English is the dominate foreign language and function as
an international language. Most of the scientific books available through out
the world are written in English as Halim (1987: 1) points out that in the
development of a nation at present, we cannot deny the fact that the command of
English plays an important role, because according to UNESCO, at least 62 % of
the scientific books are written in English.
In this section, therefore, the study and the mastery of English
should be given priority. In fact, English in the only foreign language taught
as a compulsory subject in secondary schools.
It can be argued that, in Indonesia, the main objective
of English teaching is the reading ability as Das (1985) in Mursalim (1988 2)
states, in Indonesia, the main objective of TEFL is reading ability for the
purpose of further study and of science and technology also in 1994 curriculum
reading ability is the main target will be taught both academic purpose and as
means of international communication.
As medium of communication and tool of learning reading
serves an Indispensable function in the society. Wayne (1979) states that reading is central
to most subject and important in nearly all of them since reading is an
essential tool. It is a means to the achievement of many ends.
A person must read well if he or she is to broad his or her
experience, develop new concepts and solve challenging problems. As for the
English language skills that are studied by Indonesian students, it has an important
position beside listening, speaking and writing skills, we realize how
For students who want to develop and extend their
reading knowledge, reading comprehension skill is fundamental skill in
obtaining progress. The students can extend their reading knowledge by reading
and comprehending books, the students are hoped to be able not only in
pronouncing the words but also goal in grasping. The ideas prepared in order to
be able to draw inference from reading passage. Zints (1975) in Syahrir (1994:
2) points out that the primary in reading instruction is to teach the reader to
understand to respond what he reads. He also said that the fundamental goal in
seeking to produce mature readers is to enable them to comprehend what ever
printed materials will serve their purpose, no matter how difficult those
materials may be. This statement is emphasized by Adams and Collins (1977: 1)
who state that reading is not the ability to decode words but the ability to
extract the meaning of both explicit and implicit fro the written.
Basically, there are two kinds of reading comprehension
when readers are able to use the writer’s words to answer the questions, it’s
their factual comprehension sometimes, and the information is not directly
stated. It needs specific skill. They have to infer the meaning using their own
reasoning and logic. This skill requires greater emphasis upon thoughtful
reading or thinking along with beyond what is given in the printed material.
This type of understanding is referred to as inferential comprehension. To
comprehend written material, a reader must use a variety of skills such as skills
include: he reader must be able to draw conclusion, identify the main idea and
recognize details from selection.
To be able to know the word meaning and draw inference
from the test is really needed if the students want to make their reading
active. It means that they aren’t only to receive as much as possible
information or message but also to be able to interchange ideas with the
J. Estill A. (1988: 161) States as follows:
If the reader is getting only the literal meaning, he
is reading receptively. He is trying to receive only what the author has to
say. While higher level of comprehension involves reading beyond or between the
lines, he brings the knowledge and applies reading to life situations.
The statement above identifies that inference
ability is an important skill in testing the reader comprehension. Although,
many efforts have been done, the reality shows that many students can read but
not many can understand what they have read. Many students are not competent to
comprehend English text well, eventhough, they have learning English for many
years. As a result, they find serious handicaps in comprehending a passage. It is
supported by Flesch (1955) in Syahrir (1994:4) that many students can read the
words in a passage perfectly but are unable to answer questions that call for
making inferences or for identifying the main idea. They can say the words, but
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