Using as a Material to Te

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Using as a Material to Teach English

Vocabulary Course at Senior High School






Abstrak Berbahasa Indonesia dan Inggris


Artikel ini bertujuan untuk memaparkan salah satu materi pengajaran Vocabulary di Sekolah Menengah Atas (SMA) dengan menggunakan situs Situs ini menyuguhkan fitur-fitur menarik dalam



Artkel ini bertujuan untuk memaparkan salah satu materi pengajaran Vocabulary di Sekolah Menengah Atas (SMA) dengan menggunakan situs Situs ini menyuguhkan fitur-fitur menarik dalam

mempelajari kosakata bahasa Inggris. Di awal pelajaran, guru menarik perhatian siswa untuk belajar dengan memberikan pertanyaan-pertanyaan mengenai penggunaan internet bagi siswa terutama di bidang pendidikan. Selanjutnya, guru mengenalkan situs dan mengajarkan siswa tentang fungsi serta cara-cara mendaftar sebagai anggota di situs ini. Guru membagi siswa ke dalam beberapa kelompok dan menunjuk seorang ketua pada setiap kelompok. Guru menciptakan sebuah kompetisi dimana setiap kelompok diberikan tantangan untuk mendaftarkan semua anggotanya ke dalam situs ini dan menjawab sepuluh pertanyaan bagi setiap anggota. Kata-kata baru yang anggota dapatkan, dicatat dalam buku catatan masing-masing. Di akhir pelajaran, guru menyuruh siswa untuk menjawab pertanyaan serta melaporkan kosa kata yang didapat di dalam situs di rumah secara individu. Tentu saja, dengan menggunakan situs ini dalam pengajaran bahasa Inggris, siswa akan lebih termotivasi dan menghilangkan anggapan bahwa belajar kosakata bahasa Inggris itu membosankan dan sulit. Guru juga akan terbantu dalam menciptakan suasana belajar yang lebih menarik.

Kata kunci: site, vocabulary, group, questions.

1The writer, English Department’s student of Padang State University, Graduation of



Vocabulary as one of language components is important for the students to be learned. Hornby (1986) states that vocabulary is the word in a language, in which all

the words are known by someone and used in the books, subject, and so forth. It means that limited vocabulary impairs personal ability in using language. In addition, Richard and Renandya (2002) state that vocabulary is a core component of speaking,

listening, reading, and writing. Thus, it shows how important vocabulary is.

The students can get many advantages by building and improving vocabulary.

First, they can improve their speaking skills. If they speak with the limited vocabulary and use the same words repeatedly, the listener will be very bored, but if

they have much vocabulary, speaking in English will be interesting for both of them. Second, many students find it easier in getting ideas on reading because they understand the meaning of the words that they read. Third, the students can find it

easy in listening English because they have much vocabulary, so it can make them understand what the speaker says. Last, they can write well because with much

vocabulary they can develop their ideas.

In Genre-based approach, teaching vocabulary is integrated in teaching language skills; reading, speaking, listening, and writing. In this paper, the writer is


need to know various genre or kinds of text (procedure, descriptive, recount, narrative, report, news item, analytical exposition, hortatory exposition, spoof,

explanation, discussion, and review texts). The students should master all of the kinds of texts by learning in the classroom.

In fact, learning those kinds of texts is difficult for senior high school’s students. The problems in learning vocabulary happened because of some factors. It can happen because the students seldom read English or do not read English a lot and

they did not want to find the meaning of the vocabulary items. On the other hand, the students said that learning new words in English are not interesting because the

teacher tends to use translation method. For example in reading, the teacher asks the students to translate words from L2 (foreign language) to L1 (first language) while reading the text. It is not good for them because it just makes the students bored and

passive because they just have to memorize the words and the meaning.

The media is also one of problems in teaching reading. It plays an important

role to the students in reading. However, the teacher still uses a traditional media in the learning process. The teacher just gives some explanation from the textbook or

LKS (Lembaran Kerja Siswa) and distributes pieces of paper to the student. The teacher only distributes the texts and askes the students to read silently for several minutes, and then do some exercise by themselves. Finally, the teacher checked the

answer together with the students and collected the exercises. As a result, they cannot explore the text too much. The media are not varied, activity is monotonous, and


the students do not understand a passage very well. They do not understand what they read because of lack of vocabulary. This causes the students do not get good

mark at the end of the lesson. It can be concluded that the media do not give good results.

The other problems come from reading materials. The teacher should choose

the materials which are relevant with the students’ need and interest to understand a

reading passage well, but the teacher does not do it. The teaching materials given to

the students are not appropriate to the students’ level, need, and ability. Even, it contains new difficult vocabulary that cannot be understood by the students.

Therefore, the students will be difficult to understand the text.

To overcome these problems, the teacher should give an interesting media and material in their teaching, in order to make the students get a good

comprehension in reading. It is important to introduce them about using a new material like sites on reading activity in order to make them easier to learn

vocabulary. The site is it will help them in understanding vocabulary. This site provides the users especially for the teacher and the students

some features in learning vocabulary which are easy to understand and fun to do. It makes the vocabulary learning become more interesting, fresh, and fun.

Language has three components. They are structure, pronunciation and


provides much of the basis for how well learners speak, listen, read, and write. In addition, Thornbury (2002) states that without grammar, very little can be talked and

delivered but without vocabulary, nothing can be talked. It means that vocabulary is a very important thing in communication. Without vocabulary, it is impossible for

someone to master the language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing)

Vocabulary is the collection of words that individual knows, but there are many linguists offer different definitions of vocabulary in different views. Marsheffel

(1969:25) states that vocabulary is the total number of words individual knows. It also helps students to improve their background knowledge and comprehension of

academic content.

Hornby (1986:419) states that vocabulary is the total number of words which

(with rules for combining them) make up a language. According to Templeton (2004:1) vocabulary is the sum of words used by, understood by, or at the command of a particular person or group. Vocabulary is not only sign of symbol for ideas but

also a part of how to improve language skills in the target language. The more vocabulary students learn the more ideas they should have, so they can communicate

by using their ideas more effectively.

Furthermore, Gutlohn (2006:1) explains that vocabulary is the knowledge of words and word meanings. Vocabulary is not something that can ever be fully


Instruction in vocabulary involves far more than looking up words in a dictionary and using the words in a sentence.

Before teaching vocabulary, the material of vocabulary given to the students

should be suitable with their condition. It depends on students’ level and specific

purpose of teaching. In teaching vocabulary it is hoped that the four skills; writing, reading, listening and speaking can be improved because the purpose to improve the students vocabulary is to develop or improve the four skills.

In the senior high school English teaching, vocabulary learning is an important component. According to Bauman (1991:7) words are the tools we use to

access our background knowledge, express ideas, and learn about new concepts. The

students’ word knowledge is linked strongly to academic success. Specifically, word

knowledge is crucial to reading comprehension, and determines how well students will be able to comprehend the texts they read in the upper elementary grades in the middle and high school, and in college.

According to curriculum KTSP 2006, teaching English at senior high school, the teacher teaches transactional, interpersonal, short functional text, monologue and

essays of certain genres. The genres for senior high school’s level include:

procedure, descriptive, recount, narrative, report, news item, analytical exposition, hortatory exposition, spoof, explanation, discussion, and review texts. In order to

(10) is a site that is made by Ben Zimmer. He is executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus and Ben Zimmer made to

provide the users whom have problems in learning vocabulary at school, daily life and also in work place. It is also useful for the teachers to help them in teaching

vocabulary at school. There is no limitation of age to register into this site. Everyone who has problems in vocabulary and need something fun and more sophisticated, they can sign up or make their own account in it. This site is an appropriate way to

solve people’s problems especially for the teacher and students in learning

vocabulary (vocabulary, Feb, 2012). has some interesting features to interact its users. According to Zimmer (2011), there six main part of this site, they are:

1. The Challenge

The heart of The Challenge is more than 40,000 vocabulary questions that are designed to evaluate and teach vocabulary words. Each question tests a particular

meaning of a word, provides helpful hints, and is followed by an explanation of the correct answer. Many studies have shown that the best way to learn is through

multiple exposures to a word, with challenging questions that make the users think.

When the students answer questions, this site begins to compile a list of words to learn. If they get a question wrong or choose to use a hint, the word is added to the


have mastered that word. If the students answer enough questions correctly on a word that they are learning, it means that they have mastered it. They can see the

progress on one of the words they are learning in the small bar graph next to the

word. Once you’ve mastered a word, the bar turns

After the students answer questions correctly and learn words, they earn points. And as they earn more points, they are assigned a badge that represents their level. The students can find out more about how they are doing by clicking on the My

Progress tab. From there they will see charts on overall progress, as well as progress on any individual word.

The students can choose the level in this site. There are some levels from the lowest until the highest level. The lowest level will provide the students with easy

questions to be answered. it will be more difficult if the students choose the next

level. It is appropriate for the Senior High School students to choose “novice level”

because the questions are not too hard and not too easy to be answered.

2. The Dictionary

The dictionary is designed to be the fastest, most useful

English dictionary in the world. Unlike most online dictionaries, it wants the students


or how many pages they view. In fact, they always find the word that they need after typing it only in one or two letters.

3. Vocabulary List

A Vocabulary List is what it sounds like, a list of Vocabulary words. It’s easy

to make them, share them, and comment on them. It is contain with the words that the users get from the challenge that they did before.

4. My Profile

From the “My Profile” page, other users will see all your comments, any

vocabulary lists that you’ve made public and various personal items that you provide

when you edit your profile. These include a personal description as well as your most and least favorite word. You'll also see a list of all of your achievements.

5. My Progress

In the My Progress section, the default view shows all of the words you are learning. These are all words that you are making progress on in The Challenge

game, sorted by progress. You can also sort by reverse progress, date started, alphabetical, reverse alphabetical, and last played.


Go to the My Account page. Under the Account Information tab, the users can change their email address, password, and name and any other personal information.

In addition, Zimmer (2012) mentions there are some advantages of first, takes cue from vocabulary education experts,

good teachers who know how to introduce their students to words that are not only interesting and challenging, but that are also likely to appear in texts students read as they proceed through school. Teachers chose these words to give students the most

bang for their buck. Second, seeks out these bang-giving words as well. It trawls newspapers, the internet, and contemporary and classic literature

looking not just for which words appear, but for how often. From these words, it creates a pool to teach on the site. Then, it uses the technology behind it to create a

customized subset of that pool. These are words that the users do not know, but are likely to see repeatedly out in the world.


In order to achieve successful in teaching vocabulary using this site, English teacher should do some preparations. They are:

1. Material

The teacher has to prepare the material that is going to be taught because material is fundamental component in teaching. The material should be appropriate


suitable with curriculum. In this case, as a website is used as material in teaching vocabulary.

2. Media Preparation

Using media in teaching and learning process really helps teachers. The

media should be appropriate with material and interesting for students. Here, using as a material in teaching vocabulary uses personal computer that is connected with internet service as a main media. The learning process can be done in

computer laboratory or classroom. If the teacher choose classroom as the learning’s

location, he or she must ask the students to bring their own personal computer

(laptop) at least five units in one class. They can use school’s internet wireless

(WIFI) or using internet modem in order to connect to internet access. Other kinds of media in learning process are screen and infocus. They will be used to display all the

processes related to in power point form. 3. Lesson Plan

The teacher needs to make lesson plan after preparing material and media in order to guide them during teaching and learning process. When creating the lesson

plan, the teacher should write subject, school, class and semester, the skills to be taught, topic and time.

The lesson plan should also include standard competence and basic


1. Pre Teaching

In this phase, the teacher greets students, checks the student’s readiness to study,

checks attendant list and builds knowledge of the students. The teacher activates their background knowledge of the students by asking them some questions about their

experiences on using internet. The teachers can ask these following questions: 1. Have you ever used the internet?

2. What sites do you open when you use the internet?

3. Have you ever used the sites to study especially English vocabulary? 4. Have you ever heard about

5. What kinds of site it is?

6. Do you want to know how this site helps you to learn about vocabulary?

The questions above can be supported by showing the students some pictures about popular sites like facebook, twitter, etc. Those questions will activate their

background knowledge about using the internet and gain their interest in answering the questions given to them. The students will feel curious and want the teacher

explain it to them.

2. Whilst Teaching


In this step, the teacher explains all the things about the site. The teacher tells the students about the creator, functions, features and the activities they can do in this

site. The teacher can open link and display it on the

screen. The students can see how the site looks like while listening the teacher’s

explanations about it.

b. Making an account in

When a new user signs up to, he/she has to fill the form with

some items. The items contain the new member identity, and email address. The most important thing that anyone wants to have account is having

an email address. It means that, everyone who wants to have an account on this site have to make or have e-mail address before registering into it. After signing up, the

site will automatically send verification to the new user’s email. Next, the new user

has to verify his or her account from email for the first log in.

After the teacher demonstrates to the students the way to sign up and log in,

he or she makes a competition in the classroom. There are two main activities on this competition. They are:

1. The teacher divides the students into some groups which contain 5 members per each group with one leader. Each group should sign up all the member into the group and the leader write the username and the

password of each member in a piece of paper. After all of the members

has their own account the leader of group collects his or her friend’s


2. The teacher asks each group to answer the questions on the challenge Every group answers at least ten questions and pay attention to the

meanings of the new word from the site. They should write them into their notebook. The group which can answer the questions and write the

meaning faster will be the winner of the competition. The competition is ended by discussing the new words that the groups got from the site.

The teacher’s role is to guide, control, and gives the score of the competition.

He or she walks around the classroom and checks the students’ work. The teacher

creates a competition by using the site without decrease the function of the teacher

itself. In short, the teacher has the biggest role of the lesson activities. He or she explains all the information about the site, creates the competition, gives the

instructions of the competition, controls and also gives the score of the group’s work.

3. Post Teaching

In this phase, the teacher asks students to answer the questions in “the challenge”

individually, but it will be homework for the students because of the limited time in teaching and learning process. The teacher asks every student to answer 20 questions

at home and report all of the new words they get in the next meeting. It will make the students continue to learn about English vocabulary and understand the new words at home. The teacher summarizes the lesson and closes the class.


Based on previous discussion, it can be concluded that in order to help the students to enrich their vocabulary, the teacher should pay more attention to material,

media and activities in the class. The teacher is expected to be a good teacher in facilitating the learning process. He or she should be able to create some activities

that can help students to understand what they are learning. with its features can be used as a material to teach vocabulary at senior high school. This choice aims to find a new and interesting

material to teach English vocabulary. It helps the students to learn new vocabulary items through The Challenge feature as the main part of this site. They can answer

some questions based on their level which provide some new words to be learned. Therefore, is one of alternative material that can help either teacher in teaching vocabulary or students in enriching their vocabulary.

In order to make the students eager in studying English, especially in vocabulary, writer would like to give some suggestions that may be useful for

English teachers. Writer wants to recommend English teacher to use appropriate methods in teaching vocabulary than the traditional one (the teacher only teaches the

students by English textbook and later ask students to answer those questions, which

relate with the topic that is being taught) because today’s education demands the

teacher to be attractive and creative in learning process. In addition, the teacher


vocabulary. It is suggested using as one of material that can be used in teaching English vocabulary. It can be implemented out of classroom by using

computer desktop, laptop connected to internet, or certain type of hand phone. Hopefully, the teacher would use this site to increase the student’s interest and

motivation in learning English vocabulary.

Note: this article is compiled based on the writer’s paper with his advisor Dr.

Refnaldi, M.Litt.


Bauman, J. F. 1991. Research on Vocabulary Instruction. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Depdiknas. 2006. Standar Isi Mata Pelajaran Bahasa Inggris Sekolah

Menengah Atas (SMA) dan Madarasah Aliyah (MA). Jakarta:


Gutlohn, Linda. 2006. Teaching Vocabulary. University of Florida Press. U.S.A.

Hornby, A. S. 1986. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current

English. New York: Oxford University Press.

Marsheffel, J. 1969. Vocabulary. Columbia, Journal of Reading.


Richard, J. C. And W. A Renandya. 2002. Methodology in Language

Teaching: An Anthology of Current Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press.

Templeton, Shane. 2004. Teaching and Developing Vocabulary. Litho in U. S. A: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Thornburry, Scott. 2002. How to Teach Vocabulary. London: Longman Group Limited.

Zimmer, Ben. 2011. What is Retrieved on February. 2012 from




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