Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Improving Reading Comprehension by Using a Small Group Discussion (think-ahead and write (TAW))



CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
A.        Background
English as an international language is spoken in most international events and is used as the medium of information flow on science, technology and culture. As we understand that learning a foreign language is more  difficult than learning a national language or learning a mother tongue. It is  because the foreign language has completely different aspects and systems, which should be understood by the students or the learners, such as
pronunciation, spelling, and the cultural background of the language. Besides that we also remember that there are some important factors in foreign language learning, which will mostly influence students, or learners in mastering the language. Bustami Subhan (1990: 18) in his paper (entitled)
Some important factors in foreign language learning” explained that learning a foreign language involved five factors. The first of all is intelligence. It is a gate for knowledge. Secondly, motivation plays influential role in encouraging students to learn the language. It covers both intrinsic motivation which comes from the students themselves and extrinsic one which comes from outside. The third and fourth ones have close relation with each other that are students’ attitudes and strategy of language learning. Facilities of language learning are the last factor which is not less important than the others

 In the Basic Course Outline (GBPP) of English curriculum 2004, it is stated that English is considered as a tool or instrument for expressing meanings. Based on the concept and the function of English as stated in that BCO the teaching of English at secondary school aims to develop the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing). The Indonesian students start learning English at the Junior High School (SMP). The process continues at Senior High School (SMA). In fact, now, English is also taught in some elementary schools as the local content and even in some kindergartens.The pupils are introduced to some English vocabularies. In addition to learning the language in formal education as mentioned above, people also learn it in non-formal education. English courses and private lessons are the examples of non-formal education. 
This indicates the failure of teaching English in this country; as Ramelan (1992:4) stated that the teaching of English in Junior high School in Indonesia is not successful. It can be seen from the quality of SMP graduates’ mastery of English. Ramelan (1992:3) also stated that most SMU graduates are still very poor in reading comprehension, since they cannot usually read or understand articles in English dailies, magazines which are now in circulation in this country, even though the Basic Course Outline of English (BCOE) 2002 stated that among the four language skills, (listening, speaking, reading and writing), reading is the most emphasized in English teaching and learning process. Quite simply, without solid reading second language readers cannot perform at levels they must succeed in reading. Thus, reading is not passive but rather an active process, involving the reader in ongoing interaction with the text. Furthermore, reading constantly involves guessing, predicting, checking, and comprehending.  
In group reading, students may enjoy from time to time getting away from the usual pattern of reading the story or article aloud at sight. This is particularly true of better readers; what may be undesirable as routine procedure has real value as an occasional variation. By seeing the problems, it is important that a study of English especially reading should be done. The writer hopes there will be an improvement in the teaching of English.
The title of this final project is” Improving Reading Comprehension by Using a Small Group Discussion at the First Year Students of MTSN Baraka in the Academic Year of 2010/2011”.
B.            Problem Statement
Based on the background above, the research question is formulated as follows:
How is the significance improvement of the students’ reading comprehension of the second grade students of SMA Negeri 2 Takalar by using TAW strategy?
The problem that is going to be discussed in this study is as follows: Are there any differences on reading comprehension achievement between students taught using a small group discussion strategy and those taught using the traditional method?
C.           Object Of The Study
The objective of the study can be stated briefly as follows: to search whether there are any different effects on reading comprehension achievement of junior high schools students between those taught using a small group discussion strategy and those taught using the traditional strategy.
D.    Significance of the study
The main purpose of this research is expected to the students can solve their problem in reading comprehension and make the students have good capability in reading English passage. To give information for English teachers to use think-ahead and write (TAW) strategy in teaching reading English passages; to become an alternative technique in teaching reading materials. It is also expected to be one way to motivate students in reading.
E.     Scope of the study
This research is improving the students’ reading comprehension ability at the second grade of SMA Negeri 2 Takalar through  think-ahead and write (TAW) strategy. They will be taught this strategy in comprehending English passages. Here, the students are not only taught to read and comprehend passages but also think critically by combining the parts in this strategy. In TAW strategy, they will be taught to predict, creating mental image, and connect between the shared knowledge and the selection text.

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