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IMPROVING STUDENTS` SPEAKING SKILL OF DESCRIPTIVE TEXTS

THROUGH MIND MAPPING AT GRADE X-1 COMPUTER AND


NETWORK TECHNIC PROGRAM (TKJ) OF SMK N 1 PANYABUNGAN

Dina Syarifah Nasution, Zainil, Kusni


Language Education Program, State University of Padang
Nasutiondinasyarifah@yahoo.com

Abstrak: penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengetahui apakah Mind Mapping


Technique dapat meningkatkan keterampilan siswa dalam berbicara melalui teks
deskriptif, serta faktor- faktor apa saja yang mempengaruhi peningkatan
keterampilan tersebut. Penelitian ini adalah penelitian tindakan kelas yang
dilaksanakan dalam dua siklus. Setiap siklus terdiri dari lima kali pertemuan.
Masing – masing siklus terdiri dari plan, action, observation, dan reflection.
Partisipan pada penelitian ini adalah siswa kelas X-1 Teknik Komputer Jaringan
( TKJ) SMK N 1 Panyabungan yang berjumlah 44 siswa. Data penelitian ini
dikumpulkan melalui: (1) lembar observasi; siswa, guru, langkah mengajar(2)
catatan lapangan (3) wawancara, dan (4) tes berbicara. Penelitian ini
menemukan bahwa penggunaan Mind Mapping technique dapat meningkatkan
keterampilan siswa dalam berbicara melalui teks deskriptif. Faktor- faktor yang
mrmpengaruhi peningkatan keterampilan siswa dalam berbicara melalui teks
deskriptif adalah (a) media pembelajaran yang menarik, materi yang menarik,
kegiatan belajar dikelas yang menyenangkan, pengelolaan kelas yang
menyenangkan, pendekatan guru yang menarik,dan strategi mengajar guru.

Keywords : speaking skill, Descriptive Texts, Mind Mapping

Introduction In fact, Speaking English is


Speaking is one of the not easy for Grade X-1 Computer
language skills learned by the student and Network Technic Program (
in a foreign language. It involves a TKJ) at SMK N 1 Panyabungan.
process of building and sharing This is proven by the researcher as a
meaning through the use of the teacher at Vocational High School
language orally. By learning SMK N 1 Panyabungan. The
speaking, the students will know the students of grade X-1 Computer and
way to express language Network Technic Program ( TKJ)
communicatively. The students will cannot communicate in English
learn how to express utterances language and they got difficulties in
meaningfully. Because of that speaking test, especially doing
speaking is one of important skills describing objects orally, although
that should be mastered by the they had been given the explicit
students learning foreign language background knowledge about
besides reading, listening and descriptive texts. It was reflected
writing. from the result of speaking test for
Journal English Language Teaching (ELT) Volume 1 Nomor 2, Juli 2013

Vocational High School especially students able to use the language


the students of the tenth of SMKN 1 communicatively and meaningfully
Panyabungan that was lower than the by not only paying attention on its
expected result. It was found that language features and generic
most of students got difficulties of structure but also by using
using English in speaking activities appropriate vocabulary, good
especially in the describing objects pronunciation, fluency and
orally based on the given topic comprehension.
description. Here, It was difficult for In order to improve students`
the students to understand the speaking skill, the teachers must
descriptive texts they could not strive hard to drill and stimulate
describe it well and they were not students’ skill including their motor
able to answer the researcher’s skill, intelligences, creativity,
question related to the descriptive technique, and interest by giving
texts content. good learning material and designing
In addition, they could not learning activities that make them
both make good grammatical have challenging and be active to
sentences while describing objects practice the language especially in
and produce the appropriate describing objects orally.
pronunciation like the target To reach good atmosphere,
language. As the result, the students improve their skill, and make the
got low speaking marks and could students interest in the lesson, many
not obtain the passing score for activities could be used. One of them
speaking competency. It is provided is mind mapping for descriptive
by their test result in speaking which texts. It was considered as an
is below than Minimum effective technique in learning and
Achievement Criteria (KKM). They teaching process, because the
usually forgot what they studied, students could learn English more
because they didn’t know how to excitedly by creating mind mapping
manage their memory to recall the to speaking descriptive texts. It could
information that they received and help them to understand the lesson
memorized. and memorize new vocabulary more
Descriptive texts is one type easily.
of genre taught to the students in Buzan (2005) says that mind
Senior High School. Some mapping is an extremely effective
techniques that can be used in method of taking notes. Mind maps
teaching speaking on descriptive show not only facts, but also the
texts are: role play, cooperative overall structure of a subject and
learning, etc. This technique can be relative importance of individual part
done by dialog and monolog. One of it. The teachers’ assumption that
way to do monolog is by doing using mind mapping technique also
description objects orally. This could reduce the less confidence of
activity is to enable the students to the students and also made easy to
describe objects orally on descriptive remember and recall descriptive
texts based on the given material or Texts parts, because the students still
text. Then the purpose of teaching could use their mind mapping notes
speaking through descriptive texts in when they should practice the
describing objects is to make the material of descriptive texts in front

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Journal English Language Teaching (ELT) Volume 1 Nomor 2, Juli 2013

of the class. He also states that mind problems that occurred in the
mapping makes the students have a classroom.
good imagination if they Based on the statement above
remembered something that full of the researcher can conclude that
colors and made the students more classroom action research is one of
creative, and the students are not ways to solve teaching problem in a
only easy to remember the form of action which done in the
description, but they can also learn class. In this case, she was helped by
the visual image of the thing. English teacher called a
Besides, the students will be collaborator.
easy to remember something by There are some steps that
using their own color, symbol, researcher should know if they want
picture, and key words in their mind to conduct the action research.
mapping, and if the students had Kemmis and Taggart (1988 : 10)
their own mind mapping it will be state that there are four
easy to the learners to recall their fundamentals steps of action
memory when they needed. By using research; they are plan, action,
mind mapping, the students are not observation and reflection. In this
only can recall their memory but also research the researcher planned to
can learn visual memory. The conduct one cycle design only. But,
students can recall their memory and because the result was still not
visual memory easily if the use mind satisfactory, the second cycle was
mapping. It is supported by buttress conducted.
and colanders (2010) that visual The participants of this
memory is the ability to recall research were the researcher,
information that has been presented collaborator and 44 students at
visually. grade X-1 Computer and Network
Technic Program ( TKJ) of SMKN 1
Method Panyabungan got difficulties in
This research was a speaking skill of Descriptive Texts.
Classroom Action Research. So the researcher thought that it is
According to Wallace (1998), a much better if she helped the
Classroom Action Research is a students to improve their skill in
research which focuses to facilitate speaking of descriptive texts
the reflective cycle and this way through Mind Mapping. The data in
provides an effective method for the research were gathered from: (1)
improving professional action. It observation checklists on students,
means that a classroom action teacher, and steps of teaching, (2)
research is conducted to improve and fields notes,(3) interviews and (4)
solve the problems that occur in the speaking test. The writer used
classroom. Besides that, it also scoring rubric for students` speaking
increases the students’ quality in modified from Hughes (2003).
learning process. The researcher Hughes proposes five components;
found the students in his classroom Grammar, Vocabulary,
have a problem in speaking skill. The Pronunciation, Fluency,
researcher considered that CAR is Comprehension.
conducted to help her to solve the

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Journal English Language Teaching (ELT) Volume 1 Nomor 2, Juli 2013

FINDING AND DISCUSSION took about one hour to apply the


There are two different kinds technique of Mind Mapping that
of data; quantitative and qualitative focused on the students` speaking
data gathered in the research. The skill and the rest hour was used for
findings are important to answer the teaching process as stated in the
questions of the research. The syllabus. In this part, the researcher
quantitative data gathered in the applied her lesson plan to teach the
research is aimed to answer whether students about speaking skill by
Mind Mapping technique of Mind Mapping. The collaborator
Descriptive Texts could improve the observed the teaching and learning
teaching and learning process in process. Actually, two meetings had
teaching speaking at grade X-1 to be provided for one lesson plan or
Computer and Network Technic for one topic with its activity because
Program ( TKJ) of SMKN 1 one meeting was not enough to finish
Panyabungan. While the qualitative one lesson plan. It means that four
data answered the second question meeting consist of two lesson plan.
about what factors influence the And two topic description. In each
improvement of students ` speaking two meetings the student had to
skill of Descriptive Texts at grade X- complete all the activities and the
1 Computer and Network Technic task designed based on the given
Program ( TKJ) of SMKN lesson plan. The task was in the oral
1Panyabungan. form whether they did discussion or
asking and answer the related
1. The extent to which Mind question to the topic either in peer
Mapping could improve the activity or group activity. At the end
students `speaking skill of of the test, the students had to be able
Descriptive texts to perform describing objects orally
in front of the class. the test had
During two cycle treatments in 10 function to evaluate the students`
meetings, the result showed that the respond and progress toward the
students could speak Descriptive given subject and to give reflection
Texts better than before the research. for the researcher to rethink the
It was indicated from the better progress for the meeting.
improvement of mean score of the At the end of cycle one, the
students skill in speaking Descriptive researcher did the test in oral form by
texts at the end of cycle two. asking the students to perform
Moreover, there are were also describing object orally in front of
improvement of students` speaking the classroom individually to
skill for each indicator of speaking evaluate students` achievement and
descriptive texts. The following are to see whether the researcher had to
the detail explanations about the revise the technique into the second
teaching and learning process and the cycle. Actually the teaching was
finding of the research. done into three steps; pre teaching
The first cycle activity, whilst teaching activity, and
The first cycle was done for five post teaching activity that should be
meetings on August 14th 2013 focused on the students centered as
August 31st 2013 until the twice a the purposed of teaching and
week. In this case , the researcher learning process.

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Journal English Language Teaching (ELT) Volume 1 Nomor 2, Juli 2013

Second cycle researcher evaluate the students`


Because unsatisfactory result competence one by one in front of
in the first cycle on the students` the class.
improvement on the speaking skill, In this case, the students`
the researcher and the collaborator improvement on speaking indicators
continue the research into the second from the first cycle to the second
cycle started on September 11th and cycle could be described from the
ended on September 28th 2013. For comparison of students` means of
this case, the researcher and the task and test from the beginning of
collaborator though hard how to the meeting till the end. One in the
apply new teaching and learning following table and figure:
strategies to make students more
excellent, what material that would Table 1. The comparison of
be given to attract them to go students means speaking
involved totally in describing object indicators in pre-test, cycle 1 and
orally, and what activities had to be cycle 2
designed to ask them to practice Cycle Grammar voc pron fluency comp
speaking English actively. Pre- 3.03 2.83 3.02 2.89 3.22
Different from the condition test
Cycle 3.58 3.28 3.55 3.43 3.51
in the previous cycle, after listening 1
and watching the video description Cycle 4.14 3.70 4.10 4.10 4.07
the students were quite easy to 2
understand the topic description and
they could discuss with their friends. Figure 1. the Comparison of
In this occasion, the researcher students speaking skill in pre-test
designed new teaching strategy to and cycle 1
help the students be able to create 69,41
their own topic description and ways 70
completing the descriptive structures
of topic description and grammatical 65
sentences. 59,95
The researcher conducted the 60
test to evaluate the students`
improvement on speaking skill on
55
each component to prove whether the
students gave dynamic changes.
Virtually, the students had been
informed a week before the test, so The table and the diagram of
they study hard at home to practice students` means score of each
their own description. At the time , component above shows that the
there were many topic described, but students did the significant changes
the topic description to be tested had in their mark. In the first pre-test
to be one of topic description which done in, the averages students got
had been listened in the previous low speaking skill in each
meetings. A few minutes before component as seen from the mean of
having the test they were given the students` score in each indicator;
chance for preparing their own 3.03fo r grammar, 2.83 for
description in seriously. Then, the vocabulary, 3.02 for pronunciation,

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Journal English Language Teaching (ELT) Volume 1 Nomor 2, Juli 2013

2.89 for fluency, and 3.22 for Figure 2. the comparison of


comprehension. Then, after revising students` total mean of speaking
her teaching ways and activities to skill ( cycle 1 and cycle 2 )
implement her technique in the
82 80,45
classroom, the students made a little 80
changed as figure out in the diagram 78
above. At the result of the first cycle, 76
the students` means scores for 74
72 69,41
speaking component were increased
70
they are 3.5 for grammar, 3.28 for 68
vocabularies, 3.55 for pronunciation, 66
3.43 for fluency, 3.5 for 64
comprehension. Thus, the students 62
improvement in the test for the Cycle One
second cycle of the research were Cycle Two
increased became 4.14 for grammar,
3.70 for vocabulary, 4.10 for The diagram shows the huge
pronunciation, 4.10 for fluency, 4.07 improvement happened in the second
for comprehension. cycle, the activity in the second
The significant improvement meeting shows that the students did
on the students means score for each the significant improvement on their
indicator was shown in the second score. The previous test means from
cycle where the students got good the test of cycle 1, that was from
mark or very good mark and nobody 59.95 in the pre-test cycle to 69.41
got poor or failed mark. It was and in the first cycle. Then, means
proved from the students` test result score of speaking test was also
at the end of meeting for the second increase in the second cycle when
cycle for the speaking test. It can be the students got 80.45 for their total
concluded that the students did the means. Furthermore, the speaking
improvement on their speaking mark test make the positive effect for the
in each cycle on each speaking students` competences by which all
component. Besides, the total means students could pass the minimum
of students` speaking competence standard achievement for speaking
could be figure out in the following and they had done the skill that
table and diagram: enabled them to speak better than
before. Here, the total of the students
Table 2.The comparison of ` total means score was 80,45 or they
students` total mean of speaking got B for their speaking competence.
skills ( cycle and cycle 2 ) The students made significant
Cycle Grammar Voc Pron Fluency Comp improvement on their speaking
competence that made the researcher
decided to stop the research in the
Before 60.68 56.59 60.45 57.73 64.32
second cycle.
In conclusion, based on the
Cycle 1 71.59 65.68 70. 68.64 70.23 result of speaking test in cycle 1 and
91
the test in cycle 2 it is known that the
Cycle 2 82.73 74.09 82.05 82.05 81.36 students` speaking skill was
improved continuously and
significantly by implementing Mind

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Journal English Language Teaching (ELT) Volume 1 Nomor 2, Juli 2013

Mapping technique. Consequently, material which


Mind Mapping technique is the presented can be
appropriate technique to clearer.
implemented to improve students`
Teacher: What about you student
speaking skill in the class.
34 and 26?
Student 34: Yes, mam. Because we can
2. The factors that influenced do by our group and we
the improvement of can see the example of
students` speaking skill the other group too
There were many changes
Student 26: Good, Mam. We can draw
done during the research especially the map in a big paper with
on the improvement of students ` full color and it can be seen
speaking skill as proven from the more interesting.
comparison of test result in each Furthermore, Video description,
cycle. Virtually, there were several laptop, LCD and loud speaker that
factors which influenced the the researcher used the media to
students` improvement as stated in teach speaking by using mind
the observation checklist, field notes, mapping for descriptive texts gave
and interview sheets. After having new atmosphere for the student they
the intensive discussion with the would not get bored and reluctant to
collaborator the researcher decided study. They could listening directly
that the factors which influenced the how the native speaker pronounced
students` speaking skill improvement the word. It was supported by the
are following: result of interview. The researcher
asked the student, “What do you
a. Interesting teaching media think about media of descriptive texts
Media is all physical tools that used by the teacher? Why?” Then,
can convey the message and can one of the student named Annisya
stimulate the students in learning. In answered: it was more interesting,
this research the researcher used a enjoy, and it made me not boring in
big paper and draw the map of the learning English mam”. Because by
mind mapping from the material with watching the video, I could see the
full colors. This media was useful real answered: “the media helped me
and helpful of the students. Because fully, mom” and it could motivate me
the group discussion could create or to learn English”.
draw their map by themselves in a From the interview result it was
big paper with full colors so the also supported that the student could
students was very interesting of this know some vocabularies used in the
study. The result on interview: describing objects orally from the
Teacher: Do you think a big video directly. Through the video,
paper and pen colors in they could see the meaning of the
drawing mind mapping word directly, because it was shown
can convey the material
clearly, so, they did not feel
direct you in speaking?
Give your reason! difficulty in figuring out the words in
the descriptive texts.
Student 10: Yes, I think the media is
good. Because the

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Journal English Language Teaching (ELT) Volume 1 Nomor 2, Juli 2013

b. Interesting material more challenging in the teaching


The material used in this meeting speaking. It supported the finding
was not really difficult rather than from Hemei (1977) who says that
the previous meeting. The topic of effective methods and techniques as
cycle 1 and 2 were “missing well as wide variety of activities will
relatives” and “describing ensure active viewing and
profession”. They could understand participation from the students.
some vocabularies used in In discussion can help the
descriptive Texts especially in students to solve their problem,
describing object orally. It happened because it can be done by two or
because the materials were presented more students through direct
in the simple form were appropriate interaction in formal way about their
with the students of vocational high experiences or information. The
school. researcher divided the students into
It was supported by the result of some group which consists of one
interview, the researcher asked clever students, middle students and
Annisya? “did you like the text which low students. According to
were given by the teacher?” she collaborator and researcher, when the
commented the researcher`s students did discussion among them,
questions: “yes I did, I love the texts they did discussion seriously. The
because the texts were simple, researcher interviewed one of the
interesting, colorful, and easy to students about the discussion in
understand”. group. The result of interview:
The interview result above Teacher : what do you
revealed that topic of missing think about the
relatives and describing profession discussion
were not really difficult for the during the
student. Then, they said that the topic teaching and
description provided in the video was learning
easy to be understood. Using a process
familiar and an interesting topic through mind
description was really useful in mapping?
helping the students understanding Student 2 : I think it is
and comprehending the topic good, Mam.
description better. Because we
divided into
same groups
and we can
c. The attractive classroom share our
activities problem.
( discussion) Teacher : And you
student 9?
The classroom activity was one of Student 9 : Good
factors which influenced the situation,
students` speaking skill on Mam. I was
descriptive texts. By varying the helped by some
classroom activities, the researcher friends to do
could make the students became the task.

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Journal English Language Teaching (ELT) Volume 1 Nomor 2, Juli 2013

Based on the interview above, it Mam. Because


could be concluded that the variation we can more
of classroom activities, doing understand
discussion also helped the students in and the
improving their speaking skill on material was
descriptive texts. Through discussion clearer for us.
the students got reinforcement from In this research the researcher
what they did not understand about always sat the students’ seats into
the material. The teacher guided good and interesting arrangement
them in the discussion, and then by like circle form or U from that
working in their group they could intended to ease the student to do the
share the opinions, ideas, and teaching activities and to provide
knowledge`s among the groups` and them fun learning situation. It was
learn to accept, appreciate and supported by the result of interview.
stimulate another The researcher asked, “What do
you think about management?”
d. Enjoyable Classroom Winda answered: “the teacher
Management managed the classroom well and
The teacher had to manage the provided the class with various
classroom well in order to build the activities in group correction. The
conductive classroom atmosphere in teacher also made the several of seat
what situation the students could get arrangement. Sometimes, the teacher
enjoyable study process and arranged the seat into row, circle
seriously follow the teaching and U form that made students feel
instruction. In this case researcher comfortable without feeling bored in
build group Presentation. learning process.”
Presentation is a hand-off Then, before teaching, the
demonstration or presentation is a researcher ensured about the
communication. Here the students cleanliness class environment and
could present their mapping in they could concentrate in learning.
different material in a big paper in
every group. It was helpful the e. Attractive teacher`s approach
students to increase their knowledge, Teachers` approach was also
because after they present their really significant in improving the
mapping they could ask what they students` speaking skill. Here, the
didn’t know about the material and researcher used guidance and
they could receive the reason of their modeling as the teaching approaches
friends. The result of interview: for the students in order to make
Teacher : What do you them reach the expected speaking
think about the skill. Firstly, at the beginning of the
activities of teaching process, the researcher
presentation in explained briefly the goal and the
cycle 2? basic competence that must be
Student 20 : Enjoy, Mam accomplished. Then, she explained
Teacher : Why do say the students the way how to
like that? understand the topic description that
Student 20 : I think it is was consisted of how to identify and
good situation, to describe the objects, and the

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Journal English Language Teaching (ELT) Volume 1 Nomor 2, Juli 2013

language features used in describing learning process themselves


the object. Continually, she explains (students- centered).
the way how to make their own Besides, the researcher used
description by giving the example on correcting strategy both the
white board – the students gave researcher`s correction on the
positive respond on it. As the result, students mistakes and the students
they could create their own self correction on their own mistake.
description by using simple In giving the correction, the
sentences. researcher did not give direct
Furthermore, the researcher correction to the particular students
modeling to practicing the but the researcher corrected the
description in front of the class. students ` mistakes while hearing
Through the modeling activity the their practice without saying who
researcher gave the example of the was responsible for those mistakes.
correct pronunciation so that the It was also supported
students could learn and correct their from the interview result. The
own pronunciation through self researcher asked Zalfa, “What do
correction. The result of interview you think about the teacher’s
could be seen below: “what do you strategy in your class”?
think about teacher`s approach in She answered: the teacher has
the classroom?” Affandi answered: given us good strategy and new
“I think in each meeting, the teacher experience for us, but we still need
afford to manage the class well in more practice about the way how to
order to create good classroom be a clear description especially on
atmosphere and environment.” If I pronunciation, fluency, and body
have lack of vocabulary, the teacher expression “. It showed that
persuaded me by giving a slow light teacher`s strategy was one factor
blow of my shoulder. While she influence their speaking
suggested to listen to my friend or improvement.
her explanation well”. From the
interview result showed that the CONCLUSION
teacher approach was good for them. 1. The use of mind mapping for
descriptive texts improved the
f. Teacher strategy students speaking skill over the
Good teaching strategy was Minimum Achievement Criteria
essential to determine whether the (KKM) at grade X-1 Computer
teaching and learning process had and Network Technic (TKJ) of
been successful, so that as the SMKN 1 Panyabungan.
English teacher, the researcher had to 2. There are six important factors
be able to design the several of that influence the students`
teaching strategy to motivate and to changes of speaking skill
encourage students to learn English
especially for practicing the SUGGESTION
describing objects orally. In this 1. Other researcher who have
research, the researcher used the same problem are
experiential learning strategy which suggested to find out the
gives much opportunity for the appropriate teaching
students to experience teaching and techniques continually to

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Journal English Language Teaching (ELT) Volume 1 Nomor 2, Juli 2013

solve the students` problems


in teaching and learning Gay, L.R & Airasian 2004.
process. Educational Research. New
Jersey: Prentice Hall.
2. It is expected that further
researcher may conduct
action research at different Hemei, Jiang. 1997. “Teaching with
skill and level of students, at video in an English class”.
different places and situation English Teaching Forum,
by implementing this Vol.35, No. 2, 1997. Retrieved
technique that are suitable on October 29th 2010 from
with their class condition and http://exchanges.state.gov/engli
their students` need. shteaching/forum/arcieves/199
7/docs/97-35-2-j.pdf.
Note:
This article was adapted from the
Hughes, A. 2003. Testing for
writer’s thesis at Pascasarjana
Language Teacher. (2nd ed).
State University of Padang with
Cambridge: Cambridge
advisor I Prof. Dr. H. Zainil, MA.
University Press.
P.h D and advisor II Dr Kusni,
M.pd.
Wallace, Michael J. 1998. Action
Research for Language
Referencess
Teachers. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Buzan, Tony, 2005. Mind Maps for
Kids: London: Harper Collins
Publisher Ltd.

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