English is a global language which many people all over the world speak English as first or second languages. Many countries include English as the subject taught in educational institution. English is a key to open the door of science, technology, economics and culture.
In Indonesia, our government has made a policy on the school curriculum that English is taught as a compulsory subject. As stated in Pusat Pembinaan & Pengembangan Bahasa in 1984 (in Marhum, 2009:3), on December 12, 1967, the Minister of Education issued Decree No 096/1967, stipulating English as the first foreign language to be taught in Indonesian schools. Based on KTSP (Kurikulum Tingkat Satuan Pendidikan= School Based Curriculum), the instructional objective of English is that the mastery of four language skills; they are listening, reading, speaking, and writing.
Language skills are classified into receptive and productive skills. Receptive skill includes listening and reading while productive skill includes speaking and writing. Productive skills are obviously more difficult than the receptive. Widiati and Cahyono (2006:139) state that writing is the most complex skill compared to the other three skills. Some students often complained about how difficult it is to write in a foreign language, even Blanchard and Root (2003:1) state that writing can be difficult even in your language.
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In a new language, writing can be even more difficult. Students often got stuck in expressing their ideas into written texts. They also had problems with the language use. Those problems are faced by students of 10th MABI program MAN 3 Malang which is the subject in this study. To solve the students’ problem in writing, the researcher decided to conduct a classroom action research applying picture series as a strategy to improve the students’ ability in writing narrative texts.
The study is to find out how picture series strategy is implemented in improving 10th grade students’ ability in writing narrative text. The writing activities were to giving a model of how to write a paragraph of narratives including teaching students generic structures of narrative and training students to write a paragraph of narrative by using picture series. As the warm-up activity, the researcher did brainstorming in order to raise the students’ readiness and eagerness to write. Then the researcher comes to training stage, which is the process of writing.
And the students’ final products are assessed based on the scoring rubrics made. The procedures of implementing picture series in teaching writing are as follows:
- Brainstorming (asking some questions related to the topic to be discussed to elicit the students’ ideas)
- Discussing flow-chart text containing communicative purpose, rhetorical structure, and grammatical pattern of the text
- Distributing the pictures series
- Prewriting (listing topics, identifying objects and action verbs in the pictures)
- Outlining (making outline; making sentences representing every picture in the picture series)
- Polishing (revising and editing)
The research design was a collaborative action research which consisted of two cycles, in where cycle 1 consisted of two meetings and cycle 2 consisted of four meetings. A cycle consisted of four steps namely: planning the action, acting on the plan, observing the action and reflecting on the observation. The subject of the study was the 21 students of X MABI MAN 3 Malang in the academic year of 2009/2010.
The instruments used to collect data were observation checklist, field notes, questionnaires, scoring rubrics and the students’ writings. The data from the observation, scoring rubrics and questionnaires were analyzed and the results are presented in the form of tables and description, while the data gained from the field notes and the students’ writings were analyzed and reported descriptively. The result of the study showed that the picture series effectively improved the students’ ability in writing narrative texts.
All students had reached the minimum score of 3 in all aspects; organization, diction, and language use. Moreover, the majority of the students gave positive responses towards the implementation of picture series, in the case that 70% of the students showed excitement. Furthermore, they found that picture series is interesting, easy to understand, moreover, it helped them to organize paragraphs and develop ideas in writing narrative texts. Here are the mean scores of the students’ writings in each category.
In conclusion, picture series can be implemented to improve the students’ ability in writing narrative text at MABI program of MAN 3 Malang. Picture series was very helpful to develop the students’ ideas and creativity. The students enjoyed the writing activity implementing picture series because it was interesting, fun, and not boring. It is suggested that the teacher use the picture series in teaching writing since it can solve students’ problems in writing. It is also suggested that other researchers conduct other researches that apply picture series in other skills and genres.
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