ENGLISH RESEARCH PROPOSAL
TEACHING READING COMPREHENSION THROUGH COOPERATIVE LEARNING METHOD TO THE EIGHT GRADE STUDENTS OF SMP DWIJENDRA GIANYAR IN THE ACADEMIC YEAR 2010-2011
1.1 Background of the Study
English is used as a means of communication among people throughout the world. In this globalization era, where competition among people throughout the world is strong, mastering English is a must. Further, the rapid development of science and technology, in particular telecommunication tools, makes the mastery of English essential. It is now becoming a necessity to have effective communication skills and resources. Knowing the important role of English in the world today, students need to be sufficiently equipped with English communication skills, both oral and written.
There are several reasons for learning English. First, the high school curriculum has determined that English is a compulsory subject. Second, some people learn English because they want to be effective in an English speaking society. Third, some people learn English because they realize that they will have a better chance for advancement in their future and get a better job more easily with two languages rather than one language. Fourth, people learn English because they want to continue their studies in an English speaking country where English is used as a national language and during formal classroom instruction, such as in New Zealand, Australia, England, and USA etc.
Listening, speaking, reading and writing are four major language skills. Reading is an important language skill because without it one cannot obtain the diversity of information acquired through reading textbooks, novels, newspapers and magazines. Through reading one can grasp a large amount of knowledge. Furthermore, students can obtain a wide range of information by reading books in English because English is recognised as an international language.
The English teaching syllabus of Junior high school states that reading is one of the most important of the four language skills. Therefore, the teacher needs to put an emphasis on teaching reading. This is a continuing challenge because the need for students to increase their reading capability to get the benefits of reading is ongoing. The teachers need to use many different kinds of techniques and to continuously renew their efforts to have the students attain the highest achievements.
Brown in Simanjuntak (2004: 8) advocated that motivation is the key to being successful in learning. Motivation is commonly understood as an inner drive, impulse, emotion, or desire that moves one to particular action. One of the ways to motivate students to read is through implementing the right techniques in teaching reading. There are many effective techniques for teaching reading. One of them is Cooperative Learning Method.
The purpose of implementing Cooperative Learning Method is to generate opportunities for the students to become more active in learning. In this case study, the students will be engaged in pairs, group discussion and whole class discussion activities, therefore the students will have much deeper understanding on the reading text they have read.
Harmer (1991) writes that the group discussion and whole class discussion is an extremely attractive technique in a number of reasons: the students talking time is increased, it gives the students more opportunities to really use the language to communicate with each other, students will experience both teaching and learning in the group, thereby exhibiting a degree of self-reliance that simply is not possible when the teacher is acting as the controller.
Therefore, corresponding to the above facts, the researcher is highly motivated in investigating the students’ achievement in reading comprehension through Cooperative Learning Method.
1.2 Statement of Research Question
Based on the background of the research, the research question can be formulated as follows: to what extent can the students’ reading comprehension ability of the eight grade students of SMP Dwijendra Gianyar in the academic year 2010-2011 be improved through Cooperative Learning Method ?
1.3 Objective of the Study
Methodologically speaking, any scientific study intends to answer the research question that has been previously formulated and determined. In line with this rationale, the present study intends to improve the reading comprehension of the eight grade students of SMP Dwijendra Gianyar through Cooperative learning Method.
1.4 Limitations of the Study
On account of this fact, challenges related to reading comprehension faced by the subjects of this study are definitely too broad and complex to be dealt with in a single study. Accordingly, in the present class action study the researcher, while acknowledging that there are many other useful strategies, limits her investigation on teaching reading comprehension through shared reading to the eight grade students of SMP Dwijendra Gianyar in the academic year 2010-2011.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research is concerned with teaching and in reading comprehension, using Cooperative learning Method to improve the students’ comprehension. It can improve the students’ reading ability and students will find the tasks very challenging and interesting. The teachers will find shared reading to be another effective resource for teaching reading. In the reading classroom, the teacher is a motivator/stimulator. Therefore, the findings of the present research are expected to indicate significant theoretical and practical information on the importance of implementing Cooperative learning Method in teaching reading, described as follows:
Theoretically, Cooperative learning Method can be used to improve students’ comprehension of a reading passage. The findings are expected to be used as evidence that shared reading is an effective technique in teaching reading.
Practically, the outcome of this research study is expected to give feedback to English language teachers, especially those who teach at eight grade students of SMP Dwijendra Gianyar.
Because of the limitation of time, finance, and investigator’s ability, not all variable can be controlled. In order to neutralize the compounding variables, it is essential to state some assumption as follows: (1) all subjects under study are assumed to have learnt English for the same period of time, (2) all subjects under study are assumed to have similar learning motivation, (3) all subjects under study are assumed to have similar language experience and language exposure, (4) the instruments used for collecting the data are constructed in such a way that they are supposed to be valid and reliable.
On attempting to give a tentative solution to the problem, the hypothesis will be stated as the following: the students’ reading comprehension ability can be improved through Cooperative Learning Method.
1.8 Definition of the Key Terms
There are some terms, which are defined operationally so as to avoid misunderstanding on the part of the readers, that is, Cooperative Learning Method, reading comprehension and SMP Dwijendra Gianyar
Cooperative Learning Method is defined as a technique of teaching reading comprehension to the eight grade students of SMP Dwijendra Gianyar in which the students are assigned to read a reading text discusses with their other students and they retell to the other students the content of the text they have read. The teaching session is always completed with group discussion and whole class discussion and the students’ reading comprehension is improved in a series of teaching session which are divided into several teaching cycles.
Reading comprehension is defined in the reading comprehension ability or achievement of the eight grade students of SMP Dwijendra Gianyar measured by administering reflection or post test by the end of each session.
1.9 Theoretical Framework
A scientific investigation is expected to contribute practical significance and should be conducted on the basis of some relevant theoretical constructs and empirical evidences. The present investigation is based on the following theoretical framework: (1) the concept of reading comprehension, (2) types of reading, (3) components of reading, (4) Techniques of teaching reading, and (5) assessment of reading comprehension. Each of these headings is briefly discussed in Chapter II, which deals with ‘Review of Related Literature’.
1.10. Research Methodology.
1.10.1 Subject of the study
This study is conducted to the eight grade students of SMP Dwijendra Gianyar. There are 7 classes of the eight grade students of SMP Dwijendra Gianyar with the total of the students are 280 students. The students of Class II A is selected as the subjects of the study which consists of 40 students. The subject of the study which total of 40 students are considered to be representative enough for the purpose of this study. The students of Class II A is selected as the subjects of the study because based on the preliminary study and the result of pre test or the initial reflection showed their ability in reading comprehension is very poor, therefore immediate improvement is really needed.
1.10.2 Research Design
Classroom action research design will be used in this investigation. It makes use of a collection of pre-test post-test research design. Hence, this classroom action study is concerned with teaching reading comprehension by using two kinds of tests, that is, initial refection or pre-test and reflection or post-test. Initial reflection (IR) is intended to evaluate the pre-existing reading comprehension while reflection (R) which is administered at the end of each session, is meant to reveal the expected increase in the students’ reading comprehension achievement after they have been taught reading comprehension through Cooperative Learning Method.
In this classroom action study, the teaching and learning processes are divided into two cycles where each cycle consists of four sessions. Each session consists of four interconnected activities, namely: planning (P), action (A), observation (O), and reflection (R). It is necessary to note that IR is a term normally used in a classroom action study, which refers to a pre-test in reading comprehension. The IR was administered to the eight grade students of SMP Dwijendra Gianyar, in order to measure the real pre-existing reading comprehension ability of the subjects. The mean scores of the IR was compared to the corresponding mean scores of the R administered at the end of each session for the sake of establishing the degree of the increasing reading comprehension ability of the subjects.
This classroom action investigation makes use of a collection of pre-test post-test research design. Hence, this classroom action study is concerned with teaching reading comprehension by using two kinds of tests, that is, initial refection or pre-test and reflection or post-test. Initial reflection (IR) is intended to evaluate the pre-existing reading comprehension ability while reflection (R) which is administered at the end of each session, is meant to reveal the expected increase in the students’ reading comprehension achievement after they have been taught reading comprehension through Cooperative learning Method.
In this classroom action study, the teaching and learning processes are divided into two cycles where each cycle consists of four sessions. Each session consists of four interconnected activities, namely: planning (P), action (A), observation (O), and reflection (R). It is necessary to note that IR is a term normally used in a classroom action study which refers to a pre-test in reading comprehension. The IR was administered to class IIA students of the eight grade students of SMP Dwijendra Gianyar, in order to measure the real pre-existing reading comprehension ability of the subjects. The mean scores of the IR was compared to the corresponding mean scores of the R administered at the end of each session for the sake of establishing the degree of the reading comprehension ability of the subjects.
The selection and construction of appropriate, valid and reliable research instrument are very essential step of a scientific investigation, this is on account of the fact merely valid and reliable research instruments can be used to collect the valid and reliable required data for the study being undertaken. The study deals with research question: to what extent is the effectiveness of Cooperative learning Method in improving the reading comprehension ability of the eight grade students of SMP Dwijendra Gianyar. This research question logically suggests that there are three sets of data or raw scores, which are required for the study. They are pre-test, post-test and questionnaire.
1.10.4. Data Collection
There are three kinds of instruments used to gather the data of this classroom action study; they are pre-test, post-tests and questionnaires. Thus, the data required to answer the research question are gathered through administering pretest, post-tests and questionnaires to the eight grade students of SMP Dwijendra Gianyar. The pre-test of IR is administered to the subjects under study to obtain their pre-existing reading comprehension ability. In pre-test the subjects were asked to answer 10 multiple-choice test items to determine their ability in reading comprehension. Post test or reflection is administered for eight times (four times in cycle I and four more times in cycle II).
1.10.5. Data Analysis
The most important data required to answer the research question under study was collected through administering IR and post-tests, some supporting additional data are gathered through administering questionnaires to the subjects under study, that is, the eight grade students of SMP Dwijendra Gianyar. Thus, there are considerably three kinds of raw scores obtained for the present class action study, that is:
(1) scores indicating the subjects’ pre-existing reading comprehension ability,
(2) scores showing the subjects’ progress achievement in reading comprehension; and
(3) scores showing the subjects’ changing learning behaviours.
The data then are analyzed in percentage as follows:
- The average score of each student will be counted using this formula:
Total of the right answers
Mean = _____________________________ x 100 %
Total of test items
The average score of the whole students will be counted using this formula:
The total score of all the test takers
Mean = ______________________________ 100 %
Total of test takers
The students’ achievement will be calculated into the following criteria:
Excellent : those students who are able to answer the test items between 80% - 100% correctly
Good : those students who are able to answer the test items between 70% - 79% correctly
Fair : those students who are able to answer the test items between 60% - 69% correctly
Poor : those students who are able to answer the test items between 50% - 59% correctly
Failure : those students who are able to answer the test items between 0% - 49% correctly
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