INCREASING VOCABULARY MASTERY THROUGH SEMANTIC MAPPING TO THE SIXTH GRADE STUDENTS OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL NO. 27 PALEMBANG (unpublished undergraduate thesis)

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background

            English is widely used for communication in the world. English is used in many fields such as: Information and Technology, Economy, Science, Art, Education, Politics and so on. With the rapid development of science and technology, young generations (learners) need to develop their ability in many aspects in order not to be left behind. Mastering English is one way to reach it.

In Indonesia, the position of English is as a foreign language. It is taught from the Elementary school to university. In learning English, there are four skills that have to be mastered. They are: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Besides that, one of the aspects of language which plays a great role in English ability is vocabulary mastery. Manurung (2003), states that the ability of speaking, listening, reading and writing English depends on the mastery of vocabulary and grammar.

According to Hornby (1995:1331), vocabulary is a total number of words which (with rules of combining them) make up a language. While Al kufaishi (1988:42) states that vocabulary is a vehicle of thought, self expression, interpretation and communication. In using English, one needs to have a great number of vocabularies so that she/he could easily express her/his thoughts in communication. In addition, Wilkins (1972:111) cited in Thornbury (2002:13) states that “without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed.”

The government has set up the policy to introduce English language in primary schools. The policy is optional which means it depends on the school. According to Basic Education Guideline, the objective of basic education in Indonesia is to prepare students basic knowledge before having higher education. For English lesson, the objective of English lesson is to give knowledge of vocabulary mastery so that when the students continue their education to a higher level, they will not get any difficulties (Listia  and Kamal: 2008)

Teacher should not ignore the teaching of vocabulary to primary school students.  According to Cameron (2001: 72), building up a useful vocabulary is central to the learning of a foreign language at a primary level. It offers the chance for learners to build up a solid core of words useful for further learning. However, Piaget (1896-1990, cited in Marhoefer, 1992: 194) believes that children’s thinking processes are fundamentally different from those of adults’.

In addition, Leontiv (1989:211) states that language learning in an early age of a child (6-12 years old) has a deceptive effect. His language development will be greatly affected by his experience in learning the language. When he has undergone the right track of learning, his language acquisition will develop smoothly. Therefore, teaching English to children should be done in such a way that children could benefit more.

Learning words is not like ticking off items on a shopping list when they have been bought. Learning words is a continual process. It needs to be met and recycled at interval, in different activities, with new knowledge and new connections developed each time the same words are met again (Cameron, 2001: 84). Students need to meet and use the words again and again so that it is available for use in the longer term.

Semantic mapping is a strategy that can be used in all disciplines to demonstrate the relationships between ideas. In teaching vocabulary, it can be used as a tool for students to discover the relationships between vocabulary words (Gaut: 2002).  It is a visual strategy for vocabulary expansion and extension of knowledge by displaying in categories words related to one another. In this strategy, students are asked to brainstorm and think of ideas or words related to the central word. For example, the teacher gives central word “elephant”. Then the teacher asks the students to think of the word. Students may come up with words such as big, trunk, four legs, brown, land and so on. After that, teacher and students categorize the word. The categories could be the habitat, size and physical characteristics.

Al kufaishi (1988:42) states that students can master and more easily retain words whose relationship can be clearly seen and understood. It means that semantic mapping makes students learn vocabulary more easily. It enhances vocabulary development by helping students link new information with previous experience. While it draws on prior knowledge, it recognizes important components and shows relationship among the components. Since semantic mapping builds on prior knowledge and is an active form of learning, it can be a very effective teaching tool.

The writer had done an interview with some students and one of teachers of English at the Elementary School No. 27 Palembang. Based on the interview, the writer found that the students usually had difficulties in translating sentences due to lack of vocabulary. They also said that it was very difficult to remember new words they learnt. It made them unable to answer the questions in the examination correctly. In fact, most of questions in their examination consisted of vocabulary test. The teacher usually used conventional method in teaching vocabulary. That is the teacher gave the meaning of difficult words or asked the students to look the words up in the dictionary.

Based on the explanation above, the writer was interested in conducting an experimental research to the sixth grade students of Elementary School No. 27   Palembang to increase their vocabulary mastery through semantic mapping.

1.2 The Problem of the Study    

            The problem of the study was formulated in the following question, “Was there any significant difference between the vocabulary mastery of the students who were taught by using semantic mapping and that of those who were not?”

1.3 The Objective of the Study                 

            Based on the problem above, the objective of the study was to find out whether or not there was any significant difference between the vocabulary mastery of students who were taught by using semantic mapping and that of those who were not.

1.4 The Significance of the Study

The result of the study will hopefully be beneficial for teachers, students or learners of English and the writer herself. For the teachers, it can give reference of strategy to apply in the classroom. For the students, it is hoped that they can use this strategy to increase their vocabulary mastery. Finally, it will give useful information to the writer whether or not this strategy is effective to increase vocabulary mastery.

CHAPTER II

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 The Concept of Vocabulary

 

            Several definitions of vocabulary are listed below. Hornby (1995:1331) states that vocabulary is the total numbers of words which (with rules of combining them) make up a language. In addition, Dupuis et al (1989: 67) state that vocabulary refers to “a set of words or phrases which label the parts of material to be learned and which are necessary for students to use in talking and writing about the material.” Vocabulary mastery is a great skill of knowledge about a set of words known by a person as a part of specific language.

Vocabulary is one of the aspects of language besides grammar and pronunciation. Vocabulary mastery is crucial to language acquisition. One of the greatest inhibitors to communication in the target language is the lack of vocabulary. Barnett (1989:60) states that “foreign and second language students repeatedly claim that lack of vocabulary knowledge is a major problem when reading.” Moreover, Levine (1965:1) states that “research has established a close correlation between vocabulary and intelligence”. Student is identified as that of superior mental ability if she/he has good vocabulary. It means that she/he has done wide reading since reading is the principal way of developing a good vocabulary. It enables students to find new words and their meanings in different context. By reading much, their vocabulary will develop greatly.

According to Russo (1983: 25), an individual’s vocabulary, in the native tongue and the target language, falls into two categories: passive and active. The passive vocabulary includes the reading and writing vocabulary. It encompasses more words because its individual components appear in a context which allows the reader or writer time for reflection and comprehension of meaning based on contextual clues. The passive vocabulary is generally much more extensive than the active vocabulary. The active vocabulary refers to the words that students have been taught or have learnt and they are expected to be able to use them.

2.2 Types of Vocabulary  

            Donoghue (1990) cited in Risdiana (1997:3) states that there are four categories of vocabulary.

  1. Listening Vocabulary

Listening vocabulary refers to all the words that children recognize and understand when they hear them in oral context. It is the first vocabulary to develop during the language acquisition stage and is also the one that continues to grow most rapidly during Elementary school years.

  1. Speaking Vocabulary

Speaking vocabulary includes all the words that children use in everyday speech. It forms the basis for development of the reading and writing vocabulary.

  1. Reading Vocabulary

Reading vocabulary consists of all the words that children recognize and understand in writing. The students’ vocabulary mastery is generally limited when they enter schools. By the time they reach reading maturity in the upper grades, their reading vocabulary overtakes and surpasses their oral vocabulary. The more students read, the larger is their reading vocabulary.

  1. Writing Vocabulary

Writing vocabulary is the last to develop and includes only the words that children can use in written compositions. It is closely tied to spelling instruction.

In this study, the writer used reading vocabulary to teach to the students. The materials were taken from their English books, Get Ready for Beginners and Happy with English adjusted to the syllabus given by the teacher. Cheek, et.al (1989:113) state that there are three reading vocabulary the students may encounter when they are reading.

  1. General vocabulary: referring to the words that comprise the major portion of one’s vocabulary usage in everyday communication, such as “house”, “table”, and “chair”.
  2. Specialized vocabulary: referring to the words with multiple meanings that change from one content to another, such as “mass”, “root”, and “raise”.
  3. Technical vocabulary: referring to the words that are essential to the understanding of a specific content area. These words only relate to one content area and the understanding of its concepts, such as “gene” (science), “embargo” (social studies) and “exponents” (mathematics).

General vocabulary is the main vocabulary found in the primary school students’ reading text. The writer focused on the general vocabulary since it contains the words used in daily communication and is useful for the students as their basic knowledge.

2.3   Vocabulary Development

            Seven kinds of principles of vocabulary development are described by Gunning (1992:159). Their description is as follows:

  1. Building experiential background:

The most effective step to build vocabulary is to provide students with a variety of rich experiences, for examples, taking children to a supermarket, zoo, museum etc.

  1. Relating vocabulary to background

It is essential to relate new words to experiences that students may have had. Students were asked to respond to new words that required some sort of personal judgment or observation.

  1. Building relationship

Show how new words are related to each other. For example, students are about to read a selection about autobiographies and biographies that include the unfamiliar words accomplishment, obstacles and nonfiction along with autobiography and biography. Instead of simply presenting them separately, demonstrate how they are related to each other. Autobiography and biography are two similar types of nonfiction, and they often describe the subject’s accomplishments and obstacles that he/she had to overcome.

  1. Developing depth of meaning

There are two methods of developing depth of meaning: definitions and simulation. Definition, however, may provide only a superficial level of knowledge, while simulation is the thoughtful level of knowledge.

  1. Presenting several exposures

Gunning (1992:163) suggests that students study new words at least ten times. It also helps if words appear in different context so that students experience their shade of meaning.

  1. Creating an interest in words

In experiment program, Gunning (1992:163) awarded students the title of “Word Wizard” if they come on an example of a taught word outside of the class and reported to the group. Children virtually swamped their teachers with instances of seeing, hearing or using the words as they worked toward gaining points on the word wizard chart. On some days every child in the class comes in with a word wizard contribution. Children occasionally cause a minor description, for example, at an assembly when a speaker used one of the taught words and the entire class would use buzz with recognition.

  1. Promoting transfer

Students have to learn thousands of words, so teachers also have to show them to use the tools of vocabulary acquisition: (1) context clues, (2) morphemic analysis and (3) dictionary skills. Context clues refers to words or phrases, stated or implied, in a sentence, a paragraph or a passage that help students to understand new and difficult vocabulary. Morphemic analysis refers to the ability to determine a word meaning through examining its prefix, root or suffix. Dictionary skills refer to skills of looking up words, obtaining appropriate definition and deriving the correct pronunciations.

Nation, cited in Cameron (2001: 85), lists basic techniques by which teachers can explain the meanings of new words, all of which can be used in the young learner classroom:

By demonstration or pictures

1. Using an object

2. Using a cut-out figure

3. Using gesture

4. Performing an action

5. Photographs

6. Drawings or diagrams on the board

7. Pictures from books

By verbal explanation

8. Analytical definition

9. Putting the new words in a defining context

10. Translating into another language

2.4 Semantic Mapping

2.4.1 The Concept of Semantic Mapping

Broomley (1992:218) explains that a semantic map or web is a graphic representation of categories of information and their relationship to each other.

While Rubin (1993:79) states that:

Semantic mapping is a technique for organizing information: it helps to give structure or order. It helps people to see the relationship among concepts, and it shows the various ways that information can be organized and categorized in more general or more specific categories.

Furthermore, Gunning (1992:162) more clearly defines that mapping or webbing is a way of organizing information graphically according to categories. It can be used for concepts, vocabulary, topics and background. It also may be used as a study device to track the plot and character development of a story or as a prewriting exercise.

In relation to vocabulary development, the instructional sequence of semantic mapping is as follows: (1) Select a word central to the topic, (2) Display the target word. Put the word in a circle in the middle of the board, (3) Invite the students to generate as many words as possible that relate to the target word. Ask students to brainstorm and think of the ideas that come to their head when they think of the word. Record the words on a chart or on the blackboard, (4) Have the students write the generated words in categories. After all the brainstorming has taken place, discuss how the information could be placed into categories, (5) Have the students label the categories. Label and add extra information to each category, (6) From this list, construct a map, (7) Lead the class in a discussion that focuses on identifying meanings and uses of words, clarifying ideas, highlighting major conclusions, identifying key elements, expanding ideas and summarizing information (Masters, Mori & Mori: 1993) cited in Fatima (2004)

Semantic mapping may be presented in a variety of ways. Johnson and Pearson (1984) cited in Gunning (1992:164) state that the procedures for presenting semantic mapping are as follows:

  1. Introduce the concept, term or topic to be mapped. Write the key word for it on the chalkboard, overhead transparency or chart paper.
  2. Brainstorm. Ask students to tell what other words come to mind when they think of the key word. Encourage them to volunteer as many words as they can. This may be done orally or students may write their list and share them
  3. Group the words by category, discussing why certain ones go together. If the new words that you planned to teach are not suggested, present them and discuss them. Encourage students to supply category names.
  4. Create the class map and put it on a large sheet of paper so that the class can refer to it and add it.
  5. Once the map has been finished, discuss it. Encourage the students to add items to   already established categories or to suggest new categories.
  6. Extend the map. As students discover, through further reading, additional new words related to the topic or key word, add these to the chart

Below is the basic concept of the word map.

Figure 1

            What is it?

Here is the example of the use of semantic mapping technique.

Figure 2

 

 

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

FOOD SOURCE

                                                                                

                                                                                   

                                        

 


2.4.2 The Advantages of Semantic Mapping

Since semantic mapping is a kind of map or graphic representation of categories of information and has relationship to each other, it really helps the students to remember the words and their connection easily. Rubin (1993:175) states that a number of students find a visual representation of the material helps them remember information they have studied.

Besides that, semantic mapping is an interactive process which allows all the students to involve in the process. When applying this strategy, the writer asked the students to develop the central word on the whiteboard. Most of them raised their hands to write words which have relationship with the central word. They feel secure since they use their previous knowledge so they are willing to involve in the teaching and learning process.

In addition, this strategy is used to motivate and involve students in the thinking, reading and writing aspects. They think of the words and they will come up with other related words, then they will try to write the spelling of the words. Students remember not only the meaning but also the spelling. It also can be used to help students become independent learners who have strategies for inferring possible meanings and association for unfamiliar words when they encounter them in reading.  Finally it enhances vocabulary development by helping students link new information with previous experience.

2.5 Young Learners

2.5.1 The Concept of Young Learners

Cameron (2001) defines that young learners are those between five and twelve years old. Young learners are active and teachers must prepare more energy in facing them.  They are often more enthusiastic and lively as learners. In addition, Brewster et al (2002: 27) explains that young children are different from older learners because children:

  1. have a lot of physical energy and often need to be physically active.
  2. have a wide range of emotional needs.
  3. are emotionally excitable.
  4. are developing conceptually and are at an early stage of their schooling.
  5. are still developing literacy in their first language.
  6. learn more slowly and forget things quickly.
  7. tend to be self oriented and preoccupied with their own world.
  8. get bored easily
  9. are excellent mimics.
  10. can concentrate for a surprisingly long time if they are interested.
  11. can be easily distracted but also very enthusiastic.

2.5.2 The Characteristics of Young Learners

            Scott and Ytreberg (1990:1-4) divide young learners into two main groups; the five to seven year olds and the eight to ten year olds. The characteristics are:

Five to seven years old               

General characteristics:

  1. They can talk about what they are doing.
  2. They can tell you about what they have done or heard.
  3. They can plan activities.
  4. They can argue for something and tell you why they think what they think.
  5. They can use logical reasoning.
  6. They can use their vivid imagination.
  7. They can use a wide range of intonation patterns in their mother tongue.
  8. They can understand direct human interaction.

Language development

  1. They know the world is governed by rules. They may not always understand the rules, but they know that they are there to be obeyed and the rules help to nurture a feeling of security.
  2. They understand situations more quickly than they understand the language used.
  3. They use language skills long before they are aware of them.
  4. Their own understanding comes through hands, eyes and ears. The physical world is dominant at all times.
  5. They are very logical-what you say happen first. ‘before you turn off the light, put your book away’ can mean:1. Turn off the light 2. Put your book away.
  6. They have a very short attention and concentration span.
  7. Young children sometimes halve in knowing what fact is and what fiction is. The dividing line between the real world and the imaginary world is not clear.
  8. The adult’s world and the child’s world is not the same.
  9. Young children cannot decide for themselves what to learn.
  10. Young children love to play, and learn best when they are enjoying themselves.
  11. Young children are enthusiastic and positive about learning.

Eight to ten year olds

General characteristics:

  1. Their basic concepts are formed. They have very decided views of the world.
  2. They can tell the difference between fact and opinion.
  3. They ask questions all the time.
  4. They rely on the spoken word as well as the physical word to convey and understand meaning.
  5. They have definite views about what they like and do not like doing.
  6. They have a developed sense of fairness about what happens in the classroom and begin to question the teacher’s decisions.
  7. They are able to work with others and learn from others.

Language development:

  1. They have a language with all the basic elements in place. They can understand abstracts and symbols (beginning with words). Also, they can generalize and systemize.

De Nagy (2005) cited in Saputri (2008:22) describes the characteristics of children of ten to twelve years old as follows:

Experience of formal tuition:

  1. Complete or completing primary school.
  2. Three to five years of formal education.
  3. Because of above, expectation with regard to teachers/learning, etc.
  4. Awareness of how to behave.

Knowledge of the world:

  1. More extensive- influenced by educational process- outside factors, etc.

Ability to read and write:

  1. Proficient

2.6  Previous Related Studies

The writer found some previous studies related to semantic mapping. The first is a thesis entitled “Increasing the Reading Comprehension Achievement of the Second Year Students of SMP Negeri 2 Sekayu by Using Semantic Mapping Technique”. This was written by Inda Maryani, a graduate of English Education Study Program of Sriwijaya University. It was written in 2006. Her objective was to find out whether the students’ reading comprehension could be increased by using semantic mapping. The result was the students got much progress. The similarity of the study is the strategy, semantic mapping. The differences are the population, sample, location and the subject. The writer took sixth grade students of elementary school No. 27 Palembang and the subject was vocabulary mastery, while she took the second year students of SMP Negeri 2 Sekayu and the subject was reading comprehension.

The second study entitled “Teaching Reading Vocabulary through Semantic Webbing to the Second Year Students of SLTP Negeri 20 Palembang”. It was written by Amanda Putrajaya, a graduate of English Department of Sriwijaya University. The objective of his study was to find out whether or not there was any significant difference of the students’ achievements in reading vocabulary by using semantic webbing instruction and direct vocabulary instruction. The similarities of the study with the writer’s are we used the same strategy, semantic mapping or webbing and to increase vocabulary mastery. The differences are population, sample, and location of research. He took the second year students of SLTPN 20 Palembang as population, sample and location of his research while the writer took the sixth grade students of SDN 27 Palembang.

2.7 The Hypotheses of the Study

The hypotheses of this study are as follows:

Ho       : There was no significant difference between the vocabulary mastery of the students who were taught by using semantic mapping strategy and that of those who were not.

H1       : There was a significant difference between the vocabulary mastery of the students who were taught by using semantic mapping strategy and that of those who were not.

CHAPTER III

METHOD AND PROCEDURES


            In this chapter, the writer presents (1) the method of the study, (2) the operational definition, (3) the variables of the study, (4) the population and sample, (5) the technique for collecting the data, and (6) the technique for analyzing the data.

 

3.1 Method of the Study

            In this study, the writer used a Quasi-Experimental Design. Christensen (1991:305) defines a quasi-experimental design is an experimental design that does not meet all the requirements necessary for controlling the influence of extraneous variables. The writer used Non-Equivalent Control Group. The design involved an experimental group and control group which both were given pretest and posttest.

The design is as follows:

O1                   X1                    O2

—————————————-

O3                                           O4

Where:

X.1       : treatment in experimental group

O1       : pretest of experimental group

O2       : posttest of experimental group

O3       : pretest of control group

O4       : posttest of control group

Since there were two groups in this study, the experimental and the control group were treated with different strategies and procedures. Semantic mapping strategy was applied to the experimental group while to the control group, conventional method. The experiment was done everyday from April 21ST, 2009 to May 2nd, 2009 and each meeting was 70 minutes.

 

3.1.1. The Procedures for Experimental group

In this study, the treatment procedures suggested in Masters, Mori & Mori (1993) was applied in the experimental group. The procedures were as follows:

Pre-Activities (5 minutes)

  1. The teacher greeted the students and checked the attendance list.
  2. The teacher asked some questions related to the topic.

Whilst- Activities (60 minutes)

  1. The teacher introduced the concept of semantic mapping.
  2. The teacher wrote the key word on the whiteboard.
  3. The teacher asked the students to write as many words related to the key word as they can.
  4. The teacher and the students grouped the words by category.
  5. The teacher and the students created class map. After the map had been finished, teacher encouraged students to add items to established categories or suggest new categories.
  6. The teacher and the students discussed the words on the map that focused on identifying meaning and uses of words.
  7. The teacher asked the students to create their own map using key word given.

Post-Activities (5 minutes)

1.   The teacher gave the students time to ask questions.

2.   The teacher summarized the lesson.

The materials given to the students were taken from the student’s English textbooks. The first book was Get Ready for Beginners written by Muchlis Noor and Darul Muna and the second book was Happy with English written by Sri Widayati.

Following is an example of semantic mapping that students might complete with key word “food”.

Figure 3

 

3.2 Operational Definitions

            The title of this study is “Increasing Vocabulary Mastery through Semantic Mapping to the Sixth Grade Students of Elementary School No. 27 Palembang”. The terms which need to be explained are Increasing, Vocabulary Mastery and Semantic Mapping.

The word “increasing” is derived from the word “to increase” which means “make or become greater in size, number, degree, etc (Hornby, 1995:435). In this study, the writer would like to increase vocabulary mastery of the sixth grade students of Elementary School No. 27 Palembang through semantic mapping. Such increase was indicated by improved scores of the students.

Vocabulary” means a total number of words which (with rules of combining them) make up a language (Hornby, 1995:1331). This vocabulary is limited to all words that the students have mastered in the school. While “mastery” means a great skill or complete knowledge. Then, “vocabulary mastery” means a great skill of knowledge about a set of words known by a person as a part of specific language. The mastery here is restricted to the vocabularies that were taught to the students. Finally, “semantic mapping” means a graphic representation of categories of information and their relationship to each other (Broomley, 1992:218). It was shown through the maps that students created during the treatment.

3.3 The Variables of the Study

A variable is any characteristic that is not always the same-that is any characteristic that varies (Wallen and Fraenkel, 1991:31). Variable can be classified in several ways, one way is to distinguish between variable which is measured and which is categorical. Measured variable is the variable that can be measured. Categorical variable is the qualitative variable that explains the kind, shape of variable. Two other types of variables are dependent and independent variable. Independent variable is a variable that affects (presumed to affect) the dependent variable under study. While dependent variable is the variable that can be influenced by other variable.

The variables of this study are vocabulary mastery and semantic mapping. Vocabulary mastery is dependent and measured variable since it is different from one student to another and it is also affected by other variable. Semantic mapping is independent and also categorical variable since it is not vary in degree, amount and quantity. Besides that, it affects the dependent variable.

3.4 Population and Sample

3.4.1 Population

Population is the group to which the researcher would like the result of a study to be generalized. It includes all individuals with certain characteristics (Wallen and Fraenkel, 1991:339). The population of this study were sixty two sixth grade students of Elementary School No. 27 Palembang in the academic year 2008/2009 (see table 1 below).

Table 1

The Population of the Study

No

Class

Number of Students

1.

2.

VI. A

VI. B

31

31

  Total

62

Source: Elementary school No. 27 Palembang Academic Year2008/2009

 

3.4.2 Sample

Sample refers to any group on which information obtained (Wallen and Fraenkel, 1991:129). The sample of this study was taken using total sampling. Total sampling refers to sampling method which is used when all the population is taken as sample (Ihsanudin: 2008). It is done if the number of population is small. Moreover, Arikunto (1988) explains that if the subjects are less than 100, it is better to take all subjects in population. Since the population was small, the writer took all population as sample.

In this study, there were two groups of the sample each of which consisted of 31 students. Class VI.A was the control group to. Class VI.B was the experimental group to which semantic mapping strategy was applied (see table 2 below).

Table 2

The Sample of the Study

No.

Group

Class

Number of Students

1.

Control Group

VI. A

31

2.

Experimental Group

VI. B

31

Total

62

              Source: Elementary School No. 27 Palembang Academic Year2008/2009

 

3.5 Technique for Collecting the Data 

In collecting the data, two tests were used. According to Arikunto (1988:127), a test is a series of questions or exercises or other means of measuring skill, knowledge, intelligence and capacities of an individual or a group. In this study, pretest and posttest were given before and after treatment. The instruments of the test consisted of multiple choices, completing sentences, and matching which were taken based on the materials presented to the students. . The questions were taken from books entitled Know Your Words 1 (500 Questions to Build Your Vocabulary) and Know Your Words 2 (600 Questions to Build Your Vocabulary) by Marylin Tan and the materials were based on the syllabus of the sixth grade used by the teacher. The materials used were taken from their English textbooks, Get Ready for Beginners written by Muchlis Noor and Darul Muna and Happy with English written by Sri Widayati.

3.6 Validity of the Test

            According to Wallen and Fraenkel (1991:85), validity refers to the extent to which an instrument gives us the information we want. In this study, the writer estimated the content validity of the test. To estimate content validity, the writer had given a try-out to other group of students who were in the same level as the sample before giving the test to the sample. The writer gave the try-out to the sixth grade students of Elementary School No. 26 Palembang. She used SPSS 12 computer program to check the validity.

Based on the result of the try out, it was found that there were twenty items out of seventy items of vocabulary test. One item was deleted automatically (No. 1) and nineteen items should be deleted since their r obtained were lower than the r-table (0.388, n= 26). Those items were number 4, 6, 9, 11, 12, 17, 19, 20, 22, 36, 47, 49, 54, 57, 58, 60, 65, 67, and 68.

3.7 Reliability of the Test

According to Wallen and Fraenkel (1991:85), Reliability refers to the consistency of scores or answer. How consistent they are for each individual from one administration of an instrument of another, and from one set of item to another. In calculating the data, the writer used Alpha method in SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science) 12.0 for windows. Based on the calculation, the reliability coefficient was 0. 95. The reliability coefficient of the test should be at least 0.70 and preferably higher (Wallen and Fraenkel, 1991: 99). Since the test reliability was higher than 0.70, so the test was considered reliable.

3.8 Technique for Analyzing the Data

            In analyzing the data, the writer compared the pretest and posttest as the result of experiment. They were conducted by using t-test formula. According to Hatch and Farhady (1982:109), t-test refers to the statistical test for comparison of two means. To run the analyses, the writer used SPSS 12.0 for windows.

The formula is:

t  =

Where:

t           : the value by which the statistical significance between two means will be judged.

: the mean score of the experimental group

: mean score of the control group

n1         : the number of the experimental students

n2         : the number of control group students

S1         : the variance score of experimental group

S2         : the variance score of control group

CHAPTER IV

FINDINGS AND INTERPRETATION

 

 

            This chapter presents (1) the findings which include the results of the pretest and posttest in the experimental group and the results of the pretest and posttest in the control group (2) the statistical analyses and (3) the interpretation of the study.

4.1 Findings

            This section describes and analyzes the results of the tests that were distributed to the sample before and after the treatment. The same test was given twice as pretest and posttest to the sample students. The collected data are analyzed to satisfy the objectives of the study. The data obtained from the pretest and posttest is classified into two groups: (a) the results of the pretest and posttest in the experimental group and (b) the results of the pretest and posttest in the control group. The writer used the following score interval:

Table 3

The Score Distribution

Score Interval

Category

86- 100

71- 85

56- 70

41- 55

< 40

Very Good

Good

Average

Poor

Very poor

Source: SD.N 27 Palembang

 

4.1.1 The Result of the Pretest and Posttest in the Experimental Group

The lowest score in the pretest was 20, while the highest score was 50. The mean was 29.0968. In the posttest, the lowest score was 31, while the highest score was 50. The mean was 38.8065.

The following Table 4 shows the score distribution of the pretest and posttest in the experimental group.

Table 4

The Score Distribution of the Pretest and Posttest in the Experimental Group

 

Score

Interval

 

Score Level

Frequency

Percentage

Pretest

Posttest

Pretest

Posttest

86- 100

Very Good

2

8

6. 45%

25. 80%

71- 85

Good

1

16

3. 22%

51. 61%

56-70

Average

14

7

45. 16%

22. 58%

41- 55

Poor

12

0

38. 70%

0%

<40

Very Poor

2

0

6. 45%

0%

31

31

100%

100%

The above Table 4 shows that in the pretest, two students (6. 45%) got the score 40 or below, twelve students (38. 70%) got the scores between 41 to 55, fourteen students (45. 16%) got the scores between 56 to 70, one student (3. 22%) got the score between 71 to 85, and two students (6. 45%) got the scores between 86 to 100. In the posttest, none of the students (0%) got the score 40 or below, none of the students (0%) got the scores between 41 to 55, seven students (22. 58%) got the scores between 56 to 70, sixteen students (51. 61%) got the scores between 71 to 85, and eight students (25. 80%) got the scores between 86 to 100.

4.1.2 The Result of Pretest and Posttest in the Control Group

The lowest score in the pretest was 19, while the highest score was 47. The mean was 31.3871. In the posttest, the lowest score was 25, while the highest score was 47. The mean was 36.7742. The following Table 5 shows the score distribution of the pretest and posttest in the control group.

Table 5

The Score Distribution of the Pretest and Posttest in the Control Group

Score

Interval

 

Score Level

Frequency

Percentage

Pretest

Posttest

Pretest

Posttest

86- 100

Very Good

5

10

16. 12%

32. 25%

71- 85

Good

5

5

16. 12%

16. 12%

56-70

Average

9

12

29. 03%

38. 70%

41- 55

Poor

10

4

32. 25%

12. 90%

       <40

Very Poor

2

0

6. 45%

0%

31

31

100%

100%

 

            The Table 5 shows that in the pretest, two students (6. 45%) got the score 40 or below, ten students (32. 25%) got the scores between 41 to 55, nine students (29. 03%) got the scores between 56 to 70, five students (16. 12%) got the scores between 71 to 85, and five students (16. 12%) got the scores between 86 to 100. In the posttest, none of the students   (0%) got the score 40 or below, four students (12. 90%) got the scores between 41 to 55, twelve students (38. 70%) got the score between 56 to 70, five students (16. 12%) got the scores between 71 to 85, and ten students (32. 25%) got the scores between 86 to 100.

4.2 Statistical Analyses

In this study, the results of the pretest and posttest of both the experimental group and control group were analyzed by using t-test. There are three statistical analyses done in this study: (1) the statistical analysis on the experimental group, (2) the statistical analysis on the control group, (3) the difference analysis on the experimental and control group. The analyses were done by SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science) program.

4.2.1. Statistical Analysis on the Experimental Group

Table 6

Paired Sample Statistic of the Experimental Group

 

Mean

N

Std. Deviation

Std. Error

Mean

EXP.         Posttest

GROUP    Pretest38.8065

29.096831

314.72172

6.67510 . 84805

1.19888

Table 7

Paired Samples t-Test

Paired Differences

Experimental Group

Mean

9.70968

Standard Deviation

3.90037

Standard Error Mean

.70053

t-Obtained (T)

13.861

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

Based on the paired sample statistic (Table 6), the mean of the pretest in the experimental group was 29.0968. The standard deviation was 6.67510; the mean of the posttest was 38.8065, and the standard deviation was 4.72172.

Table 7 shows the results of the paired sample t-test; paired sample difference in mean between pretest and posttest in the experimental group was 9.70968, with standard deviation 3.90037, standard error mean  .70053, and the t-obtained was 13.861. Since the p value was  .000 which is less than the value of probability 0.05, and t-obtained was higher than the critical value of t-table 2.042, it could be stated that there was a significant difference in the achievement after and before the treatment in the experimental group.

4.2.2 Statistical Analysis on the Control Group

Table 8

Paired Samples Statistic

 

Mean

N

Standard Deviation

Standard Error

Mean

CONTROL.    Posttest

GROUP           Pretest36.7742

31.387131

317.02714

8.52712 1.26211

1.53152

Table 9

Paired Samples Test

Paired Differences

Control Group

Mean

5.38710

Standard Deviation

3.91303

Standard Error Mean

 . 70280

t-Obtained (T)

7.665

Sig. (2-tailed)

 . 000

Based on the paired sample statistic, the mean of the pretest in the control group was 31.3871, the standard deviation was 8. 52712, the standard error mean was 1. 53152, and the mean of the posttest was 36. 7742, the standard deviation was 7. 02714 and the standard error mean was 1. 26211.

Table 9 above shows the results of the paired sample t-test. Paired sample difference in mean between the pretest and posttest in the control group was 5. 38710, with standard deviation 3. 91303, standard error mean  . 70280, and t-obtained was 7.665 and p value was 0.000. Since the p value was 0.000 which is less than the value of probability 0.05, and t-obtained was higher than the critical value of t- table 2. 042, it could be stated that there was significant difference in pretest and posttest in the control group.

4.2.3        Difference Analysis on the Experimental and Control Group

 

4.2.3.1  Statistical Analysis on the Posttest of the Experimental Group and Posttest of the Control Group

 

Table 10

Independent Sample Statistic

  N Mean Standard Deviation Standard Error

MeanEXP.

CONTROL31

3138.81

36.774.722

7.027 . 848

1.262

                                                                   Table 11                                                                 

Independent Samples Test

 

  Levene’s Test for

Equality of Variances

t- test for Equality of Means

FSig.TDfSig.

(2-tailed)Mean DifferenceStd. Error

 DifferenceEqual Variances Assumed

Equal Variances Not Assumed9.798. 0031.337

1.33760

52.502 .186

.1872.032

2.0321.521

1.521

Table 10 shows that the mean of the posttest in the experimental group was 38.81, the standard deviation was 4.722, the standard error mean was 0.848. The mean of the posttest in the control group was 36.77, the standard deviation was 7.027 and the standard error mean was 1.262.

Table 11 shows the result of the independent sample t-test. The difference in mean was 2.032 with standard error difference 1.521 and t- obtained was 1.337 (p < 0.05). Null hypothesis is accepted if t- obtained < t- table and P value > 0.05 (Priyatno, 2008: 97). Since the t- obtained was lower than t- table (1.337 < 2.000) and the P-value was higher than the value of probability 0.05 ( 0.187 > 0.05), the null hypothesis was accepted. It means that there was no significant difference in vocabulary achievement between the students who were taught through semantic mapping and those who were not taught through semantic mapping.

4.3 Interpretation of the Study

            Based on the results of the study, some interpretations may be presented here. First, the results show that there was no significant difference on the students’ vocabulary achievement between experimental and control group. It means that the achievement of those who were taught through semantic mapping is not better than those who were not taught through semantic mapping strategy. In other words, both groups had the same achievement in the vocabulary test. This condition may due to internal factors and external factors. The internal factors are such as students’ physical condition, five senses condition, motivation, interest and attention. The external factors are such as nature condition, social condition, curriculum, teachers, facilities and school administration (Sudjana: 1990). The writer assumed that the students’ attention were not fully to the test. After the test, most of the boys in the class were going to join football competition among elementary schools in the sub district held at their school, so it made the students focused more on the competition.

Second, although there was no significant difference in vocabulary achievement between the experimental and control group, it is still effective to use semantic mapping method to increase students’ vocabulary mastery. It could be seen from the data presented before that there was a significant difference in the achievement between pretest and posttest in the experimental group. This result supports the statement of Rubin (1993) that a number of students find a visual representation of the material helps them remember information they have studied.

Brewster et al (2002: 27) state that young learners can concentrate for a surprisingly long time if they are interested. During the treatment through semantic mapping strategy, the writer found that the situation in the class was not boring. The students seemed interested in creating the map. When the writer asked them to create the map together on the whiteboard, most of them raised their hands to complete it. It proves that semantic mapping strategy creates a secure teaching and learning atmosphere and makes the students involve in it.

Besides that, this strategy enables them to be independent learners. When they found new vocabularies, they related them to their previous knowledge. However, some students found difficulty in developing the map by themselves. It might due to their very limited vocabulary. The writer encouraged them to work in pairs so that they could connect the central word with its relations by helping each other.

Finally, the writer interprets that semantic mapping strategy gave a positive influence in the students’ achievement even though the students’ achievement through semantic mapping strategy was not significant between the achievements of those who were not taught through semantic mapping strategy.

CHAPTER V

CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS

            This chapter presents three conclusions of the study and offers four suggestions.

5.1 Conclusions

            Three conclusions are drawn from this study. First, semantic mapping strategy could increase students’ vocabulary mastery. The data in paired sample t-test indicated that there was an improvement on the vocabulary mastery of the students who were taught through semantic mapping strategy. Second, there was no significant difference between the vocabulary mastery of those who were taught by using semantic mapping strategy and that of those who were not. The writer found that the students’ vocabulary mastery in the experimental group was higher than those in the control group although the difference was not significant. In other words, the students who were taught by using semantic mapping strategy had the same achievement as those who were not taught by using semantic mapping strategy. It means that null hypothesis was accepted. Third, the condition above may due to factors that influence students’ achievement such as internal factor (attention) and external factor (natural condition).

5.2 Suggestions

            Four suggestions are offered in this study. First, varying the strategy to be applied in the classroom is a must for teachers, especially in teaching young learners. It is done to avoid boredom in the teaching and learning process. Semantic mapping strategy can be used as one of alternative strategies of presenting vocabulary to students. Next, when the teachers want to use this strategy, it is better for them to choose the central word which is not too wide or too narrow. It is difficult for the students to develop or connect the word which is too wide or too narrow. Then, if the words they plan to teach do not come up, they should encourage the students to present them so that the activity is not out of lesson plan. Finally, when using this strategy, it is better for the students to relate the central word to as many words as possible so that it will be more useful for them

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