CONTOH PROPOSAL SKRIPSI BAHASA INGGRIS THE USE OF CIRCLE GAMES AS A STRATEGY TO IMPROVE THE
STUDENTS’ MASTERY IN ENGLISH VOCABULARY
(An Action Research In the Case of Elementary School Students of SDN 01
Banyumanik Semarang in the Academic Year 2007/ 2008)
1.1 Background of the Study
The increasing need caused by developing era demanded the global society to enhance their human resources quality in order to compete to the other countries. In responding this situation, the role of communication had become a part that could not be separated from this condition. As English had become very powerful language in the world, it became one of international languages, most global community used English as a media of communication with another.
Mohammad Reza Talebinezhad & Mohammad Aliakbari (2007) said that English as an International Language referred to the use of English by people of different nations in order to communicate with one another. As the important of English in communication, it was not something difficult to see that the language was frequently used either to formal or informal places such as foreign companies, embassy office, tourism sector and many other places. Different from Singapore, Bangkok, Malaysia and India, they put English as their second language as their language communication while Indonesia put English as its foreign language. It was used as an instrument of utilizing modern sciences and technology for national development and it was also used as a mean of communication when Indonesian wanted to communicate to people from overseas. No doubt that only few Indonesians mastered of it, most of them tended to ignore it, they used to think that foreign language was not something useful for their daily life and learned of it would only waste of time. However, nowadays, the assumption was gradually scraped off by the developing era that demanded the society to be more competitive and to be able to enhance their human resources quality. Therefore, the role of English was needed to face the era of globalization, where it would be many new things happened in our nation. Since English recently was treated as foreign and important language for Indonesian, it had a major portion in Indonesian educational system and became a compulsory subject to study either in junior or senior high schools in today’s Indonesian educational system. Ricardo Schutz (2007) said that English in its role as a global language that it had become one of the most important academic and professional tools. The English language was recognized as undoubtedly the most
important language for the increasingly mobile international community to learn. This was a fact that seemed to be irreversible. English had become the official language of the business and scientific worlds. The massive trend of learning English was not without a reason. The development of the country’s economy, science and technology that tended to be influenced by many English speaking countries had put people who understood English in more advantageous position, especially in job finding. Many Indonesian people started to believe that English would help them so much in finding a job than those who did not. As the most important foreign language in Indonesia, English became one of the compulsory subjects taught in junior high school, senior high school and some semesters at university. As the result, the government always made effort to improve the quality of English teaching. By improving the teachers’ quality and other components involved in educational process, the English teaching in Indonesia
improved time to time. In line with the government’s plan to have nine compulsory studies, it was possible to teach English in elementary school. By applying the foreign language to early level (elementary school students), the students’ language mastery was expected to be satisfactory although it was only in simple English. As I know, since English mostly became difficult subject, it handicapped them (students in any level) all the time whenever they did an English test, this condition would certainly affect to their result of study. In teaching a language, a teacher might realize that he could not apply only one or two strategies to all levels. In reverse, he was required to be able to recognize the characters of his students and to select an appropriate strategy to them. It was not something different from teaching English to elementary school students, the teacher was supposed to know that children was so closed with something fun and enjoyable. So whenever he taught, he had to be selective in choosing a strategy to introduce a learning material. A good teaching strategy would automatically facilitate him to get students’ interest in learning process. To improve the English educational system, the government had been seeking to a system which was really in line with the students’ need. In this case the teaching process could be started from earliest step, by using simple things without trying to introduce language components explicitly before they were really ready.
After all of the material of the pre-level were clearly taught and understood. The language components could be little by little involved in their study as a continuity of their learning, such as phonology, spelling, structure and vocabulary. As I know that those components could not properly be separated that it because they were related among one to the other components. One of the most important language components was vocabulary. The mastery of it would be very helpful when one was learning foreign language having a great mastery on it; it would also facilitate him to comprehend the subject learnt in which it was in English. As I concluded that the quality of one’s language skill depended on the quality and the quantity of vocabulary mastered, the more he mastered the vocabulary the better he used the language skill. This study would present a vocabulary teaching strategy to elementary school students. In which it was going to be very pleasant and interesting for young learners. The teaching strategy was about “The Use of Game (Circle Games) in Teaching Vocabulary to Elementary School Students” conducted within a set of rules in the objectives. By providing game as a media in teaching vocabulary to elementary school students, I hoped that it would make them felt something pleasant and felt it different from what they used to get in the class. The use of game would stimulate them to be more active and it was really matched with the students’ world where pre-level students liked to study through movement. By the activity, they were given an opportunity to express their mind, emotion, feeling and attitudes when they were involved in it. Reviewed at the explanation above, I assumed that the use of game was one of good and effective ways to teach and to motivate them as young learners to study.
I.2 Reason for Choosing Topic
Game was an activity that could give enjoyment in teaching and learning process between teacher and students. It was also such a great way to encourage the whole students in the class to work together and to provide an often-welcome change in working pattern. They were mostly applied to young learners, but teenagers would play them and so would the right kind of adult class: one that did not take itself too seriously.
That was the reason why I chose the topic “The Use of Circle Games as a Strategy to Improve the Students’ Mastery in English Vocabulary: An Action Research In the Case of Elementary School Students of SDN 01 Banyumanik Semarang, 2007” as the title of my final project which was mentioned as follows:
a. The use of circle games would improve the elementary school students’ mastery in English vocabulary.
b. Vocabulary was a part of language component that played an important role in learning a language.
c. There were still many teachers who did not know what kind of teaching strategy that could be used to teach vocabulary.
d. There were still many teachers taught vocabulary through some strategies that were not appropriate with the elementary school students.
e. Many teachers still thought that teaching vocabulary through game was only wasting of time.
I.3 Statements of the Problem
I intended to focus on answering the question: How could the use of game (circle games) as a teaching strategy improve the students’ mastery in vocabulary?
1.4 The Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study were based on the statement of the problem above that this was to give meaning of game in teaching vocabulary to young learner and to explain how the use of game (circle games) could improve the students’ mastery in vocabulary.
1.5 Significance of the Study
I hoped that this thesis will be useful to:
The use of game was a great way to improve the students’ mastery in vocabulary that they could enjoy following the lesson without taking it too seriously. Moreover, by having the situation, they were expected to have an improvement in their mastery in English vocabularies, which appeared in their result of the study.
It would give them a description about how to teach and to motivate the students to learn about English especially in vocabulary learning, they would not be stuck only in some particular teaching strategies. The use of game, in this context “CIRCLE GAMES” could be a good alternative or variation in teaching vocabulary, where it would make the students enjoyed following the lesson.
1.6 Outline of the Study
This paper was developed into five chapters: Chapter I covered the introduction: general background of the study, reason for choosing the topic, statement of the problem, the objectives of the study, the significance of the study and the outline of the study. Chapter II contained about review of related to literature. It consists of seven sections. First was about General concept of a Language, second was about general concepts of vocabulary, third was about Elementary school student, fourth was about teaching English vocabulary to the fourth graders of elementary school, fifth was about the principle of teaching vocabulary, sixth was about teaching vocabulary, seventh was about strategy of teaching vocabulary to elementary school students, eight was about general concept of game, ninth was about total physical response in the classroom and tenth was about the action research from some linguists that underlined the topic of my study. Chapter III talked about method of study that consisted of research design, subject of study, source of data, instrument of study, technique of collecting data, procedure of collecting data in action research, criterion of assessment and data processing. Chapter IV was about Result and discussion and Chapter V was about the conclusion and the suggestion on the basis of the research finding.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
This chapter concerns with some basic theories related the study. These have been used to determine the research, the data collection and data analyses during the study. This chapter consists of seven sections. First, General concept of a Language, second section is general concepts of vocabulary, third is Elementary school student, fourth teaching English vocabulary to the fourth graders of elementary school, fifth is the principle of teaching vocabulary, sixth is teaching vocabulary, seventh is strategy of teaching vocabulary to elementary school students, eight is general concept of game, ninth is total physical response in the classroom and tenth is action research from some linguists that underline the topic of my study. I expect that this study will give the readers a wider or further understanding about this thesis.
2.1 General Concept of a Language
A language is a systematic means of communication by the use of sounds or conventional symbols. It is the code we all use to express ourselves and communicate to others. It is a communication by word of mouth and it is the mental faculty or power of vocal communication.
Language is a system for communicating ideas and feelings using sounds, gestures, signs or marks. Dr.G.Manivannan (2006:1) in his article says that any means of communicating ideas, specifically, human speech, and the expression of ideas by the voice and sounds articulated by the organs of the throat and mouth is a language. This is a system for communication. A language is the written and spoken methods of combining words to create meaning used by a particular group of people. Language, so far as I know, is something specific to humans, that is to say it is the basic capacity that distinguishes humans from all other living beings. Dr.G.Manivannan (2006:1) in his article adds that language therefore remains potentially a communicative medium capable of expressing ideas and concepts as well as moods, feelings and attitudes. A set of linguists who based their assumptions of language on psychology made claims that language is nothing but ‘habit formation’. According to them, language is learnt through use, through practice. In their view, ‘the more one is exposed to the use of language, the better one learns’. Written languages use symbols (characters) to build words. The entire set of words is the language’s vocabulary. The ways in which the words can be meaningfully combined is defined by the language’s syntax and grammar. The actual meaning of words and combinations of words is defined by the language’s semantics.
2.2 General Concept of Vocabulary
Vocabulary is one of the four language components, which are spelling, grammar, phonology and vocabulary. It is an important element that cannot be separated from each other in language learning process, Since English as foreign language becomes an international language. No wonder, it becomes so important for foreign language learners to learn and master on it that it is a basic element of a language used before learning more about the foreign language. It happens when one who is learning a language has a great mastery on vocabulary, he will succeed in using the language being studied either in comprehending the meaning of a word in the context of spoken or written language. To get further understanding about vocabulary, Donna Young (2007) explains that vocabulary is the study of:
a. The meanings of words
Many words have several different meanings each, study the meanings of the words and the part of speech.
b. How the words are used
Study the words in context, apply what you learn by writing sentences with your words.
c. Root words, prefixes, suffixes
Studying these will aid in the study of vocabulary.
This is comparing two pairs of words and choosing the pair that goes together. Moreover According to Kamil & Hiebert (2007) in their article accessed from internet, they broadly define; vocabulary is knowledge of words and word meanings. However, vocabulary is more complex than this definition suggests. First, words come in two forms: oral and print. Oral vocabulary includes those words that they recognize and use in listening and speaking. Print vocabulary includes those words that they recognize and use in reading and writing. Second, word knowledge also comes in two forms, receptive and productive. Receptive vocabulary includes words that they recognize when they hear or see them. Kamil & Hiebert (2007) in their article, they also say that Productive vocabulary includes words that they use when they speak or write. Receptive vocabulary is typically larger than productive vocabulary, and may include many words to which they assign some meaning, even if they do not know their full definitions and connotations or ever use them as they speak and write. In line with the statement above, I define vocabulary as knowledge of words and word meanings in both oral and print language and in productive and receptive forms. More specifically, vocabulary can be used to refer to the kind of words that students must know to read increasingly demanding skills with comprehension. I begin by looking closely at why developing this kind of vocabulary is important to some skills such as reading, listening, writing, and speaking. In addition, vocabulary will not only be focused on learning process which leads to improve the students’ mastery of language. Furthermore, Vocabulary will let them know about a culture education by looking at its meaning, where vocabularies product learned is completely different from Indonesian language. Vocabulary is the fundamental part of language, which is used in any situation either; it is in the form of spoken or written language. Review at the discussions above, I conclude that the more vocabulary the learners have, the easier for them to develop their four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and learn English second language generally.
2.3 Elementary School Students
Elementary school students are categorized as young learners that have different characteristic from adult learners. They usually consist of students at the age of 6 to 12 years old, where the element of fun becomes a part of their world. To give further comprehension about them, Harmer (2001:38) states some general characteristic of children, as follows:
a. They respond to meaning even if they do not understand the words.
b. They often learn indirectly than directly.
c. Their understanding comes not just from the explanation, but also from what they see and hear and crucially have a chance to touch and interact with.
d. They generally display an enthusiasm for learning and curiosity about the world around them.
e. They have a need for individual attention and approval from their teacher.
f. They are keen on talking about themselves and responding well to learning that use themselves and their own lives as main topic in the classroom.
g. They have limited attention span, unless activities are extremely engaging can make them easily getting bored, losing interaction after 10 minutes or so. Based on the points stated by Hammer above, I assume that Elementary school students are very enthusiastic in finding out, understanding and learning everything. It seems that they like learning something that involves a new thing and the elements of fun such as a game, where they can laugh, talk, and feel happy during the class and the most important thing that they can enjoy and absorb the sense of the lesson.
2.4 Teaching English Vocabulary to the Fourth Graders of Elementary School
Teaching English to elementary school students as a local content is the students are expected to have skills of the language in simple English with emphasis on listening, speaking, reading, and writing skill using selected topic related to their environmental needs. Related to the objective above, the material for the fourth grade, most topics are about center of interest that they often face in their life. The topics include things inside a class and things around a school. Those topics are so familiar with students that may see it everyday when they attend to their school. So, it is easier for them to perform and absorb the words given which are about things inside the class and things around the school.
There is no basic rule on how many words should be given to the fourth graders of elementary school. As ten up to eleven years old children, the fourth graders should not be given too many words. It is better to give them about seven or eight new words at one time. To help the learners in learning foreign language Marry Slaterry and Jane Willis (2003:4) suggest some ways to teach them:
a. Make learning English enjoyable and fun
b. Don’t worry about mistake, be encouraging; make sure children feel comfortable and not afraid to take part.
c. Use a lot of gestures, action, pictures to demonstrate what you mean.
d. Talk a lot to them use English, especially about things they can see.
e. Play game, sing a song, and say rhymes and chants together.
f. Tell simple stories in English, using pictures and acting with different voices.
g. Don’t worry when they use their mother tongue. You can answer a mother tongue question in English and sometimes recast in English what they say in their mother tongue.
h. Consistently recycle new language but don’t be afraid to add new things or to use words they won’t to know.
i. Plan lesson with varied activities, some quiet, some noisy, some sitting, some standing and moving. According to the explanation above, I conclude that teaching vocabulary to the fourth graders; teacher should not give the students too many new words in a lesson. It is better to give them about seven or eight new words rather than giving them many words. It is better to practice the words given in order to achieve comprehension. Few words would help them memorizing the words quickly and to internalize them. In order to help language learners to develop their language ability, language teacher can refer to the suggestion stated by Marry Slaterry and Jane Willis in their book (2003:4) about how to help young learners in learning English as their
2.5 The Principle of Teaching Vocabulary
Recognizing what students need in learning is necessary for a teacher. The process of transferring knowledge will not simply succeed if he can not see his students’ learning absorbing capability toward the material taught and the teaching portion should be given to. It is going to be harder for a teacher to teach young learners than adult, it is because of their character. Involving many theories are not a good idea; I believe, this will not maximally work on them and even bore the pupils. That is a reason; the teaching process must have principles as a reference. To avoid errors in teaching young learner, Cameron (2001: 81) states about several principles of teaching to young learners, they are:
a. The types of words that children find possible to learn with shift.
b. Vocabulary development is not just learning more words but it is also importance about expanding and deepening word knowledge.
c. Words and words knowledge can be seen as being linked in network of meaning.
d. Basic level words are likely too be more appropriate for children, or when learning vocabulary for new concepts.
e. Children change in how they can learn words.
Looking at the importance of English foreign language to young learners, the teaching principles will very influence the foreign language learners’ understanding toward the material taught. That is the reason; the teaching must be based on an appropriate strategy referred to the teaching principles, so that the learners, through a well teaching process and structurally transferred, will gain a good English foundation. Since vocabulary becomes the topic of discussion, the other principles also stated by James Coady (1997) in his article gained from internet offers a synthesis of research on foreign language vocabulary acquisition. He suggests these implications for pedagogy: Three main principles appear to underlie effective vocabulary teaching. First, learners should be provided with both definitional and contextual information about words. In the case of foreign language learners, this could be related to their often-felt need for dictionary access. Second, learners should be encouraged to process information about words at a deeper level. Among foreign language learners this could be reflected in the current emphasis on authentic communicative activities. Finally, learners need multiple exposures to words.
2.6 Teaching of Vocabulary
According to Linda Diamond and Linda Gutlohn (2006) in their article they say that Vocabulary is the knowledge of words and word meanings. As Steven Stahl (2005) puts it, "Vocabulary knowledge is knowledge; the knowledge of a word not only implies a definition, but also implies how that word fits into the world." Vocabulary knowledge is not something that can ever be fully mastered; it is something that expands and deepens over the course of a lifetime. Instruction in vocabulary involves far more than looking up words in a dictionary and using the words in a sentence. Vocabulary is acquired incidentally through indirect exposure to words and intentionally through explicit instruction in specific words and word17 learning strategies. According to Michael Graves (2000) in his article accessed from internet says that there are four components of an effective vocabulary program:
a. Wide or extensive independent reading to expand word knowledge
b. Instruction in specific words to enhance comprehension of texts containing those words
c. Instruction in independent word-learning strategies, and
d. Word consciousness and word-play activities to motivate and enhance learning.
In addition, something which is really needed to a teacher to concern is about components of vocabulary instruction. According to Linda Diamond and Linda Gutlohn (2006) in their article add that components of vocabulary instruction are as follows:
a. Intentional vocabulary teaching
b. Specific Word Instruction
a) Selecting Words to Teach
b) Rich and Robust Instruction
c. Word-Learning Strategies
a) Dictionary Use
b) Morphemic Analysis
c) Cognate Awareness
d) Contextual Analysis
According to the National Reading Panel (2000) says that explicit instruction of vocabulary is highly effective. To develop vocabulary intentionally, students should be explicitly taught both specific words and word-learning strategies. To deepen students' knowledge of word meanings, specific word instruction should be robust. Beck et al., (2002) sees vocabulary in rich contexts provided by authentic texts, rather than in isolated vocabulary drills, produces robust vocabulary learning. National Reading Panel (2000) adds that such instruction often does not begin with a definition, for the ability to give a definition is often the result of knowing what the word means. Rich and robust vocabulary instruction goes beyond definitional knowledge; it gets students actively engaged in using and thinking about word meanings and in creating relationships among words. Explicit instruction in word-learning strategies gives students tools for independently determining the meanings of unfamiliar words that have not been explicitly introduced in class. Since students encounter so many unfamiliar words in their reading, any help provided by such strategies can be useful. Word-learning strategies include dictionary use, morphemic analysis, and contextual analysis. For English language learners whose language shares cognates with English, cognate awareness is also an important strategy. Dictionary use teaches students about multiple word meanings, as well as the importance of choosing the appropriate definition to fit the particular context. Morphemic analysis is the process of deriving a word's meaning by analyzing its meaningful parts, or morphemes. Such word parts include root words, prefixes, and suffixes. Contextual analysis involves inferring the meaning of an unfamiliar word by scrutinizing the text surrounding it. Instruction in contextual analysis generally involves teaching students to employ both generic and specific types of context clues.
2.7 Strategy of Teaching Vocabulary to Elementary School Students
Since teaching has not been an easy work, especially in teaching to elementary school students. Teacher is required to be careful in choosing the match teaching strategy to them if he wants to get satisfactory result of teaching. This study involves “TPR” or “Total Physical Response”, it attempts to teach language through physical (motor) activities that requires the teacher to teach them consists of primary commands, which children (elementary school students) respond physically before they begin to produce verbal responses. To calm lively students and focus them, I try to use some basic TPR activities, which demand their concentration. For example, "if you're ready to start the lesson, touch your head", "if you're ready to start the lesson, raise your hands" and so on. Teaching English vocabulary to young learners needs an extra work and an
appropriate teaching technique which is adjusted to the students’ need. Many strategies can be applied to teach young learners and give very enjoyable for them in learning English as a foreign language; one of techniques that are possible to apply is game. It involves the elements of fun that make them really enjoy following the lesson. The way of teaching used to be based on TPR, where it involves an activity dealing with movements and it is very possible to reduce learners’ stress. Moreover, the teacher will be facilitated to create a positive mood to his learners in a class.
On the other side, to encourage students to keep good personal vocabulary records. Just a list of new words that came up in the lesson is not very useful after a couple of days. Olha Madylus (2007) in his article gives some tips on teaching vocabulary that students may find it useful to use any of the following:
b. Examples e.g. furniture e.g. table, chair, wardrobe
d. Definition in English
f. Word within meaningful example sentence (‘I like rollerblading’ does NOT help students remember what rollerblading means, whereas a picture or translation might).
g. Collocation e.g. to apply for a job
h. Diagram or picture e.g. for parts of the body
Reading extensively doesn’t automatically improve students’ use of vocabulary. To encourage their expansion of vocabulary, get students to collect new words they have learnt and to use them soon in their own writing. Collect new words learnt in class on large sheets of paper on the classroom walls and refer to them often, encouraging students to use them in spoken and written
2.8 General Concept of Game
Teaching should not be always based on one or two strategies, they can be various, where teacher asked to be creative so that the class will not be passive and students will be stimulated to be more interested in learning and the result expected from the process of teaching and learning will be well transferred to students. As being stated that game is one of alternatives that can be used to teach English, everyone believes, teaching process through a game will give a fun. Wikipedia (2007) in its article retrieved from internet says that a game is a recreational activity involving one or more players. This can be defined by A) a goal that the players try to reach, B) some set of rules that determines what the players can or can not do. Game is played primarily for entertainment or enjoyment, but may also serve an educational. Furthermore, www.eiha.co.uk/glossary.html (2007) in its article says, a game is a meeting of two teams playing for a specific length of time for the purpose of declaring a winner through the scoring of goals. The game consists of regular playing time and overtime, if such is required. Game is one of many teaching strategies can be engaged to foreign language learners, it is believed that it can give an elements of fun to learners. It has been the reason why I have been motivated to present a teaching strategy which involves a game as a media for teaching on vocabulary to young learners. The game will be circle games, “games are any games or activities that involve the whole class, sitting in a circle, that the games recycle vocabulary and involve an element of fun”, Joanna Budden, British Council, Spain (2006).
2.9 Total Physical Response (TPR) in a Classroom
Total Physical Response (TPR) is a language teaching method built around the coordination of speech and action; it attempts to teach language through physical (motor) activity. Asher, James (2000) in his article claims that second language learning should be based on model of first language learning. That the model has three vital aspects: Understanding the spoken language must come before speaking, Understanding is developed through body movement and the listening period creates a readiness to speak, it is also recommended that TPR may be used for only short periods of time because the student will get tired of doing it. The Total Physical Response method also focuses on two key components. The first component is the use of movement as a memory enhancer. The second component is imperative as the only method of instruction. This means that the teacher uses commands to direct the students. With TPR, the student is able to learn and retain vocabulary through hands on instruction. There have been studies done on the effects of Total Physical Response. The Office of Education, the Office of Naval Research, the State of California, and San Jose State University funded these studies. These studies have shown that the drop out rate of second language learners is usually very high. However, they have found that with the use of TPR, confidence increases because second language learners feel as if they know that they can learn. Students of all ages, including adults experience instant success in understanding an alien language. They remark: “Hey, this isn’t sobad! I understand what she is saying. I didn’t know I could do this. I feel great!” , it means that this technique will be able to apply to any age, not only child use for it but adults can also learn a new language just as easy as a child no matter what the age Asher, James, J (2000). Many Total Physical Response based activities can be used with student of any age as long as they are cognitively ready. There are a few examples of games that involve TPR as a method of learning process, such as The Pointing Game, Identifying Emotions, Working with Shapes, and Following Recipes. These activities are all used to reinforce concepts that are being taught to the student in the class. These activities include concept such as body parts, emotions such as cry, colors, numbers, and shapes. With the more advanced students, the teacher can introduce the recipe activity to teach cooking, measuring, and following recipes. In addition, Asher (2007), he also says about principles of using TPR in teaching foreign language that may help a language teacher in applying the method to his learners, he says that there are three principles he elaborates;
a. Foreign language learning is parallel to first language learning and should reflect the same naturalistic processes
b. Listening should develop before speaking
c. Children respond physically to spoken language, and adult learners learn better if they do that too
d. Once listening comprehension has been developed, speech develops naturally and effortlessly out of it.
e. Adults should use right-brain motor activities, while the left hemisphere watches and learns
f. Delaying speech reduces stress.
With this method, the students do not have to memorize all the vocabulary. By listening, seeing, and acting out the story line they easily remember. TPR lets the student speak freely and without editing their speech or stopping to think about how to say it.
TPR is an effective classroom method that works for students of all ages. The foreign language learners are able to pick up the target language quickly and able to retain what they learn. So I believe that this is a good method that I would use to teach the foreign language learners in my class.
2.10 Action Research
members.ozemail.com.au/~mghslib/subjects/society%20culture/Glossary.htm (2007) in its article found from internet says that action research is an informal, qualitative, interpretive, reflective and experimental methodology that requires all the participants to be collaborative researchers. Action research is carried out by people who usually recognize a problem or limitation in their workplace situation and, together, devise a plan to counteract the problem, implement the plan, observe what happens, reflect on these outcomes, revise the plan, implement it, reflect, and revise and so on.
Another statement is also conveyed by with Carr and Kemmis (1986) in Jean McNiff, (1998:2), they say that action research is a form of self-reflective enquiry undertaken by participants (teachers, students or principals), for example, in social (including education) situation in order to improve the rationality and justice of (a) their own social or educational practices, (b) their understanding of these practice, and (c) the situations (institutions) in which this practices are carried out. The focus of action research is in classrooms and schools. However, the purpose of it is to encourage the teacher to become involved in his or her own practice and to view him or herself as researcher. As stated before that Action research in this study is conducted in a class and carried out by a teacher and students as participant. Science across the curriculum (2007) in its article says that one of the goals of action research is to enhance the lives of students and teachers through educational change. However, many teachers may be reluctant to engage in action research because they have false assumptions about the process or because they are unaware of the many benefits that stem from this form of research. Below is a list of some of the potential benefits of action research.
a. Teachers who conduct action research are directly responsible for making
decisions. They determine the issues/problems to be researched and they develop and implement the inquiry.
b. Action research allows for the improvement of student learning and the enhancement of teaching.
c. Collaboration enriches working relationships amongst teachers.
d. Through action research, teachers gain a greater understanding of their own practice and their students' behaviors. They are therefore "empowered to make informed decisions about what to change and what not to change, link prior knowledge to new information, learn from experience (even failures) and ask questions and systematically find answers."
e. Action research allows teachers to integrate theory (research findings) and practice.
f. Action research can increase teamwork, student achievement and morale among teachers.
g. Action research "satisfies the desire of all teachers to increase the predictability of what happens in their classrooms - in particular, to increase the likelihood that a given curriculum, instructional strategy or use of technology will positively affect student outcomes."
h. Action research allows teachers to gain knowledge in research methods. Action research is aimed to encourage a teacher to administer a learning process well, help him to invent a new way of teaching so that it can be various, in which the method of teaching, which is monotonous, will make the students bored, and eventually, they assume that English is a boring lesson. Moreover, in action research, the teacher is given an opportunity to monitor his students’ behavior, activity as well as acquiring knowledge, that he is able to measure the progress of his students in learning the second language during the action research is engaged.
METHOD OF STUDY
In this chapter, I would present with the method of study, which was important as a guideline to attain the objectivity of the study. It provided with research design, subject of study, source of data, instrument of study, technique of collecting data, procedure of collecting data in the action research, criterion of assessment and data processing, will be mentioned as follows:
3.1 Research Design
Research design in this study was to seek and to answer the question of the study “How could the use of game (circle games) as a teaching strategy improve the students’ mastery in vocabulary?” In doing so, I intended to use quantitative research to complete this study. Wikipedia (2007) in its article said that Quantitative methods were research methods ealing with numbers and anything that was measurable. It was generally approached using scientific methods which include:
a. The generation of models, theories and hypotheses
b. The development of instruments and methods for measurement
c. Experimental control and manipulation of variables
d. Collection of empirical data
e. Modeling and analysis of data
f. Evaluation of results
Wikipedia (2007) in its article also said, the objective of quantitative research was to develop and employ mathematical models, theories and hypotheses pertaining to natural phenomena. The process of measurement was central to quantitative research because it provided the fundamental connection between empirical observation and mathematical expression of quantitative relationships.
3.2 Subject of Study
Focusing on the topic of “The Use of Circle Games as a Strategy to Improve the Students’ Mastery in English Vocabulary: An Action Research In the Case of Elementary School Students of SDN 01 Banyumanik Semarang, 2007”, the number of the students in the class were 47, and they were 31 girls and 16 boys.
3.3 Source of Data
Source of the data would be based on two kinds of data. They were primary and secondary data. According to Mark Kelly (2007) in his article, Primary data was data that I collected myself using such methods as:
a. Direct observation - lets the researcher focused on details of importance to him; lets he saw a system in real rather than theoretical use (other faults were unlikely or trivial in theory but quite real and annoying in practice);
b. Surveys - written surveys let him collected considerable quantities of detailed data. He had to either trust the honesty of the people surveyed or build in self-verifying questions (e.g. questions 9 and 24 asked basically the same thing but using different words - different answers might indicate the surveyed person was being inconsistent, dishonest or inattentive).
c. Interviews - slow, expensive, and they took people away from their regular jobs, but they allowed in-depth questioning and follow-up questions. They also showed non-verbal communication such as facepulling, fidgeting, shrugging, hand gestures, sarcastic expressions that added further meaning to spoken words. e.g. "I think it's a GREAT system" could mean vastly different things depending on whether the person was sneering at the time! A problem with interviews was that people might say what they thought the interviewer wants to hear; they
might avoid being honestly critical in case their jobs or reputation might suffer.
d. Logs (e.g. fault logs, error logs, complaint logs, transaction logs). Good, empirical, objective data sources (usually, if they are used well). Could yield lots of valuable data about system performance over time under different conditions.
Primary data was a data that could be relied on because I knew where it came from and what was done to it. While, secondary data was a data which was collected from external sources such as:
a. TV, radio, internet
b. magazines, newspapers
d. research articles
e. stories told by people you knew
There's a lot more secondary data than primary data, and secondary data was data which was much cheaper and easier to acquire than primary data. The problem was that often the reliability, accuracy and integrity of the data was uncertain. Who collected it? Could they be trusted? Did they do any preprocessing of the data? Was it biased? How old was it? Where was it collected? Could the data be verified, or did it have to be taken on faith? Often secondary data had been pre-processed to give totals or averages and the original details were lost so you couldn't verify it by replicating the methods used by the original data collectors. In short, to complete this study I intended to use primary data because it gave data which was trustworthy than secondary data although it was expensive and difficult to acquire. Secondary data was cheap and easy to collect, but might be treated with caution.
3.4 Instruments of Study
I used four kinds of instruments in doing it, they were pictures, field notes, test, and questionnaire in order to identify whether or not it was an effective way to teach vocabulary to elementary school students.
This study involved pictures as a media of teaching to elementary students, while pictures according to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picture (2007) in its article, in common usage, an image or picture was an artifact that reproduces the likeness of some subject, it was usually a physical object or a person. In this study the students were demanded to create the pictures according to the topic given. The teaching process would be begun at the level of the students’ knowledge about the things surrounding and it might make the teaching process became easier for me to transfer the knowledge to them. After I knew exactly about the amount of mastering vocabulary they possessed, and then it would certainly facilitate me to create and to perform an appropriate test which it was based on the vocabularies they create.
3.4.2 Field Notes
Due to www.etr.org/recapp/research/researchglossary.htm (2007) in its article said that field notes were a written/typed record of events and observations kept by a researcher. It was used to know the activity during the teaching and learning process, to record events happen in the class. For example, they were about how I as a teacher carried out the material, the students’ responses toward the lesson and the teacher, and the most important thing was a child development I might keep field notes as I observed toddlers interacting in a play group. In using the field notes, I would systematically keep notes of the class situation, either while the lesson was in progress or afterwards.
Referring to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test_(student_assessment) (2007) in its article it said that In education, certification, counseling, and many other fields, a test or exam (short for examination) was a tool or technique intended to measure students' expression of knowledge, skills and/or abilities. A test had more questions of greater difficulty and requires more time for completion than a quiz. It was usually divided into two or more sections, each covering a different area of the domain or taking a different approach to assessing the same aspects. In completing this study the test would be based on an achievement test which was the result later used as data. In order to get an enough data I divided the test into two: they were pre test and post-test. The purpose of giving the classroom tests was to check the students’ achievement as an indicator of progress toward educational objectives set for the students. According to Arikunto (2006: 150-151), it was the reason why the role of pre and post-test was important toward this study which it would determine whether the use of circle game was effective or not to apply to elementary school students.
Oxford university press (2007) in its article said that a questionnaire was a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. Although they were often designed for statistical analysis of the responses, this was not always the case. Arikunto (2006:151), questionnaire could be in the form of multiple choice, essay, check-list and rating-scale so respondents would only select one of the provided answers in it. In conducting this study, I used a multiple-choice questionnaire, in which, the respondents only selected one of the provided answers (by crossing (A, B, C or D) in each question).
3.5 Technique of Collecting Data
Collecting data was one step used in a research, since the data was absolutely needed to verify the hypothesis. It had been recognized that a research was a systematic attempt to provide answers to questions or problems, then to solve the problems; it was necessary to provide a number of data needed. To get the data, I selected the simplest, cheapest and efficient system of data that was rapidly available and adjusted to the need of this study by using classroom action research and all of the events would be recorded during conducting the study such as the students’ motivation, atmosphere and results in every cycle into a journal and observation sheet.
3.6 Procedure of Collecting Data in the Action Research
This study was undertaken through five activities. At first, it was a pre-test, second was the first cycle which was about the things around the class, third was the second cycle which was about the things around the school and fourth was the post test. To give a clear understanding, the four steps of the activities would be explained as follows:
Pre-test consists of twenty-five items in the form of multiple choices.
3.6.2 First Cycle
Set up the class before the students arrived and begun the class with one of the simple activities. It made a nice change and it gave me an opportunity to greet each student on arrival and did a register. Then calmed lively students and focus them, by saying" if you're ready to start the activity, touch your nose", "if you're ready to start the game, point to the door" and so on. Then I stated the topic, “the topic was about things around the class”. Then I gave each student a piece of paper and a colored pencil. Told them that I was going to play some music and I asked them to draw whatever came into their heads. As music was playing, all students should be drawing. After 20 or 30 seconds, I stopped the music. Students stopped drawing and passed their picture to the person to the left of them in the circle. Playing the music again, and then they continued with the drawing the person next to them had started. Stopped the music again, passed the pictures on and this continued until the end of the song. When I had finished, each student would have a picture that several students contributed to and I showed the pictures they made and asked them to guess what pictures those were. Whenever the students got stuck of guessing them, I directly helped them by giving some clues and finally the correct answer. In addition, after everything in the first cycle was completely conducted, then I performed a simple test to check the students’ understanding toward the vocabularies gained. In this cycle, I did not only introduce and explain some basic vocabularies based on the topic, but I had also given them the way how to pronounce
and manage them to apply the vocabulary in a structural context. Indeed, the students were not only getting vocabularies, but they were also expected to be able to apply them in structural contexts.
3.6.3 Second Cycle
The activity in the treatment II was the same as the first cycle. But before doing the second cycle, I took several minutes to check the students’ readiness and review some of the vocabularies taught in the first cycle. The thing differentiated between the first and second cycle was just the teaching topic which it was about “the things around the school” in this cycle.
Post-Test was done after pre-test, cycle I and II were conducted. It was aimed to measure the students’ achievement after the cycles and to compare the result between pre and post-test that would be processed in to data. Materials of the test were taken from the vocabularies taught in the activities before.
The questionnaire was conducted after the four activities above were completely done. It was purposed only to gain data from the students’ response about the teaching strategy applied. The questionnaire consisted of five questions and it was in the form of multiple choices.
3.7 Criterion of Assessment
The students’ success and failure in doing the activities plan above would be assessed by referring to the criterion issued by department of education and culture. The criterion said that a student could be said to pass the test if he/she could solve 65% of the whole problems and a class was said to be successful if 85% of the members pass the test.
3.8 Data Processing
This study consists of five activities in which it used a method of quantitative to process the data. Then I would compare them, in order to know the result of this study, whether or not, the increase in the students’ results happened in this study.
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