STUDENTS’ ABILITY AND DIFFICULTIES IN WRITING NEWS ITEM TEXTS.

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STUDENTS’ ABILITY AND DIFFICULTIES IN

WRITING NEWS ITEM TEXTS

A Research Paper

Submitted to English Education Department in partial fulfilment for the requirement

for Sarjana Pendidikan Degree

by

Zahrotul Aini

(0804230)

ENGLISH EDUCATION DEPARTMENT

FACULTY OF LANGUAGE AND ARTS EDUCATION

INDONESIA UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION

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Students’ A ility and Diffi ulties in

Writing News Item Texts

Oleh Zahrotul Aini

Sebuah skripsi yang diajukan untuk memenuhi salah satu syarat memperoleh gelar Sarjana pada Fakultas Pendidikan Bahasa dan Seni

© Zahrotul Aini 2013 Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia

Juni 2013

Hak Cipta dilindungi undang-undang.

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PAGE OF APPROVAL

Students’ Ability and Difficulties in Writing News Item Text

s

Zahrotul Aini (0804230)

A Research Paper Approved by:

First Supervisor Co-Supervisor

Emi Emilia, M.Ed., Ph.D. Budi Hermawan, S.Pd., M.PC NIP. 196609161990012001 NIP. 1978092220101220001

Head of Department of English Education Faculty of Language and Arts Education

Indonesia University of Education

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ABSTRACT

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ABSTRAK

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Table of Contents

Statement of Authorization ... i

Preface ... ii

1.6.2 Systemic Functional Linguistics... 4

1.6.3 News Item Text ... 4

1.7 Organization of Paper ... 5

Chapter 2 Literature Review ... 7

2.1 News Item Text ... 7

2.2 Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) ... 11

2.2.1 Basic Principles of SFL ... 11

2.2.2 Text and Context ... 11

2.2.3 Context of Situation ... 12

2.2.3.1 Transitivity ... 13

2.2.4. Cohesion ... 18

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2.2.4.2 Lexical Cohesion... 19

2.2.4.3 Conjunctive Cohesion ... 21

Concluding Remarks ... 22

Chapter 3 Research Methodology ... 23

3.1 Research Design ... 23

3.2 Research Site ... 24

3.3 Participants ... 24

3.4 Data Collection ... 24

3.5 Data Analysis ... 25

3.6 Sample of Data Analysis ... 26

Concluding Remarks ... 30

Chapter 4 Findings and Discussion ... 31

4.1 Students’ Texts ... 31

4.1.1 Low Achiever Texts ... 31

4.1.2 Middle Achiever Texts ... 39

4.1.3 High Achiever Texts ... 46

Concluding Remarks ... 50

Chapter 5 Conclusion and Suggestions ... 51

5.1 Conclusion ... 51

5.2 Suggestions ... 52

Bibliography ... 53

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List of Tables

Table 2.1 The Functions of News Item Text’s Structural Elements ... 7

Table 2.2 News Item Text example from newspaper ... 9

Table 2.3 News Item Text example from students’ writing... 10

Table 2.4 Process Types and Participant Roles ... 14

Table 2.5 Types and examples of circumstances ... 17

Table 2.6 Reference in Student’s News Item Text ... 18

Table 4.1 Text 4.1 written by a low achiever ... 32

Table 4.2 Text 4.2 written by a low achiever ... 32

Table 4.3 Text 4.3 written by a middle achiever... 39

Table 4.4 Text 4.4 written by a middle achiever... 40

Table 4.5 Text 4.5 written by a high achiever... 46

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CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

This introductory chapter presents background of the research, research questions, aims of the research, scope of the research, significance of the research, clarification of terms, and organization of paper.

1.1.Background of the Research

Of the four language skills, writing may become the most difficult skill (Westwood, 2008). The difficulty of writing may come from the complex process which a writer has to face that includes drawing ideas, transforming ideas into text, and organizing ideas to become a coherent text (Hayes & Flower, 1980 quoted in Saddler, et al., 2004).

Moreover, Saddler, et al. (2004) adds that the difficulty of writing is proven by the small percentage of the use of writing, only about 11 percent during

people’s daily life. The small percentage indicates the lack ability in writing skill

and how people tend to avoid it.

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According to Indonesian curriculum, tenth graders who learn English Subject have to be able to write News Item Text (Doddy, et al., 2008). News Item Text informs newsworthy events to readers, listeners or viewers (Gerot & Wignell, 1995). However, the genre of News Item Text has not commonly discussed by experts. It is because the News Item text is not the basic genre of text, but it is a multi-generic text which is sometimes not explained in language books (Knapp & Watkins, 2005).

There is a number of research regarding News Item Text. One of it is a research which is conducted by Emilia (2011). Emilia (2011) analyzed Indonesian

senior high school students’ texts using the Systemic Functional Linguistics

(SFL). SFL is chosen because it enables the researcher to analyze the students’

text from both coherence and cohesive aspects (Eggins, 2004). The research shows the lack ability of students in writing News Item Text and the students still need improvements.

As the previous research, the present research also focuses in analyzing News Item Text using SFL. News Item Text is chosen because as stated before that the News Item Text is a text type which the Indonesian senior high school students have to write and the source regarding the News Item Text writing is still limited as it is one of multi-generic text. Therefore, the present research investigates the News Item Text written by students from an Indonesian senior

high school using SFL to find out students’ ability and difficulties in writing

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1.2.Research Questions

This research is conducted to answer the following research questions: 1. How is the tenth grader students’ ability in writing News Item Text?

2. What difficulties did the tenth grader students experience in writing News Item Text?

1.3.Aims of The Research

Based on the research questions which are stated before, this research is aimed:

1. To identify the students’ ability in writing News Item Text. 2. To find out the students’ difficulties in writing News Item Text.

1.4.Scope of The Research

This research is limited to investigate tenth graders’ ability and difficulties in writing News Item Texts in one senior high school in Bandung.

1.5.Significance of The Research

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1.6.Clarification of Terms

To avoid misunderstanding, the clarifications of the terms used in the present research are:

1.6.1.Writing Ability

Writing ability is the competence of someone to compose letters into meaning to achieve specific purposes (Westwood, 2008). To achieve different purposes, a writer should write different genre of text and implement the thematic structure and linguistic features of the genre (Gerot & Wignell, 1995) and master mechanical aspect of writing, such as spelling, punctuation, capitalization, etc. (Vanderburg, 2006; Lin, et al., 2007; cited in Westwood 2008).

1.6.2.Systemic Functional Linguistics

Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) is originally developed by Michael Halliday and his colleagues (Butt, et al., 2000; Ning, 2008). Halliday and his colleagues state that language has its social function to bring out meaning from text (Gerot & Wignell, 1995; Butt, et al., 2000; Emilia, 2010). The meaning of the text is conveyed by giving context to the text (Eggins, 2004). Context lets text to have specific purpose (Knapp & Watkins, 2005). To reach a specific purpose, texts share similar structural elements and language features (Gerot & Wignell, 1995).

1.6.3.News Item Text

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background events and sources. Gerot & Wignell (1995) further state that the language features of News Item text are the short and telegraphic information conveyed in the text, the use of material and verbal process, and the focus on circumstances.

1.7.Organization of Paper

The organization of the research paper will be as follows: Chapter I: Introduction

This chapter presents an introduction which consists of the background of the research, the formulation of the problems, the aims of the research, the scope of research, the significance of research, clarification of terms, and organization of paper.

Chapter II: Literature Review

This chapter contains theoretical frameworks which are relevant to this research including News Item Text, Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), Text and Context, Transitivity and Cohesion.

Chapter III: Research Methodology

This chapter reveals the methodology used for the research to answer the problems which is included the design of the research and how the data were collected and analyzed.

Chapter IV: Findings and Discussion

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Chapter V: Conclusion and Suggestions

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CHAPTER 3

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

This chapter presents the methodology used in this research. It covers research design, the participant, the research site, data collection and data analysis.

3.1.Research Design

The research design of this research is case study. This research is categorized as case study because of several reasons. First, case study is done in a small scale for a single case (Stake, 1985 quoted in Emilia, 2008), and it is similar with this research which focuses in a small scale of a class of tenth grader students in a senior high school in Bandung, Indonesia and examines a single case of

students’ News Item Texts. Second, case study investigates phenomenon within

its real context (Yin, 1994 quoted in Wahyuni, 2012) and this research also investigates a particular phenomenon in its real context; this research investigates

students’ News Item Texts which is learned in English subject at school. The

investigation is done to identify students’ ability and difficulties in writing News

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3.2.Research Site

The place where this research was conducted is one senior high school in Bandung, Indonesia. The school is a public school where the researcher had done PPL (Program Pengalaman Lapangan/Teaching Practice Program). The school has been chosen as the site of the research because the school provides the necessary data that the researcher needs.

3.3.Participants

The participants of this research were a class of tenth graders of academic year 2011/2012 and their teacher. The students have been chosen as the participant because they have learned News Item Text, the genre which was analyzed in this research. The class consists of 40 students, 20 males and 20

females. From the participants, fifteen students’ texts have been selected by the

teacher and further only six texts have been taken by the researcher as the samples. The six texts represent the three categories of low, middle, and high achiever.

3.4.Data Collection

The data collection used in this study is document analysis, especially

students’ texts. The data were collected by asking students to write News Item

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3.5.Data Analysis

The collected data were then analyzed using the framework of Systemic Functional Grammar developed by Halliday (1994) and further developed by Gerot & Wignell (1995). The procedure of analysis is as follows.

1. First, the students’ News Item texts were divided into clauses as suggested by Butt, et al. (2000) and Emilia (2010). The clause division was done thoroughly based on the examples from Bloor and Bloor (2004). The texts were divided by its main clause, embedded clause and/or enclosed clause. The clauses then were being numbered in order to avoid confusion when doing the analysis for the next step and the grammatical errors are identified and corrected. The correction is shown in brackets.

2. Second, the students’ texts were categorized according to News Item text’s structural elements: Newsworthy Event, Background Event and Source (Gerot & Wignell, 1995; Butt, et al, 2000; Emilia, 2010).

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4. Fourth, each clause was analyzed using the Transitivity Theory (Halliday, 1994; Butt, et al, 2000; Emilia, 2010) in order to check the implementation of language features of News Item text: the Material Process, Verbal Process and Circumstances as suggested by Gerot & Wignell (1995). 5. Fifth, the cohesion of the text was analyzed. A text could not be defined

only as several sentences which are written together, but a text is sentences which are written together and helped each other in building one particular meaning (Halliday & Hasan, 1976). The cohesion of the text is indicated by the reference, the lexical cohesion and the proper use of the conjunction.

3.6.Sample of Data Analysis

The analysis of students’ texts was done by:

1. Presenting student’s original text:

Anang Ashanty wedding party

Anang and Ashanty wedding celebration is on mei 20th 2012. The place is in one of five stars hotel. Wedding cake is very big and tall. Anang Ashanty throw five bucket flower to the guest. Host in the wedding his Aurel and Azriel. In the end wedding party implemented dance together. The party is crowded.

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2. Dividing the text into clauses and correcting the spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors as follows.

Anang Ashanty wedding party

1. Anang and Ashanty wedding celebration is(was) on mei(May) 20th (,) 2012

2. The place is(was) in one of five stars hotel (hotels) 3. Wedding cake is(was) very big and tall

4. Anang Ashanty throw(threw) five bucket (bouquets) (of) flower to the guest

5. Host(s) in the wedding (were) his Aurel and Azriel

6. In the end (of) wedding party (,) (they) implemented dance (danced) together

7. The party is(was) crowded

The words in brackets are the correction of the grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.

3. Identifying the structural elements of the text:

Anang Ashanty wedding party Newsworthy Event:

1. Anang and Ashanty wedding celebration is(was) on mei(May) 20th (,) 2012

Background Event:

2. The place is(was) in one of five stars hotel (hotels) 3. Wedding cake is(was) very big and tall

4. Anang Ashanty throw(threw) five bucket (bouquets) (of) flower to the guest

5. Host(s) in the wedding (were) his Aurel and Azriel

6. In the end (of) wedding party (,) (they) implemented dance (danced) together

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4. Identifying and counting the content-carrying lexical used in the clause to determine short and telegraphic information which is conveyed in the text. The amount of the content-carrying lexical is then being compared to the total lexical to get the percentage.

Sample clause:

Anang and Ashanty wedding celebration

is(was) on mei(May) 20th 2012

noun conj noun noun verb prep adverb

5. Analyzing the clauses using the Transitivity Theory. The analysis of Transitivity Theory was done to identify the use of News Item text language features: the material process, the verbal process and the focus of circumstance. The analysis was done as the example below.

Material and verbal processes and circumstances identification was done as the following.

Anang Ashanty

throw(threw) five bucket flower to the guest

Actor Process: Material

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6. Identifying all cohesion devices as follows.

The first device is the reference. The identification is as follows.

1. Anang and Ashanty wedding celebration is(was) on mei(May)

20th 2012

2. The place is(was) in one of five stars hotel

3. (The) Wedding cake is(was) very big and tall

4. Anang (and) Ashanty throw(threw) five bucket flower to the guest

5. Host(s) in the wedding (were) his Aurel and Azriel

6. In the end(,) (the) wedding party implemented dance together 7. The party is(was) crowded

The bold words show that the writer kept the track of the reference, Anang and Ashanty wedding party, through the text keeping the text focus on a

participant and make it to become a cohesive text. The chain is:

Anang and Ashanty wedding celebration - The place -

(The) Wedding cake - Anang (and) - Host(s) in the

wedding -(the) wedding party - The party

The second device is the lexical cohesion. It is done as the following. 1. Anang and Ashanty wedding celebration is(was) on mei(May) 20th

2012

2. The place is(was) in one of five stars hotel 3. (The) Wedding cake is(was) very big and tall

4. Anang (and) Ashanty throw(threw) five bucket flower to the guest 5. Host(s) in the wedding (were) his Aurel and Azriel

6. In the end(,) (the) wedding party implemented dance together 7. The party is(was) crowded

The italics words show that the writer only chose the lexical related to wedding. The lexical used by the writer proves that the text focus in telling

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The third device is the conjunctive cohesion. The analysis is below. 1. Anang and Ashanty wedding celebration is(was) on mei(May) 20th

2012

2. The place is(was) in one of five stars hotel 3. (The) Wedding cake is(was) very big and tall

4. Anang (and) Ashanty throw(threw) five bucket flower to the guest 5. Host(s) in the wedding (were) his Aurel and Azriel

6. In the end(,) (the) wedding party implemented dance together 7. The party is(was) crowded

The underlined words show that the writer used conjunctions. The appropriate use of conjunction is determined by the connection between the clauses which are combined. If the conjunction used is in line with the relation between the clauses, then the cohesion of the text has successfully

built and the text won’t bring out any confusion to the readers while

getting the meaning delivered from the writer through the text.

The sample above was done to all students’ texts involved in this research.

The detail analysis could be seen in the Appendix.

Concluding Remarks

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CHAPTER 5

CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS

This chapter is the last section in this paper. This final chapter provides conclusion and suggestions of this research.

5.1.Conclusion

This research has investigated the tenth graders’ ability and difficulties in

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5.2.Suggestions

Based on the research findings, discussions and conclusion, the research proposes some suggestions. First, concerning the teaching of writing, students should be given more input regarding News Item text. More explanation should be provided by the teacher to help students to get comprehensive understanding of News Item Text, sometimes, a flashback about spelling and punctuation is also needed to remind the students regarding the use of those items. Moreover, the teacher should make sure that the students have already understood the theories related to the text writing to minimize the errors made in writing News Item Text.

Second, in terms of duration of News Item Text learning, the students should be provided more time in practicing their writing. Remembering the complex process which should have been done in writing, more time in practicing writing will put more experience for students to be able to create a text with good quality.

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