absolutely and unconsciously make Indonesian students brave to speak up and
express their ideas.
Now teachers have to invent a way to include the modern technology to the classroom activities.
Teacher could make vlogging as a speaking task for students. Students have to create with theme as
they like, but stills they have to speak English in their video. Because students still have time to
prepare, they could perform well in the video without feeling anxious. This preparation indirectly will
give students time to correct their performance including their pronunciation, vocabulary, etc. The
findings of study conducted by Ay (2010) proved through demonstration that most anxiety are owned
by the advance speaker. This clearly proves good preparation affect to students’ confidence. In
addition, when students feel confident, it means that they enjoy doing it. Students only need to enjoy
what they do as they are vlogging as usual. The more vlog that students create the more skillful and
productive the students are.
Definition of Vlogging
There are many definion of vlogging according to some experts. A vlog is a series of video files
that can be downloaded from the Internet (Llamas-Nistal, Caeiro-Rodríguez & Castro, 2011).
Mackey (2005) added that vlog are video that can be downloaded from Internet and can be developed
depend on the budget ranks. Vlogs begin being popular since video can be accessed in phone (Chan,
Chi, & Chen, 2011; Gronstedt, 2007). Gale and Kung (2009) also stated that vlog functioned as the
media to show off the creation and the creativity of the users. Actually Vlog is a result of the textual
blogging development. As the consequence it provides the ability to communicate among its user
which could not be done by the textual blogging. EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (2005) defines a
videoblog as a “web log (blog) that uses video rather than text or audio as its primary media source”
(p. 1). The trend of vlogging becomes advance as well as the internet connection, the easy software
for editing video and the tools to record the video that provides good services. Warmbrodt, Sheng,
Hall and Cao (2010) define vlogs is only about video uploaded. Also, Blackall (2009) added that vlog
is only video with limited time duration uploaded. Karkoski (2013) also think the same way since he
defined vlog is a blog using video. The video can be uploaded to a site where everyone can download
and access the video. Frobenius (2011) is also the researcher who also admitted that a vlog is a video
which shoot about something, being edited, and being uploaded to a site were everyone can comment
Theoretical Foundations of Vlogs
According to Nardi et al. (2004), people do vlogging because vlog can documentarize their life,
their activities and experiences, can make people are easy to repond to the others’ opinion in order to
make people know their ideas, express feeling and emotion, and structure their mindset, and so on.
Dr. Samah Zakareya Ahmad* stated that the attempt to use vlogs in education is based on some
theoretical foundations which might include the following:
a. Social Constructivism
Social constructivism, popularized by Vygotsky, is a belief that social instruction is the
most important factor forming children growth (Tracey & Morrow, 2012). Vlogging make the
user has to interact with others. The video which is uploaded, will be commented, liked, and
subscribed by other vloggers through comment column provided there. Sometimes vlogger
will get advises to make the video better through its effect, and vlogger performance. In
addition, many commentators not only provide advices but also critics and complain about the
video. Vlogger are also able to evaluate the other vloggers’ video. Through these interactions,
vloggers could learn from their mistake and other vloggers’ mistake too.
b. Media Richness Theory
Media richness theory or information richness theory was developed by Richard Daft and
Robert Lengel (Daft & Lengel, 1984 & 1986) which argued that text is the passive media, in
contrast video is a rich, effective, and communicative media (Harley & Fitzpatrick, 2009).
Vlogging with its interactive tools provides those features. Students who learn from text are
different from those who learn from media such as Youtube, and so on. Video as a kind of
media make students get information and comprehend a theory easier instead of reading a
text. Media such as vlog help students to visualize the theory. By visualizing, students could
recognize and save them in their long term memory.
c. Students centered Approach
A students-centered approach is an approach that focus on earners knowledge, social skills,
personal experience, and personality.(Sweat-Guy & Buzzetto-More, 2007). Students centered
approach are an attempt to achieving learning teaching goals by focusing on students’
activity. It means that students have freedom to choose a learning strategy, learning activity in
order to each the learning outcomes. In classroom activities, teacher has the bigger tendency
to be superior, and it is also faced to less active students that make teacher speak and do more
to make students actively engaged in learning activities. Through vlogging, students fully
control their activities such as creating concept, having well performance, deciding kinds of
effect of their video. Therefore, vlogging makes teacher minimize their superiority in
controlling the class and students become more independent.
d. Social Presence Theory
Social presence theory, introduced by Short, Williams and Christie (1976) audio, visual,
and physical indicators are the indicator to count the degree of the education. Generally, most
learning activities only focus in how to achieve the goals of education itself such as how to
improve students skill, how to improve students’ knowledge. Vlogging expands the students’
achievement to another field such as social environment. the vlogs which are uploaded take
topic not only from education, but also social issues. Vloggers share their soulution about a
social issues, their perspective, and their action about those issues. This could enhance other
vloggers to know the social issues, to be included in that issues, and then to provide solution.
As a results, vloggers take the significant roles in the social environment and learn new things
from their another fields.
The Measure of Speaking Fluency
Fluency is the extent are the result of the interaction between speak planning and speaking
production interact well and produce fluency. Brumfit (1984) considered fluency as natural
language use like the native speakers. Hedge (2000) argued that fluency is counted on the
development of the fluency itself . Lennon (1990) added that fluency is not about how we
deliver our talk, yet how we perceive and understand what others speak. Therefore, many
researches attempted to identify the longitudinal fluency development (Towell, 1987;
Lennon, 1990 & Freed, 1995); try to differentiate among fluent and non-fluent speaker
(Riggenbach, 1991 & Ejzenberg, 2000); and Arevart and Nation‟s (1991), and fluency
improvement in learning an additional language. Therefore, the attempt of the researcher to
define fluency, to distinguish fluent and non-fluent speakr, and also the indicator to count the
fluency are some proves that fluency are important to teach and learn.
It is as important as realizing that speaking fluency is necessary for students, teachers have
to be able to measure the speaking fluency of students. Wood (2001) stated that the best way
to count how fluent some is through speech rate key. In addition, Richards (2006) maintained
that the speaking fluency is developed by many variables which are how people interact to
problem, how people communicate in pair work, and how people solve and how people are
used to deal with the such kind situation. Regardless, Ellis and Sinclair (1989) advised the
language learners will make no repetition in their speech and also will prefer to speak
meaningfully and naturally, instead of speaking with good grammar yet it cannot produce
what the people meant. There is no doubt that people will do mistakes in their activities.
Therefore it’s teacher’s role to correct the students’ misunderstandings and guide them
avoiding communication breakdowns (Richards, 2006). In addition Nation (1997) found that
the improvement in speaking fluency also improves qualities of grammar accuracy and the
qualities of the content
How Vlogging Increase Students’ Fluency
Fluency cannot be taught constantly. This feature needs ongoing process, patience, repetitation,
and so on. It is an absolute reality that a fluent speaker must create mistakes, then correct their
mistake, and make it as habit. Because of that, vlogging is the appropriate tools to increase students’
fluency because of some features which are reading the script, the freedom to deliver a talk without
any interruption, and the enough time to practice. These features are included in three phases while
making a vlog.
The first phase is preparation. Students have to decide what kind of video they want to create, what
the concept is, what the topic is, what the appropriate editing video software is, what the music
background is and how to make their performance incredible. Here, students will focus on one basic
need which is speaking fluently. When students speak fluently, it will engage the viewer and make
the viewer know what message that vloggers want to share through this video. In this phase, students
will start through writing the script, reading the script, and trying to speak with their own words.
As we know that reading script is an activity where students have to read a script or text they will
repeat their reading many times. When speakers repeat the same talk meaning that she will develop
confidence in her ability to deliver her talk and will have less difficulty in assessing their language
they need to deliver their talk. Repetition provides ideal opportunity to develop fluency. In repeating
their talk while reading the script, students will reduce the time for each time they are talking. This
means that, when students’ talk becomes more fluently, there’s no need to fill the new material in the
available time. (Paul,1989). In preparing, students could create interesting topics or relevant
questions which they will speak about within an allotted time. For example, questions and topics can
be focused on a general self introduction, frame questions to interview a favorite celebrity, review of
the movie you watched recently, specific passage or poem can be read from the prescribed text (Anil,
After reading the script, students have enough time to practice their speaking without any script
with their own words. This activity will define the students’ fluency. The more students repeat and
practice what they will talk, the more fluent they will be. In addition, students can practice to use
hesitation during their talk. Chang Shie Lee (2008), stated that hesitation is one aspect as an indicator
to determine the level of fluency in Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International
English Language Testing System (IELTS), and Malaysian University English Test (MUET).
Hesitation such as “um”, “err”, “well”, “you know” fills in the pauses and make the utterances
smooth and fluent as hesitation fills time with hesitation makers. However, too much hesitation may
decrease fluency (Byrne, 1991). Therefore, by practicing a lot with no limitation, students can be used
to use hesitation as natural as they can.
The second phase is sharing and uploading the video. After uploading the vlog, students will get so
many feedback through comments, like, subscribe provided in the web. Vlogging provides students
to deliver their talk only once and the listener or viewer can not interrupt students after they finish
their talk. This means that students’ focus will be on communicating message. In addition, when
speakers could deliver their talk without any interruption, there’s no any pressure that will break
students’ focus so that students could speak fluently without any obstruction or encourage to add new
information or to make the listener interesting during the talk (Paul, 1989).
In this phase students also try to filter which comment which must be applied, which comment
which is non sense. These comments and feedback will evaluate how fluency the students are.
Encarta Encyclopedia observes that fluency counts the percentage how people understand what you
say. In other words, the more positive people evaluate you means that your fluency is good. Students
also could evaluate their fluency from the teacher easily because it is recorded. Sometimes, the
comment in the vlog is also a suggestion to visit another vlog address which is similar but can be a
reference for vloggers. Finishing the second phase does not mean that students finish their duties.
They have to apply what they get from evaluation, and have to create another vlog. These continuing
phase make vlogging included in a cycle process.
Even though vlogging is a cyle process, most students are not bored because the topic of students
vlog depend on students’ interest, and students learn from reading comments, and seeing another
vlog. Studies show that the numbers of vloggers increased fast and it is preferable for people to read
online content that textbook (Gunelius, 2012). This means that students make vlogging as their
hobbies not as their assignment. Doing activities that students like, will make the learning activities
become more interesting, effective, and meaningful.
This paper is written to know that Vlogging is an effective method to improve students’ fluency.
Considering that the main problem of EFL learners are the anxiety to speak English and the
misperception that mastering a language only focus on how to answer a test, researcher start
improving some effective method to assist students in minimizing their anxiety through some activity
which are enjoyful, modern, and guaranteed in improving students’ speaking quality especially in
fluency. One of the activity is vlogging. Vlogging is an activity where people create a video to be
uploaded in youtube. There some features in vloging steps that could increase students’ fluency
which are reading the script, the freedom to deliver a talk without any interruption, and the enough
time to practice these features are combined. I hope this will helpfully improve students’ fluency. In
the future paper is recommended to expand the function of vlogging not only in fluency but also in
accuracy since we know that fluency and accuracy is two things which are connected each other.
Ika Yulinda Fansuriyah is studying in State University of Surabaya who take English
Education as her major in English Department. She was born in Bawean Island, the north of Java
Island, yet she stayed at Surabaya since she studied in State University of Surabaya in 2015. Vlogging
as an Effective Method to Improve Students’ Fluency is her first paper. In the next future, she wish
she would create the more paper that help teachers in educating students more effective.To have
further information about her, to send comment or suggestion, send an email to
[email protected]
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