IMPROVING THE EIGHTH GRADE STUDENTS’ DESCRIPTIVE PARAGRAPH WRITING ACHIEVEMENT THROUGH REALIA AT SMP NEGERI 2 LUMAJANG IN THE 2010/2011 ACADEMIC YEAR
Irma Fahriani Maghfiroh
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This Classroom Action Research was intended to improve the eighth grade students‟ descriptive paragraph writing achievement through Realia at SMP Negeri 2 Lumajang in the 2010/2011 academic year. This research subjects were the students of class Eight E that was determined purposively, because their writing achievement score was the lowest among the six existing classes which was below the standard mastery of English of the school that is 75. It was known from the result of the preliminary study, the interview, the classroom observation and the students‟ previous writing score. Besides, they also still experienced difficulties in the areas of vocabularies, tenses or structure masteries, mechanical skills, organization and content of the paragraph. As a result, they experienced difficulties in composing writing in English. Finally, both the researcher and the English teacher agreed to apply realia because this learning media was suitable and appropriate to overcome the students‟ problems in writing. This research was carried out in two cycles. Each cycle covered the stages including planning of the action, implementation of the action, classroom observation and evaluation, and analysis and reflection of the action. These activities were conducted in each cycle. The first cycle was conducted in three meetings including the writing test. The data of the students‟ writing achievement were collected through the writing test. Meanwhile, observation was used to monitor the teaching learning process of writing by using checklist. The results of the students‟ writing achievement in the first cycle showed that the percentage of the students who got score 75 or more was 54.28%. In addition, the results of observation in Cycle 1 revealed that only 54.05% out of 37 students actively participated in the teaching learning process of writing by using realia. The rest of the research subjects (45.94% of 37 students) were passive in joining the lesson. They were reluctant to ask questions and answer the teacher‟s oral questions. Besides, some students did not pay much attention to the lesson; some students tend to talk to their friends and making any noise. Based on those results, it could be concluded that the action done in the first cycle was not successful yet. Therefore, the actions were continued to the second cycle by revising the lesson plans in the first cycle by considering the students‟ weaknesses and errors they made on the writing test in the first cycle. In Cycle 2, the researcher showed another realia and gave more explanation about descriptive paragraph including its elements (generic structure and lexico grammatical features) and its example. Besides, the researcher gave them more opportunities to ask questions. The results of the students‟ writing achievement test in the second cycle showed that 85.29% out of 34 students got score 75 or more. It improved from 54.28% in Cycle 1 to 85.29% in Cycle 2. Besides, there was also an improvement on the percentage of the students‟ active participation in the teaching and learning process of descriptive paragraph writing by using realia. It improved from 54.05%in Cycle 1 to 81.08% in Cycle 2. It means that both the students‟ writing test and the students‟ active participation in the teaching and learning process of writing by using realia improved in the second cycle and fulfilled the success criteria of this research. Thus, the action research was ended. Based on the results above, it could be concluded that the use of realia in the teaching learning process of descriptive paragraph writing could improve the students‟ writing achievement in two cycles. Then, it is suggested to the English teacher and the students to apply realia as an alternative media in teaching and or practicing writing. It is due to the fact that realia could improve the students‟ descriptive paragraph writing achievement. At last, for the future researcher, this research could be used as references to conduct further research dealing with the same or different aspects of the English skills, research area, or research design in other schools to develop the quality of the teaching learning process of writing.