Research findings and discussion


) The improvement on students’ reading competence



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1) The improvement on students’ reading competence

Table 4.10

The Result of Post Test 3


No


Reading Competence

The Average Score


Improvement

Pre Research

Post Test 1

Post Test 2

Post Test 3

1

Topic & Main Idea

64.4

68.8

82.2

88.8

6.6

2

Detailed information

43.3

51.6

63.3

73.3

10

3

Transition paragraph

0

43.4

63.3

76.6

13.3

4

Completing sentence

40

56.6

70

73.3

3.3

5

Organization of the text

60

66.6

73.3

80

6.7

6

Purpose of the text

66.6

80

86.6

88.8

2.2

7

Vocabulary

36.6

50

66.6

76.6

10

8

Reference

73.3

80

93.3

93.3

0

9

Inference

53.3

60

73.3

80

6.7

10

Tone & Course

66.6

73.3

76.6

86.6

10

11

Irrelevant sentence

64.4

66.6

73.3

80

6.7

TOTAL

51.68

63.35

74.70

81.57

6.86

Comparing students’ result in pre test and post test showed that there was an improvement on students’ reading competence. The target of average score was 70 for each reading material has been fulfilled. Comparing to students’ result in pre test, post test 1, and post test 2. The result of post test 3 showed that the highest improvements among others. The average score for each reading competence is above 70, the minimum standard which must be required. Moreover, the highest score of this cycle was still in determining the reference where the average score was 93.3, it means that most students did not have difficulty in this kind of reading competence. Meanwhile, the highest improvement from post test 1 to post test 3 was in transition paragraph where the number of improvements was 13.4. It was very interesting result because previously students got the main difficulty in transition paragraph, then it continuously increased and now it becomes the highest of all.

Researcher noted that the average score in the pre test of the whole materials was 51.68 then this result increased in the first post test which reached the average score 63.35, and continuing in progress in cycle 2 where the average score increased in the number of 74.70 and finally it highly improved in cycle 3 where the average score was 81.57. Meanwhile, researcher’s evaluation related to students reading score in cycle 3 was that the whole students’ reading scores were above the standard minimum required. These finding results proved that the implementation of Styles and Strategies Based Instruction gave positive effects in improving students’ reading competence.


  1. The improvement on students’ psychology

The applying of action research in cycle 3 showed that students more enthusiatic and motivated in studying reading, that was researcher saw after each meetings. Beside their eagerness in getting involved in classroom reading performance and their routine activities in seeking researcher to get additional meetings outside the class. Students became diligently in sending message to researcher by the time researcher will have taught Alumni Class. It contained a requirement to teach them reading material. The message was sent by students with the data source L-7, “Bu NM saya ifa siswa kelas Alumni, besok ibu kan ngajar kelasku kita belajarnya reading aja ya bu.”(March, 18th 2011)

The critical accident above showed that students’ psychology related to reading had shifted not only in the classroom performance or additional meeting but also in their daily routines. Students had high motivation, eagerness, and awareness of how easy and fun studying reading. It showed by students’ response when researcher asked them,”What will you want to discuss this day?” students replied researcher question by saying, “Reading aja bu, kan sekarang tesnya reading semua. Lagian duluan SNMPTN daripada Ujian Mandiri.” At cycle 3 researcher did not need to persuade or invited students to study reading anymore in each meetings because students did not think that reading was difficult subject anymore.



  1. Reflecting

Reflection was aimed at analyzing and evaluating the result of action, the strengths, and the weaknesses. Then, the results became basic understanding for taking evaluation and making correction.

1) The Strengths

According to the reflection of cycle 3, there were strong points related to the research. There were as follows:



a) Reading became favorit subject

The applying of Classroom Action Research in cycle 3 showed reading became favorit subject. Students who categorized as passive and low students got improvement. They became more brave, open, and self confidence in getting involved in classroom performance. As one of passive students with the data source L-7 who send message to researcher requesting reading class by the time researcher teaches their class.



    1. Researcher-Students emotional become closer

Having applied Classroom Action Research for months, researcher-students emotional relationship become closer. It was because of some reasons, the frequent interaction between researcher and students both during the classroom activity and outside class. In the classroom activity, a researcher must have good motivation and intention to recognize and understand her object of study (students). Therefore, it created students’ care from researcher to the students and vise versa.

    1. Classroom’s atmosphere

After the third cycle, Alumni Classroom atmosphere truly became changes. Almost students became active, enthusiastic, and motivated when reading was taught. It was shown by the number of students who raising their hands is asking question, the number of students getting involved in reading instruction, the number of students giving response to researcher’s question, and the number of students doing reading test independently.

  1. The Weaknesses

At this cycle, problems related to students’ reading competence were solved. The main weaknesses of cycle 1 and 2 was eliminated


  1. Discussion of Research Findings

Based on the Classroom Action Research which had been done, this research indicates that Styles and Strategies Based Instruction can improve students’ reading competence at Alumni Class of Ganesha Operation Semarang 2010-2011 academic year. This conclusion based on the following discussion.

      1. The Improvement on the implementation of Styles and Strategies Based Instruction (SSBI)

                1. Students’ improvement on reading competence and reading score

After Classroom Action Research had been implemented, students’ reading competence and score improved. The researcher identified it from the average score of students’ reading achievement. Based on the above results, it can be seen that before implementing Classroom Action Research, students’ reading achievements in each competence was far from satisfaction and had not passed the standard minimum yet. Pre test result showed that there was only one competence “finding the reference” which fulfilled the standard minimun required, others were not. Then, there was one reading competence “determining transition paragraph” which cannot be answered by the whole students at Alumni Class correctly because students misunderstood in understanding the question.

After the first post test had been implemented, there were three reading competencies which improved and passed the standard minimum required. Those reading competencies were (1) determining the purpose of the text, (2) finding the reference, and (3) identifying tone&course. Then, the average score in the first post test increased in the level of 63.35 which was previously 51.68. These results highly increased in second post test, students were able to achieve more in several reading competencies. These were finding the topic and main idea, completing sentence, organization of the text, and determining the inference. Then, the highest score was continuously in determining the purpose of the text where the average score was 93.3. However there were still two reading competencies “finding detailed information and determining transition paragraph” which have not fulfilled the standard minimum required. Therefore, the third cycle was implemented to make improvement.

At the third post test, students’ reading scores highly improved. It can be seen from the average score of each reading competence which was above 70. Meanwhile, the highest improvement was in transition paragraph where the average score was 76.6 in the thrid cycle. It was amazing result because previously students got the most difficulty in transition paragraph in which their reading scores were zero in pre test, then it continuously increased in each cycle. Then, after Styles and Strategies Based Instruction had been implemented, this reading competence got the highest improvement among others. Researcher noted that previously, the average score in the pre test of the whole materials was 51.68 then this result increased in the first post test which reached the average score 63.35, and continuing in progress in cycle 2 where the average score increased in the average score of 74.70 and finally highly improved in cycle 3 where the average score was 81.57.

Meanwhile, researcher’s evaluation related to students reading score in cycle 3 was that the whole students’ reading score got above the standard minimum required. These finding results proved that the implementation of Styles and Strategies Based Instruction gave positive effects in improving students’ reading competence. It can be proved from the students’ reading score from cycle to cycle which improved significantly.



Table 4.11

Students’ Improvement in Reading Score


No

STUDENTS’ NAME

PRE TEST

POST TEST 1

POST TEST 2

POST TEST 3

1

AS 1

50

60

70

75

2

AS 2

60

70

75

85

3

AS 3

45

50

70

75

4

AS 4

40

55

70

80

5

AS 5

60

75

85

85

6

AS 6

55

60

75

75

7

AS 7

50

60

70

80

8

AS 8

45

55

65

75

9

AS 9

60

65

75

80

10

AS 10

40

60

75

85

11

AS 11

50

60

70

80

12

AS 12

45

65

70

75

13

AS 13

40

60

65

75

14

AS 14

40

60

70

80

15

AS 15

40

65

75

75

Both tables showed that when students actively used and implemented reading strategies, automatically it will increase their ability in answering and understanding English reading. As showed by students’ reading score which improved from cycle to cycle, so it indicates that strategy training for ESL/EFL readers is worthwhile; however, teachers should modify any expectations of achieving rapid success (Farrel 2001 in Shen&Huang, 2007:117). As shown in the research findings of this research, researcher realized that she should not expect immediate success, after a process of trial and error. Researcher also realized that reading strategy based instruction takes time and many reinforcements. So, it needs hard efforts to change all of students thinking, feeling, and competence related to reading in order to improve their reading proficiency.



                1. The Improvement of students’ psychology

Students’ progress related to reading was not only in their empirical aspects but also in psychological aspects in which students did not think that reading was a boring, monotonous, and complicated subject anymore which needs much vocabulary understanding and much time to be done. After Classroom Action Research had been implemented, students became more enthusiatic and motivated in studying reading. They gave positive response to reading since the first meeting.

Students psychologically become more active, condusive, and positive in viewing reading. They seem motivated and eager in discussing reading, students fully paid attention to teacher’s instruction in implementing reading strategies, and able to do independent exercises by applying reading strategies given. This condition happens as the general implications of Classroom Action Research. Having given students many opportunities to read, enough time to think, and much suggestion, students get improvements in their reading fluency and automaticity. At this phase, researcher had helped students became strategic readers by focusing on metacognitive awareness and strategy learning, motivates students to read, and makes extensive reading and broad exposure to second language texts as a routine practice, in and out of class (Grabe&Stoller, 2001: 188).



It is in line with Scarcella & Oxford, (1992:63 in Oxford 2001:359) who said that learning strategies are used by students to enhance their own learning. When the learner conciously chooses strategies that fit his or her learning style and the L2 task at hand, these strategies become a useful toolkit for active, concious, and purposeful self regulation of learning. Students participation or involvement is a way to practice their English. Therefore, when students do it routinely, it becomes a habitual activity which lead them to mastery. In this Classroom Action Research, some beneficial contributions related to the implementation of Styles and Strategies Based Instruction can be seen from students’ empirical, psychological, and emotional progress. Started from empirical progress, students reading scores improved from cycle to cycle although several problems were still faced by researcher and students in the process of Classroom Action Research. In psychological progress, students get much improvements in their feeling and thinking related to reading. Then in emotional progress, teacher-students become closer and classroom reading performance becomes comfort, active, and lively.

        1. The emotional improvements between teacher-students

Having applied Classroom Action Research, teacher-students relationship becomes closer it is because the intensity of students get in touch with researcher, especially in additional meeting. As mentioned by Oxford that the more that teachers know about their students’ style preferences, the more effectively teachers can orient their L2 instruction that can be interwoven into language instruction, matched to those style preferences. Some learners might need instruction presented more visually, while others might require more auditory, kinesthetic, or tactile types of instruction. Because without adequate knowledge about their individual students’ style preferences, teachers cannot systematically provide the needed instructional variety (2001: 365).

        1. Classroom Atmosphere

Because students’ attitude shifted in reading, it impacted classroom atmosphere. As previous meetings, reading class was a boring class where students seem unmotivated and lazy with the materials. After the Classroom Action Research was done it totally changed, classroom atmosphere became more active, live, comfort, and enjoyable. They ask researcher to teach them reading when researcher has schedule in their class. Reading becomes the favorite subject and researcher does not need to persuade students to learn reading, because students conciously want to study reading. This condition also happens in the outside class where students routinely send message to researcher a day before teaching their class to teach them reading material.

        1. Why Styles and Strategies Based Instruction are chosen?

World Health Organization and JHPIEGO (2005:1-8) proposed 14 categories for effective teaching and learning; (1) students are ready and want to learn. In this research, we can find that from cycle to cycle students’ eagerness and motivation become more and more in studying reading. Students’ willingness in discussing and studying reading reflected both in classroom reading performance and the outside class (see page 153-155, 195, 225-226). (2) students are aware of what they need to learn. Students’ awareness related to reading appeared since they ever passed State University Entrance Test. Students knew well what they need to learn (see page 171&226). This condition impacted students’ psychology in asking reading materials both in classrtoom reading performance and additional meeting in the outside class.

New knowledge, skills, and attitudes build on what students already known or have experienced are become the third requirement. At this research, researcher used Styles and Strategies Based Instruction because it offers certain techniques in studying reading. (4) students are active and participate in their learning. As mentioned in the observing and reflecting phase which had been mentioned in each cycle that students are getting involved during classroom reading performance, raising their hands if they do not understand, and asking researcher to check thier reading task. (5) students are encouraged to apply critical thinking and alternative approaches supported by sound reasons. At the implementation of Classroom Action Research, students are encouraged to do independent exercises to be able to independent reader. It was applied after each meeting had been given. (6) new knowledge, skills, and attitudes are realistic, relevant, and can be put to immediate use. The procedure of reading strategies based on Styles and Strategies Based Instruction are applicabale. Students can be implemented by themselves. (7) new knowledge, skills, and attitudes are demonstrated to students, applied by students, and integrated into students’ world.

Numerous opportunities are given for students to practice both ideas and skills, and to receive feedback on their performance through self, peer, or teacher assessment. There were numerous opportunities that have been given by researcher to train students, give them model first, and ask them to do independent reading. It was aimed to give them enough opportunity to practice. (9) feedback to students on their performance is immediate, constructive, and nonjudgemental. At this research, feedback was given directly after students did certain reading items. It was aimed to evaluate students’ performance. (10) teaching is interesting, pleasant, and exciting. The classroom reading performance during the the implementation of this research was created as close as students’ learning styles. Such as by using three different colors of boardmarker, giving students break time, playing classical music during teaching learning process, and drawing mind map. Those were aimed to cover students’ learning styles which are different and make classroom meetings become interesting, pleasant, and exciting. (11) a variety of teaching methods and techniques is used. The technique which was used at this research was Styles and Strategies Based Instruction. It was aimed to ease students in getting understanding at reading. (12) teaching moves step by step from simple to context and is organized, logical, and practical. This requirement had been applied at this research in which researcher gave students reading instruction, model, and exercise started from the easiest to the most difficult.

Ideas and concepts are presented clearly, alternative explanations are presented, and teachers check frequently for students’ understanding. Reading concepts which are explained to students were written in the white board using three different colors of board marker, written in sytematic way, brief, and directly to the point. So the strategies given are applicable and simple. Then the implementation of those strategies are controlled by researcher in evaluation activities which were done in the main activities. Meanwhile, during teaching learning process, researcher always go around the class to check students’ task, asked their difficulty, and gave students any help. (14) the learning environment is realistic, relevant, and one of trust, mutual respect, relative calm, helpfulness, freedom of expressio, and acceptance of different opinions and approaches. This research applied classroom reading performance which are open and welcome to any suggestion and acceptance.

Based on those requirements, it can be seen that the implementation of Styles and Strategies Based Instruction fulfilled the requirements of effective teaching and learning. Therefore, it becomes the reason why SSBI was chosen at this Classroom action Research as the way to solve students’ reading problems at Alumni Class of Ganesha Semarang 2010-2011 academic year.



  1. The strengths

The implementation of Classroom Action Research at Alumni Class in the purpose of improving students’ reading competence through Styles and Strategies Based Instruction truly gave beneficial contributions and strong points:

    1. Based on the result of each meeting, researcher can identify the strengths and weaknesses of her teaching, materials, classroom performance, and students’ response. Then, it can be evaluation to do better improvement in the next meeting. As Shen&Huang (2007: 117) said that based on the diagnostic test result, the class teacher can identify an individual’s profile of strengths and weaknesses. This profile will provide direction for remedial and compensatory strategies leading individuals with learning difficulties to academic success. Oxford (2001:365) also said that L2 teachers could benefit by assessing the learning styles and the strategy use of their students, because such assessment leads to greater understanding of styles and strategies.

    2. Reflection as one of the parts of Classroom Action Research serves as a meaningful complement to reading strategy instruction. Cohen (1998) emphasizes ongoing evaluation and revision of the training program to ensure a successful program. Therefore, keeping observation notes and reflective learning journals provided researcher with a means for reflection on what happened during teaching learning processes.

    3. Styles and Strategies Based Instruction becomes the best choice at this action research because teacher serves in multiple roles of a guider, facilitator, and affective supporter. So there is no doubt that the effects of instruction become the subject to students’ motivation to learn. As Dornyei (2001) writes that the teacher-researcher acts as programmer, organizer, classroom manager, and affective supporter who exerts a direct and systematic motivational influence on students’ learning.

    4. As mentioned in the result of this research that students’ thinking related to reading shifted and they were apparently more involved in classroom reading performance when skimming for main ideas and scanning for detailed questions were introduced and used as strategies reading. Sheh&Huang (2007:117) mentioned that selecting interesting and relevant materials motivates students to learn reading strategies. Thus, with the use of reading strategies, students’ interest in reading will be higher.

  1. The weaknesses

                1. As discussed in cycle 1 that students mostly get difficulties in their vocabulary understanding, therefore; researcher tried to make some revision and correction related to the strategies given to students in cycle 2, and cycle 3. This facts proved that no single instructional methodology fits to all students. As Oxford mentioned in her writing that Styles and strategies help determine a particular learner’s ability and willingness to work within the framework of various instructional methodologies. It is foolhasrdy to think that a single L2 methodology could possibly fit an entire class filled with the students who have range of stylistic and strategies preference (2001:365).

                2. The various materials in every meeting which is institutionally must be delivered to students, make researcher was limited in elaborating the classroom activity. Researcher got difficulties in managing her time during teaching learning processes. Because institutional course is not as strict as school. So, it became an ordinary understanding that students came late and very late, so it was not easy to cover the whole obstacles.




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