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Aims: This study examined visual arts activities as means of enhancing speaking abilities of students. It also explored how the participants find the use of visual arts activities as strategy; how visual arts activities in English class were conducted; and what suggestions the participants can offer to improve the conduct of visual arts activities.
Study Design: This study used the qualitative method particularly the phenomenological approach.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in Davao del Sur State College, Digos City. It was conducted during the first semester of 2019-2020.
Methodology: The 20 participants were purposively chosen. They were grouped into four focus groups. Interview guide-questionnaire based on the research questions was the main instrument used in obtaining the information.
Results: The use of visual arts in English language class was interesting and effective. The student-participants found the strategy interesting because they were able to express their ideas by looking at the images. They were able to formulate sentences instantly. Importantly, giving clear instructions on what to do and allocating appropriate time to gather their thoughts; learners were able to formulate ideas and confidently share their answers to the class. The learners suggested that speaking activities through visual arts strategy may be improved if language teachers use colorful arts; consideration of time to think; regular conduct of the strategy; allow brainstorm with other students before they are asked to speak; and everyone should be allotted time to speak. The suggestions imply that the students favor and willing the use of visual art in their speaking activities.
Conclusion: The appreciation of students on the use visual arts in enhancing their speaking abilities is a clear manifestation that visual arts is an effective tool in encouraging students to speak. The reason why students appreciated visual art is the motivation it provides. The visual effect of art to the students ignites and challenges them to formulate words. Thus, the use of visual art activities transform the students from uninterested to interested, from passive to active, from blunt to critical thinker. On the other hand, clear instructions to the students allow them to carry out the task according to the expected output. Moreover, time is a key element for learners to formulate well-thought answers. Hence, teachers may give provisions for time. Likewise, students clamor that visual arts should be colorful so that they could appreciate the art. However, they may not be relevant because the visual meaning does not depend on color. Interestingly, the results of study lead the English teachers to think of possible actions so that the conduct of speaking classes using visual arts may be improved. Authentic visuals arts which depict historical significance may be utilized. It may not only let the learners appreciate history but also develop cultural attitudes. Teachers may also provide and explain a speaking rubrics before the students do the task. This makes the learners informed and allows them to strategize. Lastly, teachers may also consider thematizing the visual arts so that learners become more interested and engaged.
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