Teaching English vocabulary using pictures to sixth grade students

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TEACHING ENGLISH VOCABULARY USING PICTURES

TO THE SIXTH GRADE STUDENTS

(A Pre-Experimental Research to the Sixth Grade Students)


ABSTRACT

Vocabulary is an important component in teaching English and in teaching vocabulary, teacher needs to use technique or media in order to help students to have good understanding on new words being learned. The teacher can use media, such as pictures because pictures can be used to help students become familiar with new vocabulary in an enjoyable way and pictures can motivate the students in learning vocabulary.

The main objective of this study is to find out whether or not pictures can improve the students in vocabulary mastery.

The research method used is experiment method or more specifically the pre-experimental design with one group pretest and posttest design. The sample is one class consisting of 39 students.

Based on the data analysis, the result shows that the tobs was higher than t-table (13.197 > 1.686), so the alternative hypothesis (Ha) was accepted. It means that there was significant difference between the mean of students pretest score and the mean of posttest score. It indicates that teaching English vocabulary using pictures was effective in improving the students vocabulary mastery.

Keywords: teaching, vocabulary, pictures

  1. Introduction

English has become more important language in the world. This is because people need a universal language to communicate with other people from other countries. People who are able to speak or communicate in English will be easy to get more knowledge or informations.

According to Mc Arthur (1992:571 in Kaswan 2010:8), language refers to “a human system of communication which uses structured vocal sounds and can be embodied in other media such as writing, print and physical signs.” In addition, language is a systematic means of comunicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings (Webster’s 1961:1270 in Brown 1980:5).

In order to make a good communication in English, we must have a good foundation in vocabulary and grammar. because they interact with each other to convey an idea. English as a foreign language is taught at the early age. In Indonesia English has been introduced in kindergarten and elementary school. While in junior high school and senior high school, it is a compulsory subject.

Thornbury (2002:13) states that without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed. It means if we spend most of our time studying grammar, we can say very little with grammar. But if we learn more words and expressions, we can say almost anything with words.

According to Linse and Nunan (2005:121) vocabulary is the collection of words that an individual knows. Meanwhile, Hiebert and Kamil (2005:3) states “vocabulary is the knowledge of meanings of words. Learning vocabulary is important as a part of learning English or other foreign languages since learners learn vocabulary first before they master more complex structure”.

Vocabulary is one of the most important element in the language, without vocabulary we cannot communicative effectively, according to Allen and Valette (1977: 149) “Vocabulary is an important factor in all language teaching. Students must continually be learning words as they learn structures and as they practice the sound system.” It also means that teaching in speaking, writing, reading, and listening cannot be separated from teaching vocabulary.

In teaching vocabulary, teachers needs to used technique in order to help students have good understanding on new words being learned. In line with this Nation (1990:51) in Cameron (2001:85) lists some basic techniques by which teachers can explain the meanings of new words, all of which can be used in the young learners classroom. They are by using demonstration or pictures (using object, a cut-out figure, gesture, performing an action, photographs, drawings or diagrams on the board, and pictures from books).

Based on Allen (1983:12) there are three ways to show the meanings of vocabulary words:

  1. Pictures
  2. Explanations in the students own language.
  3. Definitions in simple English, using vocabulary that the students already know.

Furthermore, Cameron (2001: 84) states “Vocabulary needs to be met. In different activities, with new knowledge and new connections developed each time the same words are met again. Nation (1990) in Cameron (2001: 84) suggests that a new word needs to be met at least five or six times in a text book unit before it has any chance of being learn.

Teaching English vocabulary using pictures is a kind of technique for students in memorizing their vocabularies easily and fast. Pictures can be used as media in teaching and learning process, especially in teaching English vocabulary. According to Allen (1983:24) “Picture helping students understand the meaning of a word”. Pictures which have been cut out of magazines and newspapers are also useful.

The use of picture in teaching vocabulary is a fun activity bacause pictures can motivate for the students to learn vocabulary. Based on Thornbury (2002:80) the use of pictures or objects for teaching vocabulary can be used to present new vocabulary items, but they can be used to practice them. It also means they can explore their abilities to increase their vocabularies. Pictures can make the material is easy to understand and to help the students memorize the word easily especially by the children. The used of pictures also simple and easy to use, can makes learning more fun and the students are not bored in learning.

Regarding this, Wright (1989:136) adds “Pictures can be motivated the students, made the subjects they are dealing with clear, and illustrated the general idea, and forms an object or action”. It means pictures are important to help motivated the students in learning English vocabulary and memorizing the meanings.

  1. Research Question and Hypothesis

There are research question and hypothesis of the research:

  1. Research Question

Teaching English vocabulary to the students will not be an easy work to do. This study seek the problem that are formulated in the following question: “Is pictures effective to improve students’ vocabulary mastery?”.

  1. Hypothesis

In this research, the writer has formulated the hypothesis as follow: “Teaching English vocabulary using pictures can improve the students’ vocabulary mastery”.

  1. Objectives of the Research

The study discussed the way of the teacher taught English vocabulary to the students. The writer has formulated an objective as follows:

“To find out whether or not pictures can improve the students’ vocabulary mastery.”

  1. Research Methodology
  1. Research Design

In this research the writer used pre-experiments with one group pretest-posttest design. According to Fraenkel. et al. ( in Kaswan and Suprijadi 2013:34) experimental research refers to research in which at least one independent variable is manipulated, other relevant variable are controlled, and the effect on one or more dependent variables is observed.

The method used in this research was pre-experimental studies. Pre-experimental is a research procedure that has no control group. The observation that is done before the experiment is called pre-test and observation after the experiment is called post-test. The form of pre-experimental study that the researcher applies can be seen below (Ary et al, 2010:303).

Pre-test Independent Post-test

Y1 X Y2

Figure 1

Pre-experimental Design

Notes:

1. Apply Y1 is pre-test that is given before the teaching or the treatment.

2. Apply X, is considered as treatment given.

3. Apply Y2 is post-test that is given after having treatment.

2. Research Method

In the research the writer used quantitative method. According to Kaswan and Suprijadi (2013: 13) “Quantitative research is a deductive theory-based research process that focuses primarily on testing theories and specific research hypotheses that consider finding differences and relationship using numeric data and statistical methods to make specific conclusions about phenomena”.

  1. Population and Sample
  1. Population

According to Singh (2007: 88) population is a group of individuals, objects, or items from among which samples are taken for measurement. So, population is a complete set of all those things, people, numbers societies, or other that can be used in taking data sources in the research. In this case the population of the research was the sixth grade students of MI Cireundeu in academic year 2014/2015. There were 39 students as the population.

  1. Sample

The writer chose the entire population as the sample. According to Webster (in Singh 2007: 88) a sample can be defined as a finite part of a statistical population whose properties are used to make estimates about population as a whole. It can be defined a set of target respondents selected from a larger population for the purpose of a survey. In addition, Tavakoli (2012: 471) defines, a sample is the smaller group which is a portion of a population.

In collecting the data, the writer used pretest and posttest. The pretest was administered to know the students’ vocabulary before given the treatment. The posttest was given at the end of program to find out the difference of students achievement in vocabulary mastery after the treatment using pictures was given.

To collect the data, the writer decided an achievement test that has been developed based on the material. The writer used a test that consisted of fill-in-the-blank and arrange the jumbled letters. The test consisted of 10 items and time provided to do the test was 30 minutes.

  1. Result and Discussion
  1. The Result

In this research the writer used one group to collect the data. The writer gave pretest to the students to identify the students’ ability in vocabulary mastery, before giving the posttest, the writer gave treatment to the students. During the treatment, the writer taught about vocabulary using pictures. Then, the writer gave a posttest to the students to find out the students’ ability after getting treatment. The result of pretest and posttest can be seen below.

Table 1

The result of pretest and posttest

No

Pretest

Posttest

D

1

70

90

20

400

2

60

70

10

100

3

65

70

5

25

4

80

100

20

400

5

80

100

20

400

6

85

100

15

225

7

70

80

10

100

8

80

100

20

400

9

75

85

10

100

10

65

80

15

225

11

60

65

5

25

12

70

85

15

225

13

60

65

5

25

14

60

80

20

400

15

65

70

5

25

16

50

65

15

225

17

60

75

15

225

18

75

85

10

100

19

50

65

15

225

20

75

80

5

25

21

65

75

10

100

22

75

100

25

625

23

70

85

15

225

24

70

80

10

100

25

70

85

15

225

26

45

60

15

225

27

70

80

10

100

28

60

70

10

100

29

60

70

10

100

30

75

75

0

0

31

70

80

10

100

32

55

60

5

25

33

80

95

15

225

34

75

85

10

100

35

65

70

5

25

36

75

85

10

100

37

65

70

5

25

38

65

80

15

225

39

40

60

20

400

SUM

2605

3075

470

6900

MEAN (

66,4

78,4

  1. Result of the Research by Using SPSS 17

To find out whether the data normal or not, the writer used SPSS program. This program was used for testing the assumption of normality of the data. The result of normality test can be seen below.

Table 2

Tests of Normality

Kolmogorov-Smirnova

Shapiro-Wilk

Statistic

df

Sig.

Statistic

Df

Sig.

Pretest

.138

39

.058

.951

39

.087

Posttest

.132

39

.087

.935

39

.026

Based on the table above, the data was normal. It can be seen on the Kolmogorov-Smirnov column to know whether the data was normal or not. The significance of pretest was .058 and the significance of posttest was .087. It means the data was normal because the significance result of pretest and posttest were higher than .005.

After the writer found that the data was normal, the writer continued with calculating the t-test. This test was used to determine whether or not there was a significant difference between teaching vocabularies using pictures to elementary school students before and after treatment. It can be seen as follow:

Table 3

Paired Samples Statistics

Mean

N

Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

Pair 1

pretest

66.7949

39

10.03200

1.60641

posttest

78.8462

39

11.83558

1.89521

According to Kaswan and Suprijadi (2013:189) “standard deviation is the most widely used measure of variability of a set of data in inferential statistical procedures”. Based on the table above, Standard deviation of pretest was 10,03 and standard deviation of posttest was 11,83.

Table 4

Paired Samples Test

Paired Differences

T

Df

Sig. (2-tailed)

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

95% Confidence Interval of the Difference

Lower

Upper

Pair 1

pretest – posttest

-12.05128

5.70295

.91320

-13.89996

-10.20260

-13.197

38

.000

After the writer calculated the data by using SPSS program, from the result of statistic calculation the data above, t observed is 13.197 the level significance = 0.05 and the degree of freedom (df) = 38. So t-table with the level significance = 0.05 and the degree of freedom (df) = 38, the writer found the t-table was 1.686.

Because tobs was 13.197 and t-table was 1.686. It means that, tobs was higher than t-table 13.197 > 1.686. The writer conclude that the alternative hypothesis (Ha) was accepted and null hypothesis (Ho) was rejected. . It means that there is a significant improvement of students vocabulary mastery after giving treatment of pictures. In other words, teaching English using pictures to the sixth grade students of MI Cireundeu was efective to improve the students’ vocabulary mastery .

  1. Discussion

In this research, the writer applied the significance of 0.05 with degree of freedom (df) = N-1 (39 – 1 = 38) 1.686. As the result, t-test (13.197) was bigger than t-table (1.686). The writer concluded that the alternative hypothesis (Ha) was accepted and null hypothesis was rejected. Based on the research findings, it indicated that the achievements of the students were influenced significantly by the process of teaching and learning using pictures technique in teaching vocabulary, which had a positive effect to the students achievement.

The previous studies of the research by using pictures can help the students to recognize the English vocabulary. Elsy (2013) in her research explained that the used of pictures can increase students’ vocabulary mastery. The second research conducted by Sholihah (2009). According to her research the positive effects of using pictures in teaching English vocabulary, were: pictures could improve the students’ motivation, pictures could attract the students attention, pictures help the students to memorize the vocabulary, and pictures make the teaching and learning activities interesting.

  1. Conclusions and Suggestions
  1. Conclusions

Based on the research findings and discussions, the writer can conclude them as follow:

The mean scores of pretest who were not taught with pictures as a media was 66,4 and the mean students scores of posttest was 78,4.

The standard deviation of the pretest was 10,03 and standard deviation of posttest was 11,83. In order to know whether the difference between the two means was significant or not, t-test was applied. The result of computation was 13.197. So t-table with the level significance (É‘) = 0.05 and the degree of freedom (df) = 38, found that the t-table was 1.686.

This research. showed that tobs was higher than t-table (13.197>1.686), so the alternative hypothesis (Ha) was accepted. It meant that there was significant difference between the mean of students’ pretest score and the mean of posttest score. It indicated that teaching English vocabulary using pictures was effective in improving the students vocabulary mastery.

  1. Suggestions

The result finding showed that teaching English vocabulary using pictures can improve the students vocabulary mastery and based on the conclusions above, some suggestions are proposed as follow:

  1. The students’ achievement in learning vocabularies by using pictures was increase than without pictures. So, it is wise for teachers to use pictures in teaching vocabularies as teaching media for the students.
  2. Teacher should select pictures which are appropriate and familiar with the students’ the pictures should be interesting.
  3. The teacher needs to provide pictures in larger size and clearly, in order to attract students attention about the materials given. In addition, the larger size and clear pictures can make the students easy to look what the teachers showing.
  4. The teacher should be able to increase the students motivation in teaching-learning English, especially in teaching vocabularies.

REFERENCES

Allen, D. E. & Vallete, R. M. (1977). Classroom technique : Foreign languange and English as a second language. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, inc.

Allen, F. V. (1983). Techniques in teaching vocabulary. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ary, D. Jacobs, C. L., & Sorensen, K. C. (2010). Introduction to research in education. Canada: Cengage Learning.

Cameron, L. (2001). Teaching language to young learners. USA: Cambridge University Press.

Brown, H. D. (1980). Principles of language learning and teaching. United State of America: Prentice-Hall, inc. Englewood Cliffs. New Jersey 07632.

Elsy, Y. (2013). Research article: Teaching vocabulary by using picture to the third grade students. Pontianak: Universitas Tanjungpura Press.

Hiebert, H. E. & Kamil, L. M. (2005). Teaching and learning vocabulary : Bringing research to practice. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

Kaswan, et al. (2014). Metode dan teknik penulisan karya ilmiah (Usulan penelitian dan proceedings). Cimahi : STKIP Siliwangi Press.

Kaswan & Suprijadi, D. (2013). Research in English language education. Bandung: STKIP Siliwangi Press.

Linse, T. C. & Nunan, D. (2005). Practical English language teaching: young learners. USA: McGraw-Hill Companies.

Mintarsih, M. (2014). Teaching speaking using pictures to the third grade of SDN Cibeber Mandiri 1. Unpublished Paper. Cimahi: STKIP Siliwangi Press.

Singh, K. (2007). Quantitative social research methods. New Delhi: Sage Publications Pvt Ltd.

Sholihah, H. (2009). Teaching English vocabulary using pictures to the fifth grade students of SDN Tugu Jebres No.120 Surakarta. Semarang: Universitas Sebelas Maret.

Tavakoli, H. (2012). A dictionary of research methodology and statistics in applied linguistics. Tehran: Rahnama Press.

Thornbury, S. (2002). How to teach vocabulary. Edinburgh gate: Longman.

Wright, A. (1989). Pictures for language learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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