THE IMPLEMENTATION OF LANGUAGE
IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM IN UPLIFTING
STUDENTS’ WRITING ABILITY
(A Case of Study in 7th
grade of MTs Bilingual Pucang Sidoarjo)
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the degree of
Sarjana Pendidikan (S. Pd) in Teaching English
Andyna Rakhma Ilahi
ENGLISH TEACHER EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
FACULTY OF EDUCATION AND TEACHERS TRAINING
SUNAN AMPEL STATE ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY
Ilahi, Andyna Rakhma. 2016. The Implementation of Language Improvement
Program in Uplifting Students’ Writing Ability (A Case of Study in 7th grade of MTs Bilingual Pucang Sidoarjo). A Thesis. English Education Department, Faculty of Education and Teacher Training, Sunan Ampel State Islamic
University, Surabaya. Advisor: Dra. Hj. Arba’iyah YS., MA
Key words: Implementation, Language Improvement Program, Uplift, Writing Ability
Writing is the productive skill and also the important skill among four English skills. Most of people who study English as their foreign language feel difficult in this skill, because writers should think hard in producing words, sentences, even paragraphs at the same time. It considered difficult because the writer should be mastered in writing aspects such as content, organization, purpose, vocabulary, grammar, spelling and punctuation. In MTs Bilingual Pucang Sidoarjo, there is a compulsory extracurricular program named Language Improvement. Language improvement program aimed to
improve students’ English and Arabic ability.
This study focused on English writing activity in Language Improvement program. The aim of this study is to know the implementation of Language Improvement
program and to know whether this program improve students’ writing ability or not.
Descriptive qualitative were used as research method in this study. To know whether
this program improve students’ writing ability or not, the researcher used the student’
writing mark from the test before and after joining the program. The subject of study is 31 students from seventh grade students of MTs Bilingual Pucang Sidoarjo. Observation checklist was used to know the implementation of this program and
students’ writing score to know the improvement between pre-test and post-test, it used writing rubric assessment by Brown.
After analyzing the data, the researcher found that this program can support the
TABLE OF CONTENT
TITLE SHEET ... i
ADVISOR APPROVAL SHEET... ii
APPROVAL SHEET ... iii
MOTTO ... iv
DEDICATION SHEET ...v
ABSTRACT ... vi
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ... vii
PERNYATAAN KEASLIAN TULISAN ... ix
TABLE OF CONTENT ...x
LIST OF TABLES ... xii
LIST OF CHARTS... xiii
LIST OF APPENDICES ... xiv
CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION ...1
A. Background of Study ...1
B. Statement of Problem ...6
C. Objectives of Study ...6
D. Significance of Study ...6
E. Scope and Limitation of Study ...7
F. Definition of Key Terms ...8
CHAPTER II: REVIEW RELATED LITERATURE ...10
A. The Previous Study...10
B. Theoretical Review ...15
1. Writing ...15
b. Types of Writing Taught in Junior High School ...19
c. Process of Writing ...21
d. Students’ Difficulties in Writing ...23
e. The Way to Improve Students’ Writing Skill ...25
2. Descriptive Writing ...28
a. Definition of Descriptive Text ...28
b. The Generic Structure of Descriptive Text ...29
3. Teaching Writing ...30
CHAPTER IV: RESEARCH FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION ...47
A. Research Findings ...47
1. The Implementation of Language Improvement Program ...47
2. Language Improvement Program Uplifts Students’ Writing Ability ...52
CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTION ...61
A. Conclusion ...61
B. Suggestion ...62
This chapter discusses about the background of study, statement of problem,
objectives of study, the significance of study, scope and limitation of study, and the
definition of key terms.
A. Background of Study
Human is social being which cannot live alone without any help from
others, they need other people and social environment for their socialization
tool, and they use them as a media interaction. In order to make a good
socialization easily, they should able to communicate in a good way. The
communication tool here called “language”.
Based on Oxford Learner’s Pocket Dictionary, language is a system of
communication in speech and writing used by people of a particular country.1
According Susan Dostert, language can be used to refer to a variety of
concepts or things. It means that language is the way people expressing their
thought. According to Charles W. Kreidler, language is a system of symbols
through which people communicate.2 The symbols may be spoken, written, or
signed with the hand. In short, language is form of words which used by
people in a country area or social group. They used language to communicate
1Oxford Learner’s Pocket Dictionary fourth edition (2008), 247
each other in sharing ideas, feeling and information both in written and
There are many languages in this world; one of them is English
language. English language becomes prime language in the world. And most
of citizen use English language as second language to communicate with other
people from other country. Mastering in English language can make us easy
to communicate with people from different country. Not only that, mastering
in English language can help us to continue our study or find a job overseas.
So, learning English language is very important in this era. But, some of
non-English citizen like Indonesia feels difficult in learning non-English language,
especially in four English basic skills, such as listening, reading, speaking and
writing, since they do not use English language as their daily language. In
addition, English is used extensively by people who do not use it when
speaking or writing to their compatriots.3 It means that, for non-English
citizen, English language will be difficult because they are not use English as
their daily language.
One of the important English basic skills is writing and it is the one of
the productive skill besides speaking skill, it is also the final step in learning
English language. Most of people who study English as their foreign language
feel difficult in this skill, because writers should think hard in producing
words, sentences, even paragraphs at the same time. Jack C. Richard and
Willy A. Renandya argued that writing is the most difficult skill for second
language learners to master. The difficulty lies not only in generating and
organizing ideas, but also in translating these ideas into readable text.4 They
think that mastering writing is not easy; finding the ideas to be written in
readable text is difficult. Finding the information that the readers need and
make them interested in our writing is also difficult thing in writing.
The explanation above showed why learning English language is
important for our life and mastering in English language is not easy for Asian
country like Indonesia. So, Indonesia government chooses English as the first
foreign language to be taught at the formal school.5 Schools have an important
role with the students’ knowledge. In Indonesia, English language already
taught in school from kindergarten by drilling some vocabularies, until senior
high school by understanding its structure and context. Teachers also do their
best in delivering their knowledge to the students in order to uplift their
learning, especially in English language which is important subject. But some
students still have difficult in understanding this language and they cannot
apply this language in real world.
By those problems, most of schools make their efforts to uplift
students’ English language skill. Some schools choose to use English
language as daily language in speaking or explaining, some of them were
Jack C. Richard - Willy A. Renandya, Metodology in Language Teaching: An Anthology of current Practice (New York, Cambridge University Press:2002), 303
adding more time in English subject and some others make an extracurricular
program out of students’ daily schedule which focused on English language.
And for MTs Bilingual Pucang, since they are bilingual school, they
choose to use English and Arabic language for daily speaking and explaining
lesson and also they have an extracurricular program for uplift students’
English language ability. Based on Faye Arco, the counselor who started
SKATERS program said that "Participation in extracurricular and school club
activities increases resiliency in youth by promoting protective factors and
reducing risk factors”.6 It means by Extracurricular can make teenager enjoy
their youth by good activity and reduce bad factors. Extracurricular activities
may uplift students’ abilities outside the class, such as sports, English club,
scout, etc. Extracurricular activities can be defined as learners’ activities that
fall outside the normal curriculum of educational institution7. It means that
extracurricular is the additional program to uplift students’ knowledge about
prime subject in normal curriculum of education.
MTs Bilingual Pucang has an extracurricular program named
Language Improvement which has many activities that can uplift students’
ability in English language, especially in 4 Basic English skills. Between
those four skills, most of students find many difficulties in their writing
6 Iowa College Students Aid Commission, The Importance of Extracurricular Activities for Teens. (https://goo.gl/TjluYg, 2009, Accessed on January 7, 2016)
activities. But many practices make perfect, by understanding and practicing
much, we can make it easier. Some students argued that by joining this
program, they start to enjoy writing activity.
The seventh grade is the fresh students which come from different
school and also different ability, especially in English language skill. Many
students must come from state elementary school which is not focus on
language and they have different comprehension and skill level towards
English language. They will face the difficulties with English language. And
in this MTs Bilingual Pucang, they should speak and understand the lesson by
bilingual; English and Arabic. Therefore, this school has an extracurricular to
uplift students’ language skill. And hoped this program will uplift students’
comprehension about English language.
Based on background above, the writer conducted a research for
seventh grade students. To know whether the implementation of language
improvement program can uplift the students’ writing ability or not and also
the implementation of language improvement program in uplifting students’
writing ability, the writer puts the research under the title “The
Implementation of Language Improvement Program to Uplift Students’
B. Statement of Problem
Based on background above, the research problems that will be observed in
this study are:
1. How is the implementation of language improvement program to uplift
students’ writing ability?
2. Does language improvement program uplift students’ writing ability?
C. Objectives of Study
Based on the problem study above, the objective of this study are:
1. To know the implementation of language improvement program in
uplifting students’ writing ability.
2. To know whether the language improvement program uplift students’
writing ability or not.
D. Significance of Study
The writer hopes this study will have good benefits to all who were a part of
1. For teacher
The writer hopes this study may give information to teachers that there are
many activities and techniques which can uplift students’ English
language skill easily. And also this research may motivate teachers to find
more innovation about teaching and learning activities to uplift students’
2. For students
Extracurricular activities make students’ were not bored in learning
process. The result of this study expected to motivate students to practice
more in writing through language improvement program especially in
3. For readers
This research was expected to be able to uplift the knowledge and
information about uplifting English skills. And this research may be used
as reference for further research about teaching English, especially
E. Scope and Limitation of Study
The scope and limitation in this research is the writing activity in Language
Improvement program. And the respondent of this research is seventh grade
students of MTs Bilingual Pucang at the first semester 2015/2016 academic
year. There are three classes of seventh grade; those are 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3. This
study focuses on the writing activities which held in language improvement
F. Definition of Key Terms
Implementation is the act of accomplishing some aim or executing some
order.8 The writer wants to know the execution of language improvement
program in MTs Bilingual Pucang.
2. Language Improvement Program
Language improvement program is the compulsory extracurricular in MTs
Bilingual Pucang which already included in daily learning schedule and
has an hour meeting on Monday until Thursday. Language Improvement
program held to help students’ in mastering English and Arabic language.
Uplifting is an acting to raise moral, spiritual cultural, level, etc.9 Level is
the appropriate thing that should be raised in this research, because in this
research focused on uplift or raise students’ writing ability.
4. Writing Ability
Writing is the act or process of producing and recording words in a form
that can be read and understood.10 Ability is a skill, talent or capacity.11
This research focuses on writing skill which has many its conventions to
start. Every student has their own level ability, but in this research, the
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/implementation (Accessed on March 10th 2016) 9
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/uplifting (Accessed on July 20th 2016) 10
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/writing (Accessed on March 10th 2016) 11
ability focused on one of four skills in English language, and it is writing
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
This chapter presents about some previous study and theoretical review. In the
theoretical review, the researcher discusses some theories which are relevant with the
A. The Previous Study
There are some researches that held by some researchers related to
this research. Here are the previous study which being references of this
study and related to extracurricular activities and writing.
The first is a research from Yuli Christiana Yoedo entitled
“Improving Young Learners’ Communication Skills through English
In her research, she conducted research to
find the improvement of young learners’ speaking skill through English
extracurricular activities. Her research focused on the printed materials to
be used and the activities to be done during the process. She offers
materials, among others, brochures, recipes, folk tales, story books,
comics, letters, posters, song lyric, games, children books, anecdotes and
magazines. She suggested her research is for fifth grade students of
Yuli C. Y, Improving Young Learners’ Communication Skills through English Extracurricular Activities. Petra Christian University
elementary school. And the result of this research is the English
extracurricular activities are not only uplifts the students’ speaking skill
but also their reading.
Her research and this research have similarity in using English
extracurricular activities to uplift such skills. The different between hers
and this research is her research just focused on the communication or
speaking improvement but this research focused on writing skill. And
also the object of her research is for fifth grade of elementary school
while this is for junior high school students.
The second, written by Nasim Googol and Mahnaz Armat on their
research under the title “The Effect of Academic vs Non Academic
Extra-Curricular Activities on Creative Writing: The Study of Iranian EFL
was designed to address the important issue of the effect of
extracurricular activities on intermediate EFL learners’ creative writing in
Iran. The result revealed that dealing with homework writing as an
academic extracurricular activity in addition to application of writing
strategies highly affected creative writing of EFL learners; whilst
participation in sports as an academic extracurricular activity did not have
a plausible effect on creative writing.
The similarity between theirs and this research is in finding the
students’ writing ability through extracurricular activities. But there is
also the differences between them, first is in the method of research
which is focused in finding the effect and this is just focus on the
implementation. And the second is the previous research was comparing
the effect of joining academic and non academic extracurricular activities
in their creative writing.
The third is “Developing Writing and Speaking Skills through
Interactive Workshop”.3 Interactive workshop here can be called as
extracurricular activities which are out of curricular or class activities.
This project involves a weekly series of extra-curricular interactive
workshop primarily for first year undergraduates at an English university.
This research was conducted to find whether the activities in that
workshop can develop the students’ writing and speaking skills or not.
And the result of their study was attending extracurricular skill-based
workshop especially writing and speaking skills can help students’ to
uplift their performance, engagement, and attainment across background
Their research has similarity with this research which using
extracurricular activities for improving students’ writing skill. But the
difference is they focused on writing and oral skill (WOS) and this
research only focused on writing skill.
The fourthentitled “A Study on English Club as an Extracurricular
Program at SMPN 1 Malang”4, written by Diska Fatima Virgiyanti from
State University of Malang. The subjects of this study were the 7th and 8th
graders who joined English Club and one instructor. This study examined
the non compulsory extracurricular, which every student can choose them
by themselves. The aim of English Club was to help and support the
students in their regular class. However, the result of the observation
showed that the activities of English Club did not support the activities of
Her study examined the non compulsory extracurricular named
English Club while my study will examine the compulsory extracurricular
which included in daily schedule. Also her study focused on the
implementation of English Club in students’ speaking whereas my study
will focus in students’ writing.
The fifth written by Naela Khikmiah from Semarang State
University entitled “The Impact of English Club towards Students’
Speaking Skill”.5 This study used casual-comparative study which finding
Diska Fatima Virgiyanti, A Study on English Club as an Extracurricular Program at SMPN 1 Malang (State University of Malang, 2013)
the impact by comparing two groups. The subjects of this study were the
students of eleventh grade of Senior High School in Pekalongan which
divided into group; fifteen of them joined E-Club and fifteen other did not
join were chosen as sample. The result of speaking test conducted to both
groups shows significant difference with t-test 2,3; higher than the critical
value 2,0. Students of E-Club achieved 78% in pronunciation, 65% in
structure, 62% in vocabulary and 78% in comprehension. Meanwhile,
students of non-E-Club achieved 55% in pronunciation, 52% in structure,
45% in vocabulary and 60% in comprehension. It was concluded that
E-Club has many advantages which can improve and develop students’
There is the different between her research and this research; she
focused on improving speaking skill through extracurricular named
E-Club while this research focused on writing skill. And the similarity, she
conducted the research for extracurricular activity named E-Club.
The sixth, written by Nunung Tri Hastuti from Malang University
entitled “The Teaching of Speaking Skills as an Extracurricular Activity
at SMK Negeri 1 Singosari”.6 The findings of her study were revealed the
activities, materials, teaching techniques, media, and also implementation
There is the similarity between her study and this; it is in the
implementation of extracurricular for such English language skill. But,
her study was connected extracurricular with teaching speaking whether
this study was connected extracurricular with uplifting writing ability.
B. Theoretical Review
a. The Nature of Writing
There are four basic skills should be mastered in learning
English language, they are listening, speaking, reading and
writing. Writing is the productive skill and also the most difficult
skill among those four skills. It considered a difficult skill
because the writer should fulfill some aspects in writing such as
content, organization, purpose, vocabulary, punctuation, and
spelling in balance way. As Jack C. Richard and Willy A.
Renandya opinion that writing is the most difficult skill for
second language learners to master. The difficulty lies not only
in generating and organizing ideas, but also in translating these
ideas into readable text.7
According to A.S. Hornby8, writing is the activity
occupation of writing for example books, stories or articles.
Writing is speaking to others on paper or on computer screen.9 It
means by writing is the way represent speaking through words
and media. Writing is functional communication; making
learners possible to create imagine worlds of their own design10.
It means that writing is a media for expressing the writers’ ideas,
feeling, thought, experience, message, etc. According to
Harmer11, writing is a form of communication to deliver or to
give some information that reader need.
York: Pearson Education, Inc, 2005), 2
Richard Kern, Literacy and Language Teaching (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 172 11
In making good writing, there are some procedures in
writing activity which can make the writing can be
understandable by readers easily. We must follow those
procedures to make our writing understandable by using
grammatical rules, using good punctuation, choosing appropriate
vocabularies, considering the content, coherent and cohesion.
Some linguists, Celce and Murcia, stated that writing is the
production of the written word that results in a text but the text
must be read and comprehended in order for communication to
take place.12 To achieve communication goal between writer and
reader, the written text should be understandable by reader.
According to Heaton13, there are four important skills that
should be noticed in writing activity. They are:
1) Grammatical Skill
Grammatical skill is the ability to write correctly based on
the good grammatical.
2) Stylistic Skill
Stylistic skill is the ability to use the language effectively,
such as in finding the appropriate vocabulary.
M. Celce - Murcia Elite Olstain, Discourse and Context in Language Teaching (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 142
3) Mechanical Skill
Mechanical skill is the ability to import a conversation or
ideas into written form using the appropriate punctuation
4) Judgment Skill
Judgment skill is the ability to select, organize information
and write them for particular purpose appropriately.
Besides four important skills in writing activity, based on
Jacobs et al14, there are also five components in writing, they are:
Content refers to the substance of text or main idea of the
text. It can be identified by seeing the topic sentence.
Sometimes topic sentence placed in the first sentence which
expressing the main idea and reflect the paragraph.
Organization refers to the organization of content. It related
to the ideas that already translated into sentences and
identified by the ideas that expressed smoothly within
Grammar refers to the use of good grammatical forms. It
identified by the well-formed sentences.
Vocabulary refers to the vocabulary selection that suitable
for expressing something. It can be identified by seeing the
diction in order to convey ideas to the reader.
Mechanic refers to the use of graphic conventional. It is
identified by seeing the spelling, punctuation mark and
capitalization in paragraph.
b. Types of Writing Taught in Junior High School
Based on the standard competencies and basic competencies that
already set by government, there are some writing types that
should be taught in Junior High School, they are: procedure,
descriptive, recount and narrative. Those writing types described
Procedure is a text that tells the reader or listener how to do
something. It aimed to explain the instruction for to do
something, doing something or going somewhere. The
recipes, instruction manuals and direction are the examples
of procedure text.
Descriptive is the text which describe about something like
people, building, cities, place, etc. The purpose of
descriptive text is to convey to the reader what something
look like. It attempts to gain picture with words.16
Recount is the text which retells past events, usually telling
them in order which they happened.17
Narrative writing conveys an experience, either real or
imaginary and uses time as its deep structure. The purpose
of narrative writing is to entertain, instruct, inform or
entertain. The genres of narrative writing are the
autobiography, the memoir, and fictional stories.
Elizabet Cowan, Writing Brief Editing, (Texas: Scott, foresman and company), 148 17
Mark Anderson - Kathy Anderson, Text Types in English 3, ……….., 48 18
c. Process of Writing
According to Meyers, writing is an action, a process of
discovering and organizing our ideas, putting them on paper,
reshaping and revising them.19 It means that we have to think
about what we are going to say then translate them into written
text. After finish writing, re-read what we have written and make
changes and corrections.
Writing process can be defined as the writers’ process in
expressing their ideas by writing on paper or other area.
According to Wohl20, there are 3 writing processes; finding the
topic sentence, developing paragraph from topic sentence and
editing the product.
1) Finding the Topic Sentence
First step that the writer should do is finding the topic. The
topic sentence usually taken from such things around us
such as: an experience, daily life or other.
Alan Meyers, Gateways to Academic Writing: Effective Sentences, Paragraph, and Essays, (New York: Pearson Education, Inc, 2005), 2
2) Developing Paragraph from Topic Sentence
After finding the topic sentence, next is developing
paragraph. To make writers easy in developing paragraph,
here are the steps based on Wohl21:
a) Choose a general topic which you interested in
Choosing the interested topic helps writer find many
ideas to describe and translate them into writing
b) Narrow down the topic
After choosing topic, the students will find specific
thing which refers to the topic they chose before
c) Write down the few facts
By finding the specific thing, there are many ideas or
facts which related to the topic. And writer should write
down what they find in a sentence
d) Take a second look at your tentative topic sentence
After writing down facts and ideas, looking again at
those ideas and facts and try to elaborate them into
e) Reread what you have written
Reread what you have written and edit them if you find
any difficult ideas to be understand
3) Editing the Product
This is the final step in writing process. Editing is the
checking of one’s written work for various faults in making
last-minutes changes and correction22. The grammatical
errors should be noticed in this stage, because grammatical
errors will be affected to the meaning and the ideas will not
d. Student’s Difficulties in Writing
For Indonesian students, learning English language is not
easy, moreover writing skill. They face some difficulties in
writing, such as finding ideas to start writing, translating ideas
into sentences, generating ideas, organizing ideas, etc.
According to Nurgiantoro23, there are some problems
which are faced by students in writing. They are:
1) Organizing ideas
This is the basic problem that many students faced in
writing. They should find the interest topic to make them
easy to find ideas and organize them
M. Wohl, Techniques for writing: Composition. 2nd ed ……….., 14 23
2) Lack of Vocabulary
grammatical will be influence the meaning of writing text.
Based on Dana Adas and Ayda Bakir,24 there are causes of
2) English language learners have limited vocabulary.
clarified that students could not give voice to
their thoughts because of the lack vocabulary.
3) English language learners do not use invented spelling and
their written texts are restricted to words which they know.
Dana Anas - Ayda Bakir, “Writing Difficulties and New Solutions: Blended Learning as an Approach to Improve Writing Abilities”. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. vol. 3 no. 9, 2013
F. Al-Khasawneh, “Writing for Academic Purposes: Problem faced by Arab postgraduate students of the college of business”. UUM ESL World, Issue 2 (28) vol.9, 2010
26G. Rabab’ah, “
4) The present tense is the only tense used in their writing.
5) The students’ writing is difficult to understand because of
the ill-structured sentences in composition.
6) Students are unwilling to share their work with other
students and they do not get the suitable feedback.
7) When the learners read their writing aloud, they could not
distinguish whether what they read or write is right or
e. The Way to Improve Students’ Writing Skill
Based on Bloomsbury International27, an English language
school in Central London, explained 10 ways to improve English
writing skills, they are:
1) Write in English everyday
This is the most important way to improve writing skills in
English. The writer should start by thinking of a theme. The
writer may be start writing a diary related to something
happens to them.
2) Ask someone to check your writing
Sometimes, the writers do not realize the mistakes they
made. So in this point, the writer recommended to ask
someone to check the writing. It is better to check the
writing to the person who has better English ability than
writer, such a tutor or teacher.
3) Improve your vocabulary
The way to improve the vocabulary is by reading as much as
possible. Reading may give the new words and common
English idioms. Improving vocabulary can make the writer
easy to express their idea through writing.
4) Use a dictionary
Besides reading, using dictionary while writing is the great
way to improve vocabulary. But sometimes translating
words through dictionary will affect its meaning, so
checking the writing to the teacher also important.
5) Check your writing carefully
After have written something in English, the writer should
read them again to make sure that the spelling, grammar and
6) Write about different topics
Writing the same thing every day could become very bored
for the writer. It could be better to find the different
interesting topics. It will help to widen the writer’s
7) Do your homework
English teacher probably gives writing homework to check
the students’ understanding and ability. It is really important
to do them and the teacher could give some advice toward
8) Write to your friends
In this globalization era, most of people use social media as
media to communicate with the people around the world.
This is the great opportunity to practice writing by chatting,
sending emails, writing text messages, etc.
9) Write a blog
Blog is the media to express or sharing something through
online social media. It does not matter if no one reads it. It is
10)Don’t be afraid to make mistakes!
Last but not least, it is genuine to have some mistakes in
writing. However, the more the writers write and get their
writing corrected, the fewer mistakes they will make.
2. Descriptive writing
a. Definition of Descriptive Text
Descriptive text is a part of factual genres. Its social function is
to describe a particular person, place or thing.28 Descriptive
writing is the clear description of people, place, objects, or
events using appropriate details. The purpose of descriptive
writing is to convey the reader what something looks like. The
writer of descriptive text invites us to imagine people, place or
object we might not know much about.
According to Oshima and Hogue, descriptive writing appeals to
the senses, so it tells how something looks, feels, smells, tastes,
and/or sounds.29 It means the writer let the readers imagine the
object, place or person in the writer’s mind.
As Barbara Fine Clouse said, “Description adds an important
dimension to our lives because it moves our emotion and
Artono Wardiman, et. al. English in Focus: for grade VII Junior High School (SMP/MTs), (Jakarta: Pusat Perbukuan, DEPDIKNAS, 2008), 122
expands our experience”.30
It means that writing descriptive
involves our emotions and expands our experience by imagining
them and expresses them through writing.
b. The Generic Structure of Descriptive Text
Students should be mastered the generic structure before they
It may consist of one paragraph. This
part is used to give sufficient
description about the object as
mentioned in identification part.
The description of object can be done
according to size, length, strength,
condition, qualities, shape, etc.
While the grammatical features of descriptive text are:
Using attributive and identifying process
Using adjectives and classifiers in nominal group
Using simple present tense
3. Teaching Writing
One of the important objectives in teaching English language is
to improve students’ ability to communicate in oral and written
language.31 Therefore, writing always included in English language
teaching syllabus. Harmer said that writing has always been used as a
means of reinforcing language that has been taught.32 It means that
writing is the complement in English language learning.
Like other skills, writing needs work and practice to be
improved. It is a skill that anyone can learn, but mastering in this
Badan Peneliti, Standar Kompetensi Bahasa Inggris SMP/MTs, (Jakarta: Departemen Pendidikan Nasional, 2004), 7
skill would take time and patience. In the other hand, it requires to be
mastered in grammar, punctuation, word choice and organization.
According to Charles and Jill Hardfield, writing is indeed
difficult for several reasons; firstly the writer has to decide what
information reader needs and how to express it. Secondly, there is
linguistics difficulty, because writing requires good grammar and
word choice. Thirdly, there is cognitive difficulty; students have to
organize thought on paper for unknown reader.33
Based on reasons above, some students faced difficulties and
give up in writing. Very few students can use English language
skillfully. So it is very necessary for teacher to give guidance on
students’ writing and also important for students to practice writing
There are some ways to improve students’ writing ability in the
class or outside the class. By making fun activities related to writing
skill will help students’ enjoying learning activity, especially in
There are some aspects that important to support teaching
writing activity in the class, such as media, assessment technique, and
Media play many roles in transferring materials to the students
and support to create an effective learning process. According to
Christine, media is called the educational medium when the
medium transfers message for the purpose of teaching.34
There are three kinds of media that can be used in teaching
writing, such as visual which included pictures and photo, audio
which included tape recorder, radio, etc, and audiovisual which
included movie and video.
b. Assessment technique
Based on Hughes, there are three parts to state the testing
problem, in general form for writing:
We have to set writing task that are properly representative
of the population of task that we expect students’ to be able
The task should elicit valid samples of writing
It is essential that the samples of writing can and will be
scored validly and reliably
c. Class management
Based on Jim, classroom management is the way that you
manage students’ learning by organizing and controlling what
happens in your classroom.35 There are many important points in
class management such as the classroom layouts or seating
White and Arndt37 argued that writing process is an interrelated
set of stages which include drafting, structuring, reviewing,
focusing, generating ideas and evaluation.
But getting students to concentrate on the process of writing is
takes time and cannot be done in fifteen minutes. By various
stages like discussion, research, language study and a
Jim Scrivener, Classroom Management Technique (Cambridge University Press, 2012), 1 36
Jeremy Harmer, The Practice of English Language Teaching (Pearson Education Limited, 2001), 257
considerable of interaction between students-teacher and
between students will be more optimal.
b. Writing and genre
A genre approach is especially appropriate for students of
English for Specific Purposes. Students who writing in certain
genre need to consider some factors. They need to have
knowledge of the topic, the conventions and the style of genre,
and the context.
c. Creative writing
The term „creative writing’ suggest imaginative task such as
writing poetry, stories, and plays. Creative writing is a journey of
self discovery, and self-discovery promotes effective
learning.38We need to build up students’ creative writing step by
step, starting with phrases and sentences.
d. Writing as a cooperative activity
Cooperative writing works well with both process and
genre-based approaches. In genre-genre-based writing, it could be better two
peoples analyze genre-specific text than one people.
e. Using computer
Most of school has computers as school facilitation. There are
many good reasons for using them for writing for instance:
Word-processing package removes the problem of poor
handwriting that some students had.
Word-processing package allows the users to edit their
material at great speed and great facility.
Spellcheckers can ease the task of achieving spelling
Computer screen might be more visible to the group
working than piece of paper.
f. The roles of the teacher
There are some important teacher’s role in teaching writing, they
The principal role of teacher will be to motivate the students,
creating the right conditions for generating ideas, persuading
them of the usefulness activity, and encourage them to make
as much effort as possible
We should be ready to supply some information and
language where necessary. Writing activity take longer than
conversation, for instance discussing with individual
As feedback provider
Giving feedback on writing tasks demands special care.
Teachers should respond positively and encouragingly to the
content that students have written.
4. Language Improvement Program
It has proved that extracurricular activities are necessary as
regular classes for development of skills.39 Furthermore,
extracurricular activities may help students to achieve their curricular
goals, because regular class has their time limit for teaching and
learning process, so extracurricular activities are the way for
balancing the students’ skills.
MTs Bilingual Pucang Sidoarjo also has extracurricular
activities for students’ development. There are 2 kinds of English
language Extracurricular; compulsory and non-compulsory. The
compulsory one named Language Improvement or L.I. which has 5
hours meeting in a week and the non-compulsory held on Saturday
which every student can choose the subject they interested in.
Language Improvement program or we can shorten it as L.I is
a language program in MTs Bilingual Pucang Sidoarjo to uplift
students’ language, not only in English language but also in Arabic
language since that school using those two language in their teaching.
But in this research, the researcher focused on the compulsory
extracurricular, Language Improvement program.
In Language Improvement program, there are the different
method between seventh grade, eighth grade and ninth grade. For
seventh grade, language improvement program focused on English
language whereas eighth and ninth grade focused on English and
There are many activities in this program that can uplift
students’ language skill, such as conversation, drama, speech and
daily writing, the description of activities is explained below:
Speech is the important activity to improve speaking skill. In this
program, speech held in the morning after pray dhuha. And the
speaker take turns in order based on grade. They were delivering
interested topic in English and in seven minutes.
Drama is the common activity in language extracurricular to
improve students’ speaking ability. In this activity, students
Discussion is the activity to improve speaking ability. In this
activity, teacher gives an interesting topic or hot topic and asks
students to discuss it in group. After discussing and finding some
ideas or solutions they were asked to present the result of
discussion in front of the class.
4) Make a conversation
This activity also focuses on improving speaking skill. Students
asked to do this activity in pair and make short conversation
based on assigned topic. And they were asked to practice with
5) Daily writing
This activity asked students to write descriptive text based on
topic as they can. They were required to bring and use
dictionary, dictionary book or e-dictionary (alfa-link). For
checking their writing, some of students asked to read their
writing in front of the class and other checking it.
This program involves one grade in big scale which provokes
them to have some communication such as discussion, presentation,
etc. Commonly, language extracurricular aimed to improve students’
In this research, the researcher wants to know the
implementation and also the students’ writing improvement from this
This chapter presents information about how this research was conducted. It
includes the explanations about research design, subject of study, source of data, data
collection technique, instruments of the study, and data analysis technique.
A. Research Design
This study used qualitative as the method of research. Sugiyono1,
explained that qualitative method is the research method based on
positive ideology, used to research on natural object, where the researcher
is the prime instrument, the data collection technique done purposively,
collection technique by triangulation, inductive or qualitative data
analysis, and the result of qualitative research more generalize.
Sukmadinata2 said that qualitative research is a research that used to
describe and analyze phenomenon, event, social activity, attitude, belief,
perception, and people individually or group.
Sukmadinata3 said that descriptive research aimed defining some
situation or phenomenon naturally. Descriptive research aimed to
Sugiyono, Metode Penelitian Pendidikan Pendekatan Kuantitatif, kualitatif,dan R&D (Bandung: Alfabeta, 2010), 15
Nana Syaodih Sukmadinata, Metode Penelitian Pendidikan, (Bandung: Rosdakarya, 2009), 53-60 3
Nana Syaodih Sukmadinata, Metode Penelitian Pendidikan, ………, 18
measure toward certain social phenomenon, such as divorce, nutrient
condition, prevention toward current politics, etc4.
Based on the explanation above, we can conclude that this study used
qualitative research. And considering the goal of this study which find the
implementation of program, this study included into descriptive since that
statement guide writer to explore or observe a situation comprehensively5.
To know the implementation and the improvement joining this
program, the researcher examined the activities in this program which is
focused on writing activity for seventh grade students. The researcher
wants to prove that extracurricular also can improve writing ability.
B. Subject of Study
This study took place in MTs Bilingual Pucang Sidoarjo. The subject
focused on seventh grade students, the fresh students which has their own
level in English ability. The seventh grade is the only one grade which
attended the language improvement program that focused on English
language while the eighth and ninth grade added Arabic language to their
teaching and learning.
The seventh grade students were divided into three classes 7.1, 7.2,
and 7.3. The writer chose the students of 7.2 as recommendation from
Singarimbun, Masri - Sofian Effendi, Metode Penelitian Survai (Jakarta: PT Pustaka LP3ES Indonesia, 1989), 4
homeroom teacher. The researcher examined them without knowing their
English ability. There were 31 students in 7.2. This class consisted of 13
male students and 18 female students.
C. Source of Data
The sources of data are important because they take a role in a
research. The sources of data in this study are described as follow:
Teacher took a role in this research, because to know the
implementation of this program, the researcher observed the teaching
activity in this program which involves teacher and students. The
researcher also interviewed teacher to strengthen the data.
b. Seventh grade students
As the subject of study, seventh grade students were the source of
data to know whether this program improve writing ability or not by
using their daily writing. The researcher also interviewed some
students to know the students’ respond toward this program also to
strengthen the data.
The documentation contained of the students’ mark from their first
writing before and after joining Language Improvement program
which already assessed by teacher using writing rubric. From those
marks, we can know the students’ improvement in writing.
D. Data Collection Technique
In this research, the writer got the data from students’ writing mark,
observation and interview.
Nawawi and Martini6 said that observation is monitoring and
recording data which appears in research object systematically.
Marshall and Rossman defined observation as "the systematic
description of events, behaviors, and artifacts in the social setting
chosen for study".7
In this technique, the researcher used non-participant observation
because, the researcher just observe the activities in program without
participating in learning activity.
2. Students’ writing mark
Nawawi Hadari - Martini Hadari, Instrumen Penelitian Bidang Sosial. (Yogyakarta: Gadjah Mada University Press, 1992), 74
The researcher asked the documentation contained of students’
writing mark before and after joining the program in a month. The
result of students’ writing assessed using writing rubric.
Interview is the process of obtaining information for research
purposes by asking questions then getting the answer and the
procedure by making face to face conversation.8
In this research, interview used to strengthen the data. And the
researcher interviewed some students and teachers.
E. Instruments of the Study
In this research, the researcher used some instruments to gain the data.
The instruments were the writing rubric assessment and interview guide.
1. Observation Checklist
Observation checklist contains a list of subjects’ name and aspects
that are observed. Checklist is used to systematize the transcript of
In this study, the researcher observed the teaching and learning
activity related to writing in this program.
2. Writing Rubric Assessment
Nana Syaodih Sukmadinata, Metode Penelitian Pendidikan, (Bandung: Rosdakarya, 2009), 194 9
This writing rubric assessment used to assess students’ writing. The
researcher adapted writing rubric from Brown10 which assessed five
aspects in writing such as content, organization, grammar,
vocabulary and mechanic.
3. Interview Guide
In this stage, the researcher interviewed some teachers and students
based on interview guide. Interview guide contained of the questions
related to this program, such as teaching technique, students’ mark,
students’ responds toward this program, etc.
F. Data Analysis Technique
This research used qualitative to gain the data from the source. And the
data were taken from the document contained students’ grade, the result
of observation and also the result of interview from some teachers and
And in this section, the researcher did some step in analyzing data:
Firstly, the researcher observed the activities of language
improvement program which focused on seventh grade and also the
writing activity. And the observation based on observation checklist.
Secondly, the researcher asked the documentation of students’ writing
mark which assessed using writing rubric; writing mark before and after
joining the program around a month.
Thirdly, the researcher made a list between their first and the last
writing mark. Then, the researcher analyzed them by comparing them to
know whether this program improve their writing ability or not.
Finally, the researcher interviewed some teachers and students to
RESEARCH FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
This chapter presents the research finding based on the result of data analysis.
In other words, it presents the discussion based on related theories to clarify the
A. Research Findings
The purpose of this research is to know the implementation of Language
Improvement program to uplift students’ writing ability and to know whether this
program uplift students writing ability or not. In this research, the researcher
focused on the writing activity for seventh grade students of MTs Bilingual
Pucang Sidoarjo in academic year 2014/2015.
This research was conducted in MTs Bilingual Pucang Sidoarjo on April 28th
2016 up to May 26th 2016. The researcher observed this program and also
interviewed teacher and students to know their responds and comments toward
1. The Implementation of Language Improvement Program
The first research question in this study is “how is the implementation
of language improvement program to uplift students’ writing ability?” The
data were gained from the observation checklist. There are seven aspects that
media, students’ activity, assessment and class management of Language
Here is the result of observation based on observation checklist:
Table 4.1.1. The result of observation
No. Aspects Yes No Note
a. Materials are up-to-date and
b. The content is complete without
any missing important information
2. Effective as a teaching tool
c. Learners will be able to achieve the program goals effectively
c. Material engages the learners √
3. Supporting students in writing
Teach students to
discriminate good leads from not-so-good leads
Teach students how to group
way to be accepted by students √
b. Delivering well-designed
2. Using variety teaching method in
delivering materials √
1. Using the effective media
Using the variety media √ Just whiteboard
D. Students’ Responds
1. Concerning towards teacher’s
2. Asking question to the teacher √
3. Responding teacher’s question √
4. Able to follow the instruction without
any hesitant √
1. Students’ task achieve the high score √
2. Assessment items reflects
3. Using variety of method in
assessment technique √
F. Class Management
1. Able to manage the class well
a. Variety in Seating Arrangement √
b. Organizing Physical Space √ The class is in
c. Controlling students’ activity √
2. Able to manage the time well
a. Opening and closing the session
on time √
b. Each session achieves the
meeting’s goal √
3. Able to give instructions well
a. The instruction’s language is
Based on the result of observation above, we can classify them into
Based on the result of observation, the materials in this program were
designed based on program’s goal, accurate and able to support
students’ writing in grammar and mechanic aspects. Unfortunately the
materials were not support students’ writing in organization aspect, the
teacher did not teach students how to make a good leads and also how to
group ideas, teacher just let students write paragraph as they want.
But, the materials were not accommodating multiple learning styles. It
means that the materials were not suitable for all learning styles, such as
audio, visual and kinesthetic. Sometimes kinesthetic students were not
able to follow the audio and visual learning style and vice versa. The
researcher found that some kinesthetic students were busy with their
own business rather than focus on teaching activity.
b. Teaching method
The teaching method in this program presents the simple method which
can be understood by studentseasily. Usually, the materials connected
with the interested topic, so the students are able to understand the
materials easily.1 In this program, teacher also drilled some vocabularies
to enrich students’ vocabulary and students are able to memorize
For media, the teacher does not use variety media in delivering
materials. The teacher only uses the simple media like whiteboard and
marker. Sometimes, LCD projector and laptop used for delivering the
d. Students’ responds
Students’ responds toward teaching activity in this program were good
although only some students who active in the class. They ask some
question and also respond the teacher’s question. They were able to
finish their task but some of slow students were not able to finish it on
Teacher used various assessment techniques in this program such as
asking student to present their writing in front of class to assess
students’ reading and speaking ability. Sometimes teacher uses peer
assessment by asking students to assess their partners’ writing, speaking
and reading ability.3
Based on interview with students on May 23th 2016 3
f. Class Management
In this program, the students from three classes are joining in one class,
so it is large class which consists of 95 students. It must be difficult to
pay attention on all students.
Sometimes, the teacher came late to the class, it caused by the previous
class which took more time than allocated time. The students who were
not able to finish their task on time affected the closing time of this
program. In this program, the teacher has a variety in seating
arrangement based on teaching on that day.But sometimes, the teacher
was not able to control the class, it caused by the students who cannot
focus on teaching activity.4
2. Language Improvement Program Uplifts Students’ Writing Ability
The second research question in this study is “does language
improvement program uplift students’ writing ability?” The data were gained
from the result of student’s descriptive writing as pre-test and post-test which
already assessed by using rubric. And the researcher got the data in document
contained of students’ writing mark.
Pre-test and post-test done by asking students to write some
paragraphs based on assigned topic in descriptive text. They were permitted
to use dictionary; dictionary book or e-dictionary (alfa-link). They were given
around 15 to 20 minutes to write some paragraphs based on topic in
Pre-test was conducted to gain the information about students’ writing
ability before joining Language Improvement program.
24. Student 24 2 1 1 2 1 35
The table above showed the students’ writing mark in pre-test based on
aspects in writing rubric. It showed that 65 is the highest score in pre-test
which achieved by 1 student and the lowest score is 25 which achieved by
ability after joining Language Improvement program.
Here is the students’ mark in post-test:
4. Student 4 2 2 1 1 1 35
To know whether the Language Improvement program uplift students’ ability
and after joining the program. The writer analyzed and compared them until
From the table above, we can see that most of students’ increased their score in
post-test. And three students of them have stagnant score for their pre-test and
post-test. To find which aspect has the highest difference between pre-test and
post-test, the writer make a table based on five aspects in rubric assessment.
Table 4.2.4. Pre-test and Post-test Score Based on Aspects
Pre-From the table above, we can see that the content aspect increases from 41% up
to 60%; it increased about 19% and also has the highest difference between
pre-test and post-pre-test. And the next is organization aspect increases about 18%, from
34% up to 52%. The following is vocabulary aspect; it has increased about 13%
which has 37% in pre-test and 50% for post-test. The grammar aspect increases
for about 7%, from 30% up to 37%. And the lowest is mechanic which increases
about 5%, from 30% up to 35%.
From the description above, it can be concluded that by joining Language
Improvement program, students are able to improve their writing ability even