Thursday, July 14, 2011



by Desti Cahya Dewi


A. Background of the Study
Vocabulary is the important thing for students in the process of acquiring, learning, mastering, and using the language they learn. Jack C. Richard and Theodore S. Rodgers (2001: 37) said that “vocabulary was one of the most important aspects for foreign language”.
Generally, students have some difficulties in learning English, especially in mastering vocabulary. They cannot memorize the vocabulary in a large amount, they forget them easily. The success of English teaching learning in the school is not sufficient by implementing curriculum concept only but there are more other factors, one of them is the creativity of teachers in the process and also depends much on the teacher, because she is the main factor in the teaching learning process. In this case, Pamela B. Richards (2007: 243) said that “the teacher is a most significant factor for the success or failure of the introduction of change into the learning process”.
Based on the statement above, the result of teaching learning process is dominantly determined by the teacher because she is the main factor that decides what and how material will be applied in the classroom.
The growing of English as an international language makes many English teachers concerned to help their students developed their ability to use it. To master English students have to know a lot of vocabulary especially irregular English verb in order to know how well students speak, listen, read and write.
The creativity can be done by improving or developing materials, media and techniques of teaching. The shortage of teaching media sometimes forces the teachers to increase their efforts to support the English teaching learning activity in classes. Using a tool or media in teaching learning process is interesting way in learning, such as using flash card.
Flash card can be an alternative way which leads to the teaching in class. Arthur Bard and Mitchell Geoffrey Bard (2002: 164) said that “flash cards are effective tool for memorizing spelling words, multiplication tables, and other information that does not require analysis”. But Grace Charles (2009: 123) said, “flash card are especially useful for memorizing vocabulary words and their definition, dates in history and their significance, and picture artwork or other items that you will be responsible for identifying”. Based on opinions above flash cards is a tool of media of teaching and enriching vocabulary. And also flash card is one of the easy and interesting media to make the students enjoyable and interest to memorize vocabulary.
In recent time there are many students who find difficulty in mastering vocabulary in irregular English verb. It is caused by their mistakes in arranging or writing a sentence such as using of past participle and present participle. This phenomenon makes students hard to write in a good sentence. To overcome this problem, flash card is suitable as a teaching medium in teaching irregular English verb through flash cards is effective. And she is eager to prove on how this way of teaching can be one of the better alternatives of teaching vocabulary, so that students are interested in learning English especially vocabulary.
B. Limitation of the Problem
In this study, the writer would like to limit the investigation on improving research, limitation of the problem only focuses on how the students remind irregular English verb by saying and writing.
C. Statement of the Problem
We know there are many factors to achieve skill of students by giving alternative materials or media. For the reason the writer has formulated the problems as follows:
1. How is the vocabulary improvement of irregular English verbs of the students who are taught using flash cards?
2. How is the vocabulary improvement of irregular English verb of the students who are taught without flash cards?
3. Is there any differences of the vocabulary improvement of irregular English verbs of students who are taught using flash cards and those who are taught without flash cards?
D. Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study as follows:
1. To know the vocabulary improvement of irregular English verbs of the students who are taught using flash cards
2. To know the vocabulary improvement of irregular English verbs of the students who are taught without using flash cards
3. To identify significant differences between vocabulary improvement of irregular English verb of student who are taught using flash cards and those who are taught without using flash cards.

A. Vocabulary
One thing that differentiates human from animals is verbal language or speaking beside mind to think. Humans can communicate with others through verbal language, either to apply or to receive the information the animal cannot do. When we observed a child first acquiring speech, we talk of this progress as a matter of learning new words; we are also likely to feel that the adult speaker with the largest vocabulary has the best command of English. To think of a language as just a stock of words is, however quite wrong. Words alone do not make a language; a grammar is needed to combine them in some intelligible way. Yet it is true that the vocabulary is the focus of language. It is in words that sounds and meaning interlock to allow us to communicate with one another, and it is a word that we arrange together to make sentences, conversations, and discourse of all kinds. Thus we have a paradox in that the most ephemeral part of language is also the center where meaning, pronunciation and grammar come together. Vocabulary plays an important role because it appears in every language skills.
Vocabulary building is really important in any language learning. Vocabulary also becomes the most important aspect in acquiring a language and mastering the second language. It is supported by Schmitt who says: “One of the keys in learning a foreign language is mastery the second language’s vocabulary”. We know and use the words that suit our particular purposes and we continue to learn new words as long as we live. It is clear enough that everybody who learns a language as a foreign language is hoped to know and master the vocabulary to improve the language skills. Vocabulary becomes a major problem in learning English, teachers of Elementary School emphasizes on this matter earlier. In teaching vocabulary, generally the teacher teaches new words taken from reading text. It means that she integrates vocabulary with reading. This integration will lead to integrative lesson plan.
Vocabulary can be divided into two groups – passive vocabulary and active vocabulary. Passive vocabulary contains all the words that we understand when we read or listen, but which we do not use or cannot remember in our own writing or speaking. Active vocabulary is all the words we understand, plus all the words that you can use yourself.
The same as the word, active vocabulary is vocabulary we can call up and use in writing or conversation without having to think very much about it. passive vocabulary is vocabulary we can recognize when we hear it but cannot remember when we actually have to produced it. These words are easily forgotten since the connection between them and our memory is weak.
B. Irregular English Verbs
Irregular English verb is important feature of English. We use irregular English verb a lot of when speaking, less when writing. Irregular English verb are those verbs that fall outside the standard patterns of conjugation in the language in which they occur. The idea of an irregular English verb is important in foreign language acquisition, where the verb paradigms of a foreign language are learned systematically, and exceptions listed and carefully noted. Thus for example a school French textbook may have a section at the back listing the French irregular English verb in tables. Irregular English verb are often the most commonly used verbs in the language.
Laurie Rozakis (2003: 33) says “no pattern is followed when the past and past participle are formed. Instead, there are many different forms. For example, with some irregular English verbs the vowel changes and –n or –e is added as in, begin, began, begun. With other verbs, the vowel changes and a –d or –t is added as in, lose, lost, lost”.
Irregular English verb are those verbs that do not end in –ed in the past tense. Though their endings differ from those of regular verbs, irregular English verb rely on the same auxiliary verbs to indicate past, present, and future time.

C. Flash Card as Teaching Media
1. Definition of Media
Before going to discuss flash card as teaching media, the writer would discuss what the meaning of media. As everybody knows language is as a means to convey ideas, opinions, and feeling among the people by oral or written ways. One of the languages which is often used as a means of communication is English. It become dominant language around the world and now more and more people use English as an international language.
Using media in language teaching process is one of the common things to achieve the goal of learning in the school; teacher should makes variety in teaching with using interesting media to make students not get bored. Certainly, using media in teaching language is technological innovations that prevail in nowadays to help teacher giving information or transfer knowledge to the students. Tafani, Vilma (2009: 82) said that, “media provide teachers and students with creative and practical ideas. They enable teachers to meet various needs and interests of their students”. As line with Tafani, Molenda, Ann Kovalhick and Kara Dawson (2003: 2) said that, “the use whatever methods or media were appropriate for the learner and the task, acknowledging that words can be a powerful and efficient means of conveying ideas even for the youngest children”.
Therefore, the components of teaching learning process are related to one another. One of them is media. Using media is helpful in the teaching learning process to transfer the material to the students; one of the important things to use media can make the students more interesting and motivate them in learning the subject.
Beside that media can make learning activity more communicate and interactive between teacher and the students. It will stimulate student’s sense in receiving the material, at least student more give attention to the teacher and class activities, even they will involved it in.
2. Kinds of Media
Media in teaching learning process help teacher to present a material in a time efficient and stimulating students to get information more readily. According to Marianne Celce which quoted by Tafani, Vilma (2009: 86) “in the teaching English as a second or foreign language, there are kinds of media in the language teaching process divided into two media they are:
a. Non Technical Media
Blackboards, whiteboards, magnet boards, flannel boards, pegboards, flash cards, index cards, wall charts, posters, maps, scrolls, board games, mounted pictures, photos, cartoons, line drawing, object regalia, pamphlet, leaflets, flyers, equipment operation manual, puppet, newspaper, magazine.
b. Technical media
Audiotapes, audio recorder, record players, videotapes, video players, radio television, telephone, film, film projector, computer software, hardware, multimedia lab, filmstrips, and so on.

3. Flash Cards
The flash cards can be used at the beginning of a unit to present and practice new vocabulary.
Joseph Mukalel (2004: 147) stated that, “flash cards are small cards, big enough to carry on it:
1. Part of sentences
2. Phrases
3. Single words
4. Minimal pairs and so on
\ Flash cards are useful for teaching of grammar and vocabulary especially at the meaningful/communicative step. If carefully used flash cards can form material for the drill part of the lesson, to present patterns of the drill.
The teacher can prepare flash cards easily and store them easily in well grouped packs. These should easily be retrievable when the occasion arises for their use in line with the syllabus or course material. Flash cards need not be larger than a specific size. Flash cards can be displayed casually and easily by the teacher or by the students in group work.
D. Teaching Vocabulary of Irregular English Verbs Through Flash Cards
1. Teaching Vocabulary
As Goebel (2001: 16) stated that, “teaching vocabulary should not only consist of teaching specific words but also aim at equipping students with strategies necessary to expand their vocabulary knowledge”. Learning more and more vocabulary items does not necessarily increase a person’s fluency. By definition, the extra items are less and less useful. Despite this obvious fact, teachers and even more and more students, feel that increasing their vocabulary will increase their fluency-either in speech or in writing. This is very far from the truth. Knowing a vocabulary item is not a simple process – it means much more than simply memorizing the word.
Teaching vocabulary is clearly more than just presenting new words, because vocabulary plays an essential role in learning language. Schmitt, N (2000: 19) said that. “one of the key elements in learning a foreign language is mastering the second language’s vocabulary”. Vocabulary teaching can help the students to learn the meaning of the words, understand the connection between form and the meaning and how to use it.
Students always deal with vocabulary in learning English because it appears in any language skills. Having enough vocabulary can make them able to listen, speak, read, and write. Therefore, vocabulary should be developing in order to achieve their language skills. Meanwhile vocabulary cannot be taught separately but it should be taught in context, which may not relate to the students environment. As stated by McMillan, which quoted by Nation (2001: 85) that, “we should also give precedence to vocabulary which is related to environment and experience of pupil whether or not it is found in our textbook or high on a word”. It is clear that teaching vocabulary in context and creating a good environment to help the student’s members the words easily can improve student’s vocabulary.
2. Teaching Vocabulary through Flash Cards
Teacher as facilitator should accommodate their students by finding out some interesting ways of teaching, in order to make the students interested to the lesson, teachers can use teaching aids for teaching grammar since most children like pictures there is an advantages to teach them using visual aids, so that they are interested to the lesson. Moreover, they are eager to learn more about English grammar. Some of the examples of teaching aid’s advantages are: to attract student’s attention to the lesson, visual aids are easy to prepared (so that everyone can make flash cards by drawing any illustration according to the purpose teaching), visual aids cards are easy to be carried around as they are only a stack of cards, and the last one visual aids are easy to be used (as they are only transferred of flash from back to front).
The writer stated before that, since most children like pictures and visual aids. Teacher can use them to make the student interested to the lesson. Therefore is motivated to provide an input of teaching irregular English verb using flash cards. First of all the writer explains about flash cards.
Flash cards are a great language learning tool. As the old saying goes, “one picture is worth a thousand words”. But how do you use them effectively? Here are some of the ideas along that line. If you are using the flash cards to drill vocabulary start off by sitting in front of the class so that the whole class can see the cards easily and go through the drill. After the students start to get an idea of what the cards are, you can start to just flash the cards for a second and the students have to tell you what the card is. That is why they are called flash cards. As the students become more familiar with the cards, you can shorten the time of the flash (Yang Zhihong, 2000: 115). Sightseeing by great picture is shown by flash cards, students are invited in learning, and it can create class activities fresher.
The advantages of using flash cards are as follows:
1. The system is effective to use for distinguishing tenses
2. The cards are easy to be prepared (everyone can make flash cards by drawing any illustration according to the purpose of teaching)
3. The cards are easy to be carried around (as they are only a stack of card, it is easy to be carried)
4. The cards are easy to be used (cards are only transferred or flash from back to front)
On the other hands flash cards have some disadvantages such as: this system is only effective for small class (the number of students up to 5 or 10 students), and because the system in using pattern drill, it is quite possible than they are not able to use sentences out of the pattern drill. So, in acquiring vocabulary students should not be told more about the meaning of words than they need to know to understand the context so that they do not get confused. In this case, the writer takes flash cards as the media to conduct the students.

A. Data Analysis
The object is students all of class especially for junior high school. The interview to the teacher and the questionnaires are give to the students. The findings are focus on applying teaching vocabulary noun through Flash cards.
The teacher explained the lesson by showing in front of card (which contains picture or written words) toward the students. The cards which had been arranged to the students, while showing the cards, the teacher asked them first to read the words loudly. It aimed at knowing the student’s pronunciation, if the students made some mistakes; the writer gave the example to pronounce well those words. The teacher was not going to move the flash cards before the students pronounced it well. And she asked them one by one to pronounce and changed the irregular verb from the first form into the second form and the third form. She asked them to play the cards randomly and asked one students to choose one card and the other students should choose other cards of the correct irregular English verbs, and then play the cards by putting on the box, and asked three students to race in arranging irregular English verb which they choose from the first form into second form and third form. After having done the core activity, the teacher gave the examination in order to evaluate the teaching learning process. It is aimed to find out the student’s achievement in vocabulary of irregular English verb in the experimental class using flash card and the control class without using flash cards.
Teaching vocabulary of irregular English verbs by using flash cards was one of the techniques that made a real impact of visual learner. Visual learner could improve the student’s intelligence in acquiring vocabularies. Flash cards could give a new paradigm for the students in learning by fun and enjoyable, because their visual learner and intelligence sense had existed. It helped the students to easily in understand, recalling and saying. The learner’s vocabulary size was very important because it was related to proficiency, such as the students were able to understand, read, writer and perform on other language components. Flash cards gave different effect toward the students in acquiring irregular English verb vocabulary. Teaching vocabulary on irregular English verb by flash cards influenced positively toward the result of the student’s achievement.


Charles, Grace. 2009. Your Personalized Guide to Academic Success. New York: Gracie Mansion Publishing Co
Goebel, J and Morin R. 2001. Basic Vocabulary Instruction Teaching Strategies or Word? Foreign Language Annals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Howard, Gardner. 2004. Using Flash Cards with Young Learners. New York: Harper Collins
Nation, I.S.P. 2001. Learning Vocabulary in Other Language. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Richards, Jack. C, & S. Rodgers, Theodore. 2001. Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Zhihong Yang, 2000. Learning Words, English Teaching Forum, Vol.38.


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