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There are many lists of the areas of knowledge which every first language and second language learner must acquire. One of them is Lexicon or vocabulary. In foreign language, it plays an important role. In order to communicate well in a foreign language, students should acquire an adequate number of words and should know how to use them accurately. Students realize in the importance of vocabulary in foreign language learning, but they tend to learn it passively due to some factors. The first factor is that the students learn through the teacher’s explanation for meaning or definition, spelling, pronunciation and grammatical function which makes the student bored. The second one is that vocabulary learning as knowing a primary meaning of new words. The students usually only acquire new vocabulary through new words given by teachers or textbooks. Hence, there are some issues arise from this problems. The students only transfer second language into first language and vice versa. When they got an English text, they translate the word, one by one. And the other problem is the students cannot use the language in real context. Therefore, it needs strategy to help students learn language, especially vocabulary to be more interesting and worth doing. The teacher also needs to create a method or an activity that can stimulate the students to be active, not passively learn by heart. One of the activities of teaching and learning vocabulary which is believed to be the best way of teaching and learning vocabulary is through game. Games help and encourage many learners to sustain their interest and work. Games also help the teacher to create contexts in which the language is useful and meaningful. The students want to take part and in order to do so must understand what others are saying or have written, and they must speak or write in order to express their own point of view or give information. There are so many games that can be applied by teacher concerning to how to improve the students’ vocabulary mastery, such as the alphabet game, the word guessing game, word search and so on. These kinds of activities help both teacher and students in the process of teaching learning. Teacher is able to create a situation in which the language or the vocabulary will be used. However, in order to achieve the most from
vocabulary games, it is essential that suitable games are chosen. In addition, teacher’s attention, creativity and ability is needed. By seeing the advantages of using these games, many teachers try to apply the game for their teaching. One the example is an English teacher in SMPN 34 Bandung. The teacher uses “word search” game as one of the activities to improve the students’ vocabulary mastery. In this research, the writer tries to find out the use of “word search” game in learning vocabulary. The writer will investigate how the teacher implements “word search” game, to figure out the reasons behind the use of the game and to get a description about teacher’s and student’s perceptions on the use of the game.
2. Research Questions The research is conducted under 3 major question; they are: 1. How does the teacher implement the game in improving the students’ vocabulary mastery? 2. What are the reasons behind the use of the “word search” game? 3. What are the teacher’s and student’s perceptions on the use of the game?
3. Review of Related Literature
1. The Nature of Vocabulary Vocabulary has a significant role in language. Basically, learning language is a matter of learning vocabulary of that language. A research has shown that vocabulary knowledge plays a critical role in students’ literacy development (Scott, JamiesonNoel, & Asselin, 2003). According to Oxford Learner’s Pocket Dictionary New Edition, vocabulary means: “1) All the words that a person knows or uses, 2) all the words in a language, 3) list of words with their meanings, especially in a book for learning a foreign language.”
2. Vocabulary learning Vocabulary learning is a hard task which can sometimes be frustrating especially for form one students. Many learners of English think of learning vocabulary are learning a list of new words with the meanings without application in real context. Thus, working this way, after a short period of time, many learners may find out that learning vocabulary in lists does not satisfy themselves, and they think the cause for it is just their bad memorization, Gnoinska (1998:12). Decarrico (2001) states that words should not be learnt separately or by memorization without understanding. Moreover, "learning new words is a cumulative process, with words enriched and established as they are met again", Nation (2000, p.6). Therefore, the "look and remember" way of vocabulary learning seems to be not very effective for learners of the English language. Based on previous research (Graves, 2000; Graves & Watts-Taffe, 2002), the teachers organized their vocabulary activities to: 1) facilitate wide reading, 2) teach individual words, 3) provide word-learning strategies and 4) foster word consciousness. It is believed that one of the best word-learning strategies is through games. Learning vocabulary through games is one effective and interesting way that can be applied in any classrooms. W. R. Lee holds that most language games make learners use the language instead of thinking about learning the correct forms (1979:2). 3. Definition of Game According The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, 1967, Game is a competitive activity involving skill, chance, or endurance on the part of two or more persons who play according to a set of rules, usually for their own amusement or for that of spectators. The definition of game people use today comes from the works of Johan Huizinga (Homo Ludens, 1938) and Friedrich Georg Jünger (Die Spiele, 1959) is a game is any activity which is executed only for pleasure and without conscious purpose. In this definition every activity that brings pleasure is a game. For example, people dance, play musical instruments, act in plays, and play with dolls and model trains.
4. The Importance of Games in Learning Vocabulary 'Games have been shown to have advantages and effectiveness in learning vocabulary in various ways. First, games bring in relaxation and fun for students, thus help them learn and retain new words more easily. Second, games usually involve friendly competition and they keep learners interested. These create the motivation for learners of English to get involved and participate actively in the learning activities. Third, vocabulary games bring real world context into the classroom, and enhance students' use of English in a flexible, communicative way.’ (Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen and Khuat Thi Thu Nga, 2003) Most of us recognize that play or game is an important way to learn all types of skills and knowledge. Play works as a way to learn for a couple of reasons. First, we are more motivated to do an activity if we are having fun doing it. Second, pleasurable activities get repeated and, therefore, give us more chances to practice the skill or recall a piece of knowledge. Word games are a great way to pick up new vocabulary and play with vocabulary that is already familiar. Lee (1995:35) lists several main advantages when games are used in the classroom, including "a welcome break from the usual routine of the language class", "motivating and challenging" "effort of learning", and "language practice in the various skills." Ersoz (2000) holds that games are highly appreciated thanks to their amusement and interest. Teachers can use games to help their students practice more their skills of communication. 5. “Word Search” Game A “word search” game or “word search” puzzled game is a word game in which the letters of a word in a grid, that usually has a rectangular or square shape. The object of the game is to find and mark all of the words hidden in the grid. The words may have been placed horizontally, vertically or diagonally. They may have been written backwards or not. Often a list of the hidden words is provided, but more challenging puzzles may let the player figure them out. Many word search puzzles have a theme to which all the hidden words are related.
Word searches are commonly found in daily newspapers and puzzle books. Some teachers use them as educational tools for children, the benefit being that young minds can learn new words and their spellings by intensively searching for them, letter by letter, in the puzzle.
4. Research Methods
1. Design This study will employ descriptive qualitative method. Verma & Beard (1981:57) states that descriptive method of research is primarily concerned with portraying the present, while according to Mc Milan & Schumacher descriptive design simply describes an existing phenomenon by using numbers to characterize individuals or a group (1989:33). Further, Verma & Bread stated that there are three types of descriptive research, i.e. survey, case study, developmental study & comparative study (1981:59). This study is included into case study. Riyanto as cited by Zuriah (2007) states that case study concerns with everything which is meaningful in history or the development of case and purpose to understand circle of life from an individual unit. 2. Sample The samples of this study are 2nd grade teacher and students of SMPN 34 Bandung. The samples were chosen since they have experienced in applying this kind of game in teaching learning English. The participant of the class consists of 40 students and an English teacher. 3. Data collection The data will be gathered by using some instruments such as follow: • • Observation is used to gain a description on how teacher implements the “word search”game in teaching and improving vocabulary. Interview is used to find out the reasons of the use of the game and to gain descriptions of the teacher’s and students perceptions on the “word search” game in improving their vocabulary.
Questionnaire, which will be closed-ended, is used to get a description about the teacher’s and students’ perception on the use of the “word search” game.
4. Data analysis The data will be analyzed qualitatively. The qualitative data will be obtained from the result of observation and interview. The analysis of this study is to find out how the teacher implemented the game, the reasons of the use of the game and both teacher’s and students’ perception on the game. The interview will support the teacher and students’ perception on the “word search” game. In the process of the data analysis, the researcher will arrange and explore the video recording, interview transcript, and the results of the questionnaire. And then, the researcher will synthesizes them, searches for the patterns, discovered what is significant, and finally, decides what story the researcher will tell and how (Bogdan & Biklen, 1988). Because the data collection and the data analysis are intertwined in qualitative researcher, it will be analyzed the data simultaneously with the data collection. (Creswell, 1994:153) The researcher will transcribe the interview tapes and select them. It will be analyzed and discussed each case which has different thematic finding. Finally, the results will be presented and interpreted by the researcher.
5. Significance of Study
The results of this study are expected to give contributions, to the teacher to use ”word search” game as one of worth doing activity to improve the vocabulary. The most significant contribution of this study is to provide a description of “word search” game and the vocabulary teaching learning, which will show the implementations of “word search” game in vocabulary learning. The findings from this study can be used both of teacher and school board as a consideration to improve the quality of teaching learning especially in vocabulary teaching.
Brassell, Danny & Leena Furtado. 2008. Enhancing English as a Second Language Students’ 26, 2009. Dangwangi. 2008. Learn Vocabulary Through Games. Vocabulary Knowledge. www.readingmatrix.com/articles/brassell_furtado/article.pdf. Retrieved on June
http://www.allfreeessays.com/topics/article-91/0. Retrieved on June 26, 2009. Kramer, Wolfgang. 2000. What Is a Game?
http://www.thegamesjournal.com/About.shtml Retrieved on June 26, 2009. Thi, Nguyen. Thanh & Khuat Thi Thu Nga. 2003. Learning Vocabulary through Games; The Effectiveness of Learning Vocabulary Through Games. Retrieved on June 26, 2009. www.asian-efl-journal.com/dec_03_vn.pdf . Uberman, Agnieszka. 1988. The Use of Games for Vocabulary Presentation and Revision. http://www.teflgames.com/games. Retrieved on June 3, 2009 from (n.n). (n.d). Rules for Word Search. Retrieved on June 26, 2009 from http://games.myway.com/rules/arcade/id/wordsearch.html (n.n). 2003. What is game Theory and what are some of Its Application? http://www.scientificamerican.com. Retrieved on June 26, 2009
THE USE OF “WORD SEARCH” GAME IN IMPROVING STUDENTS’ VOCABULARY MASTERY
(A case study at the second grade of SMPN 34 Bandung)
A Research Proposal
Alifa Binta S (060916) Class B1
ENGLISH EDUCATION DEPARTEMENT FACULTY OF LANGUAGE AND ART EDUCATION INDONESIA UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION 2009
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