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Reading Comprehension: Using Visual Storyboard in Enhancing Students Understanding toward Short Story Flipping Fantasy in Lower Secondary

Classroom

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Background Knowledge

In recent years literature in English has become one of the compulsory components in Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah (KBSM). It has been included in the English language syllabus as part of the content that should be learned by students in form one to form five since the year 2001. In the English language curriculum specifications, the literature component is specifically put under the language for aesthetic use learning outcome. The Ministry of Education has explains the reason of putting the literature component in the syllabus specification as follows: Language for aesthetic purposes enables learners to enjoy literary texts at a level suited to their language proficiency and develops in them the ability to express themselves creatively. (KBSM English language Curriculum Specifications, 2003) However, teaching literature has always been a problem for most of English teachers because literature can be interesting when teacher uses the right method and techniques to teach, it can be boring when teacher couldnt find the right techniques to motivate students, especially when it comes to short story, certain second language learners they have problem in understanding the plot of story due the reason of limited vocabulary causing them unable to understand the story completely, instead of using top down approach they use bottom up approach to read and understand. Hence, they cant understand the story completely and they find the story is dry and confusing. So, it leaves us to a question here what is the best way to improve students understanding towards short stories? Using visual literacy can be a crucial step into helping students to understand short story better. According to development theory and

research, children must master visual skills before they can even begin to develop verbal skills--some theorists even argue that visual skills are a necessary foundation for later speech and reading skills. A child looks at the world and is forced to identify objects and make sense of what he or she sees. In that case, most of the time we learn through visual stimulation, like what the proverb says picture speaks a thousand words. Does the picture really speak a thousand words? No but we can understand better through pictures which we call it visual stimulation; students can actually understand and remember the plot of the story better with the help of pictures.

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Statement of the Problem

Understanding a short story can be a difficult task especially for students with limited vocabulary, it kills their interest when they are taking hours of time referring to the dictionary just to understand the story. For these reasons it is essential that ESL students are helped as much as possible and necessary to understand what they read. However first of all we need to understand what type of problems student face while reading a short story. (i) Unfamiliar Words

A written text may be difficult to understand because it contains many words that are unknown to the student. (ii) Lack of background knowledge

Students with unfamiliar background toward the story always find it hard to understand the story for example the story Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde the setting of the story is in England, as for students who have limited

background knowledge toward England might find it hard to understand the entire story. When students are facing these types of problems, support materials such as pictures, photograph, and movies can help to supply more necessary vocabulary aid and understanding towards the story line. Through this way it can helps students who are lack of confidence in the language to regain their interest toward reading because they will realize it is actually not that difficult as we they think. In that case visual storyboard can provide more comprehensive way of understanding the text through visual way and it helps to intrigue students with low proficiency level toward reading and helps students with higher proficiency to understand better.

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Research Objectives

This study aims to investigate and examine whether using visual storyboard to teach short story in ESL classroom will be able to achieve better results. It looked into two objectives as follow To prove that visual storyboard can help to improve students reading comprehension through the story Flipping Fantasy.

(i)

(ii)

To show that whether the experimental group students (class that use visual storyboard to teach short story) can achieve better result than experimental group of students ( normal class teaching).

(iii)

To compare between the effectiveness of visual storyboard to traditional reading materials.

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Research Questions

Few questions that will be answered through this research (i) Can visual storyboard be effective enough to improve students reading comprehension toward the short story Flipping Fantasy? (ii) Can normal classroom teaching solely enough to improve students reading comprehension? (iii) Can students interests toward reading short stories or literature improve after the experiment? (iv) What are students perceptions of the use of a visual storyboard in enhancing their understanding toward the short story?

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Research Hypothesis

H1 : There will be significant improvement of reading comprehension on the experimental group class compare to the control group class. H2: