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TABLE OF CONTENTS

No

Items

Pages

Abstract

iii

1.

Aim of the research

1.1.

The aim

1.2.

Research questions

1.3.

Definition of terms

2.

Rationale and justification

2.1.

Rationale

2.2.

Real situation

3.

Literature review

4.

Methodology

4.1.

Research design

4.2.

Independent and dependent variable

4.3.

Data collection procedure

4.3.1.

Selection of subjects

4.3.2.

Lesson Plan

4.4.

Data Collection Instrument

4.4.1.

Pre-test and Post-test

4.4.2.

Students Feedback Questionnaire

4.4.3.

Teachers Observation Notes

4.4.4.

Students Portfolio in Reading

4.5.

Data Analysis

4.6.

Research Schedule

5.

Conclusion

5.1.

Expected findings

5.2.

Limitations and other consideration

5.3.

Closing remarks

Bibliography

10

Appendix A: Sample Test

12
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Appendix B: Teachers Observation Notes

13

Appendix C: Students Questionnaire

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ABSTRACT
This study is about the use of task-based journal reading activities to senior students at the English
Language and Literature Department at National University, Jakarta, Indonesia. The aim of this
activity is to assist the senior students in reading journals in English for their theses preparations.
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There are 5 students as the subjects for this study and they are given academic journals in English. In
each meeting they are given some questions related to the texts. The contents of the journals will be
dealing with subjects in Linguistics. This will be conducted at Seminar on Linguistics and take one
semester as part of requirement. After conducting the study, it is expected that the activities of taskbased journal reading can benefit other lecturers teaching the same subject and Research Methods in
Linguistics.

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1.

AIM OF THE RESEARCH


1.1. The aim
Background
Students at the English Language and Literature Department at National University in
Jakarta, Indonesia have to write theses as part of requirement when they finish their study.
The theses have to be written in English and there are a lot of challenges and problems that
students encounter in thesis preparations. First is the level of competence of English
especially dealing with four skills of language learning such as reading, writing, speaking
and listening. Reading is one of the problematic issue since students are not exposed much
in reading English texts such as academic journals that can support their theses preparations.
Second is there are not many activities that support students in guiding them to read journals
in English. Third they do not have prior knowledge of what they have to write for their
thesis because they are not exposed to the target language in terms of academic reading in
journals. Fourth, they do not have opportunities in classes with the subjects take that can
support them with reading academic texts.
In this study, I will look at how the use of task-based learning in applying academic journals
reading activities to senior or 7th semester students above at the English Language and
Literature Department, Faculty of Language and Literature, National University in Jakarta,
Indonesia. The number of students that will be the subjects is about five in the course
Seminar on Linguistics.
Therefore, the aim of this study is to look at how far the task-based journal reading activities
upgrade senior students reading comprehension for their theses preparation.

1.2. Research Question


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The research question of this study is: To what extent do task-based journal reading
activities improve senior students reading comprehension for thesis preparations?
1.3. Definition of key terms
Richards and Rogers (2001) define task-based learning or task based language teaching
refers to an approach based on the use of tasks as the core unit of planning and instruction in
language teaching.
Quinn (1995) describes interference as the application of the second language learners first
grammar system to the learners language and intraference as overgeneralization of a
second grammar rule.
2.

RATIONALE AND JUSTIFICATION


1.1.

Rationale
Reading in a foreign language is a challenge for every learner since it requires skills to be
mastered. Although reading is considered a passive skill, it requires learners to work
actively whenever they have to face unfamiliar texts written in the target language. Things
can be more complex when learners are facing the situations that force them to master the
reading skills. This can be problematic if learners are not exposed to the target language as
much as possible. They must find their own strategies if they encounter some unfamiliar
texts as part of their requirement. In order to make learners minimize the problems in
reading, the role of language teachers is highly needed as facilitators.
Therefore, English language teachers have challenges in how to assist learners who are
required to master reading strategies that are suitable with the learners goals. In terms of
providing such opportunity, the use of tasks in the forms of exercises is expected to assist
teachers and learners with reading texts.

1.2.

Real Situation
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Students at the Department of English Language and Literature must write their theses in
English as part of the requirement from National University to get a Bachelor Degree.
However, this is a problem for those who are not cultured to academic contexts especially
how to integrate the four skills in a language learning dealing with listening, speaking,
reading and writing. Reading is another critical issue since students have to read sources
such as books, journals and others in English. They may not know how to understand the
meaning and scan for some important and relevant issues in academic reading. They also
have never read academic journals in English. Therefore, students need to practise reading
academic journals before they prepare their studies for their theses.
2.

LITERATURE REVIEW
The use of task-based in learning a foreign language is not a new concept. There are several
studies undertaken in this area of the application of task-based to enhance learners competence in
learning a foreign language. In terms of using task in the area of speaking, Drnyei (2009)
conducts a study in two secondary schools at Budapest, Hungary at the area of using task in
analysing the use of oral argumentative task in speaking where students were given tasks which
they had to choose and ranked-order some items on problems at school. During the learning
process, students are asked to do the tasks which they work in pairs but each has to do them on
their own using their imagination. In the use of task, Drnyei argues that the use of tasks is a
useful tool in analysing students motivation in learning a second language.
Moreover, in another study conducted by Bygate (2009) explores that task repetitions or
exercising a kind of task enhance learners oral competence based on a research of 48 overseas
students at The University of Reading, United Kingdom. In terms of task implementation, the
tasks repetitions benefit learners in increasing their speaking performance in the form of fluency,
accuracy and/or complexity. (Bygate, 2009).
While those studies are conducted in the use of task-based in the area of speaking, there are also a
quite number of studies undertaken in the area of reading. One of them is an action research
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conducted by Burns (2005) conducts a collaborative action research involving Chinese, Arabic
and Spanish students in how students from those background applied reading in their everydays
life. In this study, the subjects were interviewed on their reading habit. Based on the study,
learners rank the teaching of vocabulary highly since this is perceived as the main challenge in
reading texts. Moreover, learners demand real texts that assist them in achieving their goals.
They also require to be exposed to more extensive reading texts targeted to English language
learners. It shows that reading activities and using more elaborate texts are the elements that
learners should deal with in learning a foreign language.
Based on the study, teachers need to expose their students with tasks related to learners needs.
However, Branden (2006) questions how the tasks will be applied in learners from mixed
language proficiency since the use of them involves three things to consider. First is dealing with
specific goals or aims that learners have to achieve. Second is how the tasks will assist learners in
achieving their goals. The last is dealing with learners assessment and follow up actions of
learners learning process and results. Therefore, language teachers should be able to not only
design tasks that meet the learners achievement but also provide assessments and further actions
of learners learning progression.
In designing tasks that meet the above criteria, there is a gap of the certain areas in reading that
language teachers should be aware. The area that will be the main focus of this present study is to
look at academic reading especially in reading journals in English. The significance of the study
is in how to assist university students at the English Language and Literature Department for
thesis preparations. Therefore, the study that I would like to propose will fill in the empty areas of
the issues.

4.

Methodology
4.1. Research Design
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The following research design of the study is as follows:


Research Question
To what extent do
task-based journal
reading activities
improve senior
students reading
comprehension for
theses preparation?

4.2

Instruments
1. Reading
Comprehension
Test
2. Teachers
observation notes
3. Student feedback
Questionnaires
4. Students
assessment in the
form of reading
portfolio

Subjects
Statistical Tool
Five senior
1. One-tail T-test
students or 7th
2. Mean
semester above 3. Descriptive
University
Statistics
students at
Faculty of
English
Language and
Literature at
National
University,
Jakarta,
Indonesia

Independent and dependent variable


The following diagram is the independent variable and the dependent variable in this study.
Independent variable

Dependent Variable

Using task-based
journal reading
activities

Reading
Comprehension Skills
for Theses Preparation

Operational definition

Operational definition

Students have task-based reading


journal activities in the course
Seminar on Linguistics

Students scores in a reading


comprehension test and assessment in
the form of portfolio reading

The flowchart below describes how the research is going to be conducted.


Research Procedure
Senior
students
(N=5)

Pre-test of reading comprehension based on questions from


academic journals

Teachers
Observation Notes

Constant
-Teacher
-Student
-Texts

Use of taskbased
reading
academic
journals

academi
c
journals
1.
2.

Comprehension post-test based


on questions from academic
journals

Students feedback questionnaire


Students assessment in the form of
portfolio for reading

Data Analysis
Conclusions

4.3.

Data Collection procedures


The data collection procedures will be conducted from the result of pre test, post-test, students
feedback questionnaires and students assessment in the form of portfolio for reading as
described in the flowchart.
4.3.1.

Selection of subjects
The class that consists of 5 students will be automatically selected as participants or
subjects for this study. The selection will take place on students who are enrolled in
Seminar on Linguistics subjects because they are the students who have to do
preparations for theses. The reason of choosing them as participants because they still

need guidance in reading academic journals for references in their theses and assist
them to be critical readers.
4.3.2. Lesson Plan
The activities will be based on reading academic journals in Linguistics for about half
an hour, and another half an hour will be for discussion in checking how far students
have comprehend the texts. A variety of journals in Linguistics will be given and each
meeting will discuss one particular journal. The students will be given some questions
relating to the content of the journals such as the themes, research questions,
methodology, findings and conclusions.
4.4.

Data Collection Instrument


4.4.1. Pre-test and Post-test
The pre-test and post-test will be designed by giving students a reading comprehension
test containing two three journals and questions relating to the texts.
4.4.2. Students Feedback Questionnaires
The questionnaires given to students will be closed and open-ended questions taken,
modified and adapted from two online questionnaires in Reading Test for ESL/EFL
learners
and

in http://www.questionpro.com/a/showSurveyLibrary.do?surveyID=161974

Progress

in

International

Reading

Literacy

Study

(PIRLS)

2006

in

http://timssandpirls.bc.edu/PDF/P06_StudentQuestionnaire.pdf.
4.4.3. Teachers Observation Notes
The teachers observation notes will be taken, modified and adapted from Fuscos The
Portfolio Assessment Handbook Reading for Adult Level (Fusco, 1995) and Generic
Assessment

Matters

#2

in

Reading:

Observation

Checklist

http://www.pearsoned.ca/school/sightlines/gr_9/common/gam_ont/gam2.pdf.

(n.d.)
I

in
will

write all the students activities based on what they are reading and discussing in each
journal.
4.4.4. Students Portfolio in Reading
Students portfolio in reading is modified and adapted from Fuscos The Portfolio
Assessment Handbook Reading for Adult Level (Fusco, 1995). They are some forms
that students can do as check list and write on their opinions during and after reading
activities. For example, there is one page in Reading Response where students have to
write about the title of the journal and their response after reading and discussing each
text.
4.5.

Data Analysis
The data will be analysed by using the following statistical tools:
a. One-tail T-test
b. Comparison of students pre and post test scores
c. Quantitative use of %
d. Descriptive statistics

4.6.

Research Schedule
No.

Activities
Selecting journals for students reading activities
Preparing pre-test and post test
Designing lesson plans and questions for reading
activities
Giving pre-test
Teaching previewing a text in reading academic
journals
Designing students questionnaires
Giving post-test
Giving questionnaires
Analysing Data
Writing research findings with conclusions

5.

Dates from academic calendar


22 August 2012
27 August 2012
4 September 2012
11 September 2012
11 September 2012 (after pretest)
18 September 2012
7 November 2012 (mid term
test)
21 November 2012
25 November 2012
1 December 2012

CONCLUSION
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5.1.

Expected Findings
Conducting the research of the use of task-based reading academic journals will
improve senior students in their comprehension so that they can do better for theses
preparations. This activity is expected to be developed and applied more especially to
the wide range of learners in advanced reading classes.

5.2.

Limitations or other consideration


This study is limited to only 5 students because that is the number who is enrolled in
the class. Furthermore, we are only looking at journal articles with atypical English.
Therefore, it will be hard to generalize the findings.

5.3.

Closing remarks
After applying the use of task-based journal reading activities to senior students, the
other lecturers and students will also get some benefit in using this technique for
teaching and learning especially in academic reading. Students have to be exposed to
the texts of the target language as much as possible. Therefore, academic reading
journal activities are needed to assist students in reading for their theses preparation.

BIBILIOGRAPHY
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Afflerbach, P. (2007). Understanding and Using Reading Assessment K-12. Austin: International
Reading Association
Benjamin, I. S. (2005). What to teach? Procedural & Declarative Knowledge Significant to Reading
Comprehension Ability. In Gloria Poedjosoedarmo (Ed), Anthology Series 46: Innovative Approaches
to Reading & Writing Instruction, (91 98). Singapore: SEAMEO RELC.
Branden, K.V.D. (2006). Task-based language education: from theory to practice. In Kris Van den
Branden (Ed.), Task-Based Language Education: From Theory to Practice (1-16). Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Burns, A. (2005). Teaching Reading and Writing from a Literacies Perspectives. In Gloria
Poedjosoedarmo (Ed.), Anthology Series 46: Innovative Approaches to Reading & Writing Instruction
(3950). Singapore: SEAMEO RELC.
Bygate, M. (2009). Effects of task repetition on the structure and control of oral language. In Kris Van
den Branden, Martin Bygate and John M. Norris (Eds.), Task-Based Language Teaching: A Reader
(249-274).Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Drnyei, Z. (2009). The Motivational Basis of Language Learning Tasks. In Kris Van den Branden,
Martin Bygate and John M. Norris (Eds.), Task-Based Language Teaching: A Reader (358-377).
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Farrell, T.S.C. (2005). Teaching reading strategies: It really takes time. In Gloria Poedjosoedarmo
(Ed.), Anthology Series 46: Innovative Approaches to Reading & Writing Instruction (71 81).
Singapore: SEAMEO RELC.
Fusco, E. (1995). The Portfolio Assessment Handbook Reading for Adult Level: A Practical Guide for
Implementing and Organizing Portfolio Evaluation. New York: Berrent Publications, Inc.
Generic Assessment Matters #2 in Reading: Observation Checklist (n.d.) Retrieved from
http://www.pearsoned.ca/school/sightlines/gr_9/common/gam_ont/gam2.pdf
Grabe, W. (2003). Dilemmas for the Development of Second Language Reading Abilities. In Jack C.
Richards and Willy A. Renandya (Eds.). Methodology in Language Teaching: An Anthology of
Current Practice (276-283). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Janzen, J. (2003). Teaching strategic reading. In Jack C. Richards and Willy A. Renandya (Eds.),
Methodology in Language Teaching: An Anthology of Current Practice, (287-294). Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Quinn, K. (1995). Analyzing Students Reading Miscues: A Case Study Using First Language
Grammar and Cultural Background to Understand a Students Miscues. In S. Kathleen Kitao, Joan
Headrick Miller, Juliet Winters Carpenter and Carol Rinnert (Eds.), Culture and Communication (235241). Kyoto: JALT Kansai Conference 94 Publication Committee.
Richards, Jack C. and Rodgers, Theodore S. (2003). Task-based language teaching. In Approaches and
Methods in Language Teaching. (2nd ed). (223-243). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Reading Comprehension Tests for ESL/EFL Students: A Survey. Retrieved from


http://www.questionpro.com/a/showSurveyLibrary.do?surveyID=161974
International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement in Progress International
Reading Literacy Study or PIRLS (2006). Student Questionnaire. Retrieved from
http://timssandpirls.bc.edu/PDF/P06_StudentQuestionnaire.pdf
Think Literacy: Cross Cultural Approaches, Grade 7 12 (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/studentsuccess/thinkliteracy/files/Reading.pdf

Appendix A: Sample Test


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Read the following journal and answer the questions at the end of the journal.

The role of emotional variables in foreign language teaching and learning has been studied extensively
for the last three decades by several authors, such as: Scovel (1978), Shumman (1975, 1998), Krashen
(1985) and MacIntyre and Gardner (1991, 1992 and 1994). Among other affective variables, anxiety
stands out as one of the main blocking factors for effective language learning. Its damaging effects
have been found in all phases of this process, Input, Processing and Output and through the four skills,
becoming a barrier for successful performance in all of them.
The relevance of students anxiety as an educational problem made some researchers enquire about the
fact that the kind of anxiety which affects foreign language learners is of a special kind, stated by
Horwitz et all (1991, p.27) as Foreign Language Anxiety, which is defined by the authors as a feeling
of tension, apprehension and nervousness associated with the situation of learning a foreign language.
Therefore, the aim of this article is to bridge the gap between research findings and classroom practice
by enabling teachers to identify the sources and manifestations of their students Foreign Language
Anxiety (FLA). This text is also aimed at helping teachers to find suitable ways of handling this
educational problem within the limits of their classrooms.

INSTRUMENTS TO DIAGNOSE STUDENTS FLA


QUESTIONNAIRE
1) Do you like English?
2) What do you learn English for?
3) Have you tried to learn English before coming to this school? How was this experience?
4) Before starting at this school did you think that learning English would be easier or more difficult
than actually it is?
5) How do you feel about your teachers? What do you like or dislike about them? Give an example of
a situation in which the teacher made you feel comfortable or uncomfortable in the classroom.
6) In class do you like learning individually, in pairs, in small groups, in one large group?
7) How do you feel about homework?
8) In the classroom, do you want to be corrected immediately, in front of everyone?
9) Do you mind if other students sometimes correct your written work? Do you mind if the teacher
sometimes asks you to correct your own work?
10) Think about your English lessons. Do you feel:
happy when...; angry when....; anxious when...; uncomfortable when...; comfortable when....
Taken from Karens Linguistics Journal in http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/anxious.html
Explain clearly and briefly.
1. What are the objectives of the above study
2. What are the research questions?
3. Who are the subjects? Provide the information with age, socio economic level and so forth.
4. What are the instruments used?
5. How did the researcher conduct the data collection?

Appendix B
Reading Observations (Teachers Observation Notes)
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Week __________________________________________________
Date ___________________________________________________
Title
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No.

Criteria

Check if
observed

Comments

Understanding main ideas


Understanding research questions
Understanding literature review
Understanding data analysis
Understanding findings
Understanding conclusions
Retelling the contents

Taken and modified from Fuscos Reading Observation in The Portfolio Assessment Handbook
Reading for Adult Level (Fusco, 1995), Generic Assessment Matters #2 in Reading: Observation
Checklist in http://www.pearsoned.ca/school/sightlines/gr_9/common/gam_ont/gam2.pdf (n.d.) and
Individual
Reading
Observation
Checklist
for
Second
Grade
(n.d.)
in
www.billings.k12.mt.us/literacy/.../2_individual_reading_checklist

Appendix C: Sample of Questionnaire


Please answer the following items. You do not have to write down your name. Thank you for
participating in this study.
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1=strongly disagree

2=disagree

3=agree

4 = strongly agree

Please tick on the appropriate column


No
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Statements
I like discussing about what I read in class
When I read journals in English, I can understand by myself
The academic journal reading activities help me understand the main ideas.
The activities help me understand the research questions
The activities benefits me in finding specific meaning more clearly
The activities sharpen my reading strategies for academic reading
I can apply this activity in reading other sources in English
This activity helps me prepare my thesis
This activity helps me find more ideas on my thesis

1 2 3 4

Please answer the following questions. You may answer the questions in English or in Bahasa
Indonesia or both.
1. How far the activities of academic journal reading help you understand the texts?
__________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
2. How far the activities help you prepare for your theses?
____________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
3. What do you think about the journals discussed in class? What topics or areas that interest you
the most for further reading?
____________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
Thank You
Taken and modified from http://www.questionpro.com/a/showSurveyLibrary.do?surveyID=161974
and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2006 in
http://timssandpirls.bc.edu/PDF/P06_StudentQuestionnaire.pdf.

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