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TEACHING WRITING BY COMBINING

CUBING AND SENTENCE COMBINING STRATEGIES


AT JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL

Oleh:
Ikawaty Amalia Masril *)

**) Herfyna Asti, M.Pd. Pembimbing atau Pengajar Program Studi Pendidikan
Bahasa InggrisSTKIP PGRI Sumatera Barat

ABSTRAK
Ikawaty Amalia Masril. (09040172). Pembelajaran Menulis Melalui Penggabungan Cubing
dengan Sentence Combining Strategi untuk Siswa Sekolah Menengah Pertama. Makalah
Program Sarjana. STKIP PGRI Sumatera Barat. Padang 2014.
Bahasa Inggris adalah mata pelajaran yang harus dipelajari di Indonesia sejak sekolah
dasar sampai perguruan tinggi. Walaupun bahasa Inggris telah dipelajari bertahun-tahun, tapi
para siswa masih memiliki kesulitan khususnya dalam menulis. Untuk membuat sebuah paragraf
yang menggunakan bahasa Inggris siswa banyak mengalami masalah. Siswa mengalami masalah
serius di dalam struktur bahasa Inggris, kurangnya penguasaan vocabulary dan susah
menimbulkan ide kreatif dalam menulis serta sulitnya menggunakan grammar dan kata hubung
yang tepat dalam bahasa Inggris. Dalam makalah ini penulis membahas bagaimana mengajarkan
writing dengan menggunakan dua strategi yaitu cubing dan sentence combining. Cubing adalah
salah satu strategi yang dapat digunakan untuk mengembangkan kemampuan writing. Strategi ini
merupakan strategi yang tepat untuk membantu para siswa meningkatkan kemampuan
menulisnya. Sehingga siswa tidak kesulitan untuk memulai menulis karena guru akan
mengembangkan ide-ide siswa berdasarkan perspective yang ada dalam cubing strategi. Sentence
combining adalah juga salah satu strategi yang sangat bagus untuk menunjang kemampuan
writing siswa karena dengan menggunakan strategy ini, semua siswa akan tahu bagaimana cara
menggabungkan beberapa kalimat menjadi sebuah paragraph yang baik dan benar.
Dalam makalah ini penulis berharap kepada guru, siswa dan semua pihak yang terkait
dapat mengaplikasikan dan menggunakan penggabungan dari dua strategi ini dalam proses
belajar mengajar.

Key Words: Cubing, Menulis, Pembelajaran, Sentence Combining

*Penulis
**Pembimbing
Introduction by a writer. All these processes relate to
each other and must be done in sequence to
Writing is an activity to deliver produce a paper. Thus, writing is stresses on
ideas, thoughts, and meaning in written the process of doing it and not just about the
form. By writing, the writer can express result.
what s/he thinks in written form. For
expressing the ideas and thoughts in writing, Then, Hyland (2003:9) states that
the writer should create a form of a writing is a way of sharing personal
communication between the writer and the meanings and writing courses emphasize the
texts which will be produced based on its power of the individual to construct his or
ideas. For expressing ideas in written form her own views on a topic. It is stated that,
and produce writing well, students in school writing is fundamentally a form of
must have ability in writing. Writing is done communication, and so the aim is to
for making the students be able to express successfully transmit information and ideas
their ideas in written form. Therefore, all from writer’s brain to the reader. To make
students must have ability and competency sure the readers get information from writer
in writing. about a topic, the writer have to know and
understand what they are trying to write
In writing, the students have to know first. It is impossible to effectively
how to organize ideas well. The ideas which communicate if writer do not know what
are organized well are used to make writing they are trying to write, so the most
becomes easy to understand. And also, the fundamental and essential part of the writing
students have to consider the choice of process is clarifying writer’s thoughts and
words, spelling, grammar, and punctuation ideas to first.
for making a good writing. Writing is one of
the teaching English goal which should be Based on the definitions of writing
possessed by the students. Therefore, above, it can be concluded that writing is the
improve the writing ability and study about process of using symbols (letters of the
the structures need to produce a good alphabet, punctuation and spaces) to
writing is very important to be attended by communicate thoughts and ideas in a
the students. Moreover, by doing writing, readable form. Generally, writing is done by
students are able to deliver their ideas and using a pen/pencil (handwriting) or a
thoughts in written form. Exploring ideas in keyboard (typing). Writing is a creative
good writing is a form of a writing product. process that combines skill and art. For
create or produce a good writing, the writer
Review of Related Literature
should do some process that is drafting,
writing, revising and editing, and last
Writing is an activity to deliver ideas
publishing. all of that must be done
using written language for created written
sequentially and systematically. There are
form. There are some definitions of writing
some writer’s reasons for writing, such as to
which are stated by some experts. According
inform, entertain, explain, and persuade. In
to Oshima and Hogue (1991:3) writing is a
writing, it takes hard work and the efforts of
process, not a product. It means that, the
the writer because writing in itself is not a
process to produce writing is more important
magic and this is difficult to do. So that, it’s
than the result of writing because writing is
purposes and results depend totally on the
not an instant and easy activity. In writing,
there are some processes that must be done
intentions and hearts of writers and their satisfied with one accomplishment. It is a
readers. time for celebration. Often students have
produced great pieces of writing only to
Process of Writing have them handed in to the teacher, graded,
and returned.
Process writing is a natural set of
steps that writers take to create a finished In addition, there are several
piece of work. It is a process of organizing components of writing process that proposed
ideas and creativity through text. The by Clark (2007:10) such as:
writing process presents students with a step 1. Prewriting
by step procedure that leads to the At this stage, writers generate ideas,
completion of a piece of writing. According brainstorm topics, web ideas together, or
to Caswell and Mahler (2004:5) there are talk or think about ideas. Teachers explain
some steps in writing process: that students may get writing ideas from
personal experiences, stories, pictures,
1. Prewriting. magazines, newspapers, television, and a
Prewriting allows writers to discover variety of other sources.
what they know and how to proceed. During 2. Drafting
this stage students learn to make decision Here, students begin to put their
about the topic as they ask question : do I ideas on paper. Students need to keep in
know enough about this topic to continue? mind the genre or format, audience, and
How can I gather more information? Do I purpose.
like this topic? At this time the teacher has 3. Revising and Editing
an opportunity to monitor students’ Revision looks at the organization
progress. and the structure of the writing. When
2. Writing revising, students analyze their writing for
For the writer, this is time to record required traits: sequencing words in a lab
the ideas collected and discovered during report, descriptive language in science
prewriting. Student can express their words, fiction story, topic sentences and supporting
or ideas in written form to create a good details in a persuasive essay. They also ask
writing. questions of their writing: “Does it make
3. Revising sense? Is anything out of order? Should
Revising means make changes. The anything be added or deleted? ”. While
writer works with the draft to add details editing, looks at the mechanics of the
that bring clarity and voice and that involve writing. So, students must understand how
the reader. Revising is the most intimidating to do both.
stage of the process because students do not 4. Publishing
know what to do. At this stage, teacher allows students
4. Editing to celebrate their hard work. It occurs after
With a revised draft (probably the other steps are completed and the
several drafts after the original) the writer students are ready to produce the final copy,
makes the final touches during editing to which can be handwritten or typed on a
ensure a reader’s comprehension. word processor.
5. Publishing 5. Reflecting
The writer proudly displays the Reflecting is a key element in the
finished product. This is a time for being writing process. It encourages the writer to
think about his or her writing. Reflection importantly. It is meant that in teaching
also allows the writer to look back at writing, the teacher should give knowledge
brainstorming and the beginning of a writing for the students about reinforcement in
project to see if the original goals were met. doing writing, developing the language to
express their writing, and also doing the
Based on the explanation above, it variety ways in writing. Then, it is important
can be concluded that the writing process for the students to know how to write letter,
describes the ways to create a piece of how to put written report together, how to
writing and allows students to work through replay advertisement and any other forms of
a step-by-step process to succeed at their writing. The students also need to know
own pace. There are five stages of the some of writing special convention in
writing process as a framework for writing punctuation and paragraph construction in
well and easily. In prewriting process, writing.
students choose a topic and gather or
organize their ideas about that topic. Then in Then, Hyland (2003:4) defines that
drafting, students write paragraph or essay teaching writing predominantly involves
from start to finish. Next, students will re- developing learners’ skill in producing fixed
enter their writing because this is an patterns, and responding to writing means
opportunity for them to revision and make identifying and correcting problems in the
changes to improve their writing. After that, student’s control of the language system. It
students need to correct all errors to improve means that, in teaching writing involves
their grammar and spelling. This may be the developing learners’ skill to produce a
most important part of the writing process. written. The teacher should identifying and
Finally, students could publish the result of correcting problem that faced by students in
their writing. writing class.

Teaching Writing Based on the explanation above, it


can be concluded that in teaching writing,
When teaching writing, teacher must the students need to select their ideas that
be sure to select resources and support are relevant to the writing purpose, do the
materials that not only aid them in teaching writing process by thinking clearly in order
how to write, but that will also be the most to make a good and fine writing. And also,
effective in helping their students learn to in doing the writing process, the students
write. Teaching writing in classroom has should consider about the ideas construction
function to enable to have ability in writing. in sentences to build paragraphs and have
In teaching writing, the students are hoped attention about the coherence among
to be able in communicating and compose paragraphs. Produce a good writing is the
ideas into written form. goal which should be achieved by the
students after teaching writing.
There are some statements of
teaching writing which are given by the Cubing Strategy
experts. According to Harmer (2003:79)
states the reason of teaching writing for Cubing strategy is an instructional
students of English as foreign language strategy that asks students to consider a
include reinforcement, language concept from a variety or different
development, learning style and most perspectives. According to Axelrod and
Cooper (2010:568) cubing is useful for b. Compare. Write about it resembles and
quickly exploring a writing topic, probing it what is does not resemble. This could
from six different perspectives. It means refer to its shape or function of operation
that, in applying cubing strategy students or implication.
can develop their ideas about the topic. By c. Associate. What is the first thing that
using this strategy, students also can analyze comes to your mind when you hear the
a topic in depth. word or topic? Does it prompt some
connection to something else familiar or
Then, according to Perez (2013:35) perhaps strangely linked in your story? It
cubing is a strategy designed to help can be events, inanimate objects, places,
students think about topic or idea from many or people.
different angles. It means that, cubing d. Analyze. Describe what it is composed
strategy help students more understanding of, what happens in its inner workings,
about the topic using six different what its source of power or purpose is.
perspectives that appropriate with the topic. e. Apply. State its use. Its intended use or
Cubing encourages students to look at some other purposes it might serve other
information in different ways and to use than what it was originally designed to
different ways of thinking—critical do.
thinking! The information that comes from f. Argue for or Against. Judge whether
the different considerations of the material you believe it is useful, thoughtful,
can be used to complete writing assignments appropriate, helpful, well constructed,
that can begin with short paragraphs and well considered, harmful, clever,
evolve into longer essays or research papers. efficient, or whatever you might decide
about the topic and state your belief.
In conclusion, cubing is giving the Then, According to Nazario et al
students an opportunity to charge and (2013:329) proposes that six perspectives of
improve their ability in writing. Because cubing strategy that is.
writing by using the cubing strategy, the a. Describe. Visualize your topic and list
students are provided to do writing based on as many details, qualities, and
their knowledge about certain topic. By characteristics as you can.
following the cubing strategy, the students b. Compare or contrast. What is your
can build writing ability. This strategy is not topic similar to? What is it different
only helping the teacher to give appraisal to from? List as many comparisons as
the students’ level understanding of how to possible.
do writing, but also providing the students to c. Associate. What does your topic remind
develop their ability in writing. you of? What does it make you think of?
What other ideas, events, or issues can
Perspective of Cubing Strategy
you associate with your topic.
d. Analyze. What does your topic consist
According to Meredith and Steele
of? What are its parts? How does it
(2011:73) state that the standard cube has
work? What types does it consist of?
one of the following six prompt on each
How is your topic meaningful and
side.
significant?
a. Describe it. Think about the topic and
describe it as you envision it.
e. Apply. What can you do with your e. Finally, the paragraphs are turned in and
topic? How is it meaningful? How is it each one is mounted on one side of a
useful? large cardboard cube that is then
f. Argue for or against. What displayed in the room
controversies surround your topic? What f. The display cube demonstrates how the
strengths or weaknesses does it have? reading can be viewed from each of the
What challenges does it face? How can six perspectives.
it be improved?
Furthermore, according to Sejnost
Based on explanation above, cubing (2009:169) procedure of cubing strategy
strategy has six different perspectives. It is follow as:
known as cubing because a cube has six a. Introduce the topic and the six
sides. In cubing, students must examine a perspectives from which it might be
topic from every different perspective before considered.
writing more fully. The perspectives are: b. Next, allow students five minutes to
describe, compare, associate, analyze, apply, consider each side of the cube.
and argue. In describe explain about what c. Finally, ask students to talk or write
does subject look like, size, color, and about the topic from any one of the six
shape. Meanwhile, in compare tell about possible aspects.
similar of subject or what is subject different
with others. Next, in associate contain the Based on the procedure above, it is
first thing that comes to our mind when we understood that cubing strategy is begun by
heard the word or topic. Then, in analyze tell divide students into some groups. After that,
about what does our topic consist of and teacher introduced the topic based on each
what are its parts. Meanwhile, in apply tell perspective. Then, teacher asks students
about what can our do with our subject. The write a paragraph about the topic. Finally,
last, argue tell about what arguments can our teacher collects students’ written.
make for our subject.
Sentence Combining Strategy
Procedure of Cubing Strategy
According to Mather et al
There are some experts which are (2000:145) sentence combining strategy is a
proposed the procedure of cubing strategy. strategy that help writer develops their skill
According to Schlemmer and Schlemmer in writing more complex sentence structures.
(2008:30): For these activities, a writer is asked to
a. Divide the class into six small groups combine several short sentences into one
and assign each group one of the longer sentence. It means that, writer
perspectives just listed. combine simple sentence into a complex
b. Each group’s task is to compose a sentence structure. Students could combine
paragraph that looks at the reading from several sentences into a paragraph.
the assigned perspective.
c. The groups share their paragraph with Furthermore, Johnson (2009:111)
the class, and the other students provide also states that sentence combining is a
feedback and ideas strategy that can helps students understand
d. The small groups then reconvene and the relationships relevant to academic
make needed revisions. writing. In other word, this strategy can help
students understand the relationship or the cue but underline key words, such as
connection of some sentence. In sentence first and then in the previous example.
combining, students also learn how the way
to combine each sentences. Dealing with the explanation above,
the writer concludes procedure of these
Based on explanation above the strategy is easy in apply. Firstly, the teacher
writer concludes that sentence combining aks students to make two or more simple
strategy is very useful in teaching process. sentences. After that, teacher writes
This strategy can help students understand sentences from students on the chalkboard.
the relationship or connection of some The last, teacher asks students to combine
sentence. Students can use sentence the sentence.
combining to develop their ability to write a
paragraph well. The Combination of Cubing and Sentence
Combining Strategies in Teaching
Procedure of Sentence Combining Writing Descriptive Text
Strategy
In this paper the writer chooses the
There are some procedures of procedure from Axelrod and Cooper for
sentence combining strategy which are Cubing and to be applied in Whilst-
proposed by the experts. The first is Teaching activity Exploration part and for
According to Mather and et al (2000:145) Sentence Combining will use procedure
the procedures of sentence combining as from Mather and et al to be applied in
follow: Whilst-teaching activity Elaboration part.
a. Write two or three simple sentences on The combined steps are:
the chalkboard a. Select a topic, subject, or part of a
b. Ask students to combine the sentence subject. This can be a person, a scene, an
c. Discuss all suggestions and write all event, an object, a problem, an idea, or
acceptable sentences produced by an issue. (cubing)
students on the board. b. Limit your writing to three to five
d. Provide oral practice with the sentences minutes for each perspectives. The
before asking the students to combine whole activity should take no more than
them in writing. half an hour. (cubing)
e. Take sentences directly from a student’s c. Keep going until you have written about
written work. your subject. (cubing)
d. As you write from each perspective,
The second, Billingsley (2013:254) begin with what you know about your
proposes that: subject. (cubing)
a. The teacher models how to write a e. Write two or three simple sentences on
simple sentence and then students the chalkboard (sentence combining)
practice writing simple sentences until f. Ask students to combine the sentence
they reach a certain level of fluency. (sentence combining)
b. The teacher models combining sentences g. Discuss all suggestions and write all
using coordinating conjunction cues. acceptable sentences produced by
c. After teaching them to combine students on the board. (sentence
sentences using cues, the teacher omit combining)
h. Provide oral practice with the sentences to do writing and provide them to improve
before asking the students to combine their writing ability. Finally, in post-
them in writing (sentence combining) teaching activities, the teacher takes the
i. Reread what you have written. Look for students writing product, checks the errors
bright spots, surprises. Recall the part of their writing, and evaluates their writing
that was easiest for you write. (cubing) continuously to get a good writing.
j. Take sentences directly from a student’s
written work. (sentence combining) So, the writer concludes that the
combination of cubing and sentence
Those are the steps of combining combining strategies can be used in teaching
cubing and sentence combining in teaching writing, especially for improving the
writing descriptive text at junior high students’ writing ability. Teaching writing
school. by combining cubing and sentence
combining strategies provides the students
CONCLUSION an opportunity to do writing easily. The
activity of using the strategies combination
Writing is an activity to deliver has begun with introduced topic to the
ideas, thoughts, and meaning in written students. Then teacher explore ideas by
form. By writing, the writer can express students appropriate with perspective in
what s/he thinks in written form. For cubing strategy. The students could
expressing the ideas and thoughts in writing, complete their writing into a good paragraph
the writer should create a form of a by knowing sentence combining strategy. In
communication between the writer and the doing sentence strategy, their writing of
texts which will be produced based on its cubing will be developed into paragraphs
ideas. For expressing ideas in written form and united to be a complete writing. Thus,
and produce writing well, students in school the use of combining cubing and sentence
must have ability in writing. Writing is done combining strategy can motivate students in
for making the students be able to express mastering the process of writing and provide
their ideas in written form. Therefore, all them with a good ability in writing.
students must have ability and competency
in writing. One way to improve the student’s REFERENCES
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