This chapter discusses information on background which elaborates basic thought of why this research is administered; research questions; aims of the research; scope of the research; hypothesis; significance of the research; research methodology which covers research design, population and sample, and data collection; clarification of terms; and organization of paper.
The selection of appropriate and functional teaching material in classroom has become important since it serves as main source of input for the students. As argued by Sanchez and Valcarcel (1999, cited in Hoober & Moore, 2001), textbook is a major source of materials used in teaching. However, textbooks are considered to have some weaknesses as discussed by Crawford (2002, as cited in Iskandaryan 2005). She states that textbooks do not offer real language models and do not provide real language context. Moreover, textbooks reduce the teachers’ role in the classroom from the classroom managers to the teachers that rely on other people’s ideas (Crawford, 2002 as cited in Iskandaryan, 2005).
Due to the weaknesses of textbooks as above discussed, then authentic materials can potentially become alternative to support learning beside textbook. Despite their disadvantages as a burden for the teachers and the students since they contain difficult vocabularies, culturally biased, and the preparation could be time consuming (Martinez, 2002; Jacobson et al., 2003), they offer real language examples which are used in real life context. They also can increase students’ motivation and interest so that they can help the students to have deeper understanding in the topic discussed. On the other hand, they support language learning environment in which exposure to target language is needed as in first language acquisition. Previous findings about the use of authentic materials have shown that they can increase students’ comprehension skills, oral and written language performance, and make ESL class activity more joyful as well create more positive attitude in learning (Kelly et al., 2002).
Moreover, the authentic materials enable the students to practice mini-skills such as scanning in reading, predicting missing word, and getting gist in writing, listening, and reading (Martinez, 2002; Berardo, 2006). Furthermore, they enable the teachers giving the students pedagogical support to create supporting learning environment and provide opportunity to encourage the students to learn according to their needs and interests (Martinez, 2002; Jacobson, et al., 2003)
Authentic materials also help teachers introduce the students to various types of text, language styles, and new vocabularies (Jacobson et al., 2003). At the same time they make learning reading and writing easier, better, and more meaningful (Jacobson et al., 2003). By using them, a teacher can present the students integrated skills and creative approaches in teaching (Oxford 2001, as cited in Walker 1997). In addition, they help a teacher create a non-threatening environment (Young, 2003 as cited in Su, 2008; Tarnopolsky & Degtiariova, 2003).
To note down the research, previous research in the use of authentic materials in writing in Indonesian context have been conducted by other English Department students (Ekaningtias, 2007; Laxmi, 2008; Maula, 2008). The result of the experiments showed that authentic material can improve students’ ability in writing particularly in terms of vocabulary and idea.
Referring to the problems and theories above discussed, this quasi experimental research tried to investigate whether or not the use of authentic materials is effective in improving students’ writing skills on procedural text. This research also tried to investigate the students’ responses toward the treatments using authentic materials in writing procedural text.
B. Research Questions
This research proposed two research questions as follows:
1. Are students’ writing skills in procedural text significantly improve through the use of authentic materials?
2. What are the advantages and obstacles of using authentic materials in writing procedural text perceived by the students?
C. Aims of the Research
The aims of this research based on the research questions were:
1. To investigate the improvement of the students’ writing skills in procedural text through the use of authentic materials.
2. To investigate the advantages and obstacles of using authentic materials in writing procedural text perceived by the students.
D. Scope of the Research
This research focused on the implementation of authentic materials in writing procedural text to the eleventh grade students of vocational school. Furthermore, this research investigated the students’ responses about the advantages and obstacles of using authentic materials in writing procedural text. Authentic materials in this research refer to any texts or non-texts which are designed not for language teaching but for the native speakers of the language.
More importantly, since procedure text is taught to the eleventh grader of vocational school, two classes from ten classes of eleventh grade students at an agricultural vocational school in Kuningan were involved as sample using purposive sample technique. Context, organization, and presentation strategies were elements of writing skills which were observed as part of writing assessment.
Specifically, this research was directed to accept alternative hypothesis namely the use of authentic materials was effective in improving students’ writing skills on procedural text. There was a significant difference between the students who were assigned the authentic materials and who were not. The authentic materials likely improve the students’ writing skills on context, organization, and presentation strategies.
The alternative hypothesis was examined using independent t-test by comparing the result of tobtained and tcriteria. If tobt > tcrit, the hypothesis is not rejected which means there is a significant difference between control group and experimental group. If tobt < tcrit, the hypothesis is rejected which means there is no significant differences between experimental and control group (Coolidge, 2000). The formula of the alternative hypothesis is as follows:
H1: µ experimental group ≠ µ control group
F. Significance of the Research
It was expected that this research would give positive effect for both the students and teachers in teaching and learning process theoretically, professionally, and practically. First, the students could learn from various resources of authentic materials which offer real language used in real context. Second, the students would have great interest and motivation in learning English through the authentic materials given. Third, the English teachers could improve students’ writing skill through authentic materials, specifically in writing procedural text. Fourth, this research could support previous research of authentic materials in Indonesian context particularly.
G. Research Methodology
1. Research Design
Pre-test post-test design of quasi experimental research was employed in conducting this research. According to Fraenkel and Wallen (1990) this experimental design is described as follows:
Table 1.1 Pre-test Post-test Design
Group Pre-test Treatment Post-test
Experimental Group (A) √ x √
Control Group (B) √ - √
A√ : Pre-test/post-test of the experimental group
x : Treatment for the experimental group
B√ : Pre-test/post-test for the control group
2. Population and Sample
This research was conducted in one of agricultural vocational school in Kuningan. The population of this research was all of the eleventh grade students in the vocational school which are clustered into ten classes. Of the tenth, two classes were taken as sample purposively as the experimental and control groups. The criteria of the sample selections namely the students are the eleventh graders at the same level and they have not introduced yet to the authentic materials.
3. Data Collection
a. Research Procedures
In collecting data, some steps were employed, namely: designing teaching materials for experimental and control groups, pre-test and post-test instruments, interview guideline; administering try out; analyzing the try out result; giving pre-test to the sample groups; analyzing pre-test score statistically to reveal the students’ equity covering normality, homogeneity, and independent t-test; deciding the experimental and control groups; administering treatments to the experimental group; giving post-test to both the experimental and control groups; calculating result of the post-test statistically which covers normality, homogeneity, independent t-test to both groups, effect size, also dependent t-test to each group; administering the individual interview to ten students in the experimental group; displaying the taken data; analyzing the interview result; discussing the findings; and last, concluding the findings.
In collecting data, this research utilized some instruments to answer the research questions. It was included a pre-test, a post-test, and an individual interview. In answering the first research question, the pre-test and post-test were held to the experimental and control groups. The pre-test and post-test were in form of written test.
The pre-test was held to know students’ equity in writing a procedural text before administering several treatments by computing pretest data statistically. While, the aim of post-test is to examine if there is any significant difference between the control and experimental groups in which the experimental group had received some treatments using the authentic materials.
Furthermore, in answering the second research question, an interview was administered to ten students in the experimental group. It is aimed at investigating the advantages and obstacles dealing with the authentic materials and the writing process during the treatments.
H. Clarification of Terms
There are some terms which relate to this research. The definitions of the terms in this research are provided below in order to avoid misinterpretation:
1. Authentic Material: Authentic materials refer to any texts or non-texts that available in real life context which are designed not for language teaching but for the native speakers of the language (Harmer, 2002:205). Some examples of authentic materials in this research are food and drink packages, a video, a recipe, realia, and pictures.
2. Writing: Writing refer to a process of putting ideas and thoughts in written form which provide information in order to communicate with the reader. The process of writing covers drafting, revising, and editing (Ghazy, 2002).
3. Procedural Text: Procedure text is a text which presents the reader of how to do activity or to make something. A procedure text consists of three major elements, namely: a purpose which is stated in title, the tools or ingredients needed, and steps in accomplishing the activity (Derewianka, 2004).
I. Organization of Paper
This research is organized into five chapters. Chapter I, Introduction, provides the information on the background of the research, the aims of the research, scope of the research, hypothesis, significance of the research, research methodology, clarification of terms and organization of the paper; Chapter II, Theoretical Foundations, elaborates in detail the theories which are relevant to the research. It discusses three main points, namely: authentic materials, teachers’ role in teaching writing, and procedural text; Chapter III, Research Methodology, elaborates the methodology of the research in answering the research questions including research design, population and sample, data collection including procedures of the research, instruments and data analysis; Chapter IV, Findings and Discussion, provides the findings of the research which are analyzed and discussed to interpret the data; Chapter V, Conclusions and Suggestions, provides conclusions of the research and suggestions for further research.