Gita Andriani

Sriwijaya University


The development of web 2.0 has enabled people to transfer knowledge actively. Social network is one of internet facilities which is based on web 2.0. This paper examined students’ perception on the use of a language learning social network, Livemocha, as independent learning. The subjects were 25 first-year students of Sriwijaya University majoring Mining Engineering and the data were collected through questionnaire and interview. The respondents were required to set up account in Livemocha and used it as independent language learning. The findings showed that that Livemocha is useful in helping the students learn English independently. It can help them learn anywhere and anytime. The features offered by Livemocha are helpful even though some contents are too easy for is hoped that the results of the study give an insight on students’ perception on the use of Livemocha to help learners learn English independently. It is also suggested that further studies are conducted and focus on the use of Livemocha in classroom and its challenges. Experimental studies could also be done to see the effectiveness of using this website.

Keywords: web 2.0, social network, Livemocha, independent language learning, students’ perception.


At first, people were only able to take information or knowledge on internet passively. They come to websites and read the content without being able to share their own.  Only those who posses knowledge about html (hypertext mark up language) are able to make websites and fill the contents. With the development of web 2.0, it enables users to participate actively to transfer information. Social network, blogs, wikis, and podcasts are examples of websites which are based on web 2.0. This development has led to a new opportunity in language learning. As stated by Elam & Nesbit (2012), “Nowadays, with web 2.0 tools, educators and students alike find the internet as a participative medium in which users can collaborate.” Moreover,  Harrison & Thomas (2009) assert that “Web 2.0 technologies have been advanced as potentially transformative in the area of education in general and foreign language learning in particular.”

Social network as one example of web 2.0 has been very popular nowadays. It allows people to connect to each other easily. Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace are categorized as social network sites which offer opportunity to meet people and interact with them virtually. Besides that, there are also social network sites which are intended for the use of language learning. People could use them to interact, communicate as well as learn language. According to Sumalatha (2013), “Social Media Language Learning (SMLL) links interactive social media channels to language learning. This enables students to develop communication and language skills”. In such websites, people could learn language and have chat with native speakers so it promotes language learning actively by providing content, exercise, even chat feature for communication practice.

Language learning should not be limited to classroom activity and relied on formal learning. Students should be willing to absorb in the target language by doing more independent activities. What is good from such kind of sites is that they also offer autonomous or independent learning. In accordance with what has been declared by Reinders & White (2011), “Technology has the potential to not only provide access to resources for learning in a superficial sense, but also to offer increased affordances for autonomous learning.” Moreover, by practicing the target language via chat feature in social media, students are exposed with authentic context of language use. This study focused on language learning social network, Livemocha, and investigated students perception in using it.


Currently, the users of social media like Facebook increase significantly, especially in Indonesia. Based on the data published by Smith (2013), facebook users in the world is 1. 11 billion users. With the high number of users, Facebook becomes the most popular social network. There are some studies related to the use of Facebook in language learning. For example a study conducted by Shih (2011). The researcher investigated the effect of integrating Facebook and peer assessment with college English writing class instruction through a blended teaching approach. The findings suggest that incorporating peer assessment using Facebook in learning English writing can be interesting and effective for college-level English writing classes. Another study was by Yunus & Salehi (2012). The study was conducted to investigate the students’ perception on the effectiveness of Facebook groups for teaching and improving writing. The finding showed that Facebook group is an effective tool in improving the students’ writing skill.

Facebook is not intended specifically for language learning. However, based on the study mentioned before, it could be inferred that social media could be an effective tool in language learning. Due to the phenomena, the writer was interested in conducting research which focused on social media intended specifically for language learning. As explained earlier, there are some social media intended particularly for this purpose. The writer would like to know students’ perception in using this kind of media in learning English, especially for autonomous learning. Livemocha ( supports an interactive online community networking drives the learning community (Jee & Park, 2009). This community was the first web-based language learning integrated with social media. It is free to join this websites but the users also have option to learn by using the paid version.

Some previous studies related to Livemocha were found. For instance, the study by Chwo, (2012). This study assessed whether learning style and learning strategy impact on technology university EFL learners’ degree of satisfaction, learning attitude, and other general perceptions with respect to web 2.0 informal learning with the Livemocha program. The results showed that no significant correlations were found among the four measures of attitude to and perception of Livemocha. Another study was by Harrison & Thomas (2009) which investigated Livemocha in learning language. The results indicated that it can be used by language learners to explore new relationships rather than merely maintain existing one. In this study the writer formulated the research questions as below:

  1. What is the students’ perception in using this website for independent language learning?
  2. What are the strengths and the weaknesses of this website?

It is hoped that this study will give an insight of students perception in using this website to help them learn English independently. It is also useful to know the strengths and the weaknesses of this website so that teachers could decide whether or not to recommend it to their students. Moreover, it is hoped that it will add more literature review related to the use of livemocha in language learning.


Livemocha claims as the world’s largest online language learning community which fuses traditional learning methods with online practice and interaction with native language speakers from around the world ( , 2013). It was launched in 2007 and it has over 16 million members from 195 countries. Livemocha was purchased by Rosetta Stone in 2013. This website offers free basic and paid version. Its membership is free and it includes a lots of free features: chat, flashcards, messaging, making friend and more.  Learners can practice over 35 languages for free with Basic Vocabulary Courses 101, 102, 201, and 202 which include Learn, Review, Write and Speak exercises.

The way to sign up is almost the same as other social network. Learners are asked to fill their personal data with valid email then they can continue to set their profiles. Livemocha implements point system like a game. Users are provided with two choices for enrolling in a course. After setting up the account, Livemocha will give virtual point which can be redeemed to take course, for example taking vocabulary course. They can also add their points by completing one lesson. They will be given 2 points each time they have completed a lesson. Besides, helping others in learning their native language could increase their point. The user could also use ‘beans’ feature to take a course but it means they have to purchase first. For example, if the learners would like to take English Alphabet course, it needs 99 beans. Livemocha offers 199 beans for $2.29 USD.

Here is the printscreen of the courses feature.

There are four features in Learn section; Get new lessons, My lessons, Help others, and Language Partners. Get new lesson consists of new courses that can be taken. One lesson contains introduction, review of the vocabulary term in the lesson, review of the language usage, practice of the language usage, practice reading and writing, practice reading and speaking, practice listening and speaking, and practice conversation with live language exchange. In the course, user can get feedback from native speakers related to the exercise or practice they have completed.  My lessons contains the lessons that have been completed by the users. Help others contains other users who need user’s help in learning his/her native language. So in this website users can learn another language as well as teach those who would like to learn their native language.  Users can ask feedback from native speaker and also can give feedback to people from other countries.

This is the printscreen of starting a lesson, video explanation about the lesson.



The participants of the study were 25 undergraduate students of Mining Engineering of Sriwijaya University Inderalaya who were taking course of English 2 in the even semester of academic year 2012/2013. The participants were freshmen consisted of 23 males and one female.


            At first, the students were introduced about Livemocha and were explained about the functions, features, and also the use of livemocha. Then they were asked to set up their own profiles and use it for two weeks as their independent language learning. The students used the websites at their own needs meaning that it is free for them to select what features they would use. To ensure that all the participants use it, the researcher, who was their English instructor, asked them to make it as their final project of English course. However, the researcher also told them that the result or their perception related to this website should be their own real perception and that it would not influence their scores.

Instruments and Data Analysis

            The researcher used qualitative method in this research. After the project, the participants were given questionnaire and were interviewed by the researcher. The questionnaires and the interview were intended to explore students’ perception in using livemocha and to know the strengths as well as the weaknesses. There were 10 questions in the questionnaire containing two sections. First section included 5 questions related to basic use of livemocha. Second section contained 5 questions related to students perceptions. The interview consisted of their overall opinion or perception about this websites and also the strengths and the weaknesses.

Findings and Discussions

            There were 24 respondents who participated in using Livemocha and responded to the questionnaire. There were 23 males and 1 female and all of them have used this website for two weeks during the research. 58% used it for one to two hours a day. 16 % used it less than an hour a day and 8.3% used it for more than two hours a day. Livemocha provides level of language learning starting from beginner to advanced. 45% decided to start using it from beginner level and 45% used the material intended for intermediate learners. The rest, 8.3%, skipped the beginner and intermediate material and learned the lesson for advanced level.

The second section of questionnaire asked questions related to students’ perception in using livemocha. Firstly, it asked about how helpful the features of livemocha. The results can be seen from the table below.

How helpful do you find the following features for your language learning? (check “not applicable “ if you do not use that feature)

Very helpful Somewhat helpful Not helpful Not applicable
Free courses or lessons 83% 12.5%
Posting audio recordings 33% 16% 8.3% 37.5%
Posting written practice 50% 33% 8.3%
Feedback from others 37.5% 8.3% 20.8% 20.8%
Flashcards 12.5% 4.1% 75%
Premium/ paid courses 4.1% 8.3% 4.1% 79.1%
Live/paid tutoring 12.5% 4.1% 75%

from the table above, it could be inferred that 83% of the respondents found free courses/lesson are very helpful, and 12.5% found it somewhat helpful. It means that almost all of the respondents agree that free courses help them. In relation to audio recordings, 37.5 % did not use the feature, 49% thought that it helps them, while 8.3% stated it is not helpful for them. In written practice feature, most of them found it helpful. It can be seen from the table that 83% stated so. The table also showed that most of the respondents did not use flashcard, premium course and paid tutorial. In other words, the respondents used only the free version of this website.

The next question asked more about the language skills. The results can be seen below.

What language skills does Livemocha help you with? ? (check “not applicable “ if you do not use that feature)

Very helpful Somewhat helpful Not helpful Not applicable
Writing 33% 58% 4.1%
Speaking 33.3% 50% 12.5%
Reading 41.6% 41.6% 4.1%
Listening 66.6% 29.1% 4.1%
Grammar 45.3% 50% 4.1%
Vocabulary 54.1% 37.5% 4.1%

The data showed that only a small part did not use the language skill feature. 4.1% means only one respondent and 12.5% means 3 respondents. Those who used the feature agree that the language skills’ section offered by Livemocha help them in mastering the skills. The next question discussed about attitudes and perceptions in using Livemocha. The results are shown in this table.

Strongly Agree Agree Neutral or No opinion Disagree Strongly disagree Not applicable
I am motivated to spend more time learning a language after using it on livemocha 16.6% 62.5% 16.6%
Learning on Livemocha increases my self-confidence in the language 16.6% 62.5% 12.5% 4.1%
Negative feedback from others on livemocha discourage me 4.1% 12.5% 29.1% 20.8% 25%

Based on the table above, it can be inferred that most of the respondents agree that Livemocha motivates them in learning English independently. Beside that, it also increases their self-confidence in the language. They also thought that feedback from others did not discourage them even though the feedback is negative.

The next question asked which features are the most important to the respondents.

Which of these features are the most important to you?


Very important Somewhat important Not important
Free/low cost  83% 12.5% 4.1%
Available at all times and locations 70.8% 29.1%
Individualized, self-paced learning 29.1% 66.6% 4.1%
Quality of language learning materials 50% 45.8% 4.1%
Opportunities to practice 50% 50%
Opportunties to get feedback from others 25% 66.6% 8.3%
Opportunities to meet people 16.6% 58.3% 25%

The data showed that most of them agree Livemocha’s strengths are very important to help them learn English. The strengths are for example free courses, available at all time and locations, self-paced learning, the quality of the material, opportunities to practice, opportunites to get feedback from others and opportunities to meet people. The last questions asked about how much the respondents learn from Livemocha. 20% stated that they learned a lot. 62% said that they learned some and 16% stated they learned a little from Livemocha.

Another instrument used was interview. In this section, 18 respondents participated. The researcher asked two main questions: (1) what is your overall opinion about Livemocha? (2) what are the strengths and the weaknesses of this website?. The result showed that 88.8% stated that it is helpful for them and it is effective to help them learn English independently. Only 11.1% stated that it is not useful because the content is too easy. 80% agreed that free courses which involve listening, writing, reading, grammar, vocabulary and feedback are the strengths while speaking section, point system and the easy content are the weaknesses.

Below is the sampe of the respondents’ interview.

  1. I think it is not very useful and it does not improve my confidence because it is very easy. It is not effective for communication but I recommend it for beginner. The strength is it is good in vocabulary lesson and the weakness is it is not good for speaking. It needs microphone so I can not use it.
  2.   It is a good website. I can learn some other languages, not only English. The feedback  feature is very helpful for me.
  3.  It is effective to learn English  because it can be used whenever and wherever. The weakness is it is very difficult to access the website. I sometimes fail to log in.
  4.  Livemocha is very helpful for me because I can learn listening. But I don’t like the point system because sometimes my point is not enough to take a new course.
  5.  Livemocha is effective because it helps me in simple material. I’m not a good student so I can start from the beginner. I have problem in log in and it also needs microphone in speaking activity.
  6. I think it is helpful for me to improve my listening skill because I seldom get listening activity in class.
  7. It is a good application and helpful. People can comment on our work in feedback feature. The problem is the point system but I can watch the introduction lesson again to get more point. So I think it is still effective.
  8. The appearance is too boring and the content is not really helpful. I know the answer because it is easy. Not effective I think. We have to meet the real people to communicate.


Based on the results of the questionnaire and interview, it can be concluded that Livemocha is useful in helping the students learn English independently. It can help them learn anywhere and anytime. The features offered by Livemmocha are helpful even though some contents are too easy for them. However, there are some strengths and weaknesses of this website. Language skill features like listening, grammar, vocabulary and writing sections are the strengths of this website, in addition, free courses, available at all time and locations, self-paced learning, the quality of the material, opportunities to practice, opportunites to get feedback from others and opportunities to meet people are also the strengths. Meanwhile, the weakness is the log in problem encountered by the respondents. Beside that, it needs microphone to take part in speaking activity. Most of the respondents did not use this feature due to the lack of the tool. It is suggested that further studies are conducted and focus on the use of Livemocha in classroom and its challenges. Experimental studies could also be done to see the effectiveness of using this website.



Chwo, (2012). Engagement with Livemocha as an Informal Learning Resources- Initial Findings from a Technology University Reading Course in Central Taiwan. Proceeding of the 20th International Conference on Computers in Education. P.809-813.

Elam, J.R & Nesbit, B. (2012). The Effectiveness of Project-based learning utilizing web 2.0 tools in EFL. JaltcallJournal, 8(2), p. 113-127.

Harrison, R & Thomas, M. (2009). Identity in Online Communities: Social Networking Sites and Language Learning. International Journal of Emerging Technologies & Society, 7(2), p. 109-124.

Jee, M.J & Park, M.J. (2009). Livemocha as an Online Language-Learning Community. Calico Journal, 26(2). p. 448-456.

Reinders, H & White, C. (2011).  Learner Autonomy and New Learning Environments. Language Learning and Technology, 15(3). p.1-3.

Shih, R.C. (2011). Can Web 2.0 Technology Assist College Students in Learning English Writing? Integrating Facebook and Peer Assesment with Blended Learning. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 27(5). P.829-845.

Smith, C. (2013). (June 2013) How Many People Use the Top Social Media, Apps and Services? Retrieved from

Sumalatha, D. (2013). A New Media to Explore English Language Learning Skills: A Perspective Approach. Research Journal of English Language and Literature, 1(1). p.21-24.


  1. I.                   INTRODUCTION


The success of second language acquisition relies on many factors. According to Gomleksiz (2001), the learner’s cognitive style, socio-economic and cultural background, and the ability to acquire a language, age and motivation of the learner’s can be expressed as the factors affecting second language acquisition. Motivation is considered as one of important factors and many studies have been conducted under this term to see its roles in helping learners acquiring second language. The most influential study was conducted by Gardner (1985), as cited in Rubenfeld et al. (2007)  which states that language learning goals and motives are central concepts in L2 learning research.

Basically, lack of motivation could result in lack of interest in learning L2 which finally will lead to low achievement. Sometimes there are some students in a class who do not pay attention to their teacher or do not involve in learning process. The condition could be due to the lack of motivation. In accordance to what Gomleksiz (2001) asserts that it is very difficult to teach a second language in a learning environment if the learner does not have a desire to learn a language.  It reflects that motivation should be taken into consideration in promoting second language acquisition.

Besides motivation, input in language learning also plays an important role. One of essentials concepts in SLA is the input hypotheses established by Krashen (1981). These hypotheses claim that learners need to have a type of language input which is comprehensible. Students will not be able to learn language without given input. This input should be meaningful so that they can take the most of the learning process. This comprehensible input involves premodified input, interactionally modified input and modified input. (Park, 2002), as cited in Xiaohui (2010). There are also four aspects of classroom talk which are categorised as comprehensible input; metalinguistic input, focused input, scaffolded input, and evaluative input.



  1. II.                MOTIVATION


According to Norris-Holt (2001), motivation is defined as the learner’s orientation with regard to the goal of learning a second language. While Gomleksiz (2001) states that motivation is a kind of desire for learning.  Gardner (1985) as cited in Edmondson (1999) asserts that:

“Motivation involves four aspects: a goal, effortful behaviour, a desire to attain the goal in question, and favourable attitudes towards the activity in question.”

Based on the definitions stated by some experts above, it could be concluded that motivation related to desire and orientation of learning L2 which involve aim, effortful behavior and good attitude to reach the goal. It is in accordance to Dornyei (1994), as cited in Babaee (2012), who states that motivation refers to the attempt and desire to learn a language and a positive attitudes toward learning it.

Language learning model developed by Gardner (1985), cited in Edmondson (1999), started with social context, from which the individual imbues, or inside which the individual develops a set of initial attitudes. The social or cultural milieu refers to the environment in which an individual is situated, thus determining their beliefs about other cultural and language (Norris-Holt, 2001). The model then continued discussing individual differences; intelligence, aptitude, motivation and anxiety. These differences among individuals are considered the most influential factors in second language acquisition. The next step of the model involve formal learning environment and non-formal learning environment. This step refers to setting or context in which learning take place. The individual differences mentioned above are influenced by this setting or context where the learning take place. Intelligence and aptitude tend to play dominant role in formal setting, while anxiety and motivation influnce both setting equally. Learning effects are the last phase of this model. It includes linguistic outcomes and non-linguistic outcomes. Linguistic-outcomes related to language aspect, such as grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and so on while non-linguistic aspect refers to other things out of language, such as ways of thinking, or attitudes toward cultural values and beliefs.

Gardners Socio-educational Language Learning Model

(Gardner 1985, cited in Edmondson 1999)

Cultural attitudes

Social context











Formal learning environment


Non-formal learning environment




Non-linguistic outcomes

Linguistic outcomes



Dornyei (2000) and Dornyei & Otto (2001), cited in Matsumoto (2009), shift the focus of L2 motivation. Their Process Model links motivation research in SLA with educational psychology. One of the important claims in the Process Model is to view L2 learner motivation not being static but continuously changing along with the long process of L2 learning.   There are three phases of learning process; preactional phase, actional phase and postactional phase. These three different phases may cause different motivational actions. At the reactional phase, it is initial motivation which involves goal setting, intention information, and initiation of intention enactment. In the actional phase executive motivation sustains the intended action of learning the language with continuing appraisal of daily learning events, taking various factors into consideration, which leads to persistence of learning. In the post-actional phase, motivational retrospection evaluates learning actions by forming causal attributions, and determines an action for further study.

From a self-determination perspective, motivational orientations are classified as extrinsic and intrinsic motivation (Deci and ryan, 1985), cited in Rubenfeld et al. (2007). Extrinsic motivation refers to motivation that exists because of the presence of “an externally mediated activity or constraint.” This means that the activity is performed, not for the enjoyment of the activity, but in order to gain a reward if the activity is completed or to avoid a negative consequence if the activity is not completed. For example, students are doing their assignment in order not to get punishment from their teacher or in order not to get bad score on the lesson. Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation to fulfill a task that leads to personal enjoyment and control when taking part in the task. For example, students are interested to learn grammar because they want to know how it is different from their L1 then to know how it operates.

Here is the concept of motivation in foreign-language learning based on Dornyei (1990), cited in Edmondson (1999).


Instrumental motivational subsystem
















Attributions about past faiilures




Instrumental motivation is characterised by the desire to obtain something practical or concrete from the study of a second language. For example meeting the requirements for school or university graduation, applying for a job, requesting higher salary based on language ability and so on. Integrative motivation refers to the condition when learning a target language, the students like the people that speak that language, admire the culture and have desire to become familiar with or integrate into the society. When someone becomes a resident in a new community that uses the target language in its social interactions, integrative motivation is a key component inassiting the learner to develop some level of proficiency in the language (Norris-holt, 2001).




Input is “language addressed to the learner by native speakers or other second language learners” (Ellis, 1985), cited in Edmondson (1999). Language input is something that needs to be taken into consideration for the success of language learning. No individual can learn a second language without input of some sort. In SLA, one of influential theories related to input is the hypothesis introduced by Krashen (1981). It suggests that learners are required to have access to a type of language input which is comprehensible.


the roles of acquisition and learning: five hypotheses

(see Krashen 1981, cited in Edmondson 1999)

  1. The acquisition/learning hypothesis

Adults have two distinct  and independent ways of developing competence in a second language

  1. The natural order hypothesis

The acquisition of grammatical structures proceeds in a predictable order.

  1. The monitor hypothesis

Learning has only one function. This is as monitor or editor.

  1. The input hypothesis

Humans acquire language in only one way- by understanding messages or by receiving ‘comprehensible input’.

  1. The affective filter hypothesis

Affective factors can play a negative role in language acquisition- acquires vary with respect to the strength of their ‘affective’ filters.

The first hypothesis states that adults have two distinct and independent ways of developing competence in a second language; acquisition and learning. Language from acquisition can be used spontaneously but language from learning can be used if we have time to think. Language acquisition is stored in language area (left brain) but language learning is not stored in language area. The process of language acquisition is subconscious and natural but the process of learning is conscious and unnatural. The second hypothesis related to the way people learn, from simple to more complicated or from the easy one to more difficult. For example: students learn regular verb of past tense (the use of the ending of “-ed”), then learn irregular verb. Other example: students learn past tense first. Then after they master it, they learn past continuous.

The third hypothesis refers to the use of language learning as monitor. This monitor only happens in learning. If the students have time to think, they will check and monitor their language. Here, they know the rules and focus on form, not meaning. For example student ‘A’ at the beginning of presentation said: “we are discuss about…”. then he corrected it “ we’re going to discuss about …..”. the fourth hypothesis is about input which should be comprehensible. This comprehensible input is “i+1” where “i” means prior knowledge and “+1” is additional knowledge. If there is no “+1”, this input is not comprehensible. Teacher should relate new knowledge they are going to give to students to their prior knowledge so that it will not considered strange thing. The last hypothesis is affective filter hypothesis. Motivation, self-confident and anxiety play  great roles in learning. Students who have high-motivation, high self-confident and low anxiety tend to be successful in learning.

There are some concepts which are categorized as comprehensible input; premodified input, interactionally modified input and modified input. Premodified input refers to the linguistic environment where input has been modified in some way before the learner sees or hears it. Bahrani & Soltani (2012) asserts that:

“Any spoken or written language input can be simplified or modified for the sake of comprehension through providing less difficult vocabulary items and complex syntactic structures which are beyond readers’ acquired language proficiency”

Teachers could provide definitions of difficult vocabulary items, paraphrasing sentences to make it simpler so that the comprehensibility increases.

Interactionally modified input refers to the changes to the target structures or lexicons in a conversation to accomodate potential or actual problems of comprehending a message. According to Long (1980), cited in  Bahrani & Soltani (2012), interactionally modified input emerges when the two parts of a conversation negotiate meaning for comprehension. When they have difficulty in communication, they are able to aacquire new language if they have chance to negotiate. Input started and followed by negotiation will result in comprehensible input. Another comprehensible input is modified input. Modified input occurs as a response to comprehensible input through interaction. Negotiation and modified input works interactionally since the modified output of one learner often works as comprehensible input of another learner.

There are also four aspects of classroom talk which belong to comprehensible input. They are metalinguistic input, focused input, scaffolded input and evaluative input. Metalinguistic input refers to all information included in one learning, not only the linguistic aspect but also involving for example the culture of that language. Metalinguistic input can result in comprehensible input because it involves all aspect of the target language. Focussed input means the learners’ attention is focused on some particular features of the target language (Edmondson, 1999). This simply could be done by giving exercises in which special features or repeated feature of the language is repeated in instance after instance. Scaffplded input basically that the teacher or other learners help an individual learner to say what he or she wants to say. It functions to help learner activates his/her knowledge. The last is evaluative input. It simply means feedback or correction or repair. It allows confirmation and disconfirmation of learners’ belief; answer.

  1. I.                   DISCUSSION


Motivation and input are two terms that are influential in second language acquisition. Reece and Walker (1997), as cited in Gomleksiz (2001), express that motivation is a key factor in the second language learning process. They stress that a less able student who is highly motivated can achieve greater success than the  more intelligent student who is not well motivated. Motivation also depends on the social interaction between the teacher and the learner. Teacher should act as motivator for the students. the motivation could be emphasized on the strategy being used which should be of interest among the students. In addition , learning can only happen if certain affective conditions, such as positive attitudes, self- confidence, low anxiety, exist and that when these conditions are present input can pass through the affective filter and be used by the learners.

High-motivation student if given comprehensible input will lead to effective seond language acquisition. It is like he/she has the ‘power’ inside and outside himself/herself to help acquiring second language. Premodified input language learning helps students understand difficult things. By paraphrasing or giving definition will increase their comprehension and understanding. Interactionally modified input through negotiation helps learner make the input comprehensible. Here, they have opportunity to negotiate or interact to check their comprehension. Modified input is also necessary because one output can be another student’s input and what constitutes interaction for one learner serves as potential language input for other learners.


  1. II.                CONCLUSION


The success of  second language acquisition depends on many factors. Motivation and comprehensible input are two of them and considered as the most influential factors. It has been found that high-motivation student tend to be more successful than those who are not. Comprehensible input also play great role in the effectiveness of second language acquisition. teacher should give the students meaningful input so that they can take the most of it.



Babaee, Naghmeh. 2012. Motivation in Learning English as a Second Language: A Literature Review. Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education, 4,(1). P.1-7.

Bahrani, T., & Soltani, R. 2012. Language Input and Second Language Acquisition. Journal of Education and Practice, 3, (3). P.39-42

Edmondson, Willis. 1999. Twelve Lectures on Second Language Acquisition: Foreign  Language Teaching and Teaching Perspective. Tubingen: Narr.

Gomleksiz, M.N., 2001. The Effects of Age and Motivation Factors on Second Language Acquisition. Firat University Journal of Social Science,11,(2). p217-224.

Matsumoto, Manasori. 2009. Second Language Learners’ Motivation and their Perceptions of Teachers’ Motivation. Humanities & Social Sciences Papers: paper presented at the international conference on teaching and learning in higher education.

Norris, J-Holt. 2001. Motivation as a Contributing Factor in Second Language Acquisition. The Internet TESL Journal,6, (6).

Rubenfeld et al. 2007. Sceond Language Learning and Acculturation: the Role of Motivation and Goal Content Congruence. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistic,10, (3). P.309- 323.

Xiaohui, Han. 2010. An Empirical Study on the Effects of Comprehensible Input on Incidental Englsih Vocabulary Recognition. Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics, 33, (6).p.91-108.








Epistemologi adalah cabang filsafat yang mempelajari tentang pengetahuan, beserta sumber, jenis, dan batasannya. Epistemologi dapat juga dikatakan sebagai teori dari ilmu pengetahuan yang mempelajari tentang asal, struktur, metode, dan absahan dari ilmu-ilmu pengetahuan. Epistemologi, (dari bahasar Yunani episteme (pengetahuan) dan logos (kata/ pembicaraan/ilmu) adalah cabang filsafat yang berkaitan dengan asal, sifat, karakter dan jenis pengetahuan. epistemologi berhubungan dengan tentang apa itu pengetahuan, bagaimana karakteristiknya, macamnya, serta hubungannya dengan kebenaran dan keyakinan. Menurut Ron Kurtus, Epistemologi adalah cabang filsafat yang mempelajari tentang pengetahuan, beserta sumber, jenis, dan batasannya. Epistemologi dapat juga dikatakan sebagai teori dari ilmu pengetahuan yang mempelajari tentang asal, struktur, metode, dan absahan dari ilmu-ilmu pengetahuan. Makalah ini memaparkan mengenai epistemologis, ruang lingkupnya serta penerapan dan kaitannya dalam bidang pendidikan khususnya bahasa Inggris.

Adapun rumusan masalah dalam makalah ini adalah:
1. Apa yang dimaksud dengan epistemologi?
2. Apa sajakah ruang lingkup epistemologi?
3. Bagaimana penerapan epistemologi dalam pendidikan?
4. Bagaimana penerapan epistemologi dalam pendidikan bahasa Inggris?


Definisi Epistemologi
Secara historis istilah epistemologi digunakan pertama kali oleh J.F. Ferrier untuk membedakan dua cabang filsafat, ontologi (metafisika umum) dan epistemologi. Epistemologi berasal dari bahasa Yunani “episteme” (pengetahuan) dan “logos” (ilmu/teori). Menurut Adrah (2010), epistemologi (filsafat pengetahuan) adalah cabang filsafat yang secara spesifik mengkaji hakikat ilmu pengetahuan. Ciri filsafat pengetahuan adalah mencari sebab musabab dengan bertitik tolak pada gejala–gejala pengetahuan dalam kehidupan sehari-hari. Epistemologi adalah cabang filsafat yang berkaitan dengan asal, sifat dan jenis pengetahuan, misalnya apa itu pengetahuan, bagaimana karakteristiknya, macamnya serta hubungannya dengan kebenaran dan keyakinan. Epistemologi secara etimologi dapat diartikan sebagai teori pengetahuan yang benar dan lazimnya disebut sebagai teori pengetahuan atau “theory of knowledge”. Epistemologi merupakan cabang filsafat yang membahas atau mengkaji tentang asal, struktur, metode serta keabsahan pengetahuan.
Ruang lingkup epistemologi
Epistemologi membahas ruang lingkup dan batas-batas pengetahuan menyangkut teori pengetahuan yang memiliki makna bahwa epistemologi adalah sebagai landasan tentang pengetahuan (Adrah, 2010). Parmono (1985), seperti dikutip dalam Adrah (2010), mengemukakan persoalan epistemologi (epistemological problem) yaitu persoalan-persoalan yang berhubungan dengan pengetahuan, kepastian pengetahuan, teori-teori pengetahuan, konsistensi pengetahuan. Landasan epsitemologi menjawab pertanyaan bagaimana cara mendapatkan pengetahuan. Sedangkan menurut Suriasumantri (1996:119), epistemologi merupakan pembahasan mengenai bagaimana kita mendapatkan pengetahuan, apakah sumber-sumber pengetahuan, apakah hakikat, jangkauan dan ruang lingkup pengetahuan? serta apakah manusia dimungkinkan untuk mendapatkan pengetahuan?

Pengetahuan adalah suatu istilah yang dipergunakan untuk menuturkan apabila seseorang mengenal tentang sesuatu. Suatu hal yang menjadi pengetahuannya adalah selalu terdiri dari unsur yang mengetahui dan yang diketahui serta kesadaran mengenai hal yang ingin diketahuinya. Dalam pengetahuan harus ada subjek (kesadaran untuk mengetahui sesuatu) dan objek (sesuatu yang dihadapi sebagai hal yang ingin diketahui). Pengetahuan merupakan hasil tahu manusia terhadap sesuatu, atau segala perbuatan manusia untuk memahami suatu objek yang dihadapinya.
Terjadinya pengetahuan dapat bersifat apriori dan aposteriori. Apriori yaitu pengetahuan yang terjadi tanpa adanya atau melalui pengalaman, baik pengalaman indera maupun pengalaman batin. Aposteriori adalah pengetahuan yang terjadi karena adanya pengalaman.
Sumber-sumber pengetahuan:
1. Pengalaman indera (sense experience)
Aliran ini disebut empirisme. Menurut aliran ini manusia memperoleh pengetahuan melalui pengalaman (empereikos = pengalaman). Dalam hal ini harus ada 3 hal, yaitu yang mengetahui (subjek), yang diketahui (obek) dan cara mengetahui (pengalaman). Tokoh yang terkenal adalah John Locke, George Barkeley dan David Hume.
2. Nalar (reason)
Aliran ini disebut rasionalisme. Aliran ini menyatakan bahwa akal (reason) merupakan dasar kepastian dan kebenaran pengetahuan walaupun belum didukung fakta empiris. Salah satu tokohnya adalah Rene Descartes. Contoh pengetahuan yang berasal dari nalar adalah matematika.
3. Otoritas (authority)
Otoritas adalah kekuasaan yang sah yang dimiliki oleh seseorang dan diakui kelompoknya. Kita menerima suatu pengetahuan itu benar bukan karena telah mengeceknya diluar diri kita melainkan oleh otoritas (suatu sumber yang berwibawa, memiliki wewenang, berhak) dilapangan.

4. Intuisi (intuition)
Suriasumantri (1986) mengemukakan bahwa intuisi merupakan pengetahuan yang didapat tanpa melalui proses penalaran tertentu. Intuisi ini bersifat personal dan tidak bisa disamakan. Pengetahuan intuitif dapat dipergunakan sebagai hipotesis bagi analisa selanjutnya dalam menentukan benar tidaknya pernyataan yang dikembangkan.
5. Wahyu (revelation)
Wahyu adalah pengetahuan yang bersumber dari Tuhan melalui hambanya yang terpilih. Melalui wahyu atau agama, manusia diajarkan tentang sejumlah pengetahuan baik yang terjangkau maupun yang tidak terjangkau oleh manusia. Contoh pengetahuan yang berasal dari wahyu adalah ilmu agama.
6. Keyakinan (faith)

Epistemologi Pendidikan
Epistemologi pendidikan adalah filsafat tentang sumber-sumber pendidikan dan seluk-beluk pendidikan. Secara epistemologi, landasan pendidikan mengacu pada fitrah sebagai dasar pengembangan dan inovasi pendidikan yang berkarakter, karena pendidikan yang berkarakter selalu bertolak dari aspek-aspek kemanusiaan. Epistemologi diperlukan dalam pendidikan antara lain dalam hubungannya dengan dasar kurikulum yaitu menyangkut materi yang bagaimana serta bagaimana cara menyampaikan pengetahuan kepada anak didik disekolah. Pertanyaan mengenai mengapa salah satu mata pelajaran dijadikan pelajaran wajib dan mengapa pelajaran lain dijadikan sebagai mata pelajaran pilihan juga merupakan penerapan epistemologi dalam bidang pendidikan. Beberapa contoh lain adalah menyangkut pertanyaan berikut: metode mana yang paling tepat digunakan dalam proses pendidikan? Dengan sistem pendidikan yang mana kegiatan pendidikan dilaksanakan untuk mendapatkan nilai pendidikan yang benar?.

Epistemologi Pendidikan Bahasa inggris
Bahasa merupakan salah satu hal yang mendasari dan memungkinkan pengetahuan manusia, karena seluruh kegiatan berpikir manusia erat kaitannya dengan kemampuan berbahasa manusia. Pengetahuan manusia diungkapkan dalam bentuk bahasa sehingga dengan kemampuan berbahasanya manusia mampu mengembangkan pengetahuan.
Dalam bidang linguistik terapan khususnya bahasa inggris, penerapan epistemologi contohnya ketika mempelajari perkembangan bahasa inggris tersebut. mulai dari masa Anglo- Saxon sampai bahasa inggris modern. Terjadinya bahasa Inggris dimulai saat kedatangan 3 suku bangsa Jerman yang menginvasi Inggris pada sekitar abad ke-5 sebelum Masehi yaitu Angles, Saxons dan Jutes. Pada saat itu bangsa asli Inggris menggunakan bahasa Celtic. Dalam perkembangannya, penutur bahasa Celtic terdesak ke barat dan utara oleh para pendatang ke tempat yang sekarang disebut Wales, Skotlandia dan Irlandia. Suku Angles datang dari England dan bahasa mereka dinamakan Englisc, suku bangsa Jerman tersebut memiliki kesamaan bahasa dan di Inggris bahasa tersebut berkembang menjadi apa yang dikenal sebagai bahasa Inggris Kuno. Pada perkembangan selanjutnya, terjadi perubahan yang tiba-tiba dan besar pada pengucapan bahasa Inggris yang telah ada, yaitu pengucapan huruf vokal menjadi lebih pendek dan pendek. pada abad ke-16, bangsa Inggris telah berhubungan dengan bangsa lain di dunia dan membuat banyak kata dan frase baru masuk dalam bahasa Inggris. Selanjutnya, penemuan percetakan juga mempengaruhi bahasa Inggris, dengan membawa bahasa Inggris pada bentuk standarnya.
Selain itu penerapan epistemologi dalam mempelajari bahasa Inggris misalnya ketika mempelajari asal pembentukan kata dalam bahasa inggris dan perkembangannya. Contoh lain adalah ketika menganalisis mengapa salah satu teks digunakan dalam pembelajaran bahasa Inggris atau tentang metode yang bagaimana yang sebaiknya digunakan ketika mengajarkan masing-masing skill listening, speaking, reading dan writing serta mengapa metode tersebut yang dipakai. Beberapa bentuk pertanyaan lain misalnya: bagaimana cara memperbanyak kosakata dalam bahasa inggris? Mengapa bahasa inggris disebut sebagai bahasa internasional?

Dari uraian di atas dapat diketahui bahwa epistemologi adalah cabang filsafat yang mempelajari tentang pengetahuan beserta sumber, jenis, dan batasannya. Bahasa Inggris merupakan suatu sistem lambang bunyi yang digunakan oleh anggota masyarakat untuk saling berinteraksi dan berkomunikasi yang digunakan oleh masyarakat Inggris dan negara-negara lain. Contoh penerapan epistemologi dalam bahasa Inggris adalah ketika menganalisis perkembangan bahasa tersebut. bagaimana terbentuknya bahasa Inggris, asal usul, serta sejarahnya. Selain itu misalnya menganalisis metode pengajaran bahasa Inggris yang mana yang lebih efektif serta mengapa salah satu metode dikatakan efektif atau tidak efektif.

Adrah, Nirmawaty. 2010. Hakikat Filsafat Pengetahuan (Epistemologi). Bahtra, Jurnal Bahasa dan Sastra, 11 (5), (144-163).
Suriasumantri. 1986. Filsafat Ilmu: Sebuah Pengantar Populer. Jakarta. Pustaka Sinar Harapan



Ontologi adalah cabang kajian filsafat yang merupakan teori hakikat. Kata ontologi berasal dari bahasa Yunani; on dan logos/logic. On berarti being, dan logos berarti ilmu. Jadi, ontologi adalah the theory of being qua being (teori tentang keberadaan sebagai keberadaan). Ontologi membahas tentang yang ada, mencari semua realitas dalam semua bentuknya. Menurut Jujun S. Suriasumantri, antologi membahas apa yang ingin kita ketahui, seberapa jauh kita ingin tahu, atau dengan perkataan lain suatu pengkajian mengenai yang “ada”. Antologi disebut ilmu hakikat karena mempersoalkan sifat dan keadaan terakhir dari kenyataan.
Hakikat yang dikaji dalam ontologi yaitu:
1. Apakah sesungguhnya hakekat realita yang sebenarnya?
2. Apakah realita yang nampak ini suatu realita materi?
3. Atau ada sesuatu dibalik realita itu?
4. Apakah ada rahasia alam?
5. Apakah wujud semesta ini bersifat tetap?
6. Apakah hakekat semesta ini bersifat tetap?
7. Apakah realita ini berbentuk satu unsur atau banyak?

Menurut aristoteles, ontologi adalah ilmu yang menyelidiki hakikat sesuatu atau tentang sesuatu yang ada, keberadaannya, atau eksistensinya atau yang disebut dengan metafisika; berarti menyelidiki tentang makna yang ada (keberadaannya) manusia, benda, dan alam semesta. Istilah ontologi pertama kali diperkenalkan oleh Rudolf Goclenius pada tahun 1936 M, untuk menamai hakekat yang ada bersifat metafisis. Christian Wolf kemudian membagi metafisika menjadi dua yaitu metafisika umum dan khusus.
Ada lima aliran dalam filsafat yang muncul dari beberapa pertanyaan dalam mempelajari ontologi. Pertanyaan tersebut berupa what is being?, how is being? serta where is being?.
1. Aliran monoisme
Aliran ini berpendapat bahwa yang ada itu hanya satu, tidak mungkin dua. Aliran ini terbagi menjadi dua aliran lagi yaitu materialisme dan idealisme. Aliran materialisme, sering juga disebut naturalisme, menganggap bahwa sumber yang asal itu adalah materi, bukan ruhani. Menurutnya bahwa zat mati merupakan kenyataan dan satu-satunya yang fakta hanyalah materi, sedangkan jiwa atau ruh tidaklah merupakan suatu kenyataan yang berdiri sendiri.
Aliran yang kedua yaitu idealisme. Aliran ini disebut juga spiritualisme. Idealisme berasal dari kata “ideal” yang berarti sesuatu yang hadir dalam jiwa. Aliran ini beranggapan bahwa hakikat kenyataan yang beraneka ragam itu semua berasal dari ruh (sukma), yaitu sesuatu yang tidak terbentuk dan menempati ruang. Materi atau zat ini hanyalah suatu jenis dari penjelmaan ruhani.
2. Dualisme
Aliran ini berpendapat bahwa benda terdiri dari dua macam hakikat sebagai asal sumbernya, yaitu hakikat materi dan hakikat rohani. Tokoh paham ini adalah Descartes (1596- 1650 SM) yang dianggap sebagai bapak Filosofi modern).
3. Pluralisme
Aliran ini berpendapat bahwa segala macam bentuk merupakan kenyataan. Plurarisme dalam Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion menyatakan bahwa kenyataan alam ini tersusun dari banyak unsur. Unsur yang dimaksud adalah tanah, air, api dan udara.
4. Nihilisme
Aliran ini berpendapat bahwa tidak ada sesuatu pun yang eksis. Nihilisme berasal dari bahasa latin yang berarti nothing atau tidak ada. Pandangan Grogias (483- 360 SM) yang memberikan tiga proporsi realitas:
Pertama: tidak ada sesuatupun yang eksis. Realitas itu sebenarnya tidak ada.
Kedua: bila sesuatu itu ada, ia tidak dapat kita ketahui. Ini disebabkan oleh penginderaan itu tidak dapat dipercaya, penginderaan it sumber ilusi.
Ketiga: sekalipun realitas itu dapat kita ketahui, ia tidak akan dapat kita beritahukan kepada orang lain.
5. Agnotitisme
Paham ini adalah paham yang mengingkari kemampuan manusia mengetahui hakikat benda baik materi maupun ruhani. Timbul pendapat ini dikarenakan belum dapatnya orang mengenal dan mampu menerangkan secara kongkret akan adanya kenyataan yang berdiri sendiri dan dapat dikenal.
Atmasary (2012) mengatakan bahwa manfaat mempelajari ontologi adalah membantu mengembangkan dan mengkritisi berbagai bangunan pemikiran yang ada, membantu memecahkan masalah pola relasi antar berbagai eksisten dan eksistensi. Selain itu membantu mengeksplorasi secara mendalam dan jauh pada berbagai ranah keilmuan atau masalah, baik itu sains hingga etika.
Setiap ilmu harus mempunyai objek sebenarnya (proper objek) yang berwujud objek material dan objek formal. Objek material adalah fenomena yang ditelaah oleh ilmu sedangkan objek formal adalah pusat perhatian dalam penelaahan terhadap fenomena. Ilmu bisa memiliki objek material yang sama tetapi objek formal yang berbeda. Contoh penerapan ontologi dalam bidang linguistik misalnya objek formal yaitu bahasa itu sendiri misalnya bahasa inggris, sedangkan objek material misalnya ketika mempelajari komponen-komponen bahasa inggris yaitu ketika morphology (mempelajari struktur kata), semantik (mempelajari makna), sintak (mempelajari struktur kalimat), phonologi (mempelajari struktur bunyi bahasa), serta pragmatik (mempelajari makna dalam konteks). Disini objek yang ditelaah sama yaitu bahasa inggris tetapi objek yang menjadi fokus/pusat perhatian berbeda. Selain itu penerapan ontologi dalam bidang linguistik misalnya ketika mempelajari sosiolinguistik dan psikolinguistik. Sosiolinguistik memfokuskan pada bidang sosial dan psikolinguistik memfokuskan pada psikologi dalam kaitan nya dengan bahasa.

Aspek ontologi ilmu pengetahuan tertentu hendaknya diuraikan/ditelaah secara:
a. Metodis; menggunakan cara ilmiah
b. Sistematis; saling berkaitan satu sama lain secara teratur dalam suatu kesatuan.
c. Koheren; unsur-unsurnya harus bertautan; tidak boleh mengandung unsur yang bertentangan.
d. Rasional; harus berdasar pada kaidah berfikir yang benar/logis.
e. Komprehensif; melihat objek tidak hanya dari satu sisi saja melainkan secara keseluruhan.
f. Radikal; diuraikan sampai akar persoalannya.
g. Universal; muatan kebenarannya sampai tingkat umum yang berlaku dimana saja.

Atmasari, Nita. 2012. Ontologi Dalam Filsafat Ilmu. Retrieved from on September 30th, 2012.
Suriasumantri, Jujun .S. 1985. Pengantar Ilmu dalam Perspektif. Jakarta: Gramedia.




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.



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, (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









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.



            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


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



Number of Students









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




Number of Students


Control Group




Experimental Group





              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  =


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





            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


86- 100

71- 85

56- 70

41- 55

< 40

Very Good




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 Level







86- 100

Very Good



6. 45%

25. 80%

71- 85




3. 22%

51. 61%





45. 16%

22. 58%

41- 55




38. 70%



Very Poor



6. 45%






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 Level







86- 100

Very Good



16. 12%

32. 25%

71- 85




16. 12%

16. 12%





29. 03%

38. 70%

41- 55




32. 25%

12. 90%


Very Poor



6. 45%







            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




Std. Deviation

Std. Error


EXP.         Posttest

GROUP    Pretest38.8065



6.67510 . 84805


Table 7

Paired Samples t-Test

Paired Differences

Experimental Group



Standard Deviation


Standard Error Mean


t-Obtained (T)


Sig. (2-tailed)


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




Standard Deviation

Standard Error


CONTROL.    Posttest

GROUP           Pretest36.7742



8.52712 1.26211


Table 9

Paired Samples Test

Paired Differences

Control Group



Standard Deviation


Standard Error Mean

 . 70280

t-Obtained (T)


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  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





7.027 . 848


                                                                   Table 11                                                                 

Independent Samples Test


  Levene’s Test for

Equality of Variances

t- test for Equality of Means


(2-tailed)Mean DifferenceStd. Error

 DifferenceEqual Variances Assumed

Equal Variances Not Assumed9.798. 0031.337


52.502 .186




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.



            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


Al-Kufaishi, Adil. 1988. A Vocabulary Building Program is a Necessity not a Luxury. English teaching Forum, 26(2): 42-44.

Arikunto, Suharsismi. 1988. Prosedur Penelitian: Suatu Pendekatan Praktis. Jakarta: Rhineka Cipta.

Barnett, A. Marva. 1989. More Than meets the Eye-Foreign Language Reading. Theory and Practice. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice   Hall, Inc.

Brewster, Jean. Gail Ellis and Dennis Girard. 2002. The Primary English Teacher’s Guide. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

Bromley, Karen D’Angelo. 1992. Language Arts: Exploring Connection 2nd ed. Boston, MA:Allyn and Bacon, a Division of Simon and   Schuster, Inc.

Cameron, Lynne. 2001. Teaching Languages to Young Learners. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cheek, Jr.,Earl H.,Rona F. Flippo and Jimmy D. Lindsey. 1989. Reading for Success in the Elementary School. Toronto: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.

Christensen, Larry B. 1991.Experimental Methodology. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Dupuis, Mary M, Joice W. Lee, Bernard J and Eunice N. Askov. Foresman. 1989. Teaching Reading and Writing in the Content Area.  New York, NY: Scott Foresman Company.

Fatima. 2004. Semantic Mapping Technique. http;// htm.   Accessed on November 23rd, 2008.

Gaut, Michelle. 2002. Teachers: How to Use Semantic Mapping to Increase Vocabulary. Accessed on November 23rd, 2008   

Gunning, Thomas G.1992. Creating Reading Instruction for all Children. London: Allyn and Bacon.

Hatch, Evelyn and Farhady Hossein. 1982. Research Design and Statistics for Applied Linguistic. Rowley, MA: New Burry House Publishers, Inc.

Hornby, A.S. 1995. Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary of Current English. London: Oxford University Press.

Ihsanudin. 2008. Populasi dan Sampel. populasi-dan-sampel-populasi-pengertian.html. Accessed on June 20th, 2009

Leontiv, Alexei. 1989. Psychology and Language Learning Process. London: Pergammon

Levine, Harold. 1965. Vocabulary for the College-Bound Students. New York, NY: Amsco School Publication

Listia, Rina and Sirajudin Kamal. 2008. Kendala Pengajaran Bahasa Inggris di Sekolah Dasar. http;// Accessed on June 17th, 2009.

Manurung, Heldin. 2003. Mastering English Competence. Jakarta: Great media.

Marhoefer, Patricia E and Lisa A. 1992. Carrying for Developing Dictionary. Boston, MA:   Houghon Muffin Company.

Priyatno, Dwi. 2008. Mandiri Belajar SPSS (Statistical Product and Service Solution) untuk Analisis Data dan Uji Statistik. Jakarta: MediaKom.

Risdiana. 1997. The Achievement of the Fifth Year Students in Learning English Vocabulary of SD Muhammadiyah 1 Palembang. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis. Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, Sriwijaya University. Indralaya.

Rubin, Dorothy. 1993. Teaching Reading and Study Skills in Content Area. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, a Division of Simon and Schuster, Inc.

Russo, Gloria M. 1983. Expanding Communication. Teaching Modern Languages at the College Level. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Saputri, Kurnia. 2008. The Identification of Multiple Intelligence in Relation to English Achievement to Young Learners of SDN 32 Palembang. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis. Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, Sriwijaya University. Indralaya.

Scott, Wendy A and Lisbeth H. Ytreberg. 1990. Teaching English to Children. New York, NY: Longman.

Sudjana. 1990. Faktor Afektif yang Mempengaruhi Nilai Belajar Siswa.   Accessed on April 19, 2009.

Thornburry, Scott. 2002. How to Teach Vocabulary .Harlow: Longman.

Wallen, Norman E and Jack R. Fraenkel. 1991. Educational Research: A Guide to the

         Process. New York, NY: McGraw Hill, Inc.