Sunday, February 13, 2011


Wahid Riyadi
A. Background of the Study
English is the key to face the globalization era. As an international language, it plays an important role in many aspects of life such as education, economy, international relationship, technology, etc. Consequently, the teaching of English as a second and foreign language becomes a major international enterprise. So, it is very important to teach English to children as early as possible in order to prepare them facing the new era.
Since young children are able to learn foreign language more naturally and to some extent more easily than older learners, children can start learning a foreign language as soon as they are old enough to accept the social requirements demanded by group teaching.
Children can learn English from the earliest age since they have got knowledge o r ability to learn foreign language. In this case, the teachers only need to develop, support, motivate and dig up their basic ability in improving it. It is in line with Halliwel opinion (1998:3) that young children do not come to the language classroom empty handed but they bring with them on already well established set of instinct, skills and characteristic which will help them to learn another language.
In teaching English to children the teacher should pay attention not only to how the right implementation of the techniques used but also on how these techniques are suited to the elementary students‟ characteristics. It is
the target to create the teaching learning process becoming interesting and understanding to the children in order to reach the learning goal.
To meet the goal, many teaching techniques can be implemented, one of them is using story. By listening to the story, some important skills can be developed such as prediction, guessing, message decoding and assimilate new vocabulary. Story can allow students to be creative and imaginative and also give students a sense of achievement.
Story can be applied through telling and reading. Story telling activities are a great way to allow students to express themselves freely and creatively in an authentic and real way. According to Taylor (2000:16), story telling is relating to tale one or more listener through voice and gestures. Oral telling terms use to get much simpler language; in addition, the sentences are generally shorter. With oral telling, we usually repeat things more redundancy, especially if the students are having difficulty to follow the story. Telling story needs much time and energy, but different with story book reading, it is very simple and very efficient technique because the teacher only reads the text on that book.
Story book reading is the most common practice for implementing literature-based instruction in preschool and primary classroom. Children who have read frequently have described behaviors associated with early development. Children who read daily over long periods of time is better on measure of vocabulary, comprehension, and decoding ability than did children in the control groups who were not read to by an adult (Dickinson and Smith, 1994:104)
In teaching English using story book reading at Elementary school, teacher do not know is there any advantages or disadvantages in teaching learning process. But as a teacher he can not observes, so he need other people to help them to observe about the technique applied. In order that he can know and understand about the problems that faced by using story book reading. With this observation hopes all of the teaching learning problems by using story book reading can get the solution. Observation is a technique of collecting the data that is closely watching and noticing classroom events, happenings, or another teacher‟s observation, which is related to the data.
From the above explanation, the writer is interested in conducting the research in titled “Teaching English Using Story book Reading to improve English Skills in Elementary school”. The research aim is to know the implementation of story book reading, the difficulties faced by teacher in teaching English using story book reading and the student‟s comments on the implementation of teaching English using story book reading.
B. Problem Statement
Based on the background of the study, the writer formulates the problem as follows:
1. How is the teaching of English using story book reading at Elementary school curriculum carried out?
2. What are the problems faced by teacher in teaching English using story book reading at Elementary school?
3. How do the students comment on the technique applied?
C. Limitation of the Problem
In this research, the writer wants to know the teaching of English using story book reading, the problems faced by teacher in teaching English using story book reading and the students comment on the technique applied. The students are only the students of Elementary school.
D. Objective of the Study
This research is conducted to
1. Describe the teaching of English using Story Book reading Elementary school.
2. To know how the students comment on the techniques applied.
E. Benefit of the Study
There are two kinds of benefits of the study;
Theoretically and practically
1. Theoretical Benefits:
The result of this research can give some information to other researchers who want to analyze the teaching English language, so that the research also will be useful as the reference for these who want to conduct a research in analyzing teaching English language.
2. Practical Benefits
This paper can give the information for English teacher about what kinds
of the techniques that one suitable for elementary school students in learning English, to construct a policy dealing with the teaching English at elementary school and to give them opportunity to learn and practice English lesson more effectively.
A. The notion of teaching English to children
When the text is authentic and not grammatically sequenced, it exposes the learner to several tenses at the same time, which reflects a real life situation where the learner will have to find meaning through image and context, building on learning strategies.
a) Original text which has not been specially adapted for the foreign language learner will contain idiomatic language which can be taught in chunks which often takes the learner beyond the conventional curriculum.
b) Course books and graded readers simplify the text, illustration and print style with their priority being clarity. However, an authentic storybook author and illustrator will play about with print styles, artistic mediums and genre, The learner becomes more open minded about text with fewer preconceptions about what text should look like and be more likely to take creative risks in their own work and developing their understanding of genre type.
B. Diversity in Teaching in the Classroom
For effective teaching to take place, a good method must be adopted by a teacher. A teacher has many options when choosing a style by which to teach. The teacher may write lesson plans of their own,
borrow plans from other teachers, or search online or within books for lesson plans. When deciding what teaching method to use, a teacher needs to consider students' background knowledge, environment, and learning goals. Teachers are aware that students learn in different ways, but almost all children will respond well to praise. Students have different ways of absorbing information and of demonstrating their knowledge. Teachers often use techniques which cater to multiple learning styles to help students retain information and strengthen understanding. A variety of strategies and methods are used to ensure that all students have equal opportunities to learn. A lesson plan may be carried out in several ways: Questioning, explaining, modeling, collaborating, and demonstrating.
a. Questioning
A teaching method that includes questioning is similar to testing. A teacher may ask a series of questions to collect information of what students have learned and what needs to be taught. Testing is another method of questioning. A teacher tests the student on what was previously taught in order to identify if a student has learned the material. Standardized testing is in about every Middle School. Before that we have to teach how to make questioner. If the questioner is perfect then this method will be effective.
b. Explaining
Another teaching method is explanation. This form is similar to lecturing. Lecturing is teaching, giving a speech, by giving a discourse on a specific subject that is open to the public, usually given in the classroom. This can also be associated with demonstrating and modeling. A teacher may use experimentation to demonstrate in a science class. A demonstration is the circumstance of proving conclusively, as by reasoning or showing evidence. Modeling is used as a visual aid to learning. Students can visualize an object or problem, then use reasoning and hypothesizing to determine an answer.
c. Demonstrating
Demonstrations are done to provide an opportunity in learning new exploration and visual learning tasks from a different perspective. Demonstrations can be exercised in several ways. Here Teacher will be also a participant. He will do the work with his/her Student for their help.
d. Collaborating
Students' working in groups is another way a teacher can enforce a lesson plan. Collaborating allows students to talk among each other and listen to all view points of discussion or assignment. It helps students think in an unbiased way. When this lesson plan is carried out, the teacher may be trying to assess the lesson of working as a team, leadership skills, or presenting with roles.
C. Teaching using story book
A story-based approach to teaching English is acquisition based, working on the learner's pre-knowledge and taking meaning from context and image.
a) A learning cycle can be applied to each lesson as well as approaching the book as a whole;
a. pre-story
b. while
c. After activities.
b) That's to say the language is presented, used and then reviewed. Activities and games, such as guessing, matching, sequencing, labeling, classifying, songs, chants, TPR, role plays. At the same time working on the four skills; reading, writing, speaking and listening.
c) Having a concrete outcome such as a book-making project or a board game gives the children an enormous sense of achievement at the end of studying a story.
D. The technique used in teaching reading story book
In preparation for a course a teacher needs to reflect on the learning objectives:
a) Identify grammatical structures and functions
b) Group the lexical themes
c) Identify rhyme and spelling patterns
d) Idiomatic language
Also when choosing a story it's good to consider the potential for cross-curricular work. For example the all-famous story Roro Jongrang', ,provides a context for a project on the built of Prambanan temple.
My experience of teaching with story books has been very positive in that my general perception has been that children become highly motivated learners within this approach.
a) Working with illustrations provides a creative and artistic learning environment which children respond to.
b) A story book provides a child-centered universe where abstract concepts are symbolized within the text and images.
c) It provides an ideal context for literacy practice as well as linguistic acquisition.
d) Supporting visual literacy is important in order to help children take meaning from text as well as develop aesthetic understanding.
e) Providing information through pictures is an important and fast developing method of communication in the global world.
E. Effectiveness of teaching used reading story book
Stories are very important for children in learning their mother tongue, and they are important in learning any foreign language as well. That is why it is good to start using stories in teaching English as soon as possible. Primary school “children enjoy listening to stories over and over again. This frequent repetition allows certain language items to be acquired while others are being overtly reinforced. Many stories contain natural repetition of key vocabulary and structures. This helps children to remember every detail, so they can gradually learn to anticipate what is about to happen next in the story. Repetition also encourages participation in the narrative”. (Ellis and Brewster, 2002:2)
Stories are very motivating, challenging and great fun for children. They “can help develop positive attitudes towards the foreign language, culture and language learning”. (Ellis and Brewster, 2002:1) Using “stories allows the teacher to introduce or revise new vocabulary and sentence structures by exposing the children to language in varied, memorable and familiar contexts, which will enrich their thinking and gradually enter their own speech”. (Ellis and Brewster, 2002:2) “Listening to stories helps children become aware of the rhythm, intonation and pronunciation of language”.i (Ellis and Brewster, 2002:2) Stories also provide opportunities for developing continuity in children‟s learning. They can link English with other subject areas across the curriculum.
When children listen to stories in class they share social experience, it “provokes a shared response of laughter, sadness,
excitement and anticipation which is not only enjoyable but can help to build up the child‟s confidence and encourage social and emotional development”. (Ellis and Brewster, 2002:1) “Stories are a useful tool in linking fantasy and the imagination with the child‟s real world. They provide a way of enabling children to make sense of their everyday life and forge links between home and school”. (Ellis and Brewster, 2002:1)
Children exercise their imagination through stories. They “can become personally involved in a story as they identify with the characters and try to interpret the narrative and illustrations. This imaginative experience helps” (Ellis and Brewster, 2002:1) students develop their own creative potential.
Stories also “develop the different types of „intelligences‟ that contribute to language learning, including emotional intelligence”. (Ellis and Brewster, 2002:2) Stories “develop children‟s learning strategies such as listening for general meaning, predicting, guessing meaning and hypothesizing”. (Ellis and Brewster, 2002:2) Stories can develop all children‟s skills.
Stories address universal themes which go beyond the useful level of basic dialogues and daily activities. “They allow children to play with ideas and feelings and to think about issues which are important and relevant to them”. (Ellis and Brewster, 2002:2) They also provide “ideal opportunities for presenting cultural information and encouraging cross-cultural comparison”. (Ellis and Brewster, 2002:2)
For teachers stories allow “to use an acquisition-based
methodology by providing optimal input”. (Ellis and Brewster, 2002:2) It is great to use real storybooks because they “add variety and provide a springboard for creating complete units of work that constitute mini-syllabuses and involve pupils personally, creatively and actively in an all-round whole curriculum approach. They thereby provide a novel alternative to the course book”. (Ellis and Brewster, 2002:2)
Secondary school students like stories as well as primary school pupils. They want them, maybe not all the time, but basically they all need them. Stories are largely based on words. They give meaning to words. “Learning English through stories can lay the foundations for secondary school in terms of learning basic language functions and structures, vocabulary and language learning skills”. (Ellis and Brewster, 2002:2) It is obvious that we should choose different types of stories and different topics for secondary school students. Also the sources of stories are different. Students are able to create their own stories if they have the right input.
When we create a story-based lesson plan or syllabus, we need to know what aim we want to achieve and think about activities that will be used not only during the students work with the story but also about activities that begin and activities that end the work with the story. These activities are known as pre-reading or before reading activities, while- or during reading and post- or after reading activities. It is good to change several activities during the lesson and keep students in constant interest. Of course stories need not to be only read but also heard or created.
“Good language activities have no age limits, an idea which works with five-year-olds will, with some minor adaptations in content and presentation, probably work equally well with much older learners”.ii (Brumfit, Moon and Tongue, 1991: 187) Children may need to try each type of activity several times before they begin to exploit fully its learning potential. Activities must be varied, so that the learning environment is stimulating, exciting and unpredictable, and to stay motivated, they need goals and rewards. A teacher must plan each activity beforehand. It is also important to give clear instructions and to communicate to the children what is expected of them. (based on: Brumfit, Moon and Tongue, 1991) “This will often involve a demonstration of the activity by the teacher with the whole class watching, discussing and participating. When the children know exactly what to do, and how to go about the task, they have completed the activity; a brief report-back session provides children with some feedback on their success”.iii (Brumfit, Moon and Tongue, 1991: 189)
A. Pre - storytelling activities
Pre-storytelling activities are important because they introduce the topic, they motivate the students to read or listen to a story, they provoke initial interest in the topic, students start to think about it, they prepare their minds and show what they know about it. These activities help teacher anticipate problems in terms of language and concepts and give space to pre-teach complicated language
Warming up activities relax students. For example an informal chat can build up and maintain good relation between a teacher and students. Questions that introduce the topic are good to use, but not too many. Or students can guess the title of the topic of the lesson. We can show students a picture or watch a video extract to provoke they interest. A newspaper article or just a newspaper title as well as a song may lead on to a brief discussion about students related personal experiences. (based on: Ellis and Brewster, 2002)
a. Concrete pre - storytelling activities
Hangman - students may guess the topic by saying alphabet, every wrong letter is making a part of a hangman.
Warming up - discussion - brief discussion about students‟ own personal experiences.
Answer and pass on - each student has a piece of paper and must answer a question and pass it on, another student will answer second question and pass it on, etc. Example of questions are - who, where, when, what is he/she doing.
Brainstorming - we can ask students to think about a topic and write down all their ideas.
Asking questions - is a good activity and we can use it a lot, but “a good question must be probing and motivate thought so that it encourages children to justify
their responses, it must focus their attention and encourage observation, invite enquiry and stimulate because it is open-ended, it should be productive and seek a response and generate more questions”.iv (Ellis and Brewster, 2002: 20)
b. While story-telling activities
When we have involved our students in the lesson by pre-storytelling activities, we can start reading or hearing the story. The way we choose to present and tell a story affects the content and the style of telling. We should offer activities to all our students. There are three types of learners:
a) V - visual learners
- learn by seeing, they need real items, pictures, colours, etc. in learning,
- like reading books,
- create an orderly environment,
- watch the teacher‟s face,
- are appearance orientated,
- are good spellers, remember what was seen, and understand directions, use colours, shapes and physical position as memory aids.
b) A - auditory learners
- learn through listening, like dialogues, plays, they move lips when reading,
- like songs, sounds, sound effects, chants, rhymes, etc.
- they are usually class clowns, chattering, whispering,
- speak in rhythmic patterns,
- remember what was heard, they have short concentration span,
- can retell a story or message with high accuracy.
c) K - kinaesthetic learners
- learn through doing, they like a moving plot, reflect action in story with body movement,
- they gesture when speaking and like to be active,
- move around a lot, like to do things with hands, they are good at taking things apart,
- remember overall impression, want to start the activity immediately, impatient,
- learn best with quiet periods followed by active ones, they gesture when speaking and like to be active.
Storytelling activities
“Stories may bridge the gap between language study and language use and also to link classroom learning with the world outside. Some of the activities do not always have a very large language element but are nevertheless important in creating a feeling among the pupils that learning English means fun, activity, creativity and enjoyment”.v (Ellis and Brewster 2002: 17) Students will be much more involved and motivated to the teaching process when they see that their hard work in lessons has been leading somewhere. That is why follow-up activities are so important for students.
Follow-up activities include rounding up, reviewing and summarizing the lesson. They may be done in a lesson or used as homework. They “should provide opportunities to extend and consolidate language or topics introduced through a story”.vi (Ellis and Brewster 2002: 17) Students can make a poster, a book, a collage, a greetings card or other things based on story, they can organize an event
or play a part of the story. Follow-up activities develop students‟ skills especially their productive ones such as writing (e.g. writing letters and postcards, note-taking, etc.) and speaking (e.g. interviewing, role-play, questionnaires, etc.). In these activities students can work individually or in groups or they can work on a project as a whole class (based on: (Ellis and Brewster, 2002).
“Follow-up activities provide enjoyment and satisfaction as they allow students to complete a piece of work in English. They can also gain self-confidence which, in turn, can create a more positive attitude to learning English”. (Ellis and Brewster, 2002: 17) Students may express their own ideas in follow up activities that means that students‟ creativity is encouraged. Some arts and crafts activities may help dyslectic and dystrophic children and further more it is always very motivated when end-products decorate the classroom.
B. Concrete Post - Storytelling Activities
Summarization - students can summarize the story in their own words.
Written questionnaires - we can ask students questions belong to or come out from stories. Students‟ answers may lead to discussion.
Re - writing the story - we can encourage students to re-write the story from different position, e.g. from position of a particular protagonist‟s point of view, placing it in a different time and setting. Students also may re-tell the story.
Writing a letter - students can write exchanging letters between protagonists.
Role-play or simulation - can be used to encourage general oral fluency, or train students for specific situations based on the story.
Make a video - this activity based on the read or heard story take much time, on the other hand it may be very motivated for students to make their own video, and they can use a wide variety of language in the process and the product of video-making. For students the product will be helpful, because they can see what
mistakes they have made and they can find them and learnt from them. (based on: Harmer, 2005)
Creating student‟s own stories - when we create an atmosphere in which stories are valued in human terms much more than in 'learning English' terms, we will encourage students to create their own stories. Main technique to help them is to ask questions. The principle is the same for young learners as well as for adolescents (based on:
“'Tell me more!' 'But what do you mean?' 'Tell me how he walks when he is going to work.' 'Tell me how he walked on that particular morning.'”.
Make a book - we can let students write, design and illustrate a book which is then exhibited in the school and then put in the school library. It will be great experience of using English. We wont have to say, 'Get the English right!' They will be desperate to do that because their dignity as a whole person is at stake.
A. Conclusion
Based on the result of paper the writer can make some conclusion which are related to the application of the development of the reading skill using story boos at the elementary school:
- Story books can stimulate and motivate students interest
- Story books are appropriate to practice reading skill. It‟s not only interesting but also easier to get
- Story book usually describes the real life and something related to he human society which is suitable to one of the principle of teaching learning activity
- English learning used story book was not boring to the children
B. Suggestion
- The teachers should create a relaxing situation to enable the students follow the lesson without getting bored.
- The teachers should not use story book as supplementary too often due to potential weakness it has.
- The teachers should select material which one suitable for the students‟ need.
- The teachers should choose suitable method to make the students can understand the material easily.
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- Laird, Charlton, The Miracle of Languages, Greenwich, Connecticut: Fawchet Publication, Inc. 1960.
- Nababan, Sri Utari Subyakto, Psikoliguistik dan Pembelajaran Bahasa: Tinjauan Perspektif Ketrampilan Berbahasa, dalam Parameter: Aspek Aspek Bahasa, tahun XI.
- Searle, John, Speech Acts: An Eassy in Philoshopy of language, Cambrige: CUP 1969.
ii Christopher Brumfit, Jayne Moon and Ray Tongue, Teaching English to Children from Practice to Principle, Longman 1991
iii Christopher Brumfit, Jayne Moon and Ray Tongue, Teaching English to Children from Practice to Principle, Longman 1991
iv Gail Ellis and Jean Brewster, Tell it Again!, Penguin 2002
v Gail Ellis and Jean Brewster, Tell it Again!, Penguin 2002
vi Gail Ellis and Jean Brewster, Tell it Again!, Penguin 2002

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