IMPROVING THE GRADE VIII STUDENTS’ READING COMPREHENSION ACHIEVEMENT AND THEIR ACTIVE PARTICIPATION BY USING FOLKTALE AT SMP NURIS JEMBER
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Reading is one of the four language skills that must be mastered by the students in English language teaching. Carrel, et.al (1995: 1) say that for many students reading is one of the important skills besides the other skills such as listening, speaking and writing. By reading, the students are expected to make connection between what they have had and how the meaning is made from the text and they also get not only information or knowledge but also enjoyment (Grellet, 1996:4). Thus, Reading plays an important role to enable the students of Junior High School to master English. Preliminary study was conducted to know the problem of the reading English class at grade VIII of SMP NURIS Jember in 2010/2011 academic year. It was done on January 5th 2011 by doing an interview with the English teacher. It was known that many students especially the grade VIII students still find difficulties in word comprehension, sentence comprehension, paragraph comprehension, and text comprehension. Related to the problem, folktale was used as the material to improve the students’ reading comprehension achievement. The purpose of this research was to improve the grade VIII students’ reading comprehension achievement and their active participation at SMP NURIS Jember in the 2010/2011 academic year. The design of this research was classroom action research with two cycles. It was begun from finding the problem, constructing lesson plans and instruments, teaching reading by using folktale, administering reading comprehension tests and the last was analyzing the test results. The area of this research was the grade VIII of SMP NURIS Jember. This class was chosen based on the preliminary study that the students in this class still had problems in comprehending text and it needed to be improved. The main data about the students’ reading comprehension achievement were collected by using reading test through Indonesian folktale. The supporting data were collected by interview and documentation. The research result showed that teaching reading by using folktale improved the students’ reading comprehension achievement. It was improved by the fact that percentage of the students who got score of at least 65 increased from 24 students or 61.53 % of 39 students in cycle 1 to 32 students or 82.05 % of 39 students in cycle 2. Besides, the use of folktale also improved the students’ active participation in the teaching learning process of reading. This can be seen from the fact that the percentage of the students who were active in the classroom increased from 24 students or 69.23% in Cycle 1 to 33 students or 80.76% in cycle 2. Based on the explanation above, there were two main points can concluded. Firstly, the use of folktale can improve the students’ reading comprehension achievement of the grade VIII at SMP NURIS Jember in the 2010/2011 Academic Year. Second, the use of folktale can improve the students’ active participation of the grade VIII at SMP NURIS Jember in the 2010/2011 Academic Year. Thus, it is suggested to the English teacher, the students, and the future researcher to use folktale as the material in the teaching learning process of reading since it can improve the students’ reading comprehension achievement and their active participation.