Research findings and discussion



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Finding the Course

Text 1

Next is permafrost which means soil at or below the freezing point of water (0° C or 32° F) for two or more years. Ice is not always present, as may be in the case of nonporous bedrock, but it frequently occurs and it may be in amounts exceeding the potential hydraulic saturation of the ground material. Most permafrost is located in high latitudes (i.e. land in close proximity to the North and South Poles), but alpine permafrost may exist at high altitudes in much lower latitudes. Permafrost accounts for 0.022% of total water and exist in 24% of exposed land in the Northern Hemisphere.



The extent of permafrost can vary as the climate changes. Today, a considerable area of the Arctic is covered by permafrost (including discontinuous permafrost). Overlying permafrost is a thin active layer that seasonally thaws during the summer. Plant life can be supported only within the active layer since growth can occur only in soil that is fully thawed for some part of the year. Thickness of the active layer varies by year and location, but is typically 0.6-4m (2.0-13 ft) thick. In areas of continuous permafrost and harsh winters the depth of the permafrost can be as much as 1, 493 m (4,900 ft) in the northern Lena and Yana River basins in Siberia. Permafrost can also be a storage of carbon.

Typically, the below-ground temperature will be less variable from season to season than the air temperature, with temperatures tending to increase with depth. Thus, if the mean annual air temperature is only slightly below 0° C (32° F), permafrost will form only in spots that are sheltered-usually with a northerly aspect. This creates what is known as discontinuous permafrost. Usually, permafrost will remain discontinuous in a climate where the mean annual soil surface temperature is between -5 and 0° C (23 and 32° F). In the moist-wintered areas mentioned before, there may not be even discontinuous permafrost down to -2° C (28.4° F). Discontinuous permafrost is often further divided into extensive discontinuous permafrost, where permafrost covers between 50 and 90 percent of the landscape and is usually found in areas with mean annual temperatures between -2 and -4° C (28 and 25° F), and sporadic permafrost where permafrost cover is less than 50 percent of the landscape and typically occurs at mean annual temperatures between o and -2 °C (32 and 28° F).



UM I UNDIP 2010
In what course is the passage most probably given?

  1. geography

  2. architecture

  3. geology

  4. naval engineering

  5. marine science

Reading strategies based instruction which can be applied to answer questions above were: (1) researcher instructed students to read every first sentence and found the key words. The key words of every first sentence in the question above can be seen from several words which were in bold printed. Those words were regarded as the key words because they became the subject of each sentence. After knowing the key words, (2) students were instructed to make generalization then came to the conclusion. The main discussion in each sentence was permafrost, therefore the correct answer for the question above is Geology. Next, researcher, continued her explanation in discussing the tone of the passage by applying certain strategies which have been mentioned in the previous material.


Finding the tone

Text 2

Many modern educational experts claim that teaching facts and academic skills is less important than achieving other social objectives. For some liberals, the schools must first change attitudes or provide nurturing in place of failed families or help establish equality and social justice. For some conservatives, the schools must first prepare kids for the workplace by molding them into supple corporate citizens, while others want the focus to be on family values, a competitive spirit, or other social or behavioral objectives. But the idea of simply educating kids seems to have taken a backseat to most educational experts and administrators, are more likely to overcome social barriers, more likely to have genuine self esteem, and most likely to be genuinely prepared for the challenges of life and the workplace. By emphasizing so many things besides a genuine, classical education, the educational establishment tends to sell our kids short and bring about many of the problems they calim to be solving.

Consider the case of Wesley Elementary School in Houston. According to Richard Nadler in the article, “Failing Grade”, Wesley has all the demographic markers of a schools bound for failure. Over 80 % of the students qualify for subsidized lunches, and nearly all are minorities (92% black, 7% Hispanic). Yet it ranks among the best schools of Houston, with first-graders placing at the 82nd percentile level in reading tests which is 50 points higher than the expected level for similiar at-risk schools.

What has made Wesley so successful? The answer is classical education in the form of Direct Instruction curriculum designed by Siegfried Engelmann, an example of the much ridiculed “sage-on-the-stage” approach. This Direct Instructionsystem boosts reading, writing, and math scores by 30 to 40 percentile points in at risk schools. Sadly, Engelmann, like others who successfully challenge popular fads in educational reform, has been rejected by much of the educational establishment. His success is an embarrassment to them.

SNMPTN 2010

In writing the text, the writer’s tone could be best described as...



  1. persuasive

  2. descriptive

  3. informative

  4. evaluative

  5. conservative

To solve question above, researcher instructed students by reading every first sentence and found the key words. Key words will be the gist for students in determining kind of tone of the text. Key words found were signed in bold printed. See the following explanation.



Many modern educational experts claim that teaching facts and academic skills is less ... (line 1)

For some liberals, the schools must first change ... (line 3)

For some conservatives, the schools must first prepare... (line 5)

According to Richard Nadler in the article, “Failing Grade”, Wesley has ... (line 20)
Those words were regarded as the key words because they became the subject of each sentence. Key words above were quotations from several experts, they showed that the author mentioned several arguments related to education before he ignored them.

But the idea of simply educating kids seems to have taken a backseat to most educational experts and administrators, are more likely to overcome social barriers, more likely to have genuine self esteem, and most likely to be genuinely prepared for the challenges of life and the workplace. By emphasizing so many things besides a genuine, classical education, the educational establishment tends to sell our kids short and bring about many of the problems they claim to be solving.
Having known the key words, students were instructed to make generalization to come to the conclusion. Those key words gave an understanding that the passage above did not merely describe, inform, and evaluate something because the author gave his own opinion. Therefore the correct tone for the passage above was “persuasive” as mentioned in option A.

The last reading materials discussed was determining the vocabulary, at this phase researcher gave students simple example in finding the similiar meaning of certain vocabulary. There were five questions in a reading passage. The questions and reading strategies given can be seen in the following instructions.



Determining Vocabulary
When babies are born, they always have blue eyes. This is because the melanin, the pigment that colors the eyes, is not on the surface of the iris. Instead, it is within creases of the iris. Becauuse there is little melanin on the surface of the iris, the eyes appear blue.

After a few months, the melanin moves to the surface of the iris. It is the amount of melanin on the surface that determines a person’s permanent eye color, so it is at this point that a baby’s eyes develp the color they will have for a life time.




  1. The word “pigment” in line 2 is closest meaning to __

  1. skin

  2. muscle

  3. tissue

  4. color

  5. eye




  1. The word “surface” in line 3 is closest meaning to __

  1. top

  2. inside

  3. back

  4. bottom

  5. within

Strategies based instruction which were applied to answer questions above were: researcher instructed students to read the question first, copied the vocabulary questioned, pasted to the passage and understood the context. For example, to answer the first question, several strategies applied were: (1) read the question number one, (2) copy the vocabulary which was being questioned “pigment”, (3) paste to the passage and it will be found in the second line.

When babies are born, they always have blue eyes. This is because the melanin, the pigment that colors the eyes, is not on the surface of the iris. Instead, it is within creases of the iris. Because there is little melanin on the surface of the iris, the eyes appear blue.


  1. The word “pigment” in line 2 is closest meaning to __

  1. skin

  2. muscle

  3. tissue

  4. color

  5. eye

After that, (4) understand the context by seeing the around words “this is because the melanin, the pigment that colors the eyes”. The word pigment appeared closely with the word colors. This word can be a clue for the meaning of the word pigment was color. Therefore the correct answer for question number 1 was D “color.” The second example was question number 2, first researcher asked students to read the question number two, copy the vocabulary questioned “surface”, paste to the passage and it will be found in the third line.

When babies are born, they always have blue eyes. This is because the melanin, the pigment that colors the eyes, is not on the surface of the iris. Instead, it is within creases of the iris. Because there is little melanin on the surface of the iris, the eyes appear blue.


  1. The word “surface” in line 3 is closest meaning to __

  1. top

  2. inside

  3. back

  4. bottom

  5. within

Then, understand the context by seeing the around words of the word surface “this is because the melanin, the pigment that colors the eyes, is not on the surface of the iris”. The word surface appears closely with the word on. This word can be a clue for the meaning of the word surface. Therefore, the answer of question number 2 was top. The same strategies were applied in the questions number 3, and 4. At this kind of meeting, researcher tried hard to deliver the whole materials which were a lot and in a short time. Therefore students seemed tired and still got difficulties in understanding the materials.

After researcher had trained students with several questions, researcher asked students to do several exercises to lock their understanding and train themselves well in this kind of reading material and strategies. During this activity, students were focus and did every steps what researcher had been instructed. Meanwhile, researcher walked around the classroom and came to every students asking whether there were difficulties in answering the question. Students with the data source L-3 raised his hand, “Bu NM, opposite tu apa?” having heard what students asked, researcher answered, “Artinya sama dengan lawan kata ato antonim dek.” The students nodded his head and continued his duty. Then, researcher came to Students with the data source L-7, she was silent student so researcher asked if she can do the reading items or not “Gimana bisa dek? Ada kesulitan?” she smiled and answered, “iya bacaannya panjang-panjang banget.” Having heard what students said, researcher gave students suggestion, “Try to focus on the questions and strategies. OK!”

In the last 20 minutes, researcher invited students to discuss their exercises. There were 15 items which students must be done, these were related to find detailed information, tone and course, and vocabulary. Researcher applied each strategy given in answering the items, instructed students to follow it, and showed how to solve the similar answer. Students seemed enthusiastic when their answer was correct by saying “Yes bener” and dissappointed when their answer was wrong.”

After evaluating students’ exercises, researcher gave students several questions related to their feeling after the meeting, “What do you think about these strategies? are detailed questions, tone, course, and vocabulary still difficult for you?”. Student with the data source L-6 answered, “Aku vocabnya kalo pas susah suka bingung sendiri bu.” Tonenya bu, kalo course dah agak mudeng” said L-1. Meanwhile, students with the data source L-12 joined in giving statementt, “Males banget kalau dapat bacaan panjang-panjang kayak koran gitu jadinya. Having heard students’ feeling, researcher smiled and asked another students’ feeling, “how about you Sata?” “Udah lumayan faham bu ternyata kalo jawab soal gak perlu ngerti semua artinya sekarang.” Researcher then told students to try and train themselves as frequently as possible, because English is tested skill so it needs a habit and exercise. Researcher closed the classroom by reminding students to keep practice those strategies at home and any reading they faced to make them accustomed and trained.


  1. The Third Meeting

The third meeting was conducted on Friday, October 29th 2010. The materials discussed were (1) determining transition paragraph both preceding and following paragraph, (2) completing text both beginning and ending, and (3) finding irrelevant sentence. The activity was focused on explaining several reading strategies related to the topic discussed. The activities in the third meeting were divided into pre activities, main activities, and post activities. At this meeting, researcher did the same teaching model in the classroom by giving explanation related to the materials first and then, it was continued by discussing the strategies given.

When the first bell was ringing, researcher entered Alumni Class with the collaborator, there were two students attending the class. Researcher and collaborator said hello to them, then collaborator sat in the back seat. Meanwhile, researcher prepared the materials by drawing the chapter which would be discussed.

At 09.00 A.M the second bell was ringing, researcher opened the lesson by greeting the students first. She said “Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh” and “Good morning students?” enthusiastically. The students replied the researcher’s greeting by saying “Waalaikumsalam Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh” “Morning...” students replied. After that, researcher asked students “Whose absent today guys?”. Students answered, “No one mam,” After that, the classroom activity was continued by discussing students’ result in try out, spontaneously students replied “jelek buuuuuuuuuuuu”. Students with data source L-3 shared his feeling “susah banget bu reading-nya panjang-panjang dan vocabnya susah, pertanyaannya ja gak mudeng.” Then, students with data source L-9 replied, “nih lo bu soalnya, preceding tu apa bu? Saya bingung.” Researcher smiled and told students not to worry and sad because what they felt difficult in try out will be discussed at the meeting.
Next, researcher mentioned the number of reading items appeared in the previous State University Entrance Test. Then, it was continued by delivering the basic concept of transition paragraph, completing sentence, and irrelevant sentence. Those were explained in the form of basic concept materials and kinds of strategies used. These were presented in table 4.4.
The Basic Concept of Transition Paragraph and Completing Sentence
a) The differences between transition paragraph and sentence
Table 4.4



b) Understanding the question

Transition paragraph
It identifies the topic of beginning or following paragraph. Before answering the questions, students must be able to identify kinds of questions related to reading competencies.


  1. The paragraph preceding the passage probably about?

  2. Which of the following most probably the subject of the preceding paragraph?

  3. What is most likely in the paragraph following the passage?

  4. Which of the following most probably the subject of the following paragraph?


Completing Sentences
It identifies the beginning or ending of sentences. Before answering the questions, students must be able to identify kinds of questions related to reading competencies.

  1. Which sentence would probably be the beginning of the paragraph?

  2. Which of the following statements is the best conclusion of the paragraph?



              1. Reading strategies

Kinds of reading strategies related to find the transition paragraph and completing sentences of the passage. The procedure of this strategy is:



Tabel 4.5

The explanation of transition paragraph and completing sentence was combined because they had similiar concept and strategies. Researcher started her explanation by explaining what is preceding and following paragraph, beginning and ending sentence, kinds of questions, and kinds of strategies used. It was done because in the pre research, researcher found that no one can answer the question related to transition paragraph correctly, the whole students misunderstood the question. After that, researcher continued her explanation in discussing reading materials and strategies related to irrelevant sentence. As the previous materials, researcher explained the basic concept first.



The Basic Concept of Irrelevant Sentence
a) Understanding the questions
Identify the irrelevant sentence of the passage. Before answering the questions, students must be able to identify kinds of questions related to reading competencies.

  1. The sentence which is irrelevant is sentence number _______

  2. The sentence which is irrelevant to the topic in the text above is sentence number ________

  1. Reading strategies

Kinds of reading strategies related to find the irrelevant sentence of the passage are:



    1. Choose a key word in every sentences

    2. Relate a logical idea in every sentences

    3. Waste the wrong option

Researcher explained those reading materials and strategies step by step to make it clear. After that researcher allowed students to write it in their handbook while listening to classical music “Mozart alergo moderato violin concerto and Mozart alergo aperto violin concerto”. During this activities, several students did some talk with their friends and others seemed seriously watch the white board in understanding the concept. Then, 5 minutes later after break time, researcher invited students to discuss reading materials based on the reading strategies given.


Transition Paragraph

When a strong earthquake occurs on the ocean floor rather than on land, a tremedous force is ecerted on the seawater and one or more large, destructive waves called tsunami can be formed. Tsunami are commonly called tidal waves in the United State, but this is really an inappropriate name in that the cause of the tsunami is an underground earthquake rather than the ocean’s tides.

Far from land, a tsunami can move through the wide open vastness of the ocean at a speed of 600 miles (900 kilometres) per hour and often can travel trendous distances without losing height and strength. When a tsunami reaches shallow coastal water, it can reach a height of 100 feet (30 metres) or more and can cause tremendous flooding and damage to coastal areas.


  1. The paragraph preceding the passage most probably discusses _____

        1. tsunamis in various parts of the world

        2. the negative effects of tsunamis

        3. land based earthquakes

        4. the effect of tides on tsunamis

        5. the tremendous flooding




  1. Which of the following is most likely the topic of the paragraph following the passage

  1. the causesof tsunamis

  2. the destructive effects of tsunamis on the coast

  3. the different between tsunamis and tidal waves

  4. the distances covered by tsunamis

  5. the effect of eartquake


Discussion:

Question number 1, determining paragraph preceding the passage

Strategies based instruction which can be applied to answer questions above were, for question number 1 researcher asked students first what was being questioned. It was aimed at knowing students undestanding and analyzing to reading items Then, students answered that it asked the paragraph that preceded the text. Having heard the students’ answer, researcher instructed students to read the first sentence of the first paragraph. Then find the key words, key words were words that can give clue and information about topic which came before the passage. In the question number 1, researcher instructed students to read the first line of the first paragraph and underlined it “when a strong eartquake occurs on the ocean floor rather than on land”. From this first sentence, researcher instructed students to relate it with the previous topic. The key words of the sentence above was “earthquake” which happened on the ocean floor “rather than” on land. If it told the earthquake which happened on the ocean floor, the previous topic discussed earthquake which happened on the land. Therefore, the right answer was option C “Land-based earthquake”.



Question number 2, determining paragraph following the passage

For question number 2, researcher asked students first what was being questioned. Then students answered that it asked the topic that followed the paragraph. Therefore, researcher instructed students to read the last sentence of the last paragraph. Then find the key words which can give clue and information about topic which came after the text. Researcher instructed students to read the last line of the last paragraph and underlined it “When a tsunami reaches shallow coastal water, it can reach a height of 100 feet (30 metres) or more and can cause tremendous flooding and damage to coastal areas”. From the last sentence, researcher instructed students to find the key words and try to relate it with the following topic. The key words of the sentence above was “tsunami can cause tremendous flooding and damage to coastal areas”. If it told the cause of tsunami, the following topic must be discussed the effects of tremendous flooding and damage to coastal areas. Therefore, the right answer was option B “The destructive effects of tsunamis on the coast”. After listening and practicing the reading strategies, students seemed understand. It reflected from students’ face which showed happily and nodded several times when the researcher gave instructions and found the correct answers. Next, researcher discussed completing sentence by applying certain strategies which had been discussed in the previous material.



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