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CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

This chapter contains background of the study, statement of the problem,

objective of the study, significance of the study, delimitation of the study and

definition of the key terms.

1.1 Background of the Study

Writing is among the most important skills that foreign language students

need to develop, and the ability to teach writing is leading to the competence of

well-trained teacher. Due to this importance, this skill still needs a lot of attention

in guiding students in writing activity. Therefore, writing should be planned

carefully in order to master the writing skill, which the learners can use to

complete a particular task (Craswell & Poore, 2005: 34).

Students cannot learn to write naturally as they learn to walk and to talk.

The psycologist Eric Lenneberg as quoted by Brown (2007: 390) once noted, that

human being universally learn to walk and to talk, but that swimming and writing

are culturally specific, learned behavior. We learn to swim if there is a body of

water available and usually only if someone teaches us. We learn to write if we

are members of a literate society and usually only if someone teaches us. Gelb as

quoted by Prestin (2008: 225) defines writing as a system of human

intercommunication by means of conventional visible marks. Further, Yule (2010:

212) states that writing is the language representation by using graphic signs. It is

not similar with speech, it is not easy to acquired, but has to learn through
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sustained conscious efforts. Writing gives the students more thinking time than

they get when they attempt spontaneous conversation (Harmer, 2007a: 112).

Writing is a process to reflects writers ides that he has in his mind.

Writing itself can only occur after the main ideas are in the place (Clark, 2008: 8).

It means that we can get the point of someones mind through his writing. It

allows writers to explore thoughts and ideas, and make them visible and concrete,

encourages thinking and learning, motivates communication, and makes thought

available for reflection, rearranged, and changed. Writing is one of the important

ways of expressing thoughts and communicating ideas with others. Writing has

their own signs, symbols, and devices to make communication more effective

(Harmer, 2004: 10), and it is simply the sign representation of speaking (Brown,

2007: 391). Moreover, learners are expected to be able to express their thoughts

and ideas into written language clearly. Harmer (2007: 112) states that writing is a

tool for practicing and working with the language the people or learners studying.

It will be meaningless for them if they do not have the competence to express their

thoughts and ideas in written form even though they have good thoughts and

ideas. That is why writing skill is important to be mastered.

As one of the four language skills, writing has traditionally occupied a

place in most English syllabuses. Even so, arguments are sometimes put forward

for not teaching students to write because it is felt that a command of the spoken

language and of reading is more important. For many vocational high school

students this may be true, but today, given the importance of English as an

international language, more and more people need to learn to write in English for

occupational or academic purposes. Because of the reasons above, instead of


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being the last skill to teach, writing has now become a much more important

subject to be taught in second/foreign language curriculum (Leki, 1994: 170). The

Indonesian government issued the regulation of the Minister Education number

21, 2016. It states that the syllabus of 2013 Curriculum for vocational high school

should include the objective of learning writing as a skill. The core competence

for tenth graders of vocational high school is that the students are expected to be

able to express their ideas and thoughts through written forms.

Writing for students is not an easy matter, especially when the students

English competence is not very well developed. It is also considered as a difficult

activity because to write the text the writer needs special attention to a good

organization, sentence structure, grammar usage, and mechanic in order to be

coherent and cohesive. The fact that writing is difficult as also been identified by

some researchers (Reppen: 2002, Megawati: 2011, Nurjanah: 2011, Ikawati: 2011,

Akmala: 2011, Ahn: 2012, Utami, Mukhaiyar: and Rozimela: 2012, Syafii: 2013,

and Elashri: 2013). They found that writing was considered as the most frustrating

skill to master because the students often felt confused to develop their ideas and

to organize them.

In most cases, there are two main problems in teaching writing in the

classroom. The first, English teacher has limited time in teaching English in the

classroom. It is only once a week. It is around two times forty-five minutes per

meeting. The teacher has to integrate the four skills in ninety minutes. The English

teacher tends to focus on reading comprehension. The second, the teacher does

not make English writing as a habit. Therefore, students do not have much time to

practice their language skills, especially in writing. As we know, the process of


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English writing needs a lot of practice. The lack of exercises makes the writing

result unsatisfactory.

In the context of teaching and learning writing for the tenth graders of

SMKN 1 Wonorejo, the condition is more or less the same. Because of the

conventional teaching and learning style, the students have little opportunity how

to write well. In writing paragraph, the students writing skill is still low. The

students said that they had no idea what to write. They were quiet and looked at

the blank paper. The students cannot write their own paragraphs correctly and

properly.

In order to get more realistic and authentic data in teaching writing, the

researcher conducted the preliminary study to the tenth graders in writing

paragraphs on 15 February 2017. The result of the preliminary study showed that

students writing skill is still low. It can be seen from the mean score, that is,

41.67. it is classified as poor level.

Connected with the interview and observation with English teachers in

SMKN 1 Wonorejo, related to the teaching of English in general, or the teaching

of writing in particular were found. SMKN 1 Wonorejo, a government school

located in Al-Yasini Islamic Boarding School in Wonorejo-Pasuruan in East Java,

offers English once a week with two times forty-five minutes per meeting. It is

conducted by integrating the four language skills and components. The time

allocation for activities of developing the writing skill is around 20 30 minutes

out of 90 minutes per meeting. Due to the time limitation, writing sometimes

should be done at home as homework or even skipped. It was also found that the

ability of the students in writing words and phrases was relatively low. They have
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significant problems in filling the gaps and ordering jumbled letters into a word.

In the sentence level, their ability to rearrange jumbled words into grammatical

and meaningful sentences was also low. They could not make their own simple

sentences.

According to the interview with some students, there are some problems

arise in writing process. First, most students stated that it was difficult to write in

English. Their difficulties were on getting ideas, organizing ideas, and finding the

right words to express their ideas. Second, there were not activities processes of

note taking, summarizing, and answering comprehension questions to help

students learning to write. These difficulties might appear as results of lack of

practicing the teacher provided in writing and training how to get and organize the

ideas. Writing is all about conveying the information, thoughts or ideas, or in

other words, the content. Third, the students rarely did the writing process such as

drafting, revising, and editing their text after they had written the text. The teacher

only asked the students to produce a good text without having those processes.

Good writing needs a careful planning, drafting, revising, and editing. Through

these stages, the ideas and thoughts can be clearly conveyed. Therefore, the

teacher should teach students habit of writing process in order to produce their

good text.

This research will focus on the tenth graders ability in writing sentence

and paragraph level. Based on the preliminary study, both students ability in

ordering jumbled sentences into a good paragraph and writing their paragraph are

relatively unsatisfying. They still have problems in writing their own paragraph

because the teacher assigns them to write by themselves without giving any
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scaffolding with certain writing techniques. The teachers strategy in teaching

paragraph writing is not varied. The model of paragraph development is not

adequately taught. As a result, the students ability in constructing and composing

their paragraph is still low. Moreover, the students are not motivated to join the

English lesson because the teacher teaches monotonously. She only discusses

what is printed in the textbook. We know that the lessons, which always consist

of the same routines, patterns, and formats, have been shown to lead to an increase

in boredom. It makes the students reluctant to join the English lesson. Lightbown

& Spada (2001: 57) states that varying the activities, tasks, and materials can help

to avoid the boredom and increase students interest levels.

Cahyono and Widiati ( 2011: 69) explain that compared to other English

skills, writing is the most complicated aspect that the second language learners

need to build and achieve. In the same statement, Brown (2007: 395) reveals that

because writing is a complicated skill, it needs teachers attention to apply an apt

instruction or suitable strategies to make students writing better. Moreover,

teacher also needs to improve the material to help students gain a better result in

writing. Therefore, when teaching writing, the teacher should handle the learning

activities more purposively in terms of strategy and material so that the process is

meaningful to the students. Brown (2007: 65) suggests that to create a stronger

retention needs to link new information to the students prior understanding,

structure, and memory system to create a meaningful learning. In addition, the

teacher is also expected to be more creative in preparing and designing the

material to be used in the teaching and learning process.


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It can be seen that varying the activities and materials will make the

students have desire to learn. Variety of factors can create a desire to learn.

Perhaps the students like the subject or maybe they are simply interested in seeing

what it is like. This desire is called motivation. Motivation may happen inside the

classroom; this could be caused by the teachers method, the activities that

students take part in or their perception of their success or failure. It is teachers

main aim to help students to sustain their motivation (Harmer, 2007:20).

In this case, the teacher has to use appropriate, fun, and effective media in

teaching and learning writing. It has been widely admitted that selected and

property used instructional media is beneficial for education. One of media that

can be used in teaching and learning writing is video. The main reason why it is

advisable to choose video to teach writing is that to motivate the students.

Watching video has many advantages such as grabbing students attention,

focusing students concentration, generating the ideas, setting an appropriate

mood, motivating the students and the most important thing is it makes learning

fun.

When you watch a movie or TV program, superficial and even deep


feelings and emotions are elicited, such as excitement, anger, laughter,
relaxation, love, whimsy, or even boredom. These are often triggered or
heightened by the mood created by the specific visual scenes, the actors,
and/or the background music. A video can have a strong effect on your
mind and senses (Berk, 2009: 2).

The following are the advantages of using video in the classroom. First,

video-based contexts provide rich sources of information with opportunities to

notice sensory images, dynamic futures, relevant issues, and inherent problems.

Second, they give students the ability to perceive dynamic moving events. This
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advantage is particularly important for lower achieving students and for students

with low knowledge. Pacer Center is also believed that using visual aid especially

video is the best method to engage students on many different level (2005: 1).

Third, video allows students to develop skills of pattern recognition, which are

related to visual and auditory cues rather than to events labeled by the teacher. In

sum, video images are ideal for creating common experience for the teacher and

learners that can be used for getting new knowledge (Cruse, 2006: 10-11).

Mayer & Moreno also state the effectiveness of using multimedia in

teaching (2002: 90-91). They stated that when an explanation is presented in

words (such as narration) the learners could store the information in memory.

Adding pictures (such as animation) should have no effect on what is learned if

the pictures contain the same information as the words. Thus, according to this

strict version of the information delivery theory, multimedia presentations should

not result in better learning than single-medium presentation. However, if some

learners prefer visual presentations and others prefer verbal presentations, then a

multimedia presentation would be effectively to both kinds of learners. In this

way, learners could select the delivery route they prefer. Thus, according to a new

version of the information delivery theory, multimedia presentation should result

in better learning than single medium presentation.

It is good to encourage the students to watch while listen, they get to see

language in use. They can see the intonation matches with facial expression and

gestures that accompany certain phrases. Unspoken rules of behavior in

communication are easier to see on film than to describe in book or hear on audio
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track (Harmer, 2007b: 308). In short, audio visual aids including video is

worthwhile in teaching writing since it can be applied for various activities and

purposes that can arouse students interest in the process of writing.

In addition, Cruse (2006: 7) also supports the use of multimedia in the

classroom. She states that visual messages of multimedia are processed in a

different part of the brain than that which processes textual and linguistic learning,

and the limbic system responds to these pictures by triggering instinct, emotion

and impulse. Memory is strongly influenced by emotion, with the result that

educational has a powerful ability to relay experience and influence cognitive

learning. Videos may help to promote learning in students with high visual

orientation in their learning styles. In line with this opinion, Willis (1983: 30)

stated that video can motivates students, bringing real life into the classroom,

contextualizing language naturally enabling students to experience authentic

language. Furthermore, SEG Research Teams research also has shown as that the

brain processes information using two channels-visual and auditory. When

information is presented using both channels, the brain can accommodate more

information that is new. Narration and video is much more effective than narration

and text. By taking advantage of this multimodal processing capability and

technology-based tools, we can dramatically enhance students learning through

multimedia instruction (2008: 1-5).

The researcher proposes certain approach to solve the students difficulty

and to help the teachers teach them easier than before. In this case, the researcher

is interested in using video in Interactive writing to improve their ability in


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writing descriptive text. The videos show famous people profiles in their short

biography film. The reason why the researcher chooses the videos is related with

the curriculum. The first grade will learn descriptive text of describing people,

historical places, and tourist resorts. She selects describing people with the

assumption that the students will be interested to them. The videos are taken from

YouTube entitled Cristiano Ronaldo, Barrack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, and

Valentino Rossi. The famous people are very popular and well known, but the

researcher chooses them because the videos use English Narration and with high

quality pictures.

Writing practice for vocational high school students is intended to

maintain some kinds of text type (genre), namely procedure, narrative, recount,

and descriptive text. Every type of text has its own attribute on its arrangement.

Writing a descriptive text is considered as a basic writing activity that focuses on

clearly providing the features an attributes of what is being described. Therefore,

the topic usually reveals the characteristics of a thing, person, place, or other

specifically. This type of text helps the reader through imagination to visualize a

scene, a person, a things, or to understand a sensation or an emotion (Wilson &

Burk, 1980: 128).

Some features can become the rule in writing descriptive text. They are:

(a) the language used are simple sentences, (b) the idea of what something or

someone looks like, (c) sensory description; what is heard, seen, smelt, felt, tasted,

and (d) strong development of the experience puts the reader as he or she can see

what is being described (Pratiwi & Rahmasari, 2011: 83).


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In the learning process although writing is considered the most difficult

skill, the students can simply understand writing description text. This is due to its

generic structure, which consists of two main points namely identification and

description. In the identification stage student will simply introduce general

picture about what they are going to describe. Then in the description stage, they

will describe particular features of person or things, physical appearance, quality,

and behavior (Langan, 1993:9). The simplicity of the arrangement of descriptive

text is observation to object that is going to be described then synthesize the ideas

into text. Although the condition is so, students more likely find it difficult to

convey their thought. One of the problems is that they have limited ideas to

express (Huda, 2009:85) that makes them feel uncomfortable with the result of

their writing.

To help such kind of condition, there are some ways for teacher to teach

how students can arrange a good descriptive text. One of them is to make students

clearly imagine the thing, person, or situation they are going to describe. The

teacher can give some questions to direct students attention to the target object.

In this case, to help the students to compose their descriptive text, videos are used.

Concerning to the real practice in writing class, the effectiveness of using

video as a teaching media in writing a descriptive text is proven by Palupi (2014)

and Ulfah (2015). Both conducted their research to the same skill, media, and text

but with different strategy. Palupi focused on implementing Process Genre-Based

approach while Ulfah implemented Think-Pair-Share. Both conducted their

research in writing descriptive text by using video as the media. The finding
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showed that video has proven to be effective not only activating the students

prior knowledge but also showed that the students were very motivated and

enthusiastic.

Writing is a language skill, which is relatively difficult to acquire. A

number of efforts have been made to develop the students writing skill, among

others is by applying different approaches to the teaching of writing. Based on the

importance of teaching writing in the classroom, the teacher needs an effective

and interesting technique to solve it. The teacher proposes a certain technique to

solve the students difficulties in writing. The researcher is interested in using

interactive writing to improve the students writing skill. There are some reasons

why the researcher uses interactive writing. First, the students are provided some

sequence steps to support their ability to write words and phrases (Herrel and

Jordan, 2012: 169). The teacher leads the students through direct instruction in

writing English sentences related to the topic. The teacher starts writing

instruction with showing the video and doing the procedures of interactive

writing. Second, interactive writing adjust the task to the levels of individual

students. Interactive writing can easily be done in variety situation. The teacher

must aware the language development levels of the students, such as the students

understanding of English phonics, sentence structure phrases, and words.

Interactive writing is a collaborative writing experience for beginning

writers in which the teacher guides students in the group-writing of a large-print

text. Students participate in the composition and construction of the text by


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sharing the pen, physically and figuratively, with the teacher. The composition is

read and reread by the group to make the reading and writing connection.

In addition, interactive writing is an effective teaching technique. This

technique does not always require individual instruction. English learners can be

grouped for this process in order to adapt the students involvement based on their

language level and understanding of English writing. They can watch a video and

write about the video. Interactive writing is an activity that the students and

teacher create writing through board. The teacher assists the students to write the

text word by word on the board. All students participate in creating and writing

the text on the board, and they write the text on a white board. After writing,

students read and reread the text using shared and independent reading. Teacher

can use interactive writing to practice writing high-frequency words, spelling

skills, writing the text that the students cannot do independently and sharing their

writing with classmates.

Interactive writing follows a predictable sequence which reflects the

writing process (i.e., planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing).

Although the lesson is organized and structured (McCarrier et al., 2000: 72), it

holds both dynamic and organic aspects. Teachers adapt interactive writing to fit

their style and the writing needs of their students. The recommended sequence

that adapted from McCarrier et al. (2000: 73) is as follows: 1) Provide a base of

active learning experiences. The piece to be written is motivated and informed by

a shared classroom experience. There are many experiences that meet this

requirement, such as a video watched together, a book read together, the content
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studied in a science or social studies lesson, a math procedure the class is working

on, or a class field trip or school assembly, 2) Talk to establish purpose. The

teacher and the students consider the form and function of the writing. Together

they think about who the audience is, the overall message they want to convey,

and why it is important. For example, in response to a video that they have

watched, field trip they might decide to write a letter to thank the hosts, a retelling

to share their experience, or a report to share what they learned, 3) Compose the

text. The teacher and students discuss the specific content of the writing. Students

share their ideas as the teacher helps the class negotiate the precise language of

the text. During this phase, she provides instruction to support students' writing

development by synthesizing the ideas she hears from students, proposing

vocabulary or language that will advance the ideas, and, in some cases, ultimately

suggesting the final sentence based on their discussion. The teacher might also use

think-alouds to model for students why that sentence is most appropriate, 4)

Construct the text. The text is written on sentence strips or chart paper with an

innovative technique unique to interactive writing in which the teacher and

students take turns with the pen (or marker). The teacher writes some of the

message and then chooses students to write at points of high instructional value.

Students might contribute individual letters, letter clusters, whole words, or

punctuation. Editing of conventions is done either at point of error or at the end,

often by using correction tape to cover mistakes so that the final piece is in

publishable form. As in the compose phase, the teacher may often use think-

alouds to model specific points about the writing that are emerging in the lesson.

This thinking might address letter formation, spelling, spacing, or other important
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aspects, 5) Revisit the text to support word solving. After the message is complete,

the teacher helps the students to revisit a few of the instructional points

emphasized. The teacher asks students to continue interacting with the message to

find examples of principles explicitly taught during the lesson. She might ask

someone to come up and find a word that ends with the -ing sound or a word with

a capital letter. The review often ends with the teacher briefly summarizing what

is learned about the craft and conventions of writing; for example, Today we

used a question for our lead. It was a good choice because it will immediately get

our audience interested in our writing. We also focused on adding -ed to words to

show the story already happened. The teacher uses the opportunity of having a

text in which all students have ownership to reinforce key writing principles that

the students will use in their own writing, 6) Extend the learning. The class

continues to use the completed writing piece as an instructional tool. For example,

the teacher might mount the writing to make a class book or mural that the

students can reread regularly, or she might share the writing with families in a

newsletter. Students may also write similar pieces on their own. Students often

illustrate final pieces with collages, photographs, or other forms of art that match

the style of writing.

The advantages of implementing interactive writing in teaching writing

that stated by McCarrier et al. (2000: 8-9) are as follows: 1) Students become

apprentices, working alongside a more expert writer, 2) Everyone in the group

sees the process of producing a piece of writing, 3) Students who read and write

very little independently have a chance to see themselves as readers and writers,

4) Students have a sense of control and ownership over the text, 5) Students gain
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knowledge that can be used to create other texts, f) Students think about audiences

for their writing, g) Most importantly, students have fun doing it.

The fact that implementing Interactive Writing in teaching writing is

relatively effective has also been identified by some researchers (Marconi: 2002,

Jones: 2008, and Kronenberg: 2014). They found that Interactive Writing was

considered as an effective strategy to improve students writing ability because it

is a comprehensive approach to writing instruction. The struggling students

showed great growth in their independent writing ability. The researchers also

revealed that student engagement is a primary dement in teaching young learners

to read and write. Since these reciprocal tasks are social constructs, instructional

techniques that support the primary student within a group setting continue to

evolve. The studies above have proven that the experimental group with

Interactive Writing gets better achievement than the control group. In addition,

Button et al (1996: 454) concluded that interactive writing provides a means for

teachers to engage in effective in effective literacy instruction, not through

isolated skills lesson, but within the framework of constructing texts filled with

personal and collective meaning. They also stated that interactive writing provides

opportunities for teachers to engage in instruction precisely at the point of student

need. Roth & Dabrowski (2016) explained that interactive writing fits within

teachers literacy framework, regardless of the grade taught. Moreover, it can be

implemented with students of all ages and grades.

However, there will be some differences between the previous study and

this study. The three researches above use an experimental method while in this
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study the researcher will use Classroom Action Research and utilize videos as

media in the implementation of the strategy. Further, the existences of the

previous studies give appropriate contribution in the theoretical foundation to the

present study.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Based on the background of the study, the research question formulated as

follow; how can interactive writing be implemented to improve the students

writing skill to the first graders of SMKN 1 Wonorejo Pasuruan?

1.3 Objective of the Study

In accordance with the statement of the problem above, this research is

intended to describe how interactive writing can be implemented to improve the

students writing skill to the first graders of SMKN 1 Wonorejo Pasuruan.

1.4 Significance of the Study

This research has both theoretical and practical contribution to the teaching

English and teaching writing particular. For theoretical contribution, this research

provides new insights and additional explanation concerning interactive writing

for teaching writing subject and its implementation. The findings of this research

can be beneficial for English teachers and future researchers.

For English teachers, the findings of the research give the alternative

technique of teaching writing at school. It is expected that the result of this

research can be used to develop and enrich the technique of the teaching technique

especially in writing.
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For future researchers, the finding could be as supporting reference in

conducting the research with similar field and give a useful consideration to

develop further research. They can develop the research based on this research

result.

1.5 Delimitation of the Study

This research focuses on the implementation of interactive writing in

improving the students writing skill, which is conducted at the X TKJ 1 students

of SMKN 1 Wonorejo at 2016/2017 academic year. Even though the four

language skills are taught in an integrated way at the vocational high school, the

researcher is only focusing on how to improve the students writing skill by using

interactive writing. The students writing activities are limited in producing

descriptive text especially in describing people.

1.6 Definition of Key Terms

In this research, the researcher needs to specify some key terms to avoid

misunderstanding and misinterpretation. They are as follows:

1. Writing skill

Writing Skill is the students ability to express and organize the ideas and

thoughts in written form effectively

2. Interactive writing

Interactive writing is one of the scaffolding techniques to enhance the

students ability to organize the ideas and thoughts in written form. It is

developed to create a descriptive text.