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ACTION RESEARCH

Researchers Names : FARAH BINTI HASABAN & SITI NABILA BINTI AINUDDIN
Panel : BAHASA INGGERIS
Research Title : THE USE OF ENIKKI@ ILLUSTRATED DIARY (VIA TEF
TEMPLATE) TO IMPROVE PUPILS WRITING SKILLS IN
MALAYSIAN PRIMARY SCHOOL
School : SK LKTP TENGGAROH 04,86810 MERSING, JOHOR

ABSTRACT

Diary writing is noted as one of the writing activities that teachers could embed in their language
lessons. It permits a language learner to share his or her account of life experience with the readers.
In L2 setting such as in Malaysia, L2 diary writing is not made compulsory at school, but rather is
proposed voluntarily as an enrichment language activity. As the researcher tried to conduct a diary
writing task in class, it was shocking to discover majority of the pupils were incapable at relating
their daily occurrence through a simple writing. Therefore, it inspired the researcher to conduct a
study pertaining to the use of diary writing with illustration @ Enikki to improve pupils L2
writing. The study investigated whether the use of diary writing with illustrations can help to
improve primary school pupils writing skills and whether it can help to enhance pupils ability to
illustrate creatively as a compliment to the diary entries made. Two classes of one Level 1 class
(Year 3 pupils ) and one Level 2 class(Year 4pupils) involved in this study. In conducting the
study, the researcher adopted an experimental design which included the use of pretest and posttest
on diary writing. The result of the test showed that there are differences made by pupils after
posttest as compared to pretest. Thus, it can be concluded that diary writing with illustrations can
improve pupils writing skills and enhance their ability to showcase creative illustrations to
compliment their diary entries.

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ACTION RESEARCH

INTRODUCTION

Due to its versatility and universal-trait, diary writing can be introduced to learners as early as
primary Year 1 to tertiary level. Some studies (Chanderasegaran, 2002; Spaventa, 2000; and Hamp
and Heasley, 2006) surmised that diary writing had a significant impact in the essence in learners
writing as they shown ability to recall, express, and reflect personal opinions, feelings, and hopes
in their entries. Such attributes require the learner to use accurate choice of pronouns and words to
express feelings, thoughts, and to do reflection on the described occurrence. These positive
attributes to learners have inspired this research to be carried out.

1. REFLECTION:

This year, I was entrusted to teach Year 3, Year 4, and Year 6. Professionally, I have always
been interested to learn more about their life experience as it would help me to understand
them better as an individual. However, I discovered that majority of my pupils faced great
difficulty to write a diary entry that includes themselves as the subject (see Appendix 1).
Majority of the pupils were incapable at:

-using accurate choice of pronouns while describing own accounts of events,


-describing clearly the time of events,
- expressing feelings and thoughts on the events,
-doing own reflection on the account of events.

This problem was derived during in-class writing exercise I conducted during English
lessons. Pupils seemed too attached to worksheet exercise that has pictures as an aid for
them to write about. Therefore, they found that a writing activity comprises a diary entry
about their own account of experience a very difficult task to do.

Such problem may have been rooted from their rigid usage of L2 writing that focuses on
essay writing practice, but not the practical use of English in realistic writing.

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2.RESEARCH FOCUS:

Based on the above reflection, the objectives of this research are outlined as such:

3. OBJECTIVE OF RESEARCH:

3.1 General objectives:

The aim of the study is to help pupils to write about their experience, feelings, and
anecdotes in their life confidently through 3-TEF( Time-Event-Feelings)
template.

On top of that, pupils who are very good at arts are able to showcase their
prowess by producing fantastic illustrations to convey their stories, besides a
written excerpt about them.

3.2 Specific objectives:

1. Pupils are able to experiment using simple and compound structures while
making attempt at completing their enikki@ diary-writing.

2. Pupils are able to refine their writing skill and able to produce quality essays
involving themselves as the subject,

3. Pupils are capable at expressing themselves creatively via colorful illustrations


which will engage the readers and creative art enthusiasts.

This research has involved an English Teacher, a Year 3 class (Level 1) comprises 18
pupils and a Year 4 class (Level 2) comprises 20 pupils.

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4. PLANNING STAGE

In order to collect data for my research, I plan to do the following actions :

1. Pretest : Diary writing activity ( with no template, no illustration provided)


2. Treatment : Diary writing (with TEF template and illustrations)
3. Posttest : Diary writing task with illustrations@ Enikki contest, exhibition

*Note: All of the above activities are classified as individual work

The recommended actions are as follows:

i) Activity 1 : Individual work ( Pretest )

Step 1 Pupils receive A4 paper from teacher


Step 2 Teacher give instruction on diary writing task
Step 3 Pupils write the diary entry (with no given template , no illustration)
Step 4 Pupils submit work done.

ii) Activity 2: Individual work (Treatment)

Step 1 Pupils receive A4 paper from teacher


Step 2 Teacher give instruction on diary writing task
Step 3 Pupils write the diary entry (with TEF template , illustration)
Step 4 Pupils submit work done.

iii) Activity 3 : Individual Work (Posttest)

Step 1 Pupils receive A4 paper from teacher


Step 2 Teacher give instruction on diary writing task
Step 3 Pupils write the diary entry (with TEF template , illustration)

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Step 4 Pupils submit work done.


Step 5 Teacher evaluates, display pupils work, choose best work as winner

5. ACTION

The actions that I had carried out are as follows:


i) Activity 1 : Individual work ( Pretest )

Step 1 Pupils receive A4 paper from teacher


Step 2 Teacher give instruction on diary writing task
Step 3 Pupils write the diary entry (with no given template, no illustration)
Step 4 Pupils submit work done.

On my observation, this activity had been useful at tracking the pupils weaknesses in writing
with themselves as the subject. Besides that, it also made clear about the pupils tendency at
using inaccurate pronouns, having limited choice of words describing feelings, having limited
share of personal thoughts, and having a lacking evidence of self-reflection.

On reflection, this activity had been an eye-opener as it helped me realized the pupils faced
huge difficulty to illustrate their daily events in writing (See Appendix 1)

i) Activity 2: Individual work (Treatment)

Step 1 Pupils receive A4 paper from teacher


Step 2 Teacher give instruction on diary writing task
Step 3 Pupils write the diary entry (with TEF template , illustration)
Step 4 Pupils submit work done.

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On my observation, this activity had contributed to pupils having more control at their diary-
writing as they were referring to TEF (Time-Events-Feelings) template while sharing snippets
of their daily occurrence in the diary entry. They had a lot of fun drawing pictures, which
illustrated the events in the diary entry, and coloring them creatively. Majority of pupils admitted
they wished to have a knack at drawing their own pictures neatly as the best they could do is
drawing people with sticks as hands and legs!

On reflection, this activity had proven useful at training and helping the pupils gaining
awareness about the proper outline of a diary entry via TEF template. More control was
shown in their usage of accurate pronouns (i.e. I, me, my, my) that was related with themselves as
the subject, better choice of expressions describing feelings, thoughts and there was attempts made
at illustrating self-reflection. (See Appendix 2 and 3)

i) Activity 3 : Individual Work (Posttest)

Step 1 Pupils receive A4 paper from teacher


Step 2 Teacher give instruction on diary writing task
Step 3 Pupils write the diary entry (with TEF template, illustration)
Step 4 Pupils submit work done.
Step 5 Teacher evaluates, display pupils work, choose best work as winner

On my observation, this activity had shown potential in guiding the pupils to be independent
at illustrating their own diary entry on any theme provided by the teacher. The TEF template
served its purpose at helping them to cultivate independency in pupils as they composed their
diary-writing task. Besides, the pupils have shown progress at pinpointing accurate pronouns-
usage and were more at ease at choosing a range of language expressions learnt in class to portray
vividly their life occurrence.

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ACTION RESEARCH

On reflection, this activity was definitely handy for teachers as pupils had shown more
independency, control, and confidence in reporting their experience via variety of L2 structures..
For pupils, they managed at completing their diary entry at ease as they could refer to TEF template
themselves without relying on teachers guidance all the time. Besides, they shared a lot of fun by
commenting each other illustrations and helped the teacher to pick the winner for the class Enikki
contest and for class display too! ( See Appendix 4)

6. OBSERVATION

In this study, it had revealed that the use of Enikki @ diary writing with illustrations can help
pupils (both in Level 1& 2) improving their writing skills significantly, with the aid of TEF (Time-
Event-Feelings) template and complimented by colorful illustrations that portrayed the events in
the diary-entry.
It also served as an avenue for pupils who are passionate in drawing and coloring to share their
prowess in depicting the diary events creatively with the rest of the class.

The outcome of this study was Enikki@ diary writing with colorful illustrations had proven its
strengths as a way teachers could use in teaching L2 writing that requires children to include
themselves as the subject in the writing task. Furthermore, teachers could rest assured for the hustle
to inculcate independent writing could be achieved as the TEF (Time-Event-Feelings) template
serves as a tool aid for pupils to refer to as they compose their diary entry.

To surmise, the whole process in conducting the study on the use of Enikki to enhance pupils
writing skills had been a rewarding experience. It is hoped that this sharing of positive findings
via the TEF template and the pupils creative, colorful illustrations showcase will boost teachers
motivation to engage pupils at making progress in their L2 learning experience.

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Appendices

Appendix 1 : A pre-writing Enikki

Appendix 2: A post-writing Enikki using 3-TEF template.

Appendix 3: A sample of Level 2 (Year 4) Enikki

Appendix 4: A sample of a chosen winner for Enikki contest

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Appendix 1 : A pre-writing Enikki

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Appendix 2: A post-writing Enikki using 3-TEF template.

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Appendix 3: A sample of Level 2 (Year 4) Enikki

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Appendix 4: A sample of a chosen winner for Enikki contest

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