Archive for June, 2013


(Kutipan referensi/citation: Jurnal Linguistik terapan Vol 3/1, Mei 2013)




Universitas Muhammadiyah Jember



Politician plays a very important role on the condition of our country especially related to communicating government’s programs or other phenomena happen in society. Politicians need not only knowledge and skills in their fields, but also strategies of communication. Demonstrations happen recently are, in part, caused by the failure of politicians in communicating some issues. It is the communication strategies, which determine whether or not a politician would positively or negatively impress the society. It is apparent that a language places an important role in determining his credibility. Using language adequately or appropriately is a prerequisite for them to look credible in the community. This article aims at investigating the felicity condition on the Indonesian politician’s performative utterances as written in newspaper and relating it to their credibility in society.

 Keywords: credibility, performative, constative, politician, felicity condition


A success politician needs not only knowledge and skills in his field, but also strategies of communication. Politicians, like other public figures such as artists, religious leaders, need followers. It is communication strategies which whether or not their followers would impress them. Language places a relatively important role in politician’s daily life. The worse language they use, the more negative impression they gain from the public and vice versa. Using language adequately and appropriately is a prerequisite for politicians to look credible in their public.

Politicians, as a public figure, often have to do something according to situation and condition. The performative utterances they make should have felicity condition in which the followers or public believe on what they say. Austin (1962) states that a performative may be “unhappy” if a person does not follow the correct procedure. Related to politics, Orwell (1945) states that politics is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. When the general situation is bad, language must suffer. The obvious characteristic of suffering language is the fact that language is often manipulated for the sake of their needs and government’s in interest. The manipulation of language by politician indicates that they are aware that using language is one of determining factors in their success and failure related to their career.

The politician credibility is influencing factor in the success or failure of their career. The term credibility of believability refers to whether or not someone is believable, sincere, and consistent. The more credible the politician, the more followers he gain from public. The characteristics can be gained from their believable action in society. The characteristics can be measure by detecting the meaningfulness of someone’s speech. Thus, to be accepted as credible public figure, the politician should produce meaningful utterances in his speech. When the utterances serve to state, describe, or report facts, they are called constative utterances (Austin, 1962). In this case the term “meaningfulness” refers to whether they have truth-value or not. If the utterances serve to perform or to do an act, they are called performative. In this case, the term “meaningfulness” refers to whether those utterances have felicity condition or not.

Truth-values exist when the utterances are constatives. It is easy for us to find meaningfulness of utterances since we can judge whether the utterances are true or false. However, when the utterances are performatives, we cannot find out whether they are true or false because the performatives are truth free. In this case, investigating felicity condition (the condition of happiness of unhappiness of the utterances) is the way to determine the meaningfulness of those utterances.

The speech of politician usually gets more attention than the common people’s. The speech, both constative or performative, as written in the newspaper, has hidden power. Usually, the speech of politicians, whether they are from government, parties, or parliament, is always written in newspaper since it has impact to the public. The impact can be positive or negative depending on the meaningfulness of the speech. That is why it is assumed that the speech determines the politicians’ credibility.

This article investigates the felicity condition of the Indonesian Politicians’ performative utterances as written in the newspaper and to relate it to their credibility. The data are taken randomly from the “Jawa Pos” newspaper published on November 20, December 18, and December 25, 2005 and “Surya” newspaper published on December 4, 2005. To focus the discussion, the article tries to answer the following question.

  1. How do the Indonesian Politicians produce the felicity condition behind their performative utterances?
  2. How is the credibility of Indonesian Politicians based on their speech (performative utterances)?




Traditionally, sentences are divided into three kinds namely: indicative, imperative, and interrogative (Cooper, 1973). But J.L. Austin classified sentences into two namely constative and performative. Constative sentence, according to Austin (1962) is an utterance that roughly serves to states a fact, report that something is the case, or describes what something is (1962:4). For example, “the house is red”. This type of sentence is truth sensitive. It means that the sentence is true if only the house is red (Kempson, 1977). Consequently, if the house is not red, the sentence is false.

The second type is performative sentence. According to Austin (1962), performative sentences are utterances that have the characteristics, like this: 1) they do not describe or report or constate anything at all, are not true or false, and 2) the uttering of the sentences is, or is part of, the doing of an action, which again would not normally be described as saying something (1962:4-5). Unlike constatives, this type of sentence is truth free. For example the sentence, “I promise to come tomorrow” does not state the information that I promise to come tomorrow, but it is “doing promise” itself. It is obvious that this sentence cannot go to be true or false until the promise has already been done. That is why felicity condition is very important in guaranteeing whether performative utterances are meaningful or not.

To make clearer and to differentiate the two kinds of utterances, let’s pay attention on several examples below:

  • I name this ship “Dewa Ruci”
  • I say “welcome” to you.
  • I suggest that you study hard
  • I promise to meet you at 4.00 o’clock
  • I promise to send some money (Joko Wicoyo, 1997: 34)

Those sentences are the examples of performative utterances. The utterances are the implications of action and not reports about an action. In this case, it is difficult to state whether these utterances are right or wrong. The sentence “I promise to send some money”, for example, does not describe a fact. By saying those words, “I” has done something. There is something happens because of the sentence.

Furthermore, Austin (1971) proposed six conditions. If any one of them we cannot meet, our performative utterances will be unhappy (in one way or another). The six conditions are:

  1. There must exist an accepted conventional procedure having a certain conventional effect, which procedure includes the uttering of certain words by certain persons in certain circumstances.
  2. The particular persons and circumstances in a given case must be appropriate for the invocation for the particular procedure invoked.
  3. The procedure must be executed by all participants correctly.
  4. The procedure must be executed by all participants completely.
  5. Where the procedure is designed for use by persons having certain thoughts and feelings, or for inauguration of certain consequential conduct on the part of any participant, then a person participating in and so invoking the procedure must in fact have those thoughts or feelings, and
  6. The participants must intend so to conduct themselves subsequently. (Austin, 1971: 13-22).


Moreover, Austin classified the performative utterances into five classes. First, what we called verdictives, the ones that are typified by the giving of verdict, i.e. by a jury, arbitrator, or umpire. The example of this class is the words like: decide, reckon, etc. Second, exercitives are the exercising powers, rights, or influence. The example of this class is such words as: appoint, order, vote, etc. The third is commissives are typified by promising or otherwise undertaking; they commit you to doing something, to include also declarations or announcement of intention, which are not promises, and also rather vague things, which we may call espousal, as for example, siding with. The forth, behabitivesare a very miscellaneous group, and have to do with attitudes and social behaviors. Example of this class is the words like: apologize, congratulate, commend, etc. The fifth, expositives make plain how our utterances fit to the course of our argument, or conversation, how we are using words or in general, are expository. Example of this class is the words like: “I reply”, “I argue”, “I concede”, etc.


Felicity Condition behind the Performative Utterances Produced by the Indonesian Politician

For the purpose of measuring Indonesian politician credibility through their speech, in this article the writer tries to analyze the performative felicity condition in the Indonesian politician’s performative utterances written in newspaper and relate it to their credibility. During four-day publication of the “Jawa Pos” and “Surya”, the writer finds 10 utterances which are analyzed. In the process of analysis, felicity condition instrument is formulated on the basis of the six condition proposed by Austin. This instrument is used to analyze the data.


Table 1. Instrument of Felicity Condition


Furthermore, in line with the six conditions proposed by Austin, Bertens (1983) in Wicoyo (1997:35), states that there are specific rules for performative utterances, are not valid for other kinds of utterances. There are three ways that break the rules of performative utterances:

  1. Performative utterance can be said unhappy (inappropriate) when incompetent persons produce them. For example, “I give my collection of painting to the museum”. This utterance is unhappy if a person who has no painting at all produces it.
  2. Performative utterance can be said unhappy if the persons speaking show insincere attitude (no honest). For example, a person makes a promise but he does not intend to fulfill it.
  3. Performative utterance can be said unhappy if the persons speaking are doing bias actions against what they speak. For example, a person says, “I point you to be treasurer of this club”. But in fact he still governs everything related to the club’s money himself He is inconsistent on his words.


Based on the qualitative analysis, some of the performative utterances in the selected data meet the felicity condition, while some other do not in variations of the three point of views. See the following table of the data taken from the “Jawa Pos” newspaper published on November 20 (utterances no 1 and 3), December 18 (utterances no 5, 6, 7, 8), and December 25 (utterances no 4, 9, 10), 2005 and “Surya” newspaper published on December 4, 2005 (utterances no 2).


Table 2. Table of utterances from the data























From the speaker point of view, of the 10 utterances, 9 of them (90%) are considered happy condition, and another 1 (10%) are considered unhappy condition. From the audience point of view, 2 utterances (20%) are considered happy and 8 utterances (80%) are considered unhappy. From substance view point, there are 2 utterances (20%) considered happy and 8 utterances (80%) under the unhappy condition. The clear description of the result can be seen in the following table.


Table 3. Percentage of the Result of Felicity Condition Analysis






It is clear that utterances in all viewpoints have different numbers. It is found that on the basis of the numbers of viewpoints being under happy and unhappy conditions there are four patterns. First, utterances that have all viewpoints under the happy conditions (3 viewpoints happy and 0 viewpoints unhappy) are included to happy performative utterances. Second, utterances that have 2 points under the happy condition and 1 point under the unhappy conditions are still included into the happy performative utterances. Third, utterances that have only one viewpoint under happy conditions and 2 viewpoints under unhappy conditions belong to unhappy performative utterances. Fourth, utterances that have no viewpoints under the happy condition belong to the unhappy performative utterances. We can see all the patterns as follow:

  1. Pattern 1: 3 viewpoints happy + 0 viewpoint unhappy
  2. Pattern 2: 2 viewpoints happy + 1 viewpoint unhappy
  3. Pattern 3: 1 viewpoints happy + 2 viewpoint unhappy
  4. Pattern 4: 0 viewpoints happy + 3 viewpoint unhappy

Based on the criteria it is found that of the 10 utterances 7 utterances (70%) are considered to be unhappy performative utterances, and 3 utterances (30%) are considered to be happy performative one. The clear description is on the table 4.


Table 4. Table of total utterances from all view point





The following is the discussion of performative utterances as written in the selected source data.

In utterance 1, the utterance is uttered by a competent person, since Jusuf Kalla is the leader of Golkar. From the audience viewpoint, it seems difficult for the audience to support his idea because the condition of social and politic in Indonesia does not seem to support it. The experience of PNS doing political action in Soeharto’s era does not support this idea either (unhappy substance viewpoint).

In utterance 2, the utterance is uttered by incompetent person since KH A Mudjib is considered to have no access about terror. He is just one of teachers in “Pondok Pesantren” which has possibly a little experience and information related to terror. From the audience viewpoint, it seems difficult for the audience to believe that KH Mudjib can guarantee that there is no terror in all “Ponpes” since he is just familiar with one “Ponpes” he leads. In substance view point, it is also difficult to believe that KH Mudjib can detect all “Ponpes” since he does not have access to all of the institutions in Indonesia.

In utterance 3, the utterance is uttered by competent person (happy). DPRD Leader has power and access related to the case. But in the audience’s viewpoint, the audience seem do not support the action since it is not for the sake of the success of PDAM, but because the member of DPRD will lost “their part” if PDAM is changed into PT. In substance view point, the utterance is unhappy utterance since the fact states that the profit of PDAM will be higher when the institution becomes PT than that of current condition.

In utterance 4, the utterance is uttered by competent person (happy), since he is the leader of Partai Demokrat. From the audience’s viewpoint and substance view point it seems that it is unhappy utterance since public know that the situation is governed by police and the contribution of Demokrat-PDIP is just in political issues.

In utterance 5, the utterance is uttered by competent person (happy). But in the audience viewpoint, it is something difficult to believe since it is very rare that the suspects are brought to the court. From the substance viewpoint, it seems to be an unhappy utterance since the facts show that the suspects are released not because of the court but because the police or other power.

In utterance 6, the utterance is uttered by competent person (happy) since Gus Dur is one of the Leader of Islam. From the audience viewpoint, it seems that is it difficult for audience to believe Gus Our because of the reputation and the fact that the movement is just a “show off” movement to show that PKB of his version survive. From the substance viewpoint, it also seems to be an unhappy utterance since the declaration is really more a political action than Islam for peace.

In utterance 7, the utterance is uttered by competent person (happy). Bambang Kuncoro is one of the leaders in “Mabes POLRI”. But the fact that Nurdin Halid case is reinvestigated is something difficult to believe for the audience. The statement that the Police are no wrong in this case, seems to be unhappy performative utterance. The police do the process, consequently, they know anything and responsible on everything happens.

In utterance 8, the utterance is uttered by competent person (happy). SBY as a President has access and power to give instruction to investigate some case in tax, and immigration. The audiences believe on the utterance since the credibility of SBY for the time being is still good. From the substance viewpoint, it seems that the utterance is happy utterance since some facts support the utterance.

In utterance 9, the utterance is uttered by competent person (happy). Muhaimin is the leader of PKB. From the audience viewpoint, it seems that the audience support the utterance, but in the substance view point, it seems to be unhappy utterance since the facts, temporary, state that they go to Egypt with the permission of DPR leader and have something to do in Egypt.

In utterance 10, the utterance is uttered by competent person (happy). Agung laksono is DPR Leader which knows a lot about what happened in DPR. But from the audience viewpoint, the statement seems to be something unusual. It is very strange that a leader of an institution admits that his institution is regarded to be a corrupt institution without official proofs. The audience will suspect that he has another “thing” behind his statement. From substance viewpoint, the utterance can be regarded to be happy since there are some events or information support the utterances although they are not officially proved by law.




Based on the data analysis above, the writer proposes conclusions and suggestions. First, Indonesian Politicians are less careful in uttering performative speech as it is seen in the felicity condition. Consequently the speeches are not so meaningful. However, small number of them produces meaningful utterances since their utterances meet the felicity condition.

Second, by producing meaningless speech, Indonesian Politicians are considered to be less credible. From the result of the data analysis, the writer can say that most of Indonesian Politicians are not credible.

Seeing these phenomena, the writer suggests that the Indonesian Politicians should, at least, look at linguistically the speeches that produce before they appear in front of public. If necessary, they should take a short linguistic course because using language appropriately and adequately needs specific knowledge on linguistics.




Austin, J.L. 1962: How to Do Things with Words. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Austin, J.L. 1971: Performative-constative. In Searle, J.R. Philosophy of Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 13-22.

Cooper, David. E. 1973. Philosophy and the Nature of Language. London: Longman Group Limited London.

Jawa Pos, Published on November 20, 2005

Jawa Pos, Published on December 18 and 25, 2005

Kempson, Ruth M. 1977. Semantic Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Surya newspaper, Published on December 4, 2005

Wicoyo, A. Joko. 1977. Filsafat Bahasa Biasa dan Tokohnya. Yogjakarta: Liberty Offset Yogjakarta.


(Kutipan referensi/citation: Jurnal Linguistik terapan Vol 3/1, Mei 2013)

Andi Muhtar

Universitas Negeri Malang



There are three theories of meaning, namely, the mentalistic theory, the behaviorist theory, and the use theory. Criticisms, which are given to show dislikes toward another person’s or other people’s actions/utterances, contain meanings. Criticisms in Mr. Pecut’s corner, which appear in the form of responses to statements made by public figures, are bitter but, by and large, humorous. This article will analyze the criticisms in Mr. Pecut’s corner of Jawa Pos daily newspaper and relate them with theories of meaning in linguistic philosophy.

Keywords: philosophy of language, theories of meaning, criticism


When a person communicates, he communicates meaning by realizing it through phonological representations. What is communicated is then accepted by the listener or the interlocutor in the form of phonological representations and then changed into semantic representations. Based on the meaning understood, the listener may respond back to the message. In this case the two people exchange messages or meanings. The messages communicated are of various kinds. Likewise, the responses given are various, one of the kinds of which is criticisms. This paper will analyze the criticisms which are found in Jawa Pos daily newspaper, especially those found in Mr. Pecut’s corner of the paper.



According to Cooper (1973: 14-16), there are three theories of meaning in the philosophy of language. The first is the mentalistic theory. This theory holds that an expression is meaningful if and only if it is associated, in some manner, with a certain mental item – an image, say, or thought, or an idea. Correspondingly, the theory holds that two expressions are synonymous if and only if they are associated with the same mental item. So, for example, it might be held that ‘puppy’ is meaningful because it is connected with a certain mental image; and that ‘puppy’ is synonymous with ‘young dog’ because both are connected with the same image. On this view to examine meaning is essentially to examine people’s mental states or processes.

The second is the behaviorist theory. This theory holds that an expression is meaningful if and only if utterances of it produce certain behavioral responses in people and/or are produced in response to certain stimuli. Two expressions will be synonymous, correspondingly, if and only if utterances of them produce the same responses and/or are produced in response to the same stimuli. On this view, examining meaning is essentially a matter of examining the behavior connected with utterances of expressions.

The third is the use theory. This theory holds that an expression is meaningful if and only if people can use it for certain purposes, and in certain ways. Two expressions, correspondingly, will be synonymous if and only if they can be used in the same ways, for the same purposes. On this view, examining meaning is essentially a matter of examining the role that expressions have in human activities.



Lehmann (1983: 217-224) discusses five types of language use. Each of the types is explained below.


The Politician’s Use of Language

Political use of language is often highly ambiguous. Politicians flourish by devising Expressions that their audiences interpret as favorable to themselves. An example of this ambiguity use of language is given be Lehmann (1983: 217) as follows:

According to Herodotus, when Croesus, King of Lydia, asked the oracle at Delphi whether he should attack the Persians, the oracle answered ambiguously, that if he did he would destroy a great empire. Croesus, as a confident ruler, misinterpreted the reply. The attack resulted in the destruction of his own empire rather than that of the Persians.


The Poet’s Use

While the politician seeks ambiguous language, the poet aims at precision. For Pope in his “Essay on Criticism”:


True wit is Nature to advantage dressed,

What off was thought, but ne’er so well expressed.


Ambiguous and meaningless words are avoided. A poet has a specific concept; the poem is designed to have the reader understand this directly, as though images. Pope does not say: an actual insight corresponds to reality in the world; rather, he directly confronts two concepts presented in concrete images with nature.


The Scientist’s Use

Scientists also insist on precision in use of language. But they emphasize facts, not people and their feelings. Moreover, the facts must speak for themselves. Ideas are not to be conveyed through images or affected by human origins. Even living beings are stripped of their animation, including the scientists themselves. These aims lead to characteristic scientific styles of expression.


The Priest’s Use

The priest on the other hand employs many pragmatic devices, directing his message to a specific audience. This aim encourages patterns comparable to the poet’s. Sequences are repeated, often exactly, as in Matthew 5:7-9:


Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called

The children of God….


The repetitions engage the attention of the audience, as well as their participation, through established sequences, such as amen; hallelujah; Glory, glory, hallelujah. The priest raises emotions, though with somewhat different aims and devices from those of the poet.


The Average Speaker’s Use

Few of us use language as effectively as the consummate poet, politician, scientist, or priest; yet we employ the same devices as they, and we apply language in accordance with their various purposes.



Criticism is the expression of disapproval of someone or something by stating an opinion on their faults, weaknesses, or disadvantages in speech or writing (Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary, 1987: 336). Criticism can be divided into two kinds. The first is direct criticism. This criticism is given directly by the critic to the criticized. The second is indirect criticism. This kind of criticism is directed to the criticized, but it is given publicly through mass media. The target of criticisms is either an individual or an institution, or both an individual and an institution.

mr pecut

Mr. Pecut

Mr. Pecut is the name of a rubric in Jawa Pos daily newspaper. It is situated in the upper-left-hand corner of page four. Under the title Mr Pecut there is a picture of a person covering his two ears using his index fingers. The word pecut, which means a whip, is very suitable with the function of the criticisms. Criticisms are expressions which are not nice to our ears although they are actually useful in that they make us aware of our mistakes. Mr. Pecut will always remind us to always behave well. In each issue Mr. Pecut highlights three pieces of news and gives three comments or criticisms.

Although most of the criticisms are bitter, they are always communicated in humorous ways. The humor sense appears because of the evidence of the unexpected twist of the comment or criticism in response to the news. Tresnadewi (2005: 20) states that “What makes people laugh at a joke is usually the unexpected twist at the end of the joke.” Similarly, what makes a criticism humorous is the unexpected twist of the comment.

Let’s read the example below:


Pollycarpus divonis 14 tahun penjara.

(Pollycarpus was sentenced of 14 years imprisonment)


Dan tanpa ditemani pramugari

(And without being accompanied by stewardesses).


To understand the sense of humor in this statement-and-comment pair, we have to understand the background of the statement or the news. Pollycarpus was a pilot of Garuda Indonesian Airlines. The sentence was imposed because he was accused of murdering a well-known human rights activist Munir. Munir died, according to a laboratory report in the Netherlands, because of arcenicum poison which, according to the judge, was poured by Pollycarpus into Munir’s glass. Munir died while he was on the plane taking him from Singapore to the Netherlands. Because he was a pilot, he must have had a lot of friends who are stewardesses. However, the stewardesses would not accompany him in prison. Clearly, the comment is unexpected.




The data were chosen randomly from Jawa Pos daily newspaper available. Criticisms in Mr. Pecut’s corner can be classified into five types: authority-directed, individual-directed, illogical, humorous, and common. In the following section, criticisms in the form of single sentences are explained. Explaining a sentence is part of philosophy, as stated by the Australian positivist philosopher, Schlick, as follows: “philosophy is an activity through which the meanings of statements is asserted or explained.”


Authority-directed Criticisms

  1. Tahun depan akan ada gelar kota terkotor.

(Next year there will be an evaluation in terms of the dirtiest towns)


Pasti kota yang banyak koruptornya

(They must be towns with the most corruptors)


We expect that the comment will deal with efforts used to make cities free from garbage. The comment is really unexpected because it talks about corruptors, those who abuse the authority given to them. The critic regards corruptors as something which dirties towns.


  1. Hermawan Kertajaya: Kepala daerah adalah pemasar.

(Hermawan Kertajaya: Heads of districts are marketing people)


Tapi, sebelumnya adalah pembeli, pembeli suara

(But, previously they were buyers, buyers of votes).


The news implies that Heads of districts should promote their districts in order that more businessmen invest their capital in the areas. In other words, they must ‘sell’ their areas.

The critic reminds us that the Heads of Local Governments bought votes in order to become Heads of Local Governments. This is what is called ‘money politics’. This accusation is not easy to prove, however.


  1. Rapat paripurna setelah Lebaran, separo lebih anggota dewan bolos.

(General Meeting (of the House of Representatives) was held after Idul Fitri break; more than half of the members were absent)

Meski Lebaran, kelakuan ini tidak perlu dimaafkan.

(Despite Lebaran (Holiday atmosphere), this attitude cannot be forgiven!)


The news implies that members of the House of Representatives are not responsible because they did not do what they should have done namely attending meeting. They may have though that they might be excused or forgiven because it was still holiday atmosphere.

The response or criticism says that the members’ attitude should not be forgiven. Working for other people must be prioritized.


  1. Noordin M. Top pernah sembunyi dekat markas Polwil Pekalongan.

(Noordin M. Top, once, hid near the Head Quarter of Police District in Pekalongan.)


Dan terbukti aman

(And they were proved to be save)


The news shocks us because Noordin is a number-two wanted person and he hid near the police station.

The response saying that he was safe shows that the police are not very sensitive to their environment.


  1. Penyimpangan keimigrasian dinilai sangat serius.

(The immigration anomaly is evaluated to be very serious)

Begitu seriusnya, sampai sudah jadi kewajara …

(It is so serious that it has become a common place)


The response shows that it seems hopeless to return the situation into a normal one. It indirectly suggests that this situation cannot be tolerated any longer.


  1. Kepala BIN: Teroris berencana culik pejabat.

(Head of National Intelligence Body: Terrorists plan to abduct officials of high ranks)

Kalau pejabat yang korup, silakan!

(If they are corrupting ones, please do!)


It is the duty of the police to protect officials of high ranks. However, if the officials are those who corrupt, the police should not protect them. Let them be abducted by the terrorists.


  1. Ketua DPR kecewa kunjungan BURT ke Mesir.

(Chair of the House of Representatives is disappointed with the visit of BURT (the Body of Logistic Affairs) to Egypt).


Mestinya ngelencer ke mana, dong?

(Where should they have gone for a vacation, then?)


The news implies that BURT should not have gone to Egypt. The visit is in vain. The response implies that it is alright to go for a vacation although it actually supports the Chair.


  1. Parpol dan DPR lembaga terkorup di Indonesia.

(Political parties and the House of Representatives are institutions which are the most corrupt in Indonesia)


Lembaga lain, lumayan korup …

(Other institutions are not very corrupt)


The response shows that corruptions also take place in other institutions though not the worst.


  1. Pimpinan DPR: Kunjungan anggota BURT ke Mesir sudah sesuai rencana.

(Heads of House of Representatives: The visit of the members of BURT to Egypt has been in accordance with the plan)


Rencananya memang mau ngelencer, kok!

(The plan was that they wanted to go for a vacation!)


The plan was to meet members of the House of Representatives of Egypt in order to know how Egypt deals with laws concerning gambling. The response shows that the main objective of visiting Egypt was having a vacation.

  1. Rencana impor beras Januari dibatalkan.

(The plan to import rice in January has been dropped).


Itu yang resmi, yang nggak resmi jalan terus …

(That is what is legal, the illegal is going on)


The response shows the weakness of the government because the policy is not carried out perfectly. The authority does not seem to do anything to prevent the influx of rice illegally)


  1. Usman Hamid: Kasus Munir, Polri belum serius.

(Usman Hamid: Munir case, the Police have not been serious)


Takut barangkali …

(They may be afraid …)


The criticism says that the police are afraid. The police should be serious in fighting crime whatever the risk they may find. They should not be afraid. They are paid to protect the citizens, aren’t they?


  1. Parpol ramai-ramai berkurban sapi dan kambing.

(Political parties sacrifice cows and sheep demonstratively)


Setahun sekali, bukan rakyat yang dikorbankan.

(Once a year, it is not people who are sacrificed)


The response shows that political parties usually take advantage of their positions while making the people victims.


  1. Masa kerja KPU diperpanjang.

(The working term of KPU (General Election

Committee) is lengthened.)


Wah, bisa korupsi lagi, dong?

(Then, they can commit corruption again?)

The response implies that KPU is the place where corruptions often take place and are not detected. This is actually also a warning that the police should be alert toward wrongdoings done by those given authority to carry out government matters.


Individual-directed criticisms

  1. Puluhan dokter di Kediri tak punya izin praktek.

(Tens of doctors in Kediri do not have permission letter.)


Nggak beda dong, dengan dukun!

(Not different from astrologers, then!)


The response implies that doctors are jobs which need proficiency and professionalism. They have to obtain a certificate from the government before they treat patients. Otherwise, they are the same as astrologers.


  1. Akbar: Kalla jangan ceplas-ceplos.

(Akbar: Kalla, don’t speak without evidence.)


Kalau ngak begitu, nggak ngetop, Bung!

(If I don’t, I won’t become a celebrity, Friend!)


Akbar’s advice is wise, that is, Kalla should think first before he speaks. The comment implies that it is by speaking whatever is in his mind that makes Kalla popular.


  1. Djoko Edhi: Kunjungan BURT ke Mesir sia-sia

(Djoko Edhi: The visit of BURT to Egypt was in vain)


Kunjungannya sis-sia, tetapi ngelencer-nya tidak.

(The visit was in vain, but the vacation was not.)


Edhi’s statement implies that he was disappointed with his visit. The response implies that he was not disappointed because he had the opportunity to go abroad and have a vacation with some of the members of the House of Representatives.

  1. Paskah Suzzeta: Jadi menteri, bobot turun 3 kilo.

(Paskah Suzzeta: Becoming a minister, his weight drops 3 kilograms)


Jangan kuatir, toh bobot kantong nambah!

(Don’t worry. The weight of the pocket increases, doesn’t it?)


Suzetta’s statement implies that because he has to work hard as a minister, he loses weight, which means that something he does not want happens. The comment however, reminds him that he is richer now!


  1. Amien: Lawan koruptor sejati butuh keberanian

(Amien: To fight against true corruptors needs courage)


Sebenarnya butuh Pak Amien, gitu loh.

(Actually, Mr. Amien is needed. That’s it.)


The statement implies that Mr. Amien is a courageous man. The comment implies that people should choose Mr. Amen to fight the crime of corruption because he is brave. It sounds that Mr. Amien is disappointed for not being chosen as president the last presidential election.


Illogical criticism

  1. Diusulkan ada tempat penitipan anak di DPR.

(Proposed: There is a crèche in the House of



Lama-lama bakal ada usul penitipan WIL, nih!

(Slowly but surely, there will be a proposal for a crèche for WIL (Other Adored Women), right?


The proposal in the statement was made in  conjunction with the increasing bad treatment to children by their family. It is Illogical to set up a crèche in the House of Representatives. Responding to the illogical proposal, the critic also proposes a more illogical proposal, that is, having a crèche for Other Adored Women, who are likely possessed by some members of the House of Representatives.


  1. Golkar gelar donor darah masal.

(Golkar held mass blood donation)


Darahnya pasti kuning!

The blood must he yellow!


The response that the blood is yellow is wrong.

However, because Golkar is synonymous with yellow, the color of the flag, people will remember that the community service is worth doing.


Humorous criticisms

  1. SBY perintahkan Kapolri ungkap dalang pembunuh Munir.

(SBY ordered the Chief of the Police to reveal the mastermind behind Munir murder)


Yang jelas bukan Pak Manteb!

(Obviously, he is not Mr. Manteb!)


The statement uses the word dalang a person who performs leather puppets, and Mr. Manteb is a dalang. However, dalang in the statement is different from what the profession of Mr. Manteb is. Dalang in the statement refers to the person who is most responsible for the Munir murder; it does not have anything to do with the show of leather puppets.


  1. Kepala Bea Cukai Manado terlibat penyelundupan HP.

(Head of Customs in Manado is involved in HP smuggling)


Ketik A (spasi) copot saja!

(Type A (space) dismiss him. That’s all!)


The way the response is written is unique. The type of writing the response resembles that of sending answers to TV quizzes. However, the content is very firm and direct.


  1. Pimpinan Jemaah Eden mengaku sebagai Malaikat Jibril.

(Head of Eden Congregation acknowledges that she is Angel Gabriel).


Malaikat kok digerebek …

(Angel, but how could she be attacked?)


Angel belongs to creatures who cannot be touched. If she were an Angel, the police would not have been able to catch her!


Common criticisms

  1. Bentrok antarmahasiswa terjadi lagi di Makassar.

(A brawl among university students broke again in Makassar)


Status mahasiswa, otak masih TK!

(The status is university student, the brain is still kindergarten!)


It is a shame that university students are involved in a fight using physical strengths, not intellectual power. Their brain is the brain of kindergarten pupils!


  1. Bantuan langsung tunai tahap kedua diperkirakan tertunda.

(It is predicted that the second phase of direct aid will be delayed.)


Berarti keruwetan tahap kedua masih agak lama.

(It means that irregularities of the second phase are still relatively long to come.)


It implies that we did not anticipate problems arising out of the new policy. The problems will happen again in the future.





Indirect criticisms which appear in the rubric Mr. Pecut of Jawa Pos daily newspaper are very concise and direct in their efforts to change people’s behavior. The criticisms can be classified as authority directed, individual directed, illogical, humorous and common. In one of his opinions, Mochtar Lubis, a well-known Indonesian laureate, says that ‘no criticism is bad’. Therefore, we must be open to criticisms if we want to maintain our loyalty to truth and justice. Related to diversity in language use which is discussed by Lehmann, we propose one more type, namely, the critic’s use of language.




Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary. 1987. London: Harper Collins Publishers.

Cooper, David E. 1973. Philosophy and the Nature of Language. London: Longman.

Jawa Pos daily newspaper.

Lehmann, Winfred P. 1983. Language: An Introduction. New York: Random House.

Tresnadewi, Sintha. 2005. Jokes: The Twisting of the Theories of Meaning. In Syahri and Tresnadewi (Eds.) The Power of Meaning. Malang: Syahri Press.








Data sources


  1. 18 June 2005
  • Tahun depan akan ada gelar kota terkotor

Pasti kota yang banyak koruptornya.

  • Pengacara Hendropriyono menilai undangan TPF Munir tidak sopan.

Padahal, tak menyebut hantu beliau ..

  • Hermawan Kertajaya: Kepala daerah adalah pemasar.

Tapi, sebelumnya adalah pembeli, pembeli suara.


  1. 15 November 2005
  • Rapat paripurna setelah Lebaran, separo lebih anggota dewan bolos.

Meski Lebaran, kelakuan ini tidak perlu dimaafkan!

  • Bungker di Bojonegoro ternyata milik lembaga Javanologi.

Wah, bisa kualat kalau dibongkar!

  • Noordin M. Top pernah sembunyi dekat markas Polwil Pekalongan.

Dan terbukti aman.


  1. 19 November 2005
  • Burhanuddin: Serahkan Kalla, reshuffle pasti segera beres.

Wah, bisa-bisa jadi kabinet Golkar!

  • Bantuan langsung tunai tahap kedua diperkirakan tertunda.

Berarti keruwetan tahap kedua masih agaklama …

  • Puluhan dokter di Kediri tak punya izin praktik.

Nggak beda dong, dengan dukun!


  1. 20 December 2005
  • Mega yakin Pemilu 2009 PDIP kalahkan Golkar.

Caranya, bikin posko yang banyak!

  • Penyimpangan keimigrasian dinilai sangat serius.

Begitu seriusnya, sampai sudah jadi kewajaran …

  • SBY: Kita harus menjadi the winner, bukanthe looser.

Sudah Pak, khususnya untuk urusan korupsi!



  1. 21 December 2005
  • Kepala BIN: Teroris berencana culik pejabat.

Kalau pejabat yang korup, silakan!

  • Ketua DPR kecewa kunjungan BURT ke Mesir.

Mestinya ngelencer ke mana, dong?

  • Akbar: Kalla jangan ceplas-ceplos.

Kalau nggak begitu, nggak ngetop, Bung!


  1. 22 December 2005
  • Djoko Edhi: Kunjungan BURT ke Mesir sia-sia.

Kunjungannya sia-sia, tapi ngelencernya tidak.

  • Pollycarpus divonis 14 tahun penjara.

Dan tanpa ditemani pramugari.

  • SBY perintahkan Kapolri ungkap dalang pembunuh Munir.

Yang jelas bukan Pak Manteb!


  1. 23 December 2005
  • BIN juga diperintah presiden tuntaskan kasus Munir.

Kalau nggak bisa, ya kebangetan!

  • Jika tak hati-hati, diprediksikan 2006 kredibilitas SBY-Kalla bisa jatuh.

Jika mau hati-hati, ya agak lama dikitlah …

  • Aa Gym rekrut 1.000 mantan anggota GAM.

Sekarang boleh dipanggil Aa GAM!


  1. 24 December 2005
  • Kasat Narkoba Polres Sumbawa mati overdosis.

Benar-benar narkoba makan tuan!

  • Kasus Munir, SBY minta Kapolri serius ungkap pelaku lain.

Pelakunya sedang serius berusaha agar tidak terungkap.

  • Parpol dan DPR lembaga terkorup di Indonesia.

Lembaga lain, lumayan korup …


  1. 27 December 2005
  • Pimpinan DPR: Kunjungan anggota BURTke Mesir sudah sesuai rencana.

Rencananya memang mau ngelencer, kok!

  • Paskah Suzzeta: Jadi menteri, bobot turun3 kilo.

Jangan kuatir, toh bobot kantong nambah!

  • Pollycarpus mengajak tiga anaknya surati SBY.

Mbok ya SMS saja …


  1. 28 December 2005
  • Pramono Anung: Saat ini PDIP sedangsolid-solidnya.

Buktinya, pada keluar sama-sama dan bikinpartai baru!

  • Manipulasi pulsa, Telkomkebobolan triliunan rupiah.

Bisa jadi alasan untuk naikkan tarif, nih!

  • Prihatin judi, Rhoma Irama temui Kapolri.

Judi No! Dangdut Yes!


  1. 29 December 2005
  • Rencana impor beras Januari dibatalkan.

Itu yang resmi, yang nggak resmi jalan terus…

  • Usman Hamid: Kasus Munir, Polri belum serius.

Takut barangkali…

  • Kepala Bea Cukai Manado terlibat penyelundupan HP.

Ketik A (spasi) copot saja!


  1. 30 December 2005
  • Alasan berobat, Tommy Soeharto ke Jakarta lagi.

Ah, paling juga mau tahun baruan!

  • Good Governance, Indonesia terendah di Asia.

Good… Good… Good…!

  • Pimpinan Jemaah Eden mengaku sebagai Malaikat Jibril.

Malaikat kok digerebek …


  1. 9 January 2006
  • Gus Dur: Soros sekarang beda dengan yang dulu…

Iya, dulu George yang bikin soro (sengsara)…

  • Di Malang, seorang pemancing tewas tertimbun tanah longsor.

Bencana kok rutin…


  • KRHN: 95 persen hakim agung tak layak.

5 persen sisanya di bawah standar, ya?


  1. 10 January 2006
  • Penggantian pimpinan TNI, 11 panglima minta tidak dipolitisasi.

Ah, mana mungkin?

  • Ketua PC NU Jember: Jangan tutupi penyebab banjir.

Toh penyebabnya sudah jelas: Air!

  • Menteri Kehutanan: Hutan lindung di Jawa kritis.

Nggak bias buat sembunyi penjahatnya Unyil lagi…


  1. 11 January 2006
  • Palsukan faktur pajak, tiga petugas pajakdiperiksa.

Yang belum ketahuan masih serombongan!

  • Kasus bom Palu masih gelap.

Semoga tidak habis gelap terbit bom lagi!

  • Parpol ramai-ramai berkurbansapi dankambing.

Setahun sekali, bukan rakyat yang dikorbankan.


  1. 13 January 2006
  • Denny lndrayana: Korupsi sudah masuk kejahatan luar biasa.

Yang ditangkap yang kelas biasa-biasa saja…

  • Diusulkan ada tempat penitipan anak di DPR.

Lama-lama bakal ada usul penitipan WIL, nih!

  • Ketua DPR dinilai kurang tegas menyikapi impor beras.

Kalau tegas, ya bukan ketua DPR, dong!


  1. 31 December 2005
  • Prediksi 2006, Kamtibmas berat, tapi kondusif.

Jangan-jangan, kondusif juga buat teroris?

  • BLT tahap II mulai 2 Januari.

Selamat datang kaum miskin baru!

  • Golkar gelar donor darah masal.

Darahnya pasti kuning!



  1. 2 January 2006
  • Pelaku bom Palu konon teroris lama.

Lama atau baru yang jelas harus ditangkap!

  • Amien: Lawan koruptor sejati butuh keberanian.

Sebenarnya butuh Pak Amien, gitu loh…

  • Garuda maskapai terlemah di Asia.

Wah, nomor satu lagi kita…


  1. 3 January 2006
  • Ketua MPR minta SBY evaluasi kinerja BIN.

Kalau perlu, ya di-reshuffle saja!

  • Pembayaran BLT tahap II dimulai.

Musim kaum kere berebut lagi…

  • Kasus formalin dinilai karena keteledoranpemerintah.

Dan kelihaian tukang bakso!


  1. 4 January 2006
  • Longsor dan banjir bandang Ianda Jember.

Tahun baru, bencana baru…

  • Solidaritas longsor Jember, pimpinan MPR-DPR potong gaji.

Kok cuma pimpinan, anggotanya mana, dong?

  • BPOM janji tindak tegas penyalahgunaan formalin.

Baru sekarang. Kemarin-kemarin ke mana?


  1. 5 January 2006
  • Kontras: Polisi peringkat kesatu pelaku tindak kekerasan.

Dan paling sering lolos…

  • Amien: Sutanto capres kuat 2009 mendatang.

Pak Amien sendiri masih kuat nggak?

  • Penulisan sejarah G 30 S PKI berjalan alot.

Minta petunjuk Pak Harto, dong!


  1. 6 January 2006
  • Bentrok antarmahasiswa terjadi lagi di Makassar.

Status mahasiswa, otak masih TK!

  • Tujuh wilayah rawan bencana karena cuaca buruk.

Tapi yang pasti, karena nasib buruk…


  • SBY: Inflasi 2005 lebih baik dari 1966.

Korupsinya juga jauh lebih hebat!


  1. 7 January 2006
  • Direktur LBH: Hak perempuan masih diabaikan.

Maklum, masih dijajah pria sejak dulu…

  • Masa kerja KPU diperpanjang.

Wah, bisa korupsi lagi, dong?

  • DPR pastikan tolak impor beras.

Mending impor beras, daripada ngelencernggak jelas!


(Kutipan referensi/citation: Jurnal Linguistik terapan Vol 3/1, Mei 2013)

Iwik Pratiwi



by Iwik Pratiwi

SMK Negeri 2 Malang

Master’s candidate in Applied Linguistics at FIB of Brawijaya University



Rantau 1 Muara is the the last novel of the trilogy is the last trilogy of Negeri 5 Menara, written by Anwar Fuadi. The novel settings include, one of them, the unique life of pesantren. Because it is so unique, the translation into English may face problems as many of the concepts talked about are bound to Javanese or Islamic culture. Thus, it can be predicted that some problems should appear. To prove this, the writer translates one chapter and report the problem and how to solve the problems. This “translator reseacher” kind of research shows that the problems of non-equivalence are resulted from not only the author’s uses of local dialects and Arabic Islamic terms also the lexical and semantic field of the source words or expressions. More specifically the problems include cultural specific context, source text not lexicalized in target text, semantically complex source text, source text and target text making different distinction in meaning, differences in expressive meaning, differences in form, and loan words in source text. To make the translation of the text into English readable and relatable as possible, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic strategies, are adopted.

Keywords: Source Text (ST), Target Text (TT), equivalence, semantic field, lexical set, strategies


In Translation Studies, equivalence is an important concept. There are many levels of equivalence, and word level equivalence is the lowest level. Although translators do not normally work on word-for-word equivalence, the discussion may serve as the basic step in dealing with non equivalence found in the source text.


Baker (1992) defines word as the smallest unit of language which we would expect to possess individual meaning. In translation, everything would be easier if there were a one-to-one relationship between words and meaning in the various languages. But it isn’t so.

According to Cruse, in Baker (1992), there are four types of meaning on words and utterances: propositional meaning, expressive meaning, presupposed meaning and evoked meaning. Presupposed meaning arises from selectional and collocational restrictions, while evoked meaning arises from dialect and register variation which covers field, tenor and mode of discourse. All types of the above lexical meaning contribute to the overall meaning of utterance or a text. In case of problems of non equivalence, Baker suggests that it is useful to view the semantic fields and lexical sets of a language. Understanding the semantic field and lexical sets can be useful to appreciate the value that a word has in a given system and to develop strategies for dealing with non equivalence.



General Overview of the Novel

Rantau 1 Muara is the last trilogy of Negeri 5 Menara, written by Anwar Fuadi, whose writing has inspired millions of people. The trilogy is inspired by the author’s enlightening education experience at Pondok Modern Gontor, an Islamic boarding school in East Java The first novel has been translated into English by Angie Kilbane and published in 2011. The translation of the second and third sequels are still in question. Part 17, Maghrib Terhebat, describes Alif’s first meeting with Dinara, the girl he falls in love with. The author of the novel who puts himself as the main character, is a member of Islamic community and spent some years in Islamic boarding school or pesantren. His utterances are mostly informal mixed with Islamic terms. He also uses many highly expressive items in this part, such as : enaknya, sebel, lega, salah sendiri, ini gawat, gombal, hebat juga dia, etc.

Concept of Islamic Prayers

The title of part 17, The Greatest Maghrib, refers to one of five most well-known Islamic prayers performed daily : at dawn (shubuh), midday (zuhur), afternoon (‘asr), sunset (maghrib) and evening (‘isha). At the five appointed times, a muazin announces a call to prayer (azan), traditionally from a mosque’s minaret. Shalat must always be preceded by ablutions (wudu’) of ritually washing the face, hands, and feet. This can be done with sand when water is not available. (Qur’an 5:6; also 2:222, 4:43.) Shalat is always directed in the direction (qiblat) of the Ka’ba shrine in Mecca. It may be performed individually, but it carries special merit when done with other Muslims (jama’ah). A prayer mat (sajada) is commonly used during the shalat.

When performing salat jama’ah at the mosque, worshippers are aligned in parallel rows behind the prayer leader (imam), who directs them through the rak’as (prescribed postures and recitations). Islamic prayer begins in a standing position with a glorification to God which called takbir, then moves through several simple postures until the supplicant is kneeling.

Specified recitations are said in each posture. The content of prayer is glorification of God, recitations of the Qur’an, and blessings on the Prophet. Shalat concludes with the taslima (greeting), “Peace be upon you,” even when praying alone.

Shalat and other Islamic rituals and practices can be easily observed in various aspect of Indonesian culture. As many other Islamic countries, Indonesian selectional and collocational restrictions are also typical and need to be treated carefully to avoid awkward wording in English, since English does not normally have equivalence for: memimpin doa, shalat berjamaah, mengirim doa, membaca tartil, mengambil wudhu, etc.

Differences in the structure of semantic field in Indonesia and English is notably challenging, therefore, assessing the value of given item in a lexical set is always desirable. The word malu in ST, for example, has at least three different meanings in TT: shy, embarrassed, ashamed. Also, while ST differs sholat from doa, TT has a single equivalent: prayer.



This paper is a report of a small research. This is a kind of annotated translation, where the translator reports the translation problems and how to solve them while she was translating. The data are taken from a novel by Anwar Fuadi, namely Part 17 of the novel: Rantau 1 Muara, by Anwar Fuadi, which entitled Maghrib Terhebat. Because the novel is so unique, the translation into English may face problems as many of the concepts talked about are bound to Javanese or Islamic culture. Thus, it can be predicted that some problems should appear. To prove this, the writer translates one chapter and report the problem and how to solve the problems.

Then, the writer discusses the problems of non-equivalence at word level in the translation she did as well as some strategies for dealing with them. The discussion of the translation is mainly referring to equivalence presented by Baker (1992) in her book, In Other Words, providing the background knowledge and approaches related to non-equivalence before contrasting some typical conceptual and lexical semantic fields to prove that there is a considerable linguistic gap between Indonesian and English. The proposed strategies for dealing with problems of non equivalence are mainly adopted from Chesterman (1997) in Hariyanto (2013). Finally, the writer also presents the result of the translation to show the different side of pesantren that are not widely seen by people throughout the world, especially in the post 9-11 world, when pondok or pesantren often gets unfairly stereotyped.



Problems of Non Equivalence in the Translation

The local dialects and the uses of Arabic widely used in the novel are the main challenge due to non equivalence at word level in the translation of the text into English, that is to say that the TT has no direct equivalent for a word which occurs in ST. The followings are the problems of non equivalence found in ST, referring to Baker’s classification:

  1. Cultural specific context, i.e.: kampungan, bukan basa basi, mengirim doa, membaca secara tartil, sandal jepit, etc.
  2. Source Text (ST) is not lexicalized in Target Text (TT), i.e.: shalat, azan, wudhu, mukena, etc.
  3. The ST is semantically complex, i.e. : saling menjajaki, gombal, enaknya, etc
  4. ST and TT make different distinction in meaning, i.e. : malu (may means shy, ashamed or embarrassed in TT)
  5. Differences in expressive meaning: menambat hatiku, mencuri pandang, bergelung etc.
  6. Differences in form : narasumber, berpikir ulang, kampungan, malasmalasan, etc.
  7. Loan words in ST : Maghrib, tartil, jamaah, (borrowed from Arabic)



To deal with the above problems of non equivalence, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic strategies, following Chesterman (1997) in Hariyanto (2013), are adopted to make the translation of the text into English readable and relatable as possible. The discussion is presented in a table of three columns consisting strategy, hint and example of language item found on ST. The examples are provided with the line number of the language items to provide easier review on the text development. Although only strategies used for dealing with non equivalence at word level will be presented,  a full linguistic account of its meaning is somehow desirable.

Syntactic Strategies

Following Chesterman (1997) ten syntactic strategies which involve pure syntactic changes 1) literal translation, 2) loan: Calque, naturalization, 3) transposition, 4) unit shift, 5) phrase structure change, 6) clause structure change, 7) sentence structure change, 8) cohesion change, 9) level shift and 10) scheme change), the translation of the text applies the followings:

Table 1: Samples of Syntactic Strategies

Iwik 1


Iwik 2


Semantic Strategies

Chesterman suggests changes mainly related to lexical semantics and sometimes aspects of clause meaning such as emphasis which includes:  1) synonyms, 2) antonyms, 3) hyponyms, 4) converses, 5) abstraction change, 6) distribution change, 7) emphasis change, 8) paraphrase, 9) trope change and other semantic changes.

Table 2: Samples of Semantic Strategies

Iwik 3

Iwik 4






















































Pragmatic Strategies

Unlike the previous strategies which manipulate meanings, these strategies manipulate message and tend to involve bigger from the ST, and typically involve syntactic and /or semantic changes as well. Chesterman (1997) categorizes pragmatic strategies into : 1) cultural filtering, 2) explicitness, 3) information change, 4) interpersonal change, 5) illocutionary change, 6) coherence change, 7) partial translation 8) visibility change, 9) transediting, and 10) other pragmatic changes.

Table 3. Samples of Pragmatic Strategies

Iwik 5



The translation of part 17 : Maghrib Terhebat, under the principles of equivalence is basically aimed at producing the English version of the text that is equivalent with the source text which is written in Indonesian. The problem of equivalence in translating this novel into English is quite significant not only because the author uses a lot of local dialects and Arabic Islamic terms in his novel, but the lexical and semantic field of the ST also has all kinds of non equivalence. Retaining it as much of the original flavor would be impossible without adequate insight about culture and ability to choose the most equivalent language items.

Although the strategies dealing with the problems of non equivalence is adopted for word level, the discussion of sentence level is unavoidable, since translators are not normally looking at every word in isolation and always expected to present the translation with a full linguistic account of meaning. Other strategies and differences between the ST and TT are preferably studied for further discussion.


Baker, M. 1992. In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation. Routledge: London.

Grundy, P .2000 Doing Pragmatics. Oxford University Press: New York

Halliday, Mathiessen, 1985. Systemic Functional Linguistics.Hodder Education Publisher, New York. Halliday, Mathiessen. Systemic Functional Linguistics.Hodder Education Publisher, New York.

Hariyanto, Sugeng.2007. Globalization and Web Site Translation. Paper presented at the national Seminar and Workshop on Translation in the Globalized World. Politeknik Negeri Malang, 8 December 2007)

Hariyanto, Sugeng.2013. Translation Theoretical Overview and Practical Pointers. Unpublished Handbook.

Fuady, Anwar. 2011. The Land of Five Towers. Translated by Angie Kilbane. Gramedia Pustaka Utama.Jakarta.

Fuady, Anwar. 2013. Ranau Satu Muara. Gramedia Pustaka Utama. Jakarta




Iwik 6Iwik 7Iwik 8Iwik 9Iwik 10

Risk-Taking as a Contributing Factor to Make Learning English a Success

(Kutipan referensi/citation: Jurnal Linguistik terapan Vol 3/1, Mei 2013)

Ermyna Seri

Politeknik Negeri Medan



The success of language learning can be affected by internal and external factors. One of the internal factors is risk-taking. This factor drives learners to be able to gamble a bit, to be willing to try out hunches about the language and take the risk of being wrong. This article elaborates the characteristics of risk-taking learners on learning English, the learners’ personal learning problems on learning English, and the methods of increasing risk-taking ability. The methods discussed here directly address the learners’ personal learning problems which include inhibition to speak, low self-esteem, lack of motivation, and low risk-taking ability. Considering the significant role of risk-taking to the success in learning English, language teachers should establish an encouraging class atmosphere or a nonthreatening classroom climate in their classes to reveal risk takers.

Keywords: success, English learning, risk-taking


English is one of the languages widely used in the world by the speakers whose first language is not English. Besides its function as a means of communication with other speakers, it is also used as a medium to get some information or read materials in English about issues, advancement of technology and knowledge, and understand about different nation or people’s culture.

In Indonesia English is often considered as a foreign language or second language. English is one of the subjects taught in school starting from primary to university level. English is the subject on the school curriculum, and it is compulsory for students to take and pass the examination in order to be graduated from school.

To pass from this period, students have to go through the process of learning. Learning process is the path to reach success in which the students have to go through several stages in order to understand something that he or she has not known yet before. Furthermore a student who can carry out the learning activity can be assumed that he understands about something he or she has learnt about something (Rooijakkers, 1991:14). One individual’s learning process is called internal process. This internal process can be seen from the student’s individual behavioral change or action that reflects the learning (Rooijakkers, 1991:5).

Some students learn English faster and more easily than the others in school and they tends to be more .successful than the others. Success is perceived from two perspectives, namely the internal and external factors, but in this article, the internal factor would be discussed. Therefore the title chosen is “Risk-Taking as Contributing Factor To Make Success Of Learning English”.


Learning according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary is knowledge obtained by study. Dimiyati and Mudjiono (2006) said that this knowledge obtained by study, or done through a learning activity in any places such as at school, or out of school. Learning can be seen from two perspectives. The first perspective is from teacher’s side and it is designed through learning instructions, while from the student’s side, it comes from the student’s desire to learn.

Dimiyati and Mudjiono define learning is an student’s act and student. As an act, learning is only experienced by the student himself/ herself, and determined by the student whether the learning process happens or not (Dimiyati and Mudjiono 2006:7). Furthermore they say that the learning process happens because the student gets something from his/ her learning environment, and this can be seen from the act of learning from outside (Dimiyati and Mudjiono 2006:7).

According to Djamarah (2008:15) learning is an activity that we do to gain knowledge).

Jakobovits (1970:44) learning a language means learning the whole new pattern of habits,….. A little learning like to play the piano or the violin, except that it is easier. Therefore, it is important to practice, to practice, and to practice. The practice should be intensive and enthusiastic in class and out silently to oneself while reading or to fellow students. Involve all your senses as you learn a language by using your ears, mouth, eyes, fingers and use your imagination.

According to Brown learning is a relatively permanent change in a behavioural tendency and is the result of reinforced practice. The components of the definition of learning are : learning is acquisition or getting, retention of information or skill, retention implies storage system, memory, cognitive organization, active, conscious, focus on and acting upon events outside or inside the organism, relatively permanent but subject to forgetting, involves some form of practice, perhaps reinforced practice, change in behavior (Brown, 1994:7).


Definition of Success

Success by the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary definition is the achievement of a desired aim (Hornby 1995 : 1193). Success in learning interpreted as a student’s desire to achieve something. Key to get a success in learning is to study harder and sacrifice for something to reach the goal (Djamarah 2008, 10-11).


Risk-Taking as a contributing factor to make a success of learning English

Many researches show, the key point to accomplish second language learning depend on the personality differences among learners. There are two contributing factors to make a success of learning the language such as internal and external. The internal factors consist of natural talent, age, exposure to native speakers, high motivation, risk-taking, strong self-confidence, high self-esteem. Brown uses the term as the affective domain (Brown 1994:134). Obviously students who have these factors are better than the students who do not.

Whereas the external factors are teachers, instructional materials, approach, method, teaching strategies (Shoebottom 1996-2012). According to Walqui, Internal factors deal with personality and motivation. They vary from one student to another. External factors refer to the institutional contexts in which language learning takes place; contextual factors in second language acquisition.

According to Brown, there are two aspects contributing to the success of language learning such as of the cognitive and affective domains. The first aspect of the affective domain is called intrinsic that deals with the personality factors within a person and the second aspect is that encompasses extrinsic factors such as socio-cultural variables that emerge as the second language learner brings not only the two languages into contact but also the two cultures, and in some sense, he/she must learn a second culture along with a second language (Brown 1994:134).

Affective domain according to Brown is the emotional side of human behavior, and it may be juxtaposed to the cognitive side (Brown 1994:135). Further Brown says the development of affective states of feelings involves a variety of personality factors, feelings both about ourselves and about others with whom we come into contact.

According to Djamarah, there are some factors contribute to the success of learning such as : (A) obeying learning guide : regularity, be discipline and have a good motivation, focus, good time management such as to rest and to sleep (Djamarah, 2008:15-27); (B) avoiding learning difficultness : determining the learning objective, recognizing the remembering system, recognizing the remembering system range, recognizing the learning type, recognizing the rate of difficulties of book read, avoiding laziness, fulfilling recent wish, note taking for the future wish, writing any unfinished assignments, not to push yourself to study if you are not ready, staying healthy, taking a rest whenever necessary, emptying any unnecessary memory, mastering the language (Djamarah, 2008:28-42); (C) having intellectual mentality : be honest in any way, smart in thinking and action, reliable, self confidence, optimistic, not to hesitate in taking action, be brave to face the challenge, patience and never give up, take a change in any opportunity, willing to do something in any circumstances, learning effectively, learning while praying, never get satisfied easily on success achieved; (D) mastering the learning method well (Djamarah, 2008: 43-58).

Jakobovits a psycholinguist cited that the Modern Language Association of America sponsored a conference in 1964 which resulted in a statement entitled “Advice to Language Learners” in which consists of ten statements. Then these statements were revised by teachers and linguist. The ten claims about the psychology of foreign learning have been extracted from the 1966 revised statements (Jakobovits 1970:43).

The extracts of statements related to the language learning are : (1)learning a FL facilitates subsequent learning of another FL; (2)any intelligent student can learn a FL provided there are present ‘hard work’, a good teacher, and a good textbook; (3)a helpful strategy in learning FL is to avoid making direct comparisons between it and English; (4)learning a language means a whole new pattern of habits… a little like learning to play the piano or the violin. Therefore, it is important to practice, to practice, and to practice. Practice should be intensive and enthusiastic in class and out, silently and loudly, to oneself while reading, and to fellow students; (5)there are three techniques in language learning : imitation, analogy, and analysis. Imitation consists of repeating what you hear as closely as you can by listening carefully to your teacher and the other models. Learning how to create by analogy is the purpose of pattern drills and other exercises. (6) As one grows older, he/she begins to lose capacity for easy imitation but he/she gains the advantage of being able to reason: to analyze language, information of this sort given in grammatical explanations or rules can help you to learn the language faster; (7)memorizing sessions should be broken up into several intense short periods; (8)reading and writing are learned more easily if one first learns to speak the language; (8)practicing to speak should be done right from the start; (9)when reading a FL, one should at first read only what has been previously practiced, and do so out loud; (10)English translation of words or phrases should never be written on the page in the reading book (Jakoboits, 1970:43-45)

Theoretical Approach

There are two theoretical approaches in relation with the success of learning the language as proposed by Brown and Jakobovits discussed in this article. Brown outlines a risk-taking factor as part of aspect of the affective domain or called intrinsic and how this factor influences the success of the language learning. Whereas Jakobovits  a psycholinguist outlines learning theory from psycholinguistic perspective adopted in the discussion of the techniques in language learning this article are points (4) and (5) as mentioned above.

 Personality Factor

Personality is the characteristics and qualities of a person seen as a whole. An individual’s personality is the complex of mental characteristics that makes her/him unique from other people and the qualities make somebody different from other people and interesting.

Personality factors according to Brown is the intrinsic side of affectivity that affects in learning English are self-esteem; inhibition risk – taking; anxiety; empathy; extroversion; motivation (Brown 1994:136-156). But in this article, I will focus on the risk-taking as contributing factor to make a success of learning English.



In this article, I would focus on one particular psychological dimension such as risk-taking. To improve students’ learning process towards success, I outlined three components that involved in the discussion of this article such as the first part of this article presents the overview of characteristic risk-taking learners on learning English and its effects. The second part is personal learning problems on learning English, The third part is the Method of increasing risk-taking ability

 Overview of the Characteristic of Risk-taking Learners on Learning English and Its Effects

The literature review of risk-taking behavior appeared in the literature of psychology in 1960s (Kogan & Wallach, 1967), and 1970s ;(Bem, 1971) and it appeared in literature of linguistics and English as a Second Language (ESL) in 1960s, (Labov, 1969), 1980s, (Beebe, 1983, Ely, 1986a). Kogan and Wallach correlated two personality dimensions, motivation and risk-taking behavior to this basis McClelland –Atkinson position, which is a theory of achievement motivation developed by McClelland, Atkinson, Clark and Lowell in 1953, (cited in Beebe, 1983).

Risk-taking is an important characteristic of successful learning of a second language. Learners have to be able to gamble a bit, to be willing to try out hunches about the language and take the risk of being wrong (Brown 1994:140). Related to the characteristics of a “good” language learner, risk-taking is also recognized as important factor in successful language learning. Risk-taking is not only one of the dimensions of individual differences (IDs), but also, it is one of the important parts in second language learning process; moreover, it is a language learning strategy for good language learners who are willing to take risks (cited in Gass & Selinker, 2000).

A risk-taking student is typically student who actively participate in discussion in the class room and answer the questions without being waited to be called by the teacher. This type of student is usually not afraid of speaking in front of his/her classmates and not afraid of making mistakes, and they are willing to take part in class discussions without any fear and they also get involved in language learning activities very quickly and easily. This involvement helps them to learn more and better and more successful. Besides, risk-taking students usually speak more, and talk much in the classroom and therefore they are better than shy students. Furthermore, risk-taking typical students are willing to make a try to produce words or sentences or guess and not be discouraged by making mistakes and   being appeared foolish in order to progress. By this way these students will improve their learning from the mistake they made. So the key to the success in second language learning is the students should be willing to make a try or guess and not be discouraged by making mistakes and being appeared foolish.


Personal Learning Problems on Learning English

I taught my students in Banking and Finance study program at Politeknik Negeri Medan in the semester 6. On the first day of the week in the beginning of the semester my students and I just met in the classroom. At the first meeting I introduced about the syllabus ,methods, communicative activities and other rules and regulations in class room and then started my lesson with the topic of ‘Introduction’ . In this topic, the students talked about making a self-introduction. Before it got started, I introduced my self then I called their name one by one to know them better then I introduced the syllabus and topics to be discussed within the semester. After a few weeks, I got to know the students better by their names and started to observe their characters.

In general I found the students have diversities in characters among other students in many individual characteristics. Mostly the students, were very quiet, shy, inhibited, low learning ability and were passive learners and listeners. The students only listened to the lecturer and were not even brave enough to give opinion or to put comments or to raise questions. They waited for the Lecturer to call their name in order to speak. I tried to find out why they behaved in this way. Through my observation in class, later I identified some problems faced by the students such as : (1) the students were inhibited; (2) the students had low self-esteem; (3) the students were lack of motivation; (4) had low risk-taking ability in a spoken language.


Method of increasing risk-taking ability

After I identified the students’ learning problems. I tried to solve their problems. The following learning problems are presented and methods used :

(1)   the students were inhibited to speak

Inhibition by the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary definition is a feeling that makes one nervous and embarrassed, and unable to relax or behave in a natural way (Hornby 1995:613).

Brown said Anyone who has learned a foreign language is acutely aware that second language learning actually necessitates the making of mistakes; If we never ventured to speak a sentence until we were absolutely certain of its total correctness, we would likely never communicate productively at all (Brown 1994:139).

I found from several students why the students were inhibited to speak because they were afraid of making mistakes. The classmates often laughed at the student who made mistake in pronouncing the words, and this has made the students were lack of confidence. So the mistake was often viewed as threats. This student was descended from Batakist ethnic group who came from the village where they always use Batakist language ethnic group every day. This student usually has very accent of first language. This strong accent had influenced him from pronouncing the word in English. For example : What are the requirements to open a new bank account ? The word open phonetically must be pronounced as [əupən] but it was pronounced [əupæn]. Batakist has strong phonetically sound of [æ] instead of [ə]. This strong accent of his/her first language had influenced his/her speech production of how the word is supposedly pronounced. As the result, the pronunciation sounded awkward and funny to the other students’ ears. This condition made the students laughed at their classmate. Therefore, the student were inhibited to speak because they didn’t want to be looked stupid, or being embarrassed by their classmates when making mistakes.

In the condition of this problem, I told the students not to laugh because they might make the same mistake. I encouraged the students in their learning to be brave to speak out and neglects what ever circumstances his/her classmates may behave. I drilled the students to practice the pronunciation and gave more examples of words which have similar sounds until they pronounced the word correctly. I told the students not to worry making mistakes, because learners learn from mistake. If the students never tried, they would never know they made mistakes and never know how to improve.

I also recommended the students to use English-English dictionary. The students can look up the word and learn how the word is read and pronounced with its phonetically transcriptions. Other than that, I instructed the students to participate in the discussion when they were given tasks to do in class.  I told the students that I would ask them after they had finished discussing. if the first student could not answer the questions, the other students will be given a turn to answer. I rewarded the students’ when they could answer the questions and did well and made improvement in their study. I assured this atmosphere in their class happened. With this learning condition I made, the students could be risk-takers in many situations, because the students now became relax and not nervous anymore when they talked and expressed their ideas. As the result the students were willing to take part in the class and did well on learning English unconsciously.

(2)   the students had low self-esteem

Self-esteem is according to Coopersmith cited by Brown , it expresses an attitude of approval or disapproval, and indicates the extent to which an individual believes himself to be capable, significant, successful and worthy. In short, self-esteem is a personal judgment of worthiness that is expressed in the attitudes that the individual holds towards himself (Brown 1994:137).

In general, I found the students had low self-esteem and were lack of self-confidence . Mostly these students who were weak in structure or grammar and had limited vocabulary. For example the students did not know how the sentence(s) constructed correctly and this had made them were not able to produce sentences correctly, and also the students had limited vocabulary, and knowledge. All of these students’ weakness had made them lack of confidence.

In the condition of this problem, I was patience and reviewed the structure and grammatical explanations or rules in which area the students were not capable to do the communicative activities. I wrote some points where the students made mistakes. I explained the structure and grammar after the students had finished practicing the conversation. This way aims to refresh students’ mind as they have actually learned it before at school. In doing this review, I demonstrated the use and the usage of the language expressions through its communicative functions and I gave them varieties of sentence pattern related to its communicative functions. I always encouraged the students to try out what they knew and took the risk of being wrong. By practicing the conversations with their pairs, the students may increase their self-confidence, because the students were given the opportunity to speak their learned language in English in real life situations. Because of these important reasons, as Woolfolk (2001) noted and advised that activities can be done in order to increase the confidence of silent students in the classroom; give plenty of practice in the class room.

In order to increase students’ self-esteem, I asked the students to practice by using the imitation technique. With this technique the students repeated what they heard and the models of sentence pattern learned. When the students were capable enough to do the activities then I asked them to continue the practice by making analogy. With this analogy technique, the students were asked to create sentences by using the learned pattern drills. At last I asked the students to practice activities with analyzing technique. With this technique, the students were asked to create sentences and use the language of giving reasons. With these given techniques, I helped the students to rebuild their self-confidence and gradually they gain knowledge and skills and developed self-confidence. Finally, the students were able to produce words and sentences correctly and learned the language faster.

(3)   the students were lack of motivation;

Motvation by the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary definition is to cause somebody to want to do something (Hornby 1995 : 758). According to Brown, motivation is commonly thought of as an inner drive, impulse, emotion, or desire that moves one to a particular action (Brown 1994:152). Robert Gardner and Wallace Lambert (1972) had made studies of foreign language learners in Canada, United States and Phillipines in an effort to determine how attitudinal and motivational factors affect language learning success. Motivation was examined as a factor of a number of different kinds of attitudes. They had put two clusters of attitudes divided two basic types of motivation: instrumental and Integrative motivation. Instrumental motivation refers to motivation to acquire a language as means for attaining instrumental goals such as furthering a career, reading technical material, translation, and so forth. An integrative motive is employed when learners wish to integrate themselves within the culture of the second language group, to identify themselves with and become a part of that society (cited by Brown, 1994:153-154).

I found the students were lack of motivation. This problem was caused of the students were in semester 6 and they were tired and bored a little bit after they passed five semesters studied and were busy writing reports after doing their on the job trainings and started again writing final assignments before they were graduated. Having this kind of condition, the students were lack of motivation in learning English.

In the condition of this problem, I stimulated their motivation again by telling them if they have capability in English, they would be able to work in International organizations. I also gave them a suggestion of learning strategies and tried to create a good encouraging class atmosphere in the class to reveal risk takers. I gave challenging communicative activities for speaking in the forms of role-plays or simulation. These communicative activities gave the unmotivated students to participate from passive into active learners. I encouraged students to take risk by asking the students to practice the conversation. Before I conducted the communicative activities, I gave them the example. This example of the conversation I put in one particular situation and context, so the students can use their learned knowledge in real life situations. I picked up one topic related to the banking and finance context. Then next I asked the students to choose one of the topics listed in their hand outs such as : Opening a new bank Account; Withdrawing Money; Making a Deposit; Enquiring about credit facilities, requirements and procedures; Applying for a credit card; Buying travelers’ cheques; Exchanging foreign currencies. These activities, especially to improve students’ oral skills, reduce anxiety level, and risk-taking ability improves. During the students practiced the dialogues with their partners, they were looked more relax and not worried or nervous, because they had more freedom to express out what they knew and thought. I walked around the class and took note for any area the students might make mistakes. After the practice, I wrote the mistakes on the whiteboard and asked if any student might know the answer. I encouraged the students to speak and say what they knew and thought about the answers. All the students’ answer were written on the whiteboard and to be checked together. If they got stuck with the choice of words or sentence patterns   and were not able to express out in a correct English grammar, then I helped. Finally, I wrote the correct answer on the whiteboard and the students copied. That was the way they increase again their motivation. If they got motivated, they would increase their risk-taking ability and became good risk-takers. Then I gave them language learning techniques, strategies, styles, and conducted the classroom as the student-centered and I told them being a risk taker in many situations would advantage the students in learning the language.

By doing this practice through the communicative activities, the students who never spoke in class or during conversational and oral practice before then became motivated. I also conducted quiz and told the students if they could answer they would be given an additional score of English Subject. More students participated to answer the questions. I think this competition also has an important role to play in the development of oral skills, motivation during the language learning process. Over all activities, I gave the students feedback and specific praise.

I also asked the students to do assignments for the project work by interviewing the tourists. The students worked in group of 4 people. They conducted an interview to the tourists and recorded the conversation. The students were motivated to speak with the native speakers than with their classmates. The reason is because they were more relax and not to be looked stupid when making mistakes.

However, some of the students still were not motivated, I tried to identify the students’ learning problem specifically concerning about their learning situation. After I found the problem, I used another method to help them and encouraged students to take risk (Oxford, 1992). I didn’t scold the students, and didn’t put them in embarrassment or punishment and I also told the students not to sneer their classmates.

(4)   had low risk-taking ability in a spoken language.

I found the students had a low risk-taking ability in a spoken language. This situation happened because they didn’t get enough practice and practice the language.

In the condition of this problem, I practically observed the students’ behavior among some students in the speaking class. There were a few students were silent and looked like stressful throughout the lesson. After the lesson, I asked the reason, why they did not participate the conversations, their explanation was that their friends might laugh at them and this situation could disturb their psychology and learning enthusiasm. This is a common student thought about them.

I also found some students were talkative and sociable ones in their peer group. They were quiet because they didn’t have ability to express out their ideas correctly and appropriately. Therefore they didn’t dare enough to take a high risk in speaking with their lecturer or teacher or because the students did not want to be looked foolish in the classroom. I made sure to call on everyone, and gave each student a chance to practice until the students mastered how  to use and know the usage of the language.

Beebe (1983) states that all of these three strategies are related to risk-taking, for example willing to guess is a part of risk-taking and willingness to appear foolish is willing to take risk. Therefore, I reinforced the students to be risk-taking, Furthermore, Beebe made another study about classroom participation and risk-taking ability, and tried to find the reason why L2 learners are shyer a second language around peers or classmates from their mother tongue group than around native speaker and teachers is that they perceive the risk of looking foolish as a greater in the presence of peers from their own country.



In the conclusion, risk-:taking has a significant role to the success in learning English. Risk-taking is a contributing factor hat associated with willing to make a try or experience, or to be wrong or to be embarrassed, or to gamble, and not to be shy, be active learners, learn from mistakes, not to be discouraged by making mistakes and being appeared foolish.

Language teachers should be aware of who their students are, what are the individual differences among their students. Language teachers should establish an encouraging class atmosphere or a nonthreatening classroom climate in their classes to reveal risk takers. Language teachers should reward and respect to boost the students learning style. Language teachers should encourage students to be risk-takers in many situations and classroom should be student-centered. Language teachers should be patient to review the structure and grammar such as the use and usage of the language. The language teachers should stimulate the students’ motivation by telling them if they have capability in English, they would be able to work in International organizations and give a suggestion of learning strategies and try to create a good encouraging class atmosphere in the class to reveal risk takers, and conduct communicative activities for speaking in the forms of role-plays or simulation. Language teachers should give each student a chance to practice until the students mastered how to use and the usage of the language.



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Effects of Attitude towards Language Learning and Risk-taking on EFL Student’s Proficiency

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Gass, S.M., & Selinker, L. (2000). Second language acquisition: An introductory course (2nd Ed.). Retrieved March 25, 2010.

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Risk-taking and Anxiety

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From Syllabus Design to Curriculum Development

marianaulfa hoesny(Kutipan referensi/citation: Jurnal Linguistik terapan Vol 3/1, Mei 2013)


Mariana Ulfah Hoesny
State Polytechnic of Malang




Syllabus and curriculum are known as two aspects of instructional activities. Syllabus is can be defined as an outline and summary of topics that has to be covered in an education or training course. The syllabus sets the onward responsibilities of teacher to the students. Teachers can develop syllabus based on the curriculum. Curriculum itself is a broad notion covering the whole body of knowledge the students shall acquire in the school and general description of the teaching program. In short, curriculum is the general statement about the teaching program and syllabus is the about what actually happens in the classroom. Further, this article also presents kinds, components and functions of syllabus and how curriculum is developed. It also discusses about some problems encountered in the implementation of syllabus and curriculum.


Keywords: syllabus, curriculum, instructional activities


Education is crucial in developing a nation’s personality. As stated in the theme of National Education Day on May 2nd 2010, that education is aimed at building good character to build a civilized nation. Education plays an important role to improve knowledge, skill and moral. Therefore, a good education system is needed not only to build a nation character but also to develop a country physically and mentally.

Education consists of many elements that are complimentary. It is a system that works with the support of the elements around it. Curriculum and syllabus are two elements that support an education to be a good system and later result a good output.

In Indonesia education system, English is one prerequisite subject that is taught from elementary school until university. English is considered important to be mastered since it is one of international languages. The globalization era demands people to have good ability in English so they can compete in the job world and in other fields like science and technology. To reach this goal a good planning -in this case syllabus and curriculum- in English language teaching is needed.

In language teaching and learning two terms are known, they are syllabus design and curriculum development. Syllabus is a specification of the content of a course of instruction and lists what will be taught and tested. While syllabus design refers to the process of developing a syllabus (Richards, 2001:2).

Curriculum development is a more comprehensive process than the syllabus design. It includes the processes that are used to determine the needs of a group of learners, to develop aims or objectives for a program to address those needs to determine an appropriate syllabus, course structure, teaching methods and materials and to carry out an evaluation of the language program that results from these processes (Richards, 2001: 2).

Thus, syllabus and curriculum are two different terms that closely related in teaching and learning process. Curriculum is a broader concept that includes all activities in which students do in school. It includes what students learn, how they learn it, how teacher help them learn, what supporting materials are needed, styles and methods used in teaching and learning process. Syllabus is smaller than curriculum since it only covers the content of a course and the lists of what materials are going to be taught and how it will be tested.

This paper is going to discuss about syllabus design and curriculum development. These two terms are considered to be important in teaching and learning process. Their roles deal with how a teaching and learning activity is planned and can run well.



The term “syllabus” is usually used more customarily in the United Kingdom to refer to what is called a “curriculum” in the United States (Brown, 2001:16). However, what is meant with syllabus here is different with what has been mention by Brown. There are three strong beliefs associated with a course syllabus. First, the syllabus is the key tangible evidence of planning from instructor to the world. Second, the planning manifested through the syllabus can reduce, before a class even meets, about half the work for teaching a course. And the last, the syllabus serves as a communication device and contract to shift the responsibility for learning to the students.

In accordance with the main purpose of syllabus that is to break down the mass of knowledge to be learnt into manageable units, the role of syllabus varies from different points of the teaching material which inspires the production of texts and exercise and the basis on which proficiency will be evaluated. It is the determiner of entire course (Hutchinson and Water in Lolita,2001:14).

Another source explains syllabus as the representative of both an end and a beginning, a final product of the course planning and a valuable way to introduce the course to the students. The syllabus is one of the few formal, tangible links between teachers and the students since it will be referred to throughout the semester (Jennifer Sinor and Matt Kaplan in

Rodgers (in Savitri 2009:31) states that syllabus prescribes the content to be covered by a given course. It forms only a small part of the total of school program. Nunan (in Savitri 2009:30) states that syllabus defines the goals and objectives, the linguistic and experiential content, instructional materials can put flesh on the bones of these specifications.

From the definition of syllabus stated above it can be concluded that syllabus is not the same with curriculum. It is smaller part of curriculum that contain the description of what is going to be taught, what goals and objectives are going to be reached, what exercises have to be given and what proficiency is going to be gained. Instructional material is the instrument to fulfill the goals of the syllabus.

The principal purpose of a syllabus is to inform students in a formal and timely way of the nature and content of the course, policies and procedures that will apply, and equipments involved in participating in classes. In addition to being informative, however, a syllabus is also a promise of teachers or lectures that is both explicit in what it states will be part of the course, and implicit in what it infers -by not including- will not be part of the course. The syllabus needs to be consistent with the latest approved curriculum action, and everything done or required in the class at any time throughout the term should be in agreement with what the syllabus states or does not state.

Syllabus has 17 possible functions that will be stated in the following:

  1. Describing course content scope
  2. Communicating course focus
  3. Suggesting prerequisites
  4. Detailing logistics
  5. Identifying course goals
  6. Sequencing/scheduling instruction
  7. Identifying performance objectives
  8. Constituting a contract
  9. Identifying reference material
  10. Providing modifications base
  11. Motivating students
  12. Permitting self monitoring
  13. Facilitating optional learning activities
  14. Establishing evaluation system
  15. Advertising/promoting/recruiting clientele
  16. Serving as an articulation tool
  17. Meeting accreditation requirements (Daniel E.Vogler in )

In theory, a language teaching syllabus can be designed in many different ways, depending on the designers’ view of language and view of language learning and teaching. In the past few decades, the grammatical syllabus, the lexical syllabus, the skills syllabus, the functional-notional syllabus, the content syllabus and the task based syllabus have been proposed and attracted more or less attention. Below is a brief description of some influential types of syllabuses.

  1. Grammatical syllabus: the underlying assumption behind grammatical syllabus is that language is a system which consists of a set of grammatical rules; learning language means learning these rules and then applying them to practical language use. The syllabus input is selected and graded according to grammatical notions of simplicity and complexity. These syllabuses introduce one item at a time and require mastery of that item before moving on to the next.
  2. Lexical syllabus: lexical syllabus identifies a target vocabulary to be taught normally arranged according to levels such as the first 500, 1000, 1500, 2000 words. Lexical syllabuses were among the first types of syllabuses to be developed in language teaching (Richards, 2001:154)
  3. Skills syllabus: skills syllabus is organized around different underlying abilities that are involved in using a language for purposes such as reading, writing, listening or speaking. Approaching a language through skills is based on the belief that learning a complex activity such as “listening to a lecture” involves mastery of a number of individual skills or micro skills that together make up the activity.
  4. Functional-notional syllabus: in functional-notional syllabus, the input is selected and graded according to the communicative functions (such as requesting, complaining, suggesting, and agreeing) that language learners need to perform at the end of the language program. The functional-notional syllabus reflects a broader view of language provided by philosophers of language and sociolinguistics.
  5. Content syllabus: in content syllabus, the content of language learning might be defined in terms of situations, topics, themes or other academic or school subjects. The stimulus for content syllabus is the notion that, unlike science, history or mathematics, language is not a subject of its own right, but merely a vehicle for communicating about something else. This syllabus is also called the topical syllabus.
  6. Task based syllabus: Task based syllabus are more concerned with the classroom processes which stimulate learning than with the language knowledge or skills that students are supposed to master. This syllabus consists of a list of specification of the tasks and activities that the learners will engage in class in the target language (Nunan in Savitri, 2009: 33).

On the other hand, Hutchinson and Waters (in Lolita 2001:15) describe types of syllabus based on criteria of content as illustrated below:

a. Topic syllabus

b. Structural Syllabus/ situational syllabus

c. Functional syllabus/ notional syllabus

d. Skill syllabus

e. Situational syllabus

f. Functional/ task-based syllabus

g. Discourse/ skill syllabus

The types of syllabus described by Hutchinson and Waters above are different in terms with those proposed by David Nunan. Both terms used by Nunan and Hutchinson and Waters have similar definition. All the terms used refer to the same types of syllabus as have been explained. It is possible to create a syllabus by combining two types of syllabus as described above. Actually most syllabuses in language teaching are combinations of two or more of the syllabus types explained in the previous part. However, one type of syllabus usually dominates, while other types of content may be combined with it. By combining two or more types of syllabus, teachers and lectures can perform instructional activities in a more integrated way.

Syllabus design is a process of developing a syllabus (Richards, 2001:2). Syllabus design involves two or more types of syllabuses since there is no single type of syllabus that can be suitable for all teaching settings. Therefore, creating the combination of syllabuses is recommended. In line with this Tarey Reilly proposes ten steps of practical syllabus design ( as follows:

1. Determine, to the extent possible, what outcomes are desired for the students in the instructional program. That is, as exactly and realistically as possible, defines what the students should be able to do as a result of the instruction.

2. Rank the syllabus types presented here as to their likelihood of leading to the outcomes desired. Several rankings may be necessary if outcomes are complex.

3. Evaluate available resources in expertise (for teaching, needs analysis, materials choice and production, etc.), in materials, and in training for teachers.

4. Rank the syllabi relative to available resources. That is, determine what syllabus types would be the easiest to implement given available resources.

5. Compare the lists made under No 2 and 4. Making as few adjustments to the earlier list as possible, produce a new ranking based on the resources’ constraints.

6. Repeat the process, taking into account the constraints contributed by teacher and student factors described earlier.

7. Determine a final ranking, taking into account all the information produced by the earlier steps.

8. Designate one or two syllabus types as dominant and one or two as secondary.

9. Review the question of combination or integration of syllabus types and determine how combinations will be achieved and in what proportion.

10. Translate decisions into actual teaching units.

To decide about syllabus design, it has to be taken into consideration of all the possible factors that may influence the implementation of a particular syllabus. By examining each type of syllabus, choosing and integrating types of syllabus, a solution to the problem of whether a syllabus is appropriate or not can be found.



Curriculum stems from the Latin word for race course, referring to the course of deeds and experiences through which children grow to become mature adults. However in teaching and learning process the definition of curriculum has extended. Curriculum is the set of courses, course work, and content offered at a school or university ( A curriculum may also refer to a defined and prescribed course of studies, which students must fulfill in order to pass a certain level of education (

According to Richards (2001:39) a curriculum in a school context refers to the whole body of knowledge that children acquire in schools. While Rodgers (in Richards 2001:39) said that curriculum is all those activities in which children engage under the auspices of the school. This includes not only what pupils learn, but how they learn it, how teachers help them learn, using what supporting materials, styles and methods of assessment, and in what kind of facilities.

Stern (1983:434) proposed the definition of curriculum as follows.

The term ‘curriculum’ is commonly used in two related senses. It refers, first to the substance of a program of studies of an educational institution or system. Thus, we can speak of the school curriculum, the university curriculum, the curriculum of French schools, or the curriculum of Soviet curriculum. In a more restricted sense, it refers to the course of study or content in a particular subject, such as the mathematics curriculum or the history curriculum. It is therefore, used as a synonym of what in British universities and schools is sometimes referred to as the ‘syllabus’ for a given subject or course of studies. In recent years, however, the term curriculum has come to refer not only to the subject matter or content, but to the entire instructional process including materials, equipments, examinations and the training of teachers, in short all pedagogical measures related to schooling or to the substance of a course of studies.

Nunan suggests (1988:3) that a curriculum is concerned with making general statements about language learning, learning purpose and experience, and the relationship between teachers and learners, whereas a syllabus is more localized and is based on the accounts and records of what actually happens at the classroom level as teachers and students apply a curriculum to their situation.

It is clear that curriculum and syllabus are two different terms but they are closely related since both of them are part of an education system. Curriculum covers a broader aspect of an education system, while syllabus functions to interpret what is intended by a curriculum and apply it in the classroom. Curriculum includes materials, teaching methods, styles and methods of assessment, facilities, learning purposes and experience and the relationship between teachers and students.

As an important part of an education system, curriculum needs to be developed in order to make it match the needs and challenges faced by students. Developing a curriculum involves some stages. It is not an easy task since it deals with a lot of elements and activities that have to be covered. Curriculum development here refers to the range of planning and implementation processes involved in developing or renewing a curriculum. These processes focus on needs analysis, situational analysis, planning learning outcomes, course organization, selecting and preparing teaching materials, providing for effective teaching, and evaluation (Richards, 2001:41).

Curriculum development is considered important and has been established since 1980s. It was aimed at reviewing and developing national language teaching curriculum based on a curriculum development perspective. For example, Lim (1988 in Richards 2001:41) states that curriculum development includes needs analysis, goal setting, syllabus design, material design, language program design, teacher preparation, implementation of program in schools, monitoring, feedback and evaluation.

Tyler (in Richards, 2001:39) stated four fundamental questions that must be answered in developing any curriculum and plan of instruction as follows.

  1. What educational purposes should the school seek to attain?
  2. What educational experiences can be provided that is likely to attain these purposes?
  3. How can these educational experiences be effectively organized?
  4. How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?

The four questions reduced to a simpler model described below.


model - mariana hoesny

Tyler model of curriculum development raised a number of objections. One of critics to Tyler model was proposed by Nicholls and Nicholls (in Richards 2001:39). Nicholls and Nicholls describe curriculum development in four stages as follows.

  1. The careful examination, drawing on all available sources of knowledge and informed judgments, of the objectives of teaching, whether in particular subject courses or over the curriculum as a whole.
  2. The development and trial use in schools of those methods and materials which are judged most likely to achieve the objectives which teachers agreed upon.
  3. The assessment of the extent to which the development work has in fact achieved its objectives. This part of the process may be expected to provoke new thought about the objectives themselves.
  4. The final element is therefore feedback of all the experience gained, to provide starting point for further study.

Actually, the two models proposed contain almost similar elements. Aims and objectives stated in Tyler model can be interpreted as the first stage in Nicholls and Nicholls. The careful examination in Nicholls and Nicholls stage is directed toward determining objectives as well. The assessment and feedback that are used in Nicholls and Nicholls model are resembled with evaluation proposed by Tyler. The different between these two models is the absence of organization in Nicholls and Nicholls model. To substitute the organization element, Nicholls and Nicholls proposed the development and trial of methods and materials used to achieve objectives.

  1. The Problems of English Curriculum and Syllabus Design in Electronic Engineering Study Program

The development of curriculum and syllabus is required since it is made to meet the demand of the needs and situation, the development of science and technology, the global trend and the requirements of stakeholders. State Polytechnic of Malang is a vocational education institution that also put English as one of courses that must be taken. State Polytechnic of Malang has seven departments that consist of Business Administration, Accounting, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electro Engineering and Chemical Engineering. Each department has study programs with Diploma III and Diploma IV degree.

Electronic Engineering is a study program in Electro department. In Electronic Engineering English is taught in four semesters and it has one credit. It is given in the second until fifth semester and it is taught once a week with 90 minutes per meeting. The curriculum implemented is 5+1 curriculum that means 5 semesters are held in classroom, workshop and laboratories, while 1 semester is spent for doing the final project and on the job training.

The curriculum demands that Electronic Engineering students must be able to communicate in English both oral and written. Another demand is students must pass Polytechnic English Competence Test that is held every year for third grade students. Polytechnic English Competence Test equals with TOEIC-Test of English for International Communication -, the term is used to substitute the TOEIC since it is a patent name and it cannot be misused. However, the demands of curriculum are not fulfilled by the English syllabus created by lectures. Lectures tend to create grammatical syllabus that contain grammar material only. They do not focus on how students can use the grammar rules for practical use and communication; instead they force students to do ‘on paper’ exercises.

The facts stated above make it difficult for students to reach the goals as required by the curriculum. These later cause students to be fail in doing job interview or after they work in the companies. Most stakeholders, in this case the companies that accept the alumni of Electronic Engineering study programs, complain that they do not have good speaking and writing ability. The low ability is caused by the fact that the syllabus design does not support the teaching of the two abilities needed.

The 5+1 curriculum also influence the teaching of English in Electronic Engineering study program. Since the curriculum is implemented, the duration of English is reduced. Before the implementation of 5+1 curriculum, English is taught in five semesters. After the 5+1 curriculum is implemented English is only taught for four semesters. This certainly brings a lot of disadvantages mainly for students. Usually, English V-in this case English that is given in fifth semester- contains about how to perform job interview and how to write good application letters. The deletion of English V causes students to lose time to practice their English to prepare job interview and to enter the job world.

Actually, the problems stated above can be solved by revising the syllabus design used in the teaching of English. Instead of using grammatical syllabus, the combination of skill, Functional-notional, and task-based syllabus can be used. The three syllabuses focus more on the communication purposes needed by the students of Electronic Engineering. However, it is difficult to be performed due to a lot of factors, for example the lectures skills, another demand that has to be fulfilled by students that is to pass the Polytechnic English Competence Test and the old paradigm about studying English which tend to be meant with learning the grammar rules.



Syllabus and curriculum are two different terms that are complementary to each other. They are part of an education system which have to developed and revised to meet the demand of situation, need and the global trend. Syllabus design usually does not only focus on one type, since they can be combined in accordance with the need of language teaching and learning. In line with this, curriculum also needs to be developed. The development here doesn’t mean that it has to be changed every five year or so, but it has to be revised and renewed to make it suitable with the students’ needs and future challenges.


Brown, Douglas. 2001. Teaching by Principles. San Fransisco State University: Addison Wesley Longman Inc
Jack C, Richards. 2001. Curriculum Development in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Lolita, Yuri.2007.The Computer-Based Teaching in Elementary Schools. State University of Surabaya: Comprehensive Paper
Nunan, D. 1988. Syllabus Design. Oxford:Oxford University Press
Savitri, Wiwiet Eva. 2009. Improving ESP Material in Mechanical Engineering Department of the State University of Surabaya. State University of Surabaya: Comprehensive Paper
Stern, H. 1983. Fundamental Concepts of Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press curriculum accessed April 23rd 2010 your syllabus accessed April 23rd 2010 a syllabus accessed April 23rd 2010 to Foreign Language Syllabus Design accessed May 3rd 2010 accessed April 23rd 2010

Online Resources and Learner’s Autonomy

oktaviaKutipan refernsi: Jurnal Linguistik terapan Vol 3/1, Mei 2013)

by Oktavia Widiastuti

UIN Maulana Malik Ibrahim, Malang



There is a perceived relationship between technology and learner autonomy in the language teaching community. Students become increasingly empowered when using technology as they develop self-discipline and confidence through increased responsibility for their own learning processes. For language learning, computers offer rich volumes of text, pictures, sound, and video, they are also interactive, available at any time and place for individual or collective learners. It also facilitates learner autonomy, which is understood as the learner’s learning capacity displayed both in the way the learner learns and in the way he or she transfers what has been learned to wider contexts. It involves the learner, teacher, materials, learning context, and what students want in an online environment.

Online learning offers many opportunities for students. Some research results showed that the students responded positively to this means of communication. The students’ way of learning interaction is enriched through the computerized media. Furthermore, it can enhance their learning as it strengthens their understanding toward the language they learn and their self study, meaning that it makes this type of language learners more motivated than the non-autonomous ones. At present, however, there is a great need for research that focuses on the relationship between particular forms of practice and the development of autonomy.


Keywords: learner autonomy, online resources, learning process, self-study


There is a perceived relationship between technology and learner autonomy in the language teaching community. Learner empowerment is a prominent feature of integrating the technology of online resources in a foreign language curriculum. Students are seen as becoming increasingly empowered when using such technology because they develop self-discipline and confidence through increased responsibility for their own learning processes (Warschauer, Turbee, and Roberts, 1994). Benson and Voller (1997) discussed these issues stating that “Computer software for language learning is an example of a technology which claims to promote autonomy simply by offering the possibility of self-study. Such claims are often dubious because of the limited range of options and roles offered to the learner”. Benson and Voller go on to argue that all educational technologies including the textbook and the computer can be perceived to be more or less supportive of autonomy.

Computers have often been viewed as the perfect independent learning tool rather than simply a part of the autonomy/independence bigger picture. Why is that, and can technology really offer learners something unobtainable by other means? It could be argued that online resources are the ultimate engine for language learning. They offer volumes of text, pictures, sound, and video. They are also interactive and increasingly offer ready made self-access materials available at any time and place for individual or collective learners.

Defining Learner Autonomy

Autonomy has been described as “a capacity – for detachment, critical reflection, decision-making, and independent action. The capacity for autonomy will be displayed both in the way the learner learns and in the way he or she transfers what has been learned to wider contexts” (Little, 1991, p. 4). When the instructor’s role is examined within a certain educational setting, it would indicate whether a particular teacher tends to control the behavior of students or support their autonomy (Deci et al., 1981). Some other terms such as ‘self-access,’ ‘independent learning,’ ‘open,’ ‘distance,’ and ‘flexible’ learning have often been used to describe similar activities in which the teacher has more or less input in what goes on in the classroom. (The bottom line in all these uses is that teachers are encouraged to turn some power over to the learners and simultaneously take such roles as bystander, facilitator, guide, or helper.) One should be cautious, however, not to assume that all individuals are equally receptive to the notions of autonomous/independent learning.

The Learner Autonomy Picture

There are four players in the learner autonomy picture: the learner, the teacher, the materials, and learning the context. Here is a look at each one of them in detail.

1. The Learner

Obviously, autonomous learners are perceived to possess unique characteristics that make them independent, self-efficient, and willing to take the risk and responsibility of relying more on themselves than on others. Dickinson (1993) identifies five characteristics of independent learners:

1. they understand what is being taught, i.e. they have sufficient understanding of language learning to understand the purpose of pedagogical choices;
2. they are able to formulate their own learning objectives;
3. they are able to select and make use of appropriate learning strategies;
4. they are able to monitor their use of these strategies;
5. they are able to self-assess, or monitor their own learning (Dickinson, 1993, pp. 330-31).

2. The Teacher

A variety of new roles have been proposed for teachers to play in autonomous or independent learning. These roles include bystander, facilitator, guide, helper, counselor, and mentor. For example, an activity in which the instructor’s role is to monitor the students’ activities in pairs or small groups discreetly could be introduced to encourage learner autonomy. In such case, intervention is unnecessary unless learners need assistance. However, some teachers find these changes to be challenging and do not necessarily accept these new ideas easily. This is also a mistake that is commonly made in materials design for independent learning.

3. The Materials

Designing suitable materials for the autonomous learner can be a challenge. Motteram (1997) wrote about the many years teachers spend developing materials for their classrooms and adapting their teaching styles to that environment. He wrote that when teachers switch to an independent learning environment, they might expect the immediate transferability of the previous skills to the new learner-centered environment. This never happens because the nature of independent learning materials is different. Consequently, teachers may feel threatened that they have lost the value of their hard earned skills. Motteram added that many learners will feel cheated if they find that the material they are presented with in a so-called independent learning environment is the same as that presented in a regular class.

4. Learning the Context

Individuals are unique and their uniqueness should be emphasized because of their sociocultural background and the significance of allowing social reality to be a part of classroom teaching and learning. Social reality is not stable and because learners influence it, teachers cannot teach everything about a language. Learners influence the social context and the language in turn, or at least its use. For this reason, learners become more important members of a classroom. Therefore, classroom learning should take learners’ backgrounds into account in order to provide a meaningful and stimulating learning environment. This view of social reality is consistent with the constructivist movement in cognitive psychology, which shows that individuals gradually build their own understanding of the world through experience and maturation (Bruner, 1986).

Benson (1997, p.1-2) notes that the term learner autonomy can have at least five different connotations:

a. for situations in which learners study entirely on their own

b. for a set of skills which can be learned and applied in self-directed learning

c. for an inborn capacity which is suppressed by institutional education

d. for the exercise of learners’ responsibility for their own learning

e. for the right of learners to determine the direction of their own learning (Benson, 1997, pp. 1-2).

We often hear the term self-direction in connection with learner autonomy. This term refers to the type of learning that occurs when the learner makes a decision regarding the setting and content of the learned subject matter. While this could happen unconsciously, other learners consider self-directed learning as a conscious form of learning, thereby equating it with autonomous learning (Hammond & Collins, 1991). In sum, autonomy is a social construct that includes the ability to function effectively as a cooperative member in a group. Learning takes place in a social context and it is this context that learners have to be aware of and assume a role in.

5. What students want in an online environment?

The idea of a learner-centered environment is still unfamiliar to many students who grew up in a teacher-centered classroom. Asking those students to suddenly shift to a new setting that is totally or partially electronic might lead to a shock and great resistance. In order to ensure a smooth transition to a new reality, students should be asked what they want in the new environment. If adapting to a technologically enhanced classroom is inevitable in this era, researchers, curriculum designers, administrators, and teachers should obtain the students’ feedback on what features of online resources appeal to them and are most helpful in their education. In addition, we know very little about how students actually use online resources. Students may not use the resources in the ways that the teachers had envisioned.

The Advantages of Using Online Resources as an Educational Tool in Language Programs

Much of the published research on this topic shows that the advantages of using online resources as an educational tool far outweigh the disadvantages. Several researchers have mentioned many advantages. For example, according to Berge and Collins (1995), many opportunities are offered through online learning for such endeavors as course management, information retrieval, peer review, project-based instruction, personal networking, mentoring/tutoring, interactive chat, professional growth, and experience in using modern technology. Berge and Collins added that by writing online for an authentic purpose, students are motivated to communicate with a broader audience than what they are used to- the classroom. In addition, the digital revolution of the late 20th and early 21st has shifted the focus in the classroom from the teacher to the learner. In the new environment students are helped through online learning to find the necessary resources to carry on their learning outside the classroom and thus become lifelong learners.

Interaction was also discussed by many researchers. For example, Vilmi (1995) said that cultural awareness among students in different parts of the world is enhanced by the opportunities for interaction offered by online resources. Moreover, in searching for and retrieving information online, students have greater interaction with the course materials, providing them with a sense of ownership (Shetzer, 1995), as well as enjoyment of the course content (Opp-Beckman, 1995). In discussing the interaction of text and context, Kramsch and Andersen (1999, p. 31) said that using multimedia technology in teaching languages presents a double challenge for learners to observe and select “culturally relevant features of the context” and put linguistic features in context to understand language in use. The kinds of reflectiveness and interactivity that are mediated through asynchronous conferencing have also been researched. Lamy and Goodfellow (1999) concluded in their study of French learners that such an environment has “created the possibility for learners to interact with each other and with teachers and native speakers–thus providing opportunities for practice and intrinsic feedback” (p. 43). Lamy and Goodfellow go on to argue that conscious reflection is still necessary even in such an interactive learning environment and that it should be combined with spontaneous interaction. In another study about computer mediated communication, Blake (2000), in a study on L2 Spanish interlanguage, found that “CMC can provide many of the alleged benefits ascribed to the Interaction Hypothesis” (p. 120), which states that the conditions for SLA are crucially enhanced by having L2 learners negotiate meaning (i.e., resolve their miscommunications) with other speakers, native or otherwise Long & Robinson, 1998), but with more possibilities for access out of the classroom. Blake added that “incidental negotiations commonly occurred in networked learner/learner discussions as well, especially with respect to their lexical confusions” (p.120). Blake’s study showed “the value of synchronous chat records as a window for investigating interlanguage” (p.120).

Computer-assisted classroom discussion using networked computers was the topic of Healy Beauvois’ (1992) dissertation. In her study, she explored the “interaction intermediate French students using a Local Area Network (LAN) for synchronous classroom discussion in French” (p. v). The findings suggested that student contributions in French fit “sound language learning pedagogy” where code switching and teacher intervention instances were low, whereas discourse was high in both quantity and quality, and students responded positively to this means of communication. Moreover, the effects of the communication context of synchronous interaction tools, such as Web chat between English non-native and English native speakers, on the process of acquiring a second language was studied by Negretti (1999). The main purpose of the author was to discover “patterns and conversational strategies used by participants in this on-line context” as well as “the machinery and the structure of social action in language”. The study also analyzed whether Web chat implied a “reduction of the range in interactional practices, actions performance, sense making, and meaning negotiation, thus affecting the SLA process”. The analysis focused on “the overall structure of interaction and sequence organization in connection with the on-line communication setting features”. It then passed to “turn-taking organization, with attention to recurrent structures and patterns as in openings and closings; turn design (or packaging of actions); expression of paralinguistic features in this on-line context; and some (interlanguage) pragmatic variables”.

Computer-mediated communication was also studied by Sengupta (2001) who stated that it can be “a powerful tool towards literacy development as its text-based nature supports sustained reflection on classroom exchanges”. Sengupta described how students completing a BA in Contemporary English Language used “the available technology to interact with peers and their comment on how this mode of delivery extended their traditional notions of learning”. Sengupta’s data showed that the students were personally accountable due to their elevated exposure online- an issue viewed as an exceptional but intimidating part of this approach. This study evaluated how powerful online exposure can be in showcasing the students’ experiences and comments. Collaborative Internet projects were studied by the EFL study of Braunstein et al. (2000). It was found that those projects provided “students with opportunities for completing authentic reading and writing tasks, for learning about other cultures, and for developing useful technical skills”. In a paper examining “the two tenets of communicative language teaching– authenticity of the input and authorship of the language user–in an electronic environment”, Kramsch et al. (2000) concluded, in their study of Spanish and English, that “a communicative approach based on the use of authentic texts and on the desire to make the learners author their own words has been changed by the physical properties of the electronic medium and the students’ engagement with it”.

Learner empowerment is another feature of integrating online resources in a foreign language curriculum. Students become empowered as they develop self discipline and confidence by being more responsible for their own learning processes (Warschauer, Turbee, and Roberts, 1994). In addition, students are judged by their production, not what their appearance or how they sound, thus making them more confident when communicating in the target language. Online learning can provide students with new, exciting, and challenging resources (Barron and Ivers, 1998). It creates opportunities for multicultural education, establishes authentic learning experiences, supports higher-order thinking skills, improves writing skills, and boosts motivation, achievement, and positive behavior. Reading and writing skills are promoted through electronic discussion lists, email key pals, and projects online by providing an authentic audience for students’ writing (Gaer, 1999). In addition to having the flexibility to be used with students at any grade level and any proficiency level, these projects also help students develop computer literacy and online skills as they use the computer for authentic purposes. Online resources also provide an excellent language learning environment especially for the autonomous learner. This environment was described in Egbert, Chao, and Hanson-Smith (1999) and it listed eight conditions including opportunities interaction with an authentic audience to perform authentic tasks, encouraging learners to be creative, providing enough time and feedback for learners, guiding learners to be fully attentive during the learning process, having an ideal level of stress and anxiety, and supporting learner autonomy.

The Disadvantages of Online Resources as an Educational Tool in Language Programs

As with any teaching tool, along with the benefits come some drawbacks as well. A challenge facing teachers is the time requirements in learning new ways to give feedback online, teaching software programs to students (Opp-Beckman, 1995), and facilitating and participating in online projects which are just getting started (Vilmi, 1995). Shetzer (1995) also warned that the interaction between the student and text (or computer) might overwhelm that among students themselves. Learning and teaching online require great tolerance of ambiguity and even of chaos (Warschauer, Turbee and Roberts, 1994). In addition, students with low proficiency in keyboarding, reading and writing might find it difficult to remain motivated, perceiving the virtual classroom as a hindrance to learning more than a benefit (Hiltz, 1990). Learning online was not designed to be, and is not, a complete language learning tool; it is merely one of many ways that we can learn and practice a foreign language. In particular, the material available on the Internet, with the exception of material produced for language learners, is not graded. Beginning students can easily be overwhelmed with the rich vocabulary and colloquial expressions that they find there. It is therefore an important task for instructors to guide students to material that not only is of interest to them, but also manageable at their current level of language proficiency. Using online resources is not one thing with narrow, uniform, and readily predictable outcomes. In practice, it is many things with many possible outcomes for different students. Furthermore, even a single category of using online resources, such as using them as an information archive, can produce tremendous variation in likely consequences. Schofield and Davidson (2002) looked at six kinds of outcomes of use of online resources that students experienced:

enhanced enjoyment and motivation, a better understanding of both computing and the Internet, a greater ability to produce work of quality, more access to career information and opportunities, exposure to a broader range of perspectives and experiences, and improved reading skills in both English and foreign languages (Schofield and Davidson 2002, p. 209).

As a result of the widespread effects of technology throughout the world, college-level educators are being challenged to rethink and revise their approaches and goals in teaching in order to effectively prepare students for what will be expected of them in the real world. Black et al. (1995) summarized the importance of using computers as educational tools because students like working on them and are motivated by the use of real data and the fact that this is a skill they will need in the future. Because the way in which we retrieve and interpret information is changing and evolving, so must the education which prepares students to successfully accomplish these tasks.

The Educational Applications of Online Resources in Language Programs: communication and Research

According to Barron and Ivers (1998), the educational applications of online resources can be divided into two very broad areas: communication and research. The communication category includes asynchronous communications such as e-mail and electronic publishing, and synchronous communications such as chat rooms, audio conferencing, and video conferencing.

The research category includes basic, advanced, and original research. Basic research involves finding, comparing, and reporting facts from one or more preselected sources. Advanced research includes a wider variety of sources such as several online sites in addition to print or CD-ROM sources. Another difference is that the sources are not preselected. Original research can be done using surveys and collaborative experiments.

After the information is compiled, it can be graphed, analyzed, and reported. Online resources can connect the teaching and learning of languages as described in Shetzer and Warschauer (2001) who state that learners should be taught the type of language that they would eventually use and that the learner’s motivation increases if there is informational content being taught. They added that in order for teaching to be effective, prior knowledge, existing knowledge, the total academic environment, and learners’ linguistic proficiencies should be taken into consideration and that that contextualized language use should be the focus of language teaching. Finally, they wrote that what benefits learners most is a focus on significant and relevant content.

Language students’ attitudes toward and perceptions of online resources

As to the attitudes of L2 learners toward the use of technology, Yang (2001), in a study about EFL students, reported that the experience was generally positive for learners. On the other hand, negative attitudes had to do with technical difficulties and information overload. Yang also reported that using online resources often stimulated incidental learning and that seeking information online triggered both anxiety and excitement in learners at the same time. In concluding the study, Yang stated that computer networks could empower students especially in well-designed language learning environments and that providing scaffolding to guide learners in using online applications and orient them to the task is essential for the success in implementing and integrating technology into the curriculum. Researchers also studied student perceptions. In an important article, Stepp-Greany (2002) presented survey data from beginning Spanish classes using a combination of technologies: Internet activities, CD-ROM, electronic pen pals, and threaded discussions. Goals of the study were to determine students’ perceptions of (a) the role and importance of the instructor in technology-enhanced language learning (TELL), (b) the accessibility and relevance of the lab and the individual technological components in student learning, and (c) the effects of the technology on the foreign language learning experiences. Students attributed an important role to instructors and perceived that cultural knowledge, listening and reading skills, and independent learning skills were enhanced but were divided in their perceptions about the learning or interest values of the individual components.

In addition, Kung and Chuo (2002) investigated the potential role of ESL/EFL Web sites as a means to supplement in-class instruction. They evaluated a program in which forty-nine students enrolled in a high-beginner EFL class were introduced to five Web sites and instructed to use them for a homework assignment and for selfstudy. The data revealed that despite some difficulties encountered, students had an overall positive attitude to using the teacher-selected Web sites in their learning of English. The students found that learning English through ESL/EFL Web sites was interesting and that the teaching strategies used by the teachers were effective and necessary.

The relationship between using online resources and enhancing the learning of language skills

Many researchers have studied the relationship between using online resources and enhancing the learning of language skills. This line of research has established a high correlation between using this technology in the language classroom and high achievement in language proficiency. In the reading comprehension area, for example, Lomicka (1998) wrote about “how computerized reading with full glossing may promote a deeper level of text comprehension” (p. 41) for students of French. Moreover, reading comprehension practice and production practice in Japanese were studied by Nagata (1998) who investigated input versus output practice in educational software for second language acquisition. In addition, De Ridder (2002) found that when reading a text with highlighted hyperlinks, her subjects, native Dutch speakers learning French, were significantly more willing to consult the gloss. However, this increased clicking does not slow down the reading process, does not affect text comprehension, and does not increase the vocabulary learned incidentally. The reading task does not seem to alter the clicking behaviour of the students but seems to influence the reader’s vocabulary learning: A content-oriented reading task decreases the reader’s attention for vocabulary (De Ridder, 2002, p. 123).

With regard to grammar, Collentine (2000), studying foreign-language learners of Spanish, demonstrated “how computer-assisted language learning (CALL) software containing user-behavior tracking technologies can provide important insights into the construction of grammatical knowledge” (p. 44). This satisfies the constructivist premises that are increasingly compelling teachers to employ exploratory and inductive tasks, stipulating that students should be “agents” who manufacture rather than receive knowledge. Sotillo (2000) investigated “discourse functions and syntactic complexity in ESL learner output obtained via two different modes of computer mediated communication: asynchronous and synchronous discussions” (p. 82). The results showed that asynchronous and synchronous CMC have different discourse features which may be exploited for different pedagogical purposes. In the hands of experienced teachers, both modes of CMC can be used as novel tools to enhance the language acquisition process by encouraging interaction among participants, collaborative text construction, and the formation of electronic communities of learners (Sotillo, 2000, p. 82).

Hoven (1999) proposed an “instructional design model appropriate for humanistic multimedia Computer-Enhanced Language Learning (CELL) in a self-access environment for second language learning through listening and viewing comprehension” (p. 88). Hoven’s model was “grounded in sociocultural theory, and set against a background of research into the complexities of listening and viewing, individual learner differences and learning styles, characteristics of self-directed and autonomous learning, and user-friendly instructional software design” (ibid.). Several researchers also highlighted the use of e-mail to promote foreign language learning in general and the writing skill in particular. When compared with oral production, L2 use generated through the electronic medium has several features according to González-Bueno (1998), who studied Spanish students. Those features are: “(a) greater amount of language; (b) more variety of topics and language functions; (c) higher level of language accuracy; (d) more student-initiated interactions; and (e) more personal and expressive language use” (p. 55). However, Biesenbach-Lucas and Weasenforth (2001) questioned the potential of electronic mail writing in improving academic writing abilities for ESL students because email engenders features of both the written and spoken forms of the language. In a comparative study, there were no obvious differences found between students’ electronic mail and word-processed writing. However, the electronic mail texts were significantly shorter than the word-processed texts, and text-initial contextualization was more prominent in the word-processed than in the electronic mail texts. (Biesenbach-Lucas & Weasenforth, 2001). Other researchers were interested in investigating how the online resources would help in teaching culture. Osuna and Meskill (1998), for instance, concluded that the online environment was a suitable tool to increase language and cultural knowledge of Spanish, as well as a means to increase motivation. Furstenberg et al. (2001) presented a “Web-based, cross-cultural, curricular initiative entitled Cultura designed to develop foreign language students’ understanding of foreign cultural attitudes, concepts, beliefs, and ways of interacting and looking at the world” (p. 55). The participants were French and American students, and the focus was on the “pedagogy of electronic media, with particular emphasis on the ways in which the Web can be used to reveal those invisible aspects of a foreign culture, thereby giving a voice to the elusive silent language and empowering students to construct their own approach to cross-cultural literacy” (ibid.). In another culture-related study, Müller-Hartmann (2000) compared three email projects between EFL high school classes in Germany, and English and Social Studies classes in the United States and Canada. The researcher concluded that:

A comparison between intercultural learning in the actual reading process and the negotiation of meaning in the network phases shows a close resemblance in the structure and use of tasks. Task properties, such as activity, setting, and teacher and learner roles, as well as the personal level (i.e., non-thematic exchange of information) in the asynchronous e-mail exchange, proved to be especially influential for intercultural learning in the design and management of task structure (Müller-Hartmann, 2000, p. 129).

In testing, Roever (2001) argued that “Web-based language tests were most appropriate in low-stakes testing situations; but with proper supervision, they can also be used in medium-stakes situations although they are not generally recommended for high-stakes situations” (p. 84). Perez Fernandez (2000) examined how the use of the World Wide Web (WWW) as a tool may change the contents as well as the teaching procedures and the material covered. In class he used the WWW as a source of authentic material for the study of English in the field of psychology. His students had “access to current online material, and they can work with such diverse web sites as departments of psychology web sites, on-line atlases of the brain, resource web sites, career orientation and professional information web sites, etc.” (p. 257). He reported that the students became proficient in English and acquainted with vocabulary related to their main discipline, i.e. psychology. Perez Fernandez reported that the result was more dynamic approach to teaching English, so that the students gain autonomy, with the instructor acting only as coordinator, supervisor and tutor.

In another study on English for construction, Perez Fernandez (2001), studied the potential of the WWW to expand the possibilities of language teaching, particularly in the field of specific content areas, like engineering, architecture or the construction industry. He found that the Web facilitated “easy, instantaneous access to sources of information, specialized texts and data that were either unavailable in the past or took a considerable amount of time to access” (p. 119). He suggested that “in addition to providing these specific texts that can be used as teaching and practice  material, and serving as an electronic board with information on classes, deadlines, contents, syllabus, etc., the WWW should also affect the way languages are taught, as well as the learning styles of the students” (ibid.). Perez Fernandez concluded that because online resources are being increasingly used as a teaching resource, “we should move from a phase of simply using the new media with the old content, on to developing not only new contents but also new teaching procedures and strategies based on these new media”.

This line of research still has a number of open questions about how to optimally utilize this modern technology and incorporate it into foreign language programs. LoCastro (2001), for example, recommended that this area especially needed more qualitative or multi-dimensional research learn more about learners’ perceptions of the incorporation of online resources. She further suggested that future studies focus on individual learners’ accounts without interference from the researcher. Moreover, Stepp-Greany (2002) concluded that more research is needed on student perceptions of multimedia instruction and the teacher’s role in such environments. It is also hoped that further research in this topic confirms the prediction that foreign language learners exposed to this learning tool would become lifelong learners of the foreign language beyond the classroom context (González- Bueno, 1998).

Fostering autonomy in language learning through using online resources

Technology-based approaches to autonomy development are similar in many areas to other resource-based approaches, but can be differentiated from them through their focus on the technologies used to access resources (Benson, 2001). As Motteram (1997) points out, new learning technologies have a long association with autonomy. Many technology-based projects have been reported incorporating student-produced video (Gardner, 1994), computer-enhanced interactive video (Gardner and Blasco-Garcia, 1996), electronic writing environments (Milton, 1997), concordancing (Aston, 1997), hypermedia systems (Mayes, 1994), e-mail language advising (Makin, 1994), and computer simulations (Mak, 1994). In these projects it is either the interaction with the technology itself or the potential of the technology to facilitate interactions that is seen to be supportive of autonomy. Since the establishment of learner autonomy research, a number of misconceptions have occurred. Benson (2001) summarized these misunderstandings in two points. First, learner autonomy is not the same as self-instruction as the latter often fails to provide successful results.

Second, learner autonomy does not mean that the teacher yields all his/her authority to the students. A major influence on learner autonomy is the work of Vygotsky. The central term in his theory is the zone of proximal development, defined as “the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers” (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 85). Benson (2001) summed up the importance of Vygotsky’s theory in studying learner autonomy by stating the importance of social interaction and collaboration in the learning process, which means using alternative learning environments that are not teacher-centered and that encourage student collaboration and interaction. Thus, external social interaction and internal cognitive interaction become inseparable and mutually influential.

This way, the learning environment is broadened and now includes the learner’s responsibility for his or her own learning process as well as that of peers. Autonomy has been described as a capacity – for detachment, critical reflection, decision-making, and independent action (Little, 1991). The capacity for autonomy will be displayed both in the way the learner learns and in the way he or she transfers what has been learned to wider contexts (Little, 1991, p. 4). Egbert, Chao, and Hanson-Smith (1999) listed eight conditions that, when present in the language learning environment in some form and in some amount, seem to support optimal classroom language learning. Not surprisingly, supporting learner autonomy was one of those conditions.

In general, autonomous learners are more highly motivated than nonautonomous learners. In other words, autonomy leads to better, more effective work. The literature has provided evidence that learning autonomy increases motivation and consequently increases learning effectiveness. Knowles (1975), for instance, reported that “there is convincing evidence that people who take the initiative in learning (proactive learners) learn things and learn better than do people who sit at the feet of teachers, passively waiting to be taught (reactive learners). They enter into learning more purposefully and with great motivation,” (Knowles, 1975, p. 14). In addition, Wang and Peverly (1986) reviewed findings of strategy research (in subjects other than language learning) and concluded that independent or autonomous learners were those who had the capacity for being active and independent in the learning process; they were able to identify goals, formulate their own learning strategies, and monitor their own learning. The advantages of learner autonomy can be summarized in three points according to Dickinson (1995): learning is more focused, purposeful, and effective; there are no barriers between learning and living; and learners are able to transfer their autonomous behavior to other areas of their lives.


There is a great need for research that focuses on the relationship between particular forms of practice and the development of autonomy. The most pressing need is for empirical research that will support or undermine the theoretical assumptions on which forms of practice are based (Benson, 2001). There is also a gap in the literature in the areas of students’ self-perception as autonomous learners, the value of online resources as a learning aid for the autonomous learner, and the inherent features in online resources that empower the autonomous language learner.



Benson, P. (2001). Teaching and Researching Autonomy in Language Learning.

Benson, P. & Voller, P. (1997). Autonomy and Independence in Language LearningLondon: Longman.

Berge, Z., & Collins, M. (1995) Computer-mediated communication and the onlineclassroom in distance learning. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Bruner, J. (1986). Play, thought and language.Prospects: Quarterly Review ofEducation, 16, 1, 77-83.

Deci, E. L., Schwartz, A. J., Sheinman, L., & Ryan, R. M. (1981). An instrument to assess adults’ orientations toward control versus autonomy with children:reflections on intrinsic motivation and perceived competence. Journal ofEducational Psychology, 73, 642-650.

Dickinson, L. (1993). Talking shop: aspects of autonomous learning.ELTJ, 47, 4,330-336.

Dickinson, L. (1995). Autonomy and motivation: a literature review. System, 23,165-174.

González-Bueno, M. (1998). The effects of electronic mail on Spanish L2 discourse.Language Learning & Technology, 1, 2, 55-70.

Hammond, M. & Collins, R. (1991).Self-directed learning: critical practice. NewJersey: Nichols.

Little, D. (1991).Learner Autonomy. 1: Definitions, Issues and Problems. Dublin:Authentik.

LoCastro, V. (2001). Individual differences in second language acquisition: attitudes, learner subjectivity, and L2 pragmatic norms. System, 29, 1, 69-89.

Motteram, G. (1997). Learner autonomy and the Web.In V. Darleguy et al. (eds)Educational Technology in Language Learning: Theoretical Considerationsand Practical Applications. Lyons: INSA (National Institute of AppliedScience), pp. 17-24.

Stepp-Greany, J. (2002). Student perceptions on language learning in a technologicalenvironment: implications for the new millennium. Language Learning &Technology, 6, 1, 165-180.


Warschauer, M., Turbee, L., & Roberts, B. (1994). Computer learning networks andstudent empowerment. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii, Second LanguageTeaching & Curriculum

Analisis Jenis dan Frekuensi Kesalahan Gramatikal Bahasa Inggris Tulis Mahasiswa


Politeknik Negeri Malang


Kesalahan gramatikal dalam berbahasa asing tidaklah dapat dihindari dan ini waiar terjadi.  Kesalahan ini disebabkan oleh beberapa faktor, yang antara lain berupa: pengaruh bahasa  asal, generalisasi yang berlebihan (overgenerali-zation), tidak megetahui aturan gramatikal, atau aturan gramatikal yang disalah-mengertikan. Penelitian ini menguji frekuensi dan jenis kesalahan tulis dari 20 karangan pendek yang dibuat oleh mahasiswa Jurusan Administrasi Niaga, Politeknik Negeri Malang. Dari  429  kalimat dalam karangan tersebut ditemukan 871 kesalahan dalam 25 jenis. Jenis kesalahan yang terbanyak adalah omission of article, omission of plural, S-V agreement, dan omission of preposition. Hasil investigasi terhadap penyebab kesalahan tersebut adalah adanya pengaruh bahasa asal (L1) terhadap bahasa sasaran (L2).


Kata kunci: kesalahan gramatikal, error analysis, contrastive analysis, grammatical errors


Mempelajari kesalahan gramatikal (grammatical errors) dalam suatu wacana setidaknya dimaksudkan untuk dua tujuan, yakni: (1) men-cari data tentang perolehan bahasa (language acquisition), dan (2) mencari informasi sebagai dasar untuk mengembangkan kurikulum dan menyusun materi pengajaran (Richards, ed., 1974).

Kesalahan gramatikal adalah penyimpa-ngan terhadap aturan baku dalam bahasa tulis maupun lesan yang terjadi secara sistematis (Giri, 2010). Dalam proses mempelajari suatu bahasa kesalahan gramatikal adalah sesuatu yang wajar dan sering kali tidak ter-hindari. Oleh karena itu kesalahan ini perlu dipelajari dan dicermati sehingga dapat dike-tahui jenis, frekuensinya dan penyebabnya sehingga kemudian dapat ditemukan cara-cara untuk mengatasi kesalahan tersebut.

 Ada beberapa jenis kesalahan grama-tikal yang dikelompokkan secara umum dalam analisis kesalahan. Jenis kesalahan tersebut adalah (1) penghapusan morfem gramatikal (omitting grammatical morphemes), (2) penandaan ganda (double marking), (3) pola keteraturan (regularizing), (4) penggunaan archiform (using aarchiform), (5) penggunaan dua bentuk atau lebih dalam perubahan random (using two or more forms in random alteration), dan (6) salah penempatan (mis-ordering). Jenis-jenis kesalahan ini kemudian dikembangkan lagi bersamaan dengan dikem-bangkannya teori-teori baru dalam analisis kesalahan gramatikal dalam berbahasa.


Contrastive Analysis vs. Error Analysis

Contrastive analysis (CA) muncul pada abad ke-18 ketika William Jones membandingkan bahasa-bahasa Yunani dengan bahasa-bahasa Sanskrit. Dengan CA ini ia menemukan bahwa kedua kelompok bahasa tersebut memiliki banyak persamaan yang sistematis. CA memfokuskan pengamatannya pada aspek hubungan-hubungan fonologi dan evolusinya, sehingga dihasilkan silsilah-silsilah bahasa.

Pendekatan CA ini didasarkan pada asumsi bahwa kita dapat meramalkan dan menguraikan struktur bahasa yang dipelajari (L2) yang akan menyebabkan kesulitan dalam pelajaran dengan membandingkannya dengan bahasa asal (L1). Dalam  perbandingan bahasa  kedua bahasa tersebut akan ditemukan aspek-aspek bahasa yang sama dan berbeda. Diasumsikan bahwa aspek bahasa yang sama akan mudah dipelajari sedangkan aspek yang berbeda akan sulit dipelajari.

Selain itu, CA juga dikaitkan dengan teori pengalihan bahasa atau language transfer. Dalam teori ini dikatakan bahwa pembelajar bahasa cenderung untuk mengalihkan pola atau struktur bahasa asal ke pola atau struktur bahasa yang dipelajarinya. Menurut beberapa pakar CA, pengalihan bahasa digolongkan dalam dua kelompok, yakni pengalihan bahasa yang meunjang pembelajaran, dan pengalihan bahasa yang menghambat pembelajaran.

Para ahli bahasa terpecah menjadi dua kelompok dalam memandang manfaat CA ini, yakni kelompok yang percaya bahwa CA dapat memberikan sumbangan yang berarti bai pengajaran bahasa, dan kelompok yang meragukan manfaat CA dalam membantu keberhasilan pengajaran bahasa. Namun, setidaknya CA berguna dalam: (1) menerangkan mengapa kesalahan terjadi, dan (2) menunjuk-kan strategi apa yang harus diambil untuk mengurangi kesalahan itu dalam pembelajaran bahasa.

Dalam melakukan investigasinya, CA mengamati Perbedaan (dan persamaan) pada aspek: (1) fonologi, baik fonem segmental maupun suprasegmental, gugus vokal maupun gugus konsonan; (2) morfologi atau pembentukan kata; (3) sintaksis, yakni pembentukan kalimat, baik struktur dalam (deep structure) dan struktur luar (surface structure); (4) leksis (lexical contrasts), yakni yang terkait dengan kosa kata; (5) budaya, yakni dalam perilaku non-linguistik; dan (6) ortografis (orthographical contrasts), yaitu dalam penulisan abjad, suku kata dan tulisan logografik.

Dalam teori CA ini dikatakan bahwa ‘belajar bahasa’ pada dasarnya merupakan suatu proses pembentukan kebiasaan-kebia-saan otomatis dan bahwa oleh karenanya kesalahan-kesalahan yang terjadi berasal dari kebiasaan dalam berbahasa asal (L1) yang mempengaruhi pembelajar dalam mempelajari bahasa sasaran (L2). Dikatakan juga bahwa analisis kontrastif atau perbandingan dari dua bahasa yang dipelajari akan menggambarkan aspek-aspek bahasa sasaran mana yang meng-hasilkan kesalahan.

Namun, beberapa pakar bahasa lain melihat bahwa sejumlah besar kesalahan yang dibuat pembelajar mungkin tidak dapat ditelusuri melalui bahasa asalnya. Oleh karena-nya, teori CA ini dianggap tidak dapat menjelaskan secara rinci sebab-sebab dari kesalahan gramatikal. Sebagai gantinya, muncullah teori baru yang disebut sebagai Error Analysis.

Error Analysis (EA) atau analisis kesalahan baru menjadi populer pada tahun 1965-an. Teori ini meneliti secara mendalam kesalahan-kesalahan yang ditemukan dalam pembelajaran bahasa dan mencari tahu sebab-sebab terjadi kesalahan yang dibuat. Tidak berbeda dengan CA, EA dipergunakan untuk mengidentifikasi unsur-unsur bahasa yang menimbulkan kesulitan belajar.

Sementara itu, EA dilaksanakan dengan menganalisis wacana pembelajar, baik lesan maupun tulis, dan mengidentifikasi kesalahan yang ada dan kemudian dikelompokkan dalam jenis kesalahan dan selanjutnya dihitung frekuensinya. Kesalahan yang mempunyai frekuensi tinggi dikategorikan sebagai unsur bahasa yang sukar dipejari atau dipahami; sebaliknya kesalahan yang mempunyai frekuensi rendah dianggap sebagai mudah.

Sebelum diuraikan lebih lanjut tentang metode dalam EA, perlu diketahui terlebih dahulu tentang kesalahan gramatikal (grammatical errors) dan kekeliruan gramatikal (grammatical mistakes).

Menurut teori audiolinguism, kesalahan gramatikal merupakan tanda bahwa cara penyajian materi bahasa kurang baik atau guru kurang mahir dalam mengajar. Sementara itu menurut pendekatan komunikasi, kesalahan-kesalahan gramatis justru merupakan tanda bahwa proses belajar mengajar berjalan dengan lancar dan bahwa kesalahan tersebut tidak perlu dihindari atau dielakkan.

Dalam berbahasa pembelajar sering membuat kesalahan. Kesalahan, atau lebih tepatnya penyimpangan dari strukutr yang benar, dibedakan dalam dua kategori, yakni KESALAHAN atau disebut errors, dan KEKELIRUAN atau disebut mistakes. Secara konsep, keduanya berbeda.

Kekeliruan (mistakes) adalah penyimpa-ngan yang tidak secara sengaja diucapkan atau dituliskan oleh seorang penutur, dan dengan mudah dapat diperbaiki oleh penutur itu sendiri. Semua orang, baik penutur asli maupun bukan penutur asli, dapat membuat kekeliruan. Tetapi apabila ia dapat dengan segera memperbaiki kekeliruan tersebut karena dia sadar bahwa ia membuat kekeliruan maka ini bukan disebabkan ia tidak menerapkan aturan-aturan tata bahasa yang benar. Kekeliruan biasanya disebabkan oleh hal-hal yang bersifat psikologis, seperti: kelelahan, kurang menyi-mak, mengantuk, memikirkan hal lain, dan lain sebagainya.

Sebaliknya, kesalahan (errors) ialah penyimpangan dari tata bahasa yang benar karena ia tidak memahami aturan tata bahasa tersebut. Oleh karenanya, penutur tersebut  biasanya tidak dapat segera memperbaiki kesalahan itu. Kesalahan biasanya terjadi secara sistematis dan sering terjadi berulang. Penutur akan menyadari kesalahannya jika diberitahu oleh penutur lain atau guru.

Secara lebih rinci, langkah-langkah yang dilakukan dalam analisis kesalahan (EA) ini adalah: (1) mengidentifikasi kesalahan, tidak hanya yang terkait dengan faktor linguistik tetapi juga dengan faktor non-linguistik; (2) menjabarkan kesalahan, yakni menggolongkan jenis kesalahan berupa addition, omission, alteration,  dan misordering; (3) menerangkan kesalahan, yaitu mencari sebab-sebab terjadinya kesalahan, yang umumnya berupa fossilization, overgeneralization, hyper-correction, miscon-ception, dan misformation; (4) mengevaluasi kesalahan, yakni menganalisis kesalahan secara kualitatif dan kuantitatif; dan (5) memperbaiki kesalahan.

Dalam menganalisis kesalahan, EA menggunakan empat taksonomi untuk mengelompokkan kesalahan. Taksonomi ini diperlukan untuk mencari sebab-sebab kesalahan sehingga mudah dalam menarik kesimpulan. Keempat taksonomi tersebut adalah:


  1. 1.       Taksonomi Kategori Linguistik (linguistic category taxonomy)

Dalam taksonomi ini pengelompokan kesalahan didasarkan pada aspek kebahasaan (linguistic items) yang  meliputi fonologi, sintaks, morfologi, semantik, leksikon, dan wacana (discourse).


  1. 2.       Taksonomi Strategi Permukaan (surface strategy taxonomy)

Dengan taksonomi ini kesalahan gramatikal digolongkan berdasarkan pada bagaimana struktur bahasa mengalami perubahan yang mengarah pada kesalahan. Kesalahan yang mungkin terjadi adalah (1) omission, yakni penghilangan unsur-unsur kalimat tertentu yang justru diperlukan, (2) addition, yaitu penambahan unsur-unsur kalimat yang justru tidak diperlukan, (3) misformation, yakni pembentukan unsur kalimat yang salah, dan (4) misorder, yaitu penempatan unsur kalimat yang salah.


  1. 3.       Taksonomi Perbandingan (comparison taxonomy)

Taksonomi ini mengklasifikasi kesalahan dengan membandingkan kesalahan yang sama yang dilakukan oleh anak-anak penutur asli  bahasa yang dipelajari. Kelompok kesalahannya dimasukkan dalam empat golongan, yakni development errors, interlingual errors, ambigious errors, dan other errors.


  1. 4.       Taksonomi Efek Komunikasi (communica-tion effect taxonomy)

Dalam taksonomi ini kesalahan didasarkan pada ‘kesalahan-kesalahan bukan dalam struktur dan kosa kata tetapi dalam ragam bahasa yang digunakan’ atau disebut sebagai unsur pragmatik. Unsur pragmatik ini mencakup setting,pelaku komunikasi, tujuan, suasana, topik, dan media.


Bahan-Bahan Analisis Kesalahan

Dalam melakukan analsis kesalahan gramatikal, peneliti dapat menggunakan sumber-sumber data analisisnya. Umumnya sumber itu dikumpulkan dari bahan-bahan wacana yang diproduksi oleh pembelajar, baik secara lesan maupun tertulis. Hasil-hasil penelitian menun-jukkan bahwa teknik pengambilan data dapat mempengaruhi hasil atau kesimpulan dari analisis, dalam hal ini adalah baik jenis kesalah-an yang ditemukan maupun urutan unsur-unsur bahasa yang menjadi titik perhatian analisisnya. Oleh karena itu, dalam memilih jenis data untuk dianalisis peneliti perlu mempertimbangkan kemungkinan hasil yang akan diperoleh.

Data untuk analisis kesalahan dapat diambil dari sumber-sumber berikut.


  1. a.      Wawancara

Biasanya wawancara dilaksanakan secara individual berdasarkan pertanyaan-perta-nyaan mengenai topik-topik tertentu. Hasil wawancara itu direkam dan kemudian dianalisis. Dengan cara wawancara  ini peran pewawancara sangat berpengaruh dalam ujaran-ujaran yang dihasilkan oleh pembelajar. Situasi yang diciptakan oleh pewawancara akan juga mempengaruhi pembelajar secara psikologis yang pada akhirnya hasilnya mungkin baik atau tidak. Teknik wawancara ini membutuhkan waktu yang panjang sehingga jarang digunakan.


  1. b.      Karangan Tertulis

Dengan cara ini peneliti memberikan beberapa pilihan topik kepada pembelajar untuk kemudian menulis sebuah karangan pendek, satu atau beberapa paragraf, sesuai dengan topik yang dipilihnya. Tingkat kesulitan topik yang diberikan (berdasarkan latar belakang pengetahuan atau back-graound knowledge pembelajar) akan mempengaruhi hasil wacana yang diproduksi, terkait juga dengan penguasaan kosa katanya.


  1. c.       Karangan lesan

Dengan cara ini peneliti memberikan topik-topik tertentu dan pembelajar kemudian mencatat hal-hal yang akan diucapkan. Data analisis berupa rekaman dari karangan lesan yang diproduksi oleh pembelajar.


  1. d.      Dialog Terbuka

Cara ini disebut sebagai open-ended dialog, dimana pembelajar diberi suatu percakapan antara dua peran, A dan B. Peran A sudah memiliki kalimat-kalimat lengkapnya, sedangkan peran B masih kosong yang harus dilengkapi oleh pembelajar sesuai dengan konteks yang diberikan. Data semacam ini disebut sebagai data denga  bahan pancingan atau elicitated data.


  1. e.       Terjemahan

Bahan data analisis dengan cara ini dipero-leh dari pembelajar atas hasil terjemahan. Pembelajar diberi suatu wacana dalam bahasa asal (L1) dan mereka kemudian diminta untuk menterjemahkannya ke dalam bahasa sasaran (L2). Teknik ini sering dipakai tetapi memerlukan kehati-hatian karena apabila ujaran-ujaran dari bahasa asal tidak jelas atau tidak disusun dengan baik dan baku maka hasil terjemahannya juga akan tidak baik. Dengan demikian, kesalahan yang terjadi bukan disebabkan oleh ketidakmampuan pembelajar dalam berbahasa sasaran tetapi lebih oleh faktor lain.


Subyek Penelitian

Penelitian ini menjabarkan dan menjelaskan kesalahan gramatikal yang terdapat pada karangan tulis pendek  oleh mahasiswa Program Diploma III, Jurusan Administrasi Niaga, Poli-teknik Negeri Malang. Di jurusan ini bahasa Inggris diajarkan sebagai salah satu mata kuliah pokok.

Mata kuliah ini diajarkan selama enam semester berturut-turut dan bersifat sebagai mata kuliah praktek dalam koridor English for Specific Purposes (ESP) dan English for Occupational Purposes (EOP). Dengan demikian, topik-topik yang diajarkan adalah topik yang terkait dengan jurusan, yang antara lain filing, handling guests, office management, financial management, office ettiquette, secretarial duties dan lain sebaginya.

Bahasa Inggris diajarkan dalam jumlah jam yang cukup banyak dibandingkan dengan mata kuliah lain, yakni 5 atau 6 jam per minggu selama 18 minggu. Pada semester 1 dan 2 bahasa Inggris diajarkan dengan fokus pada dasar-dasar bahasa Inggris termasuk grammar, ungkapan-ungkapan sederhana untuk berkomu-nikasi, dan dikemas dalam empat keterampilan berbahasa, yakni reading, listening, speaking dan writing.


Metodologi dan hasil penelitian

Penelitian ini dilakukan terhadap hasil karya tulis pendek oleh mahasiswa di Jurusan Administrasi Niaga Politeknik Negeri Malang.  Dengan menggunakan sampel secara acak, 20 karangan pendek diambil dari sejumlah 51 karangan. Karangan ini adalah hasil tugas dalam mengikuti mata kuliah ‘Business English’ yang diajarkan pada semester 5.

Tujuan dari penelitian ini adalah untuk mengetahui jenis-jenis kesalahan gramatikal yang dilakukan oleh mahasiswa dalam karangan tulis mereka dan untuk mengetahui tingkat keseringan atau frekuensi kesalahan gramatikal untuk masing-masing jenisnya.

Hasil penelitian ini bermanfaat bagi para pengajar bahasa Inggris, khususnya di Jursan Administrasi Niaga, sebagai salah satu evaluasi terhadap kesulitan-kesulitan yang dihadapi oleh mahasiswa dalam berbahasa Inggris, yang ditunjukkan dengan terjadinya kesalahan-kesalahan gramatikal. Dengan demi-kian, pengajar dapat memberikan waktu khusus untuk mengajarkan dan memperbaiki kesa-lahan-kesalahan gramatikal tersebut bersama-sama dengan mahasiswa.

Dengan menggunakan taksonomi stra-tegi permukaan (surface strategy taxonomy), semua karangan dianalisis untuk mengidenti-fikasi kesalahan-kesalahan gramatikal yang terdapat di dalam setiap kalimat. Proses ini adalah bagian analisis yang membutuhkan  banyak waktu dan ketelitian karena setiap kalimat dari sejumlah 429 kalimat ditandai jenis-jenis kesalahannya. Tanda-tanda tertentu digunakan untuk menandai kesalahan, seperti garis bawah, lingkaran, tanda panah tunggal, tanda panah bolak-balik, tanda centang, tanda tanya, dan tanda coret.

Setelah semua kesalahan diidentifikasi, kesalahan tersebut kemudian dikelompokkan jenis kesalahannya. Hasil analisis menunjukkan bahwa terdapat 25 jenis kesalahan gramatikal seperti terangkum pada Tabel 1 berikut.



Tabel 1

Jenis, Contoh dan Frekuensi Kesalahan yang Dibuat oleh Mahasiswa


Jenis Kesalahan





A.      Omission (tulisan superscript adalah pembetulan oleh peneliti)
A1. Article Qualified opinion is given by the auditor.



A2. Head noun GNP is used to measure high and low income.



A3. Subject We hope we are not deceived by that.



A4. Main verb … and the workers are not bored.



A5. Direct object The company divides it into several parts.



A6. Preposition The tax bond is divided into two parts.



A7. Plural In fact, the function of all secretaryies is not only helping the director.



A8. Conjuction … many private banks take fund from people with all methods and that is a good idea.



B.      Addition (tanda kesalahan dan pembetulan oleh peneliti)
B1. Double marking of verb Macro economy is a science that is studyies carefully …



B2. Double marking of noun … makes the workplace an important part of each worker employee.



B3. Article The selection depends on a the job analysis.



B4. Preposition We can know the economic situation of a country with in the same variables.



C.      Misformation (tulisan miring oleh peneliti)
C1. Overgenerali-zation It catched sight of Section 3 PBB institutions …



C2. Alternating forms of verb It is used to indicate and to provision



C3. Alternating forms of preposition Status refers with a person’s rank or …



C4. Alternating forms of adverb … to indicate the economic variables with the way totality.



C5. Alternating forms of noun All departments must have planning.



D.      Misordering (tulisan miring oleh peneliti)



D1. Adverb Credit tax only can happen if …



D2. Noun They don’t take the credit long-term because …



E.       Other Errors (tulisan miring oleh peneliti)



E1. Tense The limited company is being a kind of a comapnies…



E2. Passive voice … that is invite to operate in districts.



E3. Adj-Noun The price favourable is wanted by the supplier.



E4. Possessive Auditors report consists of …



E5. Agreement Tabungan Kesra are motored by BII, Bank Danmon, and Bank Bali.



E6. To-Infinitive The selection must to take attention to a rule and government appointment.





Sumber: Data primer penelitian

Langkah berikutnya dalam analisis ini adalah mencari sebab terjadinya kesalahan yang dibuat oleh mahasiswa. Hasil analisis menunjukkan bahwa ada lima macam sebab terjadinya kesalahan, sebagai berikut:

1. Pengaruh bahasa asal (bahasa Indonesia) terhadap bahasa Inggris, yang mencakup:

1.a. Penghilangan kata sandang (article):

  • Secretary is assistant of leader. →   A secretary is an assistant of a leader.
  • In 1990 there was decrease of production. →   In 1990 there was a decrease of production.

1.b. Pengurutan frase benda yang tidak benar:

  • The operator bank includes …→   The bank operator includes …
  • Invoice Purchase is made for the buyer. →   Purchase Invoice is made for the buyer.)

1.c. Pemilihan kata depat yang tidak tepat:

  • The function of a secretary is different with the function of   …→   The function of a secretary is different from the function of…
  • We know people will be interested with high interests.→   We know people will be interested in high interests.

1.d. Pembentukan kata keterangan yang tidak tepat:

  • The leader must solve the problem with careful.→   The leader must solve the problem carefully.
  • “…to indicate the economic variables with the way totality.”→   …to indicate the economic variables in the total way.


2. Generalisasi aturan yang tidak benar (over-generalizatio), yang meliputi:

2.a. Pembentukan kata yang tidak benar (misformation):

  • The company never gived holidays. →   The company never gave holidays.
  • The guests may not be leaved doing nothing.→   The guests may not be left doing nothing.

2.b. Pembentukan kata benda yang tidak benar:

  • All departments must have plan-ning.→   All departments must have plans.
  • The guests must write thier identity in the guest booking.→   The guests must write thier identity in the guest book.


3. Aturan bahasa tertentu tidak dipahami, yang meliputi:

3.a. Pemakaian kata kerja yang salah:

  • After research the problem, so the writer…→   After researching the problem, the writer…
  • The secretary must keep smile.→   The secretary must keep smiling.

3.b. Pemilihan ‘tense’ yang tidak benar:

  • If the company was good, I will take the job.→   If the company were good, I would take the job.)
  • The waiting room provided good situation in order the guests can stay well.→   The waiting room provides good situation in order the guests can stay well.

3.c. Penggunaan kata depan yang tidak tepat:

  • The auditor has examined the financial report according in Auditing Standards.→   The auditor has examined the financial report according to Auditing Standards.
  • …to receive guests who will meet to the director.→   …to receive guests who will meet to the director.


4. Pembelajar tidak menerapkan tata bahasa secara lengkap, yang umumnya berupa penghilangan unsur bahasa tertentu:

4.a. Tidak adanya ‘head noun’ dalam frasa benda (omission of head-noun):

  • The secretary can keep the meeting for the next meeting.→   The secretary can keep the meeting minutes for the next meeting.
  • The company can use perpetual to balance the property.→   The company can use perpetual method to balance the property.

4.b. Tidak adanya kata kerja utama dalam kalimat (omission of main verb):

  • The workers absent from work.→   The workers were absent from work.
  • It also a kind of limited tax.→   It is also a kind of limited tax.

4.c. Tidak adanya subyek kalimat (omission of subject):

  • In the study developed categories of needs.→   In the study he developed categories of needs.
  • Also means an employee who manages correspondence.→   Also secretary means an employee who manages correspondence.

4.d. Tidak adanya kata depan (omission of preposition):

  • … to take care of the documents manager.→   … to take care of the documents of manager.
  • The duty the receiving department is to receive all goods.→   The duty the receiving department is to receive all goods

4.e. Tidak ada kesesuaian antara subyek dan kata kerja utamanya (S-V agreement):

  • She help the manager for his jobs.→   She helps the manager for his jobs.
  • It cause a person to take the tax…→   It causes a person to take the tax…

4.f. Tidak adanya kesesuaian antara kata sandang dan kata benda (Article-Noun agreement):

  • The secretary should be able to write a letters well.→   The secretary should be able to write a letter well.
  • The secretary then keeps that letters.→   The secretary then keeps those letters.


5. Pembelajar mempunyai pengertian yang salah tentang suatu konsep dalam bahasa sasaran (L2). Contoh kesalahan seperti ini adalah penulisan kata kerja berganda (double marking of verb):

  • So her leader must can take measures …→   So her leader must take measures …
  • Objective tax is be a tax which …→   Objective tax is a tax which …


Kesimpulan dan saran

Langkah berikutnya dalam analisis kesalahan dalam penelitian ini ada mengevaluasi kesalah-an. Yang dimaksud dengan mengevaluasi kesa-lahan adalah menganalisis data secara kualitatif dan kuantitatif. Dari data primer penelitian, semua kesalahan dikelompokkan jenisnya dan kemudian dihitung frekuensinya. Hasil evaluasi ini tercantum pada Tabel 1 di atas.

Tabel tersebut menunjukkan bahwa jumlah keseluruhan kesalahan yang dibuat adalah 871 dari 429 kalimat. Jenis kesalahan yang mempunyai frekuensi paling tinggi adalah ‘omission of article’ yakni sebesar 23,77%. Kesalahan seperti ini diyakini disebabkan oleh masih besarnya pengaruh bahasa asal (Bahasa Indonesia) terhadap kemampuan berbahasa Inggris karena kata sandang dalam bahasa Indonesia bukan merupakan unsur penentu dalam kalimat, sementara sebaliknya, kata sandang dalam bahasa Inggris sangatlah penting. Dengan demikian, unsur bahasa ini perlu mendapatkan perhatian khusus dalam proses belajar mengajar.

Jenis kesalahan kedua yang sering dila-kukan oleh mahasiswa adalah ‘omission of plural’ atau tidak menggunakan bentuk plural untuk frasa benda. Kesalahan ini dilakukan oleh mahasiswa sebanyak 9,53%. Kesalahan ini terjadi juga akibat pengaruh bahasa asal karena bahasa Indonesia tidak memiliki aturan yang sama terkait kesesuaian antara head-noun dan kata sandang atau article.

Jenis kesalahan ketiga dengan frekuensi besar adalah ‘S-V agreement’ dimana jumlah-nya adalah 81 atau sebesar 9,30%. Jenis kesalahan ini umumnya timbul karena maha-siswa tidak menerapkan atauran tata bahasa secara benar.

Kesalahan yang berkaitan dengan preposition perlu diajarkan secara lebih intensif dalam proses belajar mengajar mengingat hasil evaluasinya menunjukkan persentase yang cukup besar yakni 58 kesalahan.

Setelah evaluasi dalam metode peneli-tian ini, langkah berikutnya yang perlu dilaku-kan adalah memperbaiki kesalahan dengan cara melakukan rekonstruksi ujaran-ujaran yang digunakan. Memperbaiki kesalahan ini dilaku-kan dengan memperhatikan jenis kesalahan dan penyebab kesalahannya.

Selanjutnya, agar mahasiswa menyadari bahwa mereka membuat kesalahan gramatikal dalam kalimat yang mereka buat, memperbaiki kesalahan ini dilakukan bersama-sama dengan mahasiswa.

Karena pengaruh bahasa Indonesia menjadi penyebab paling besar terjadi kesalahan gramtikan ini, mahasiswa perlu diberi waktu cukup untuk lebih banyak mempelajari tata bahasa Inggris, khususnya pada aturan tata bahasa yang memiliki pola yang sangat berbeda dengan pola bahasa Indonesia. Pemberian materi ini akan lebih baik dilakukan dengan memberikan banyak latihan sehingga pola kalimat yang sering mereka buat secara salah dapat diingat lebih mudah dan dapat dipahami dan digunakan secara bawah sadar.

Penanganan kesalahan gramatikal harus dilakukan seara hati-hati dan diupayakan agar mahasiswa tidak merasa ‘salah’ yang akhirnya dapat menurunkan motivasi mereka untuk menggunakan bahasa Inggris. Perbaikan kesala-han gramatikal sebaiknya dilakukan dengan yang tepat.


Daftar Pustaka

Abbasi, Mehdi; Karimnia, Amin. 2011. “An analysis of grammatical errors among Iranian translation students: Insights from interlanguage theory”. European Journal of Social Sciences. 25(4). 525-536.

Abushihab, Ibrahim; El-Omari, Abdallah H.; and  Tobat, Mahmoud. 2011. “An analysis of written grammatical errors of Arab learners of English as a foreign language at Alzaytoonah Private University of Jordan”. European Journal of Social Sciences. 20(4). 543-552.

Erdogan, P. 2005. “Contribution of error analysis to foreign language teaching”. Mersin University Journal of the Faculty of Education. 1(2). 261-270.

Font-Llitjos, Ariadna; Probst, Katharina; and Carbonell, J aime G., “Error Analysis of Two Types of Grammar for the Purpose of Automatic Rule Refinement” (2004). Computer Science Department. Paper 304.

Giri, Anju. 2010. “Errors in the use of English grammar”. Journal of NELTA. 15/1-2. 54-63.

Guasti, Maria Teresa. 2002. Language Acquisition: The Growth of Grammar. Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Lee, I. 2004. “Error correction in L2 secondary writing classrooms: The case of Hong Kong”. Journal of Second Language Writing. 13(4). 285–312.

Lightbown, Patsy M.; Spada, Nina. 1998. How Languages Are Learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Richards,  Jack, (Ed).  1974.  Error  Analysis:  Perspectives  on  Second  Language  Acquisition.  London: Longman.

Thornbury, Scott. 1999. How to Teach Grammar. Essex: Pearson Education Limited.

Using Mind Mapping and Five Reviewing Patterns to Improve Senior High School Students’ Vocabulary Mastery

by Dian Fadhilawati

Islamic University of Balitar, Blitar, East Java, Indonesia


This reported research was a collaborative action research to improve the vocabulary achievement of high school students using mind mapping and five reviewing patterns proposed by Buzan (2009). The subjects were 35 students of X-B class of MAN Kota Blitar, East Java, Indonesia, in 2011/2012 academic years. The data of the research included qualitative data (observation result and field note) and quantitative data (test result). This research was conducted in one cycle which included 2 meetings. The first meeting was done at Tuesday, 7 February 2012. It was for teaching vocabulary about newspaper and publishing using mind mapping and review 1. The second meeting was done at Wednesday, 8 February 2012. It was for teaching vocabulary about radio and television as well as for the review 2 at the beginning of the meeting. At the end of the meeting, the teacher gave take home tasks for review 2 of meeting 2. Further, the third review (1 week after the first learning) was given at Wednesday, 15 February 2012. It was intended for reviewing both the materials in meeting 1 and 2. The forth review was a take home reviewing tasks given 1 month after the first learning and the fifth review was a take home review assigned 3 months after the first learning. After all of the five reviews, a vocabulary test was administered. The finding showed that the implementation of mind mapping and 5 reviewing patterns could improve the students’ vocabulary achievement, from the mean score of 55.66 to 80.57. The students also gave positive responses toward the strategies applied as reflected from the result of the questionnaire given.


Key words: mind-mapping, reviewing, vocabulary achievement

Based on the researcher’ preliminary observation at the first of February 2012, it was found the following weaknesses. First, teachers lacked of media in teaching and learning process (the teacher only used an exercise book called “LKS Aspirasi”). He did not use the language laboratory, chart, mind mapping, game, song pictures, or other media/facilities. Second, the students were lazy and unmotivated. Third, the students were passive in the classroom. Fourth, in teaching vocabulary the teacher only wrote down the vocabulary list on the white board and asked the students to find the meaning of the word in Indonesian. Therefore, the researcher assumed that instruction absolutely must be changed by the teacher by using appropriate method in order the students take apart to the lesson and got better achievement at the end of teaching learning process.

In addition, based on the result of the vocabulary test which administered to the students before the action, it could be said that the students’ English ability of X-B class was low, especially in understanding the meaning of words in context. The students’ mean score for the vocabulary test was 55.66, that was below the minimum school standard criterion of English mastery that required them at least have mean score 70.00.

Actually, there are a lot of interactive media or strategies to encourage students to take apart in the lesson especially in vocabulary teaching and learning. Since vocabulary teaching and learning aimed at enabling learners to understand the concepts of unfamiliar words, to gain a greater number of words, and to use words successfully for communicative purpose, it is necessary for the teacher to select and apply appropriate strategies in teaching vocabulary for the students which could improve their motivation to take apart in the lesson.

Mind mapping and five reviewing patterns proposed by Buzan (2009) can be applied by the teacher in teaching vocabulary. There are some reasons why the teacher may use mind mapping in teaching vocabulary, for example: (1) mind mapping is very appropriate and flexible to be applied for different levels of age, theme, subject, and situation either for whole class, group or individual, (2) mind mapping is a very good tool for creative thinking and problem solving, (3) in foreign language teaching and learning, mind mapping can improve memory recall of facts, words or images, (4) mind mapping is creative note taking method, which eases us to remember much information, and (5) mind mapping is colorful, uses pictures or symbols which leads the students’ interest to the subject (Deporter, Readon, and Nourie, 1997: 175). From the statement above, it can be concluded that mind mapping is potentially a good way to teach vocabulary to the students in senior high school.

In line with the previous statements, Buzan (1993:1) adds that mind mapping is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of brain. It imitates the thinking process, recording information through symbol, pictures, emotional meaning and colors, exactly the same like our brain process it. It means that mind mapping is very useful media for creating attractive, and enjoyable learning that lead the successfulness of the students in learning English vocabulary

In addition Buzan (2009: 39) also states that by using a mind mapping we can see what we are going to do and what we have done. It means, mind mapping may be used by the teacher or the students for planning the lesson, summarizing the lesson or recall to the lesson that the students have learnt. Moreover, Buzan (2009) also argues that mind mapping and 5 reviewing patterns will lead the students to achieve good scores in their examination test.

Talking about the success of the students’ in gaining good vocabulary achievement, it is crucial for the teacher to think deeply about how to implant vocabulary in the students’ mind for long term memory. In this case, the teacher may apply reviewing to facilitate the students with better memory to what they have learnt. It could be done at school or at home by giving tasks as a mean for reviewing the lesson that the students have learnt.

Usually many students are confused in deciding when they should start to review their school lessons, and most of them tend to postpone the reviews. As a result, in the time of final test, they often panic and study for their test immediately at the night before the examination with less sleep. As a result, at the examination day they lost concentration, were sleepy and, therefore, they failed or got poor scores. Actually, the best way to review lessons is step by step, little by little, day by day, and gradually until it becomes a habit in life (Buzan, 2009:38).

Furthermore, a good reviewing model was proposed by Buzan (2009) which is called 5 reviewing patterns. Buzan (2009:125) states that if students review the lesson 5 times such as: (1) 1 hour after the first learning, (2) 1 day after the first learning, (3) I week after the first learning, (4) 1 month after the first learning, and (5) 3 months up to 6 months after the first learning), they would have permanent memory of the lesson.

Therefore, the researcher and her collaborator assumed that the use of mind mapping and 5 reviewing patterns proposed by Buzan (2009) could improve the students’ vocabulary achievement and facilitate the students’ memory of the words or phrases they have learnt.

The studies on the use of mind mapping in teaching English have been performed by some researchers such as: Indah (2010), Effendi (2004), and Helmasari (2008). In this case, Indah (2010) proved that mind mapping was an effective medium to teach vocabulary to the tenth grade students of SMU Negeri 15 Palembang. Besides that, Effendi (2004) also found that mind mapping was effective to increase the second year students’ reading comprehension at SLTPN 43 Palembang. Further, Helmasari (2008) reported that mind mapping was effective to teach paragraph writing to the eleventh year students of SMA Negeri 14 Palembang.



Research Objective

The objective of this research is to use mind mapping and five reviewing patterns to improve the tenth year students’ vocabulary achievement at MAN Kota Blitar.


Research Design

In this research, the researcher employed collaborative classroom action research through mind mapping and Buzan’s 5 reviewing patterns to improve the students’ vocabulary achievement of X-B class of MAN Kota Blitar. In this case, the researcher’s collaborator was involved from the beginning up to the end of the research process. The action of teaching vocabulary through mind mapping and Buzan’s 5 times reviewing patterns is done by the researcher, and her collaborator acted as an observer of the teaching learning process. This idea is based on Calhoun’s principle (in Kasbollah, 2002:43) that argued “in collaborative action research, the researcher makes collaboration with the school teacher investigated as the researcher’s collaborator to do the research activities.”


Research Setting

The Research was conducted in MAN Kota Blitar starting from February to May 2012. The school is located at Jl. Jati 78 Sukorejo Blitar. This school was chosen because of some reasons such as: there are problems which need solution dealing English teaching learning process mainly on vocabulary achievement of X-B class which considered need to improve, and of course the permission from headmaster of MAN Kota Blitar.


Research Subjects

The research subjects of this research were the students of Class X-B of MAN Kota Blitar, consisting of 35 students (11 boys and 14 girls). The class was chosen as the subject because: (1) the class of X-B got the lowest achievement among the others class at the first semester (2) the students’ low vocabulary achievement (with the mean score of 55.66).


Research Procedure

The procedure of this Classroom Action Research was a modified version of Kemmis and Taggart (1997:27) model which covered some steps, namely preliminary study, planning of action, action, observing the action, and reflecting on the observation. This research was held from February to May 2012. The researchers conducted this study for one cycle that planning the action, implementing the action followed by 5 times reviewing, observation and evaluation, and analysis and reflection. This was only one cycle because the purpose has been achieved with only one cycle. Further, the description of the research procedures was presented on the following figure.


Figure1: The Procedures of Classroom Action Research (CAR)


Research Instruments

1. Test

Vocabulary test was given after the implementation of the action. It was used to know the students’ development. The test consisted of 50 words about newspaper and publishing as well as radio and television in which it distributed as follows: (1) questions numbers 1-15 were in the form of multiple choice, (2) questions number 16-30 were in the form matching test, (3) question number 31-40 were in the form guided completion and (5) question number 49-50 were in form of rearranging the scrambled words into good sentences. To make the test administered valid and reliable, in this research the researcher and her collaborator conducted validity test to another class of the tenth grade students at MAN Kota Blitar (X-C) class. Furthermore, the researcher used content validity, the evidence based on content of the test’s and its relationship to the construct it was intended to measure. In this case, the researcher looked for evidence that the test represented a balanced and adequate sampling of vocabulary mastery. Moreover, the content validity of the test was based on the basic competence in the tenth grade of Senior High School’s curriculum.

Before the post test was given to the respondent. It was tried out first to other group of students who had the same level with the respondent to know the test items were too difficult or too easy, whether the time is enough or not and the respondents understood the instruction or not. It was tried out on 2nd May 2012 at the class X-C of MAN Kota Blitar consisting 35 students. The following is the vocabulary test that was given to the students either in preliminary test or after the action test.


2. Observations Checklist

            Observation checklist was used to get the data about the students’ activities during the teaching learning process. In this case the researcher provided 2 observations checklist; the first to observe the teacher’ preparation, presentation, teaching method, personal characteristic, and teacher-students interaction in the classroom. The second observation checklist was intended as media in observing the students’ activities in the classroom.


3. Questionnaire

            A questionnaire was used to collect the data about the students’ reaction toward mind mapping and Buzan’s 5 times reviewing patterns in learning vocabulary. The Questionnaire contained 10 items with Likert scale options: Absolutely Agree (AA), Agree (A), Not Sure (NS), Not Agree (NA), and Absolutely Not Agree (ANA). It was adopted from Kristiana (2011).


4. Field note

            To get the rich data, this research also used field notes to write down the activities of teacher and students in the classroom which are not covered in observation checklist. Further, field notes composed of the descriptions of what was being heard, seen, experienced and thought in the classroom. The recorded data dealt with the phenomenon such as: time allotment, classroom atmosphere, tasks organization, and teacher’s feedback.


Criteria of Success

            The criterion of success in this research was designed on the basis of the school criterion: the students are considered good or successful in their vocabulary achievement if they achieve at least 70 of the optimal score competence level of 100. It means that the students’ mean score of the post-test should equal to or is higher than 70. Moreover, beside the students’ score in vocabulary achievement, the result of questionnaire was used to support the explanation of the criteria of success.


Kinds of Data and Data Sources


There were two kinds of data in this research, namely quantitative data and qualitative data. Quantitative data in the research refer to the data acquired from the test and questionnaire. Moreover qualitative data refer to the result from observation, questionnaire and field notes.


Techniques of Data Collection

The data were collected by (a) conducting an observation, (b) making field note, (c) administering test, (d) distributing questionnaire.


Data Analysis

The data analysis was used by researcher in this research followed some procedure such as: classifying the data, presenting the data and the last was concluding the data.


1. Data Classification

In this research, the data were classified into two categories, the first was quantitative data and the second was qualitative data. The quantitative data referred to the data which was taken from the students score as well as the questionnaire. However, the qualitative data were taken from the observation and check list as well as field note.


2. Data Display

The classified data from observation result and field note were described qualitatively using categories of achievement such as: very poor, poor, fair, good, and very good. Moreover, the data taken from the test was presented in tables, and the data from the questionnaire was calculated in percentage.

Furthermore, the use of quantitative data analysis was classified as follow:

1. The rule to decide the accomplishment degree and the mean score

  • Rule to find an individual degree of mastery



(Adopted from Petunjuk Guru Bahasa Inggris for the Senior high school).

  • Rule to find mean score


M       =      Mean score

SX      =      the total scores of the students’ vocabulary test

N        =      the numbers of students

(Adapted from Beast, 1981). 

2. The rule of calculating the percentage of students’ questionnaires responses





Concluding the Data

Data conclusion was done after the researcher evaluated and interpreted the data. It is important to conclude the data to know whether another cycle was necessary. In this research, researcher stopped the action at cycle 1 because the students had achieved mean score 88.57. That result was higher than the minimum mastery criterion stated in that school (70.00). Moreover, that result was supported by the results of observations which indicated the improvement of the teaching learning process from teacher and students’ part and the result of questionnaire dealing the implementation of teaching learning vocabulary using mind mapping.



Reflection is the most important part in Classroom Action Research, it is needed to evaluate whether another cycle to solve the problems is necessary or not. The number of cycles cannot be predicted in advance. A classroom action research may take only one cycle if after the first cycle, all the targeted criteria of success have been achieved. The researchers, in fact, have to do their best to plan their classroom action research as few cycles as possible.

If all of the problems in teaching vocabulary are solved, there is no need to conduct the second cycle. In reflection, the researchers consult the result of data analysis and compare it with the criteria of success. If the result of our first action fulfills the criteria of success, the action is stopped. If it does not fulfill the criteria of success, the researchers should continue to the second cycle by revising the lesson plan (Latief, 2010:87).

Furthermore, Mistar (2010:31) states that “reflection in a classroom action research is an effort to evaluate whether the teaching learning process succeeds or fails based on the criteria of succeed that have been decided before”.

The reflection in this research was done by the researcher and her collaborator after accomplishing each of the research steps in order to know whether we could stop the research or should continue to another cycle. In this case, they decide to stop this research in the first cycle, because the criterion of succeed of the research has been achieved by the students. The student’s mean score was 80.56; it was higher than the criterion of success of the research (70.00).


The Result of Teaching Learning Process Analysis

The analysis of the teaching-learning process was done based on the result of field notes and the observation checklist. Some findings show improvement from both the student and teachers’ parts. On the part of the students’ attitude towards the task, it was found that the students were actively involved and participated actively in the lesson. Further, the teacher’ ability in conducting teaching and learning process was observed and categorized as excellent and above average. Mostly, the indicators in observation checklist were rated 4 (excellent) and 3 (above average) by the collaborator researcher. In this case, the teacher was evaluated in the five points namely: (1) preparation, (2) presentation, (3) execution/method, (4) personal characteristics, teacher-students inter­action. Dealing with preparation, the teacher was well prepared and the lesson execution was good.

Further related to presentation, the teacher explained the materials well, smoothly, in sequence, and logically. Moreover the teacher also paced the lesson well, gave the lesson direction to the students clearly, for example in asking them to do the tasks, to play mind map, to do homework etc. Besides that, the teacher always tried to make the students talk or write for example by asking question, asking them to write the sentences, etc. Further, she also realized if there were some students who were having trouble in understanding the lesson. In this case, she asked the students the points they didn’t understand and she explained it again carefully. Further, in presenting the materials the teacher was very encouraging, full of enthusiasm, and showed the interest in the lesson,

Furthermore, dealing with execution or method, the teacher used various activities in during the class, reinforced the material, walked around the class, made eyes contact with the students, and knew the student’s name well. She also distributed the questions appropriately and used media in teaching. Contextual learning was used with clear example and illustration of the materials through mind mapping.

On the teacher’s personal characteristics, the teacher was patient in answering the students’ questions. She had audible voice for all students in the class. She also had a good appearance, initiative and was resourceful. She had appropriate and acceptable use of English while she is teaching the students.

The last point is related to teacher – student interaction in the classroom. Dealing with that point, the teacher tried to set the class into a student-centered class. She encouraged students’ participation in classroom by asking them to do activities or to raise or answer questions. Further, she was able to control and direct the class well; she sometime relaxed the students and made students work in group or individual. In conclusion teacher and the students had excellent interaction for enjoyable learning in the classroom.

An analysis of the result of the test given at the end of cycle 1 showed that an improvement of learning result was achieved. In this case, the mean score of the student’s in the vocabulary test after the action increased significantly after the implementation of mind mapping and 5 reviewing patterns proposed by Buzan (2009). The mean score of the students was 80.57. The students’ mean score was higher than the students’ mean score in vocabulary test before the action (55.66) and the minimum criterion mastery stated in the school (70.00).


The Students’ Questionnaire Result

The data on students’ opinion towards learning vocabulary using mind mapping and Buzan’s 5 reviewing patterns was obtained through a questionnaire with 10 statements given to 35 students of the tenth year of students in X-B class of MAN Kota Blitar. The questionnaire contained four variables to measure: (1) learning motivation, (2) learning result, (3) tasks accomplishment and (4) social relationship. The result showed that on the first variable “learning motivation”, the students are motivated to learn vocabulary using mind mapping and Buzan’s five reviewing patterns strategy. It can be seen from the result of the four statements given related to it. For the first statement (item no. 1) “I am very eager to learn vocabulary using mind mapping and Buzan’s 5 reviewing patterns”, 30 (85.7%) students chose “absolutely agree” and 5 (14.3%) students “agree”.

Moreover, 29 (82.9%) students state “absolutely agree” and the rest 6 (17.1%) students state “agree” for the statement (item no. 2): “Learning vocabulary using mind mapping and Buzan’s 5 reviewing patterns is an interesting and enjoyable activity”. On the other hand, in the third statement for this variable, statement no. 6, “It is difficult for me to learn vocabulary by mind mapping and Buzan’s five reviewing patterns”, 2 (5.7%) students state “not sure”. Moreover, 4 (11.4%) students state “not agree”, and the rest 29 (82.9%) students state “absolutely not agree”. Meanwhile, for the next statement (item no 7), “Learning vocabulary using mind mapping and Buzan’s 5 reviewing patterns strategy is a worthless and time consuming activity”, 6 (17.1%) students state “not agree” while the rest 29 (82.9%) students state “absolutely not agree”.

The data on the second variable “learning result” also showed satisfactory response. There are 4 indicators representing this variable. The first indicator is statement (item no. 3) “In my opinion learning vocabulary using mind mapping and Buzan’s reviewing patterns can increase my vocabulary”. 29 (82.9%) students chose “absolutely agree”, 6(17.1%) students chose “agree”. Second is statement no. 4, “Mind mapping and Buzan’s 5 reviewing patterns help me learn and memorize new words”.  30 (85.7%) students’ state “absolutely agree” and 5 (14.3%) state “agree”. The next is statement no. 5, “Learning vocabulary using mind mapping and Buzan’s five reviewing patterns enabled me to learn words and their meaning in comprehensible way”. 28 (80%) students state “absolutely agree” while the rest 7 (20%) students state “not sure”. And the last indicator is statement (item no 10), “Learning vocabulary through mind mapping makes me brave to express idea or asking and answering the question”. For this 29 (82.9%) students state “absolutely agree” and 6 (17.1%) students state “agree.”

The third variable “task achievement” also showed good response. As it can be seen in statement no. 8, “Using mind mapping and Buzan’s 5 reviewing patterns makes me motivated to do the class tasks or take-home tasks“, 30 (85.7%) students state “absolutely agree” and 5 (14.3%) students sate “agree”

The last variable “social relationship” also showed acceptable response. It can be seen from the result of statement no. 9, “Learning vocabulary using mind mapping and Buzan’s 5 reviewing patterns promotes the togetherness among students”. 29 (82.9%) students choose “absolutely agree”, and 3 (8.6%) students state “agree”, while 3 (8.6%) students state “not sure”.



Based on the result of the analysis both the teacher teaching-learning process and students’ learning result in cycle I, it was shown that the students made an improvement in learning vocabulary. This improvement could be seen from indicator of success achieved as follows. The obtained mean score was 80.57 was higher than the standard minimum mean score (70.00). Therefore, it was decided that the next cycle was not necessary. In addition, that result was supported by the result of teaching learning process which was derived from observation checklists and field note in which the teaching learning process in that class was very good/ excellent and it was also supported by the students’ positive responses toward the use of mind mapping and five reviewing patterns in learning vocabulary as presented previously. The following figure is the description of students’ improvement in learning vocabulary by using mind mapping and 5 reviewing patterns












Figure 2: Students’ Improvements


The result of the research that was presented above was in line with Indah ‘s experimental research result on the use of mind mapping to teach vocabulary, in which she reported that the vocabulary achievement of the students of IKIP PGRI Palembang increased after being taught using mind mapping. She recorded that the calculation result of the matched t-test formula was 2.396. It indicated that the calculated t obtained was greater than the critical value (1.725). The finding of her study showed that mind mapping is effective in teaching vocabulary to the tenth year of SMUN 15 Palembang.

Moreover, the researchers’ result was also in line with Yusuf’s experimental research result entitled “The Effectiveness of Mind Mapping Technique In Increasing the Second Year Students’ Reading Comprehension at SLTPN 43 Palembang” The result of the calculation of the t-test formula was 4.19. It indicated that the t value was higher than the critical value (02.021). The findings of his research showed that mind mapping is significantly effective in teaching reading comprehension to the subject of SLTP Negeri 43 Palembang.

In addition, the researchers’ result was in line with experimental research result by Hermalasari entitled “Teaching Writing Paragraphs by Using Mind Mapping to The Eleventh Year Students of SMA Negeri 14 Palembang in which she reported that the students’ average score in pre-test was 59.68 and the average score of post-test was 67.85. It indicated that calculated t value was higher than the t value on the table (1.684). It means that mind mapping is effective to teach writing paragraphs at the eleventh grade in that school. And now, with this current research mind mapping is also proved effective to teach vocabulary


The Strength and the Weaknesses of Mind Mapping and 5 Reviewing Patterns

There is no perfect thing. Besides having some strengths mind mapping and 5 reviewing patterns also have some weaknesses. The strengths include (1) leading the students to have better memory, (2) easy to apply in the classroom as media to present the material, media to do the task, media to review the lesson, and media to assess the students’ achievement, (3) interesting, and attractive media to teach all themes or sub-theme.

Further, mind mapping and 5 Buzan’s reviewing patterns were a pairs of strategies which support each other. As Buzan (2009:39) argue the best way to review the lesson is using mind mapping. With mind mapping to review the lesson, students will have better memory of the materials they have learnt. Better memory will make them easier in doing the test. It was proved by the students’ vocabulary mean score after applied with those strategies in this research.

However, mind mapping and five reviewing patterns also have weaknesses such as: (a) Mind mapping and 5 reviewing patterns need consistency as well as continuity of implementation either in the for of classroom implementation by teachers or at home reviews by students following the procedures given. Especially for the strategy of reviewing the lesson, it must be done seriously based on Buzan’s 5 reviewing patterns. Buzan’s 5 reviewing required teachers and students to review the lesson until 5 times based on these following rules: (a) one hour after the first learning, (b) one day after the first learning, (c) one week after the first learning, (d) one month after the first learning and, (e) three up to six months after the first learning. Those reviewing procedures may be difficult to do for students at the first time. Besides, with five time review, the teacher must provide and prepare more tasks, and of course it needs additional cost to prepare them as well as need additional time to do. In addition, it is not easy to change the habitual linear note writing in preparing teachers’ teaching materials or presentation. While with mind map, teachers need to be creative in making mind maps and present them in the class. If they don not have creativity and a good understanding about the material, the teachers would have problems in translating the materials into mind maps. Mind map reflects the materials to teach in the class. Therefore, before teachers make mind maps, they must understand the materials well so that they can generate the good key words. Otherwise, the mind map would be confusing for the students. Further, some teachers may not have a good ability to use multimedia or technology in teaching and learning such as in operating computer, laptop or internet applications. Or it can be said that mind map is still difficult to make for some teachers who did not have computer mastery or creativity to draw it.

In mind maps, everything is supposed to be provided on a single page. This is a tough challenge for teachers who have comprehensive and complex topic to deal with in the classroom. A mind map which is made carelessly or which is too ambitious to cover all aspect would look so crowded and this might cause students difficult to understand.



Conclusion and Suggestions

Mind mapping and 5 reviewing patterns proposed by Buzan (2009) can improve the tenth year students’ vocabulary achievement. Therefore, the English teachers are recommended to apply this model as one of alternatives teaching technique to teach vocabulary in the classroom. Besides that, the English teachers are also suggested to inform or discuss this model of vocabulary teaching through teachers’ forum such as workshop and seminar.

It is suggested that parents with elementary, junior or senior high school sons or daughters practice Buzan’s 5 reviewing patterns as strategy to review their lesson in order to improve their learning achievement. Furthermore, the students are also recommended to make mind map of their lessons at home after school and do the review 5 times based on the certain procedures as Buzan proposed. So, the students must be active both in the classroom and outside of the classroom for reviewing their lessons, for example, by summarizing, mapping, re-reading the material by themselves or by reviewing them in peer learning, and group learning at home.

In addition, this research is an action research in which the result cannot be generalized. It is advisable or recommended that future researchers would conduct the research with different design for example experimental research to know the effectiveness of Buzan’s 5 reviewing patterns on certain skills or subjects. Such research would be useful to strengthen or reject this research result.







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Enhancing Students’ Listening Skill Through Podcasts

by Oktavia Widiastuti

State Polytechnic of Malang (Polinema)


Applying podcast as an appropriate multimedia can be very potential and practical as a tool to enhance listeningskill.Students and teachers can download podscast easily and freely as source of their listening materials. Listening materials presented through Podcast is possible to increase students’ listening skill as Podcast provides students with authentic and contextual material. Podcast offers an ideal tool for the creative expression of knowledge preferred by today’s students, and provides an exciting way for students and teachers to explore and discover listening content or material.

Podcasts are particularly suited for extensive listening, for the purpose of motivating students’ interest in listening to English and providing them with exposure to native speakers’ speech (Rost, 1991). Stanley (2006) points out that podcasts offer students a wide range of possibilities for extra listening both inside and outside of the classrooms. The outside classroom listening activity effectively bridges the gap between the formal English which dominates most English language classrooms and the informal English used in real-life communication events.Podcast as a new technology has huge potential in enhancing students’ listening skill.The ease of downloading podcasts to MP3 players and iPods means that students can now engage in plenty of listening practice in any condition.


Key words: Listening skills, podcast, Information technology in ELT


Listening in language learning has undergone several important stages, from being assumed “acquired through exposure but not really taught” (Richard, 2002) to be viewed as “a primary vehicle for language learning” (Rost, 2001). During the decades, developments in education, linguistics and sociology have led to the powerful theories of the nature of language comprehension and the active interest in the role of listening comprehension in second language acquisition.

In daily communication, listening plays an important role. Research has demonstrated that adults spend 40-50% of communication time listening, 25-30% speaking, 11-16% reading, and about 9% writing (Vandergrift, 1999). Listening, the most widely used language skill, is often used in conjunction with the other skills of speaking, reading and writing. It is not only a skill area in language performance, but also a critical means of acquiring a second and foreign language.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, applied linguistics recognized that listening was the primary channel by which the learner gained access to L2 data, and that it therefore served as the trigger for acquisition (Rost, 2001). Krashen (1982) claimed that “comprehensible input” was a necessary condition for language learning. In his input hypothesis, Krashen said further development from the learner’s current stage of language knowledge could only be achieved by the learner’s comprehending language that contained linguistic items (lexis, syntax, morphology) at a level slightly above the learner’s current knowledge (Rost, 2001). According to this theory, the more language we expose students to, the more they will acquire, and the better they get in listening activities

In general, provided the listening materialappropriate to their level is a very significant point. However, the reality of the teaching of listening in Indonesian’s classrooms is that students have only one hour to learn listening in the language laboratory every week, which is far from satisfactory. Hence, extensive listening must go along with intensive listening. Extensive listening, where a teacher encourages students to choose for themselves what they listen to and to do so for pleasure or for general language improvement can also have a dramatic effect on a student’s language proficiency (Harmer, 2001).

Applying appropriate multimedia in Extensive Listening activity can be one of the solutions to improve students’ listening skill and their motivation (Juniardi, 2008). By using multimedia students not only hear the sound but also can capture the pictures, moreover by using multimedia students can download native voices as source of their listening materials. One of the programs that can be applied is podcast program. By using Podcast, the students can listen to music, news, TV program etc. Podcast has two files audio (MP3) and video (MP4). These files can be down loaded free of charge from One of the Podcast examples which can be free down loaded is, CNN Larry King Live Podcast (Paul, 2007).

Another example, which is also interesting to be used as the listening material, is taken from . There are many videos which can be downloaded by subscribing to the website using iTunes (Stanley, 2006).

These two examples are few of many others materials that can be freely downloaded from the internet by subscribing to the website using iTunes. The capacity of each file is varied (about 3 to 100 Mb) according to duration of the podcast. For instance, it takes at least one and a half hour to download a 15 minutes Larry King Live Podcast (McCarty, 2005).

Based on the explanation above, listening materials presented through Podcast is possible to increase student listening comprehension as Podcast provide students with authentic and contextual material and it can improve students’ knowledge because students are able to share their Podcast. Podcasting offers an ideal tool for the creative expression of knowledge preferred by today’s students, and provides an exciting way for students and educators to explore and discover listening content or material (McCarty, 2005). Podcasts are audio or video files that are automatically delivered over a network, and then played back on any Mac, PC, or iPod. When students create a Podcast for class, they not only learn the content in a creative way, they learn 21st-century communication skills at the same time.



Language learning depends on listening since it provides the aural input that serves as the basis for language acquisition and enables learners to interact in spoken communication. Listening is the first language mode that children acquire. It provides the foundation for all aspects of language and cognitive development, and it plays a life-long role in the processes of communication. A study by Wilt (1950), found that people listen 45 % of the time they spend communicating.

Since listening is, according to Wang Shouyuan (2003), the most important component in the five aspects of overall English competence he suggests as listening, speaking, reading, writing and translation, it deserves particular attention. Teachers must actively explore the nature and process of listening comprehension and study the theory and methodology of listening comprehension in order to improve listening teaching outcomes and make students recognize that listening comprehension is the crucial aspect of English learning.

From the point of view of constructivist linguistics, foreign language teaching should focus on language form and structure, thus, listening teaching is undertaken in each of the four aspects of language form. When students are taught to understand a passage of text, teachers first let them discriminate between the pronunciation of vowels and consonants, then understand vocabulary, sentences and discourses. The goals of this listening teaching model from the “bottom-up” is to help students understand the meaning of vocabulary by discriminating sounds, to understand sentence meaning, and to monitor and control the meaning of discourses by understanding sentence meaning (Feyten, 1991).

Since the 1970s, with the development of functional language theory, there has been an emphasis on the research of language function in society. Functional linguistic experts recognize language as a communicative tool, but not an isolated structure system. Consequently the teaching of listening is not simply intended to make students hear a sound, a word or a sentence, rather, the goal is to cultivate students’ abilities to understand speakers’ intentions accurately and communicate with each other effectively (Lihua, 2002).

Different from the traditional theory that listening is a passive activity, now we have realized that listening is a complicated process that involves many factors. Rost (2002) suggests that “listening is a process involving a continuum of active processes which are under the control of the listener.” It is different from hearing which is “the primary physiological system that allows for reception and conversion of sound waves that surround the listener” (Rost, 2002).

A thorough definition of listening, thus, should include at least four factors: receptive, constructive, collaborative, or transformative (Rost, 2002). Receptive means receiving what the speaker actually says while constructive suggests constructing and representing meaning. Collaborative, on the other hand, shows negotiating meaning with the speaker and responding while transformative requires creating meaning through involvement, imagination and empathy.

            In summary, effective listening involves the listener taking an active role in constructing meaning with the speaker. Speaker must be aware of the deixis, speaker intention, implicit meaning and strategy use. In addition, effective listening will involve attention to cooperative social interaction, as that is where conversational meaning is monitored and negotiated (Rost, 2002).

The notion of involvement, engagement, and negotiation is related to pragmatic approach to listening. The pragmatic point of view of listening is an intention to complete a communication process. In order to occur this pragmatic completion, there must be engagement, in which a listener switches from becoming a mere ‘presence’ to an interpreter (Verschueren, 1999 in Rost, 2002).


Listening and Technologies

A prominent artefact of older beliefs concerning the role of listening in language learning is the language laboratory. The rationale for language laboratories is tied to the belief that individual listening practice with audiotape can help build a learner’s overall ability in the target language through self instructed comprehension practice. Technology continues to be perceived as an enhancement to the process of language acquisition. The large-scale infusion of computers in language instruction programs in the past decade attests to this belief. The rationale behind what is now growing support for Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) is not unlike earlier enthusiasm for audiotape-based technologies. That is, individualized access to target language material under learner control provides needed exposure to and practice in the target language (Meskill, 1993).

Enthusiasm for CALL in general and multimedia in particular, however, differs from that of the audiotape laboratory as regards the breadth of expectations concerning technology’s role and potential. Fast and powerful computational capacity in conjunction with the orchestrated video, text and graphics of today’s multimedia learning systems would predict more sophisticated paradigms for interaction with the target language and, consequently, more effective learning (Jung, 1990).

Arguments supporting multimedia for education of this kind have rung loud and clear over the past decade. Praises for the medium are, however, based largely on intuition: learning a language via individualized instruction with the computer especially when audio and video are involved is an extremely appealing proposition, one that has sold to many an administrator in search of instructional panaceas (Jonassen, 1993). Thus far, however, the extent of multimedia’s impact on the language acquisition process remains an open issue. Is there evidence to suggest that listening skills development can be enhanced through this medium? The following section treats this question by examining potential correspondence between multi modal processing opportunities for language learners and how these can interact to complement listening skills acquisition (Garza, 1991).

Puspitasari (2010) in Cahyono (2010) in her article “Using Podcast as a Source of Material for Teaching English” informed what a podcast is. By the guidance of the teacher, the students can experience learning authentically through podcasts. The strategy described in this article is how to use podcast as a source material. Having listened to podcast, students are assigned to do several tasks in worksheets. Then, they can finish their final project by submitting the worksheets and a written recount text.

Other sources of the use of technology in English language learning and teaching are Murtado (2010) in Cahyono (2010), he used mailing lists in the English classroom where students can read other people’s questions and comments, and they can also give their comments. Samsuli (2010) in Cahyono (2010) proposed teaching English in a virtual classroom. As a teaching environment, virtual classroom provides a set of tools and features to facilitate teachers for delivering course materials and structuring learning experiences. The virtual learning gives teachers an experience in the new teaching atmosphere and environment and makes them change the way to teach. It will improve their face to face interaction with more effective questioning techniques.



Podcasts are audio (sometimes video) programs on the Web which are usually updated at regular intervals. New episodes can be listened to on the computer, or downloaded to an MP3 player or iPod for later listening. Although audio programs have existed on the Web for a few years already, what makes podcasting unique is its capacity for subscription through an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed, listeners can subscribe to their favorite Podcasts. Their computer will then receive alerts when new episodes have been posted. Podcatcher software programs, such as iTunes, will even download the latest episodes automatically once the program is opened. In other words, instead of having to visit individual Websites regularly for updated episodes, listeners can now have the latest episodes of their favoriteprograms delivered to their computer (Stanley, 2006)


Types of Podcast

Podcasts available on the Web fall broadly into two types: “radio Podcasts” and “independent Podcasts.” Radio Podcasts are existing radio programs turned into Podcasts, such as those produced by BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and RTHK (Radio Television Hong Kong). “Independent Podcasts” are Web-based Podcasts produced by individuals and organizations (Lee, 2007).

It is the second type of Podcast which has huge potential for ELT because these can be perfect to suit the needs of different learners. They can be created by learners themselves with utmost ease.


ELT Podcasts

The first Podcasts appeared in early 2005. ELT educators soon joined the movement, and since the second half of 2005, there has been an upsurge in the number of ELT Podcasts on the Web. Teachers have three ways to look for suitable ELT Podcasts for their students. They can start with general Podcast directories. A Podcast directory is a searchable database which is linked to the Podcast sites. Teachers can type in a search term like “English,” “ELT,” “ESL,” and “TESOL,” and they will be given a list of ELT Podcasts. An example of a general Podcast directory is (Lee, 2007).

To narrow down their search, teachers may go directly to directories of educational Podcasts. One well-known educational Podcast directory is the Education Podcast Network: A recent new directory is, which claims to be the first U.K directory of educational Podcasts (Lee, 2007).

There is now such an abundance of ELT Podcasts on the Web that Podcast directories specializing in ELT are also available. These are directories which cover ELT podcasts only. One example is maintained by the Internet TESL Journal (McCarty, 2005).


Contents of ELT Podcast

ELT podcasts cover a wide range of subject matter. A brief survey of ELT podcasts reveals the following content types:

  • Comprehensive (e.g.,

These are Podcasts that cover a wide range of content types, such as traditional listening comprehension activities, interviews, and vocabulary. A well-known comprehensive Podcast is the one quoted above, created by “Teacher John,” who teaches ESL in Japan.

  • Whole lessons (e.g.,

These are whole lessons based on a Podcast. The Podcast quoted above, for example, makes use of a news story in each episode. The text of the news story is provided, and is accompanied by the audio file. There is then a lesson plan with accompanying worksheet materials. In effect, these are ready-made lessons based on Podcasts which teachers can use in the classroom directly.

  • Vocabulary, idioms, etc. (e.g.,

This is a popular type of Podcast, probably because it is easy to produce. In this kind of Podcast, the host chooses some vocabulary items and explains their usage. The example presents a few idioms in each episode.

These Podcasts contain conversations between native speakers to help less proficient learners, each episode is accompanied by the script, for learners to refer to while listening to the conversation.

These are Podcasts containing jokes because they usually play on language, they encourage careful listening by the learner.

  • Songs (e.g.,

These Podcasts contain songs for ESL learners. The songs are either traditional children’s songs, or authentic popular songs for teenagers. They are also often accompanied by the text of the lyrics.

  • Phonetics, pronunciation (e.g.,

Podcasts are obviously highly suited for teaching phonetics and pronunciation. These Podcasts are lessons which focus on specific phonemes and pronunciation problems in English.

  • Stories (e.g,

These are usually reading aloud story. They may or may not be followed by listening comprehension questions.

  • Listening comprehension (e.g.,

These Podcasts provide conventional listening comprehension practice.

In conclusion, computerized media and a multimedia environment can be helpful for English language learning and teaching and it has been asserted that internet sources and internet-based teaching are an excellent medium and strategies for generating social construction of knowledge. Information and communication technology can be used by adopting variant methods that could encourage students in developing independent learning strategies. In this study, the use of webblog and internet mail (e-mail) as learning medium and the use of podcast as a listening source material hopefully can make the students improve their listening skill and motivation.


Podcasts and Listening Activities

Teaching listening by using Podcast is possible to increase student listening comprehension as Podcast provide students with authentic and contextual material and it can improve students’ knowledge because they share their Podcast (Earp, 1998). Podcasting offers an ideal tool for the creative expression of knowledge preferred by today’s students, and provides an exciting way for students and teachers to explore and discover listening content or material. Podcasts are audio or video files that are automatically delivered over a network, and then played back on any Mac, PC, or iPod. When students create a Podcast for class, they not only learn the content in a creative way, they learn 21st-century communications skills at the same time (McCarty, 2005).  Podcasting allows teachers to take their students beyond traditional assignments by allowing them to include voice recordings, photos, movies, and sound effects to share their knowledge. For example, students can draft and perform scripts as a writing assignment, create a visual progress report for an ongoing project, or submit a recorded version of a science presentation (Ge, 2005).

Podcasting is also a great way for teachers to deliver listening content to their students. They can distribute homework assignments, record book narration for beginning readers to read along with, or create foreign language lessons that students can review at their own pace (Lee, 2007).

ELT Podcasts can be used for intensive and extensive listening activities. However, ELT Podcasts are particularly suited for extensive listening, for the purpose of motivating student interest in listening to English, and providing them with exposure to native speakers’ speech (Rost, 1991). Stanley (2006) points out that Podcasts offer students a wide range of possibilities for extra listening both inside and outside of the classroom:

 “Supplementing the (often) scripted and stilted textbook listening with the real life authentic conversations we can find on many Podcasts is an attractive option for language teachers chosen carefully, extracts can bring a range of different voices and varieties of English into the classroom.”

More advanced learners can be encouraged to listen to authentic podcast. This activity effectively bridges the gap between the formal English which dominates most second language classrooms and the informal English used in most real-life communication events.

The key to help students improve their listening skills is to convince them that they can finish the job. This is more of an attitude adjustment than anything else, and it is easier for some students to accept than others. Another important point is that teachers should convince their students to listen to English as often as possible. As to the listening material, the more material they get touch with, the more progress they will make (Nunan and Miller, 1995).

In conclusion, as we all know, for the students of English as a foreign language, there are usually intervals between the perceptions of sounds by their ears and understanding the words, phrases and sentences. This kind of intervals often makes students have more troubles in listening comprehension. So it is essential for them to have more chances to contact with different kinds of listening materials and let their ears be familiar with different sounds of English words. In classroom activities, teachers can also give students some advice about improving listening competency, one of the useful suggestions, that is, extensive listening. The best source for extensive listening is podcast material from the internet.



Having observed all the results of the studies mentioned above, it can be concluded that internet podcast is a great multimedia to improve students’ listening skill. Podcast allows students to download or subscribe to audio programs in the form of MP3 files which is very easy to apply and they can select appropriate podcast materials which they need and like. The material is then easily be transferred to a portable MP3 player. Moreover, Intensive and Extensive Listening Activity using podcast is able to overcome students’ low ability in listening comprehension and is able to fulfill their need to have extra time to improve their listening skill with appropriate and interesting listening materials.



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Comprehension and Possible Measures for Improvement. Australia: University of Tasmania.

Yumarnamto. 2008. Podcasts and Videocasts from the Internet to Improve Students’ Listening Skill. Paper presented in Asia TEFL Conference Bali, 1st-3rd August.

Stimulating Positive English Speaking Class Environment

Oleh: Ani  Purjayanti

Bogor Agricultural University (IPB)



Despite the fact that the skills to communicate in English are crucial in the globalization era, the majority of students in Bogor Agricultural University encounter problems to speak this language appropriately and fluently. When asked to elaborate the inhibiting factors, students generally point out both linguistic and non-linguistic factors. Accordingly, not only do students need to be equipped with adequate knowledge of grammar, a sufficient range of vocabulary, and pronunciation knowledge but their confidence and willingness to take the risk also need to be provoked as well. In fact, the latter points, namely, building confidence and risk-taking willingness generally require hard efforts on the part of the teachers. Practice, is indeed viewed as the best way in such an English teaching-learning process, although, inevitably, there are often questions concerning the HOW this process is able to provide prominent and meaningful inputs to the students. This paper is written as an attempt to elicit students’ opinions on speaking classroom environment which can stimulate and foster students to speak appropriately and fluently. 100 students of Bogor Agricultural University (of Diploma level) who had taken reading class prior to the Speaking I, were randomly selected to be the subjects of the study. Besides completing questionnaires focusing on classroom arrangement and environment, participants were interviewed for further clarification. Results show that teachers play the most prominent role in creating classroom environment, including creating comforting but challenging classroom environment and providing appropriate teaching materials.


Key words: classroom environment, friendly speaking environment

Although teaching speaking skill does not completely differ from teaching other language skills, it apparently requires greater endeavors as students are driven to produce sentences in an active way. Meanwhile, being in a new speaking class – where one has to express ideas and opinions – is not always a pleasant experience for students. Quite often, a series of queries appears in a student’s mind: whether they will have an interesting class, a good teacher, nice friends, and so forth. Others might think whether they will be able to accomplish all of their classroom activities, and go through all of the tasks in the learning process for the whole semester. Still, some others wonder whether they are far behind their friends in terms of ability or the same. Such worries may, unfortunately, result in the decline of students’ guts and confidence so that their performance is far below optimum.

It is in such a case, learning environment becomes paramount. If the environment is dreary and discouraging, things will lead to a strenuous and boring situation though the lessons offered are tremendous. If the environment is tempting and motivating, on the other hand, learning may take place more easily as having safe and comfortable feelings, learners will eagerly open themselves to be involved and actively engage in the learning activities. By doing so, they are expected to be able to absorb and master the materials and skills given. But, the questions arisen here is “Who is responsible to create such a stimulating learning environment?”

This paper is written to elicit students’ opinion on “Who” or/and “What” can stimulate learners to speak in the speaking classroom.


Learning Environment

The term “Learning Environment” has apparently drawn a relatively wide attention from teachers of languages who then react in different ways as their follow-up actions. A some papers  discuss that many language teachers immediately direct their concentration on the physical setting of the classroom – where and how specific things must be placed and arranged as such an organization is believed to benefit young learners in their brain development  (Church, 2010). He goes on by mentioning other factors that may affect the classroom environment; namely, material choices as well as provided activities.  Byanderzee (2010), furthermore forward the idea that a positive classroom environment can be created by taking learners’ preferences and view points in the design of classroom materials, and this can be covered in specific classroom curriculum design. One specific goal for this is to ensure that students’ individual needs will be fulfilled. A larger coverage of the conception of learning environment is not only the “physical” environment but also the emotional feelings of learners created by particular people in a classroom: the teacher, classmates, etc that play a prominent role in stimulating positive learning environment. The feeling of being secure and excited when entering the classroom and conducting all the activities, is one of the examples of desired classroom environment.


Methods and Procedures

100 students of Diploma Program in IPB (from 6 different classes from two semesters) were asked to fill in a questionnaire “Stimulating Classroom Environment for English Speaking Learners”. They are free to give more than one answers when describing the preferred teacher, teaching materials, classmates, etc. In order to explore true responses from participants, Indonesian is used, but answers were given in English.

Responses were then tabulated and analyzed to obtain a clear depiction of students’ preferences. Words of similar meaning are classified into one to make the grouping easier. Some of these findings some were put into graphs.

In-depth interviews were conducted in order to get clarification of participants’ responses on the questionnaire.


Findings and Discussion
It was found that according to the students, the salient factors that have great roles in stimulating positive classroom environment so as to make them willing and encouraged to speak in English are in the following order:


Figure 1: The most influential factor in creating positive learning environment


Results indicated that the majority of the participants (68%) pointed out “the teacher” as the most crucial factor in making them speak, compared to other factors such as materials (10%), classmates (10%), learning situations (7%)  and learning activities (5%). Teacher factor is evidently far above the other choices, meaning that teachers  are viewed to have a vital role in providing valuable learning environment.

Regarding detailed teachers’ characteristics, teaching materials, classmates’ characteristics, and so forth that students preferred in-depth interviews were conducted. Responses mentioned by participants in each category are discussed individually.


1. Teacher (as the Most Influential Factor)

What are the aspects of an influential teacher brought up by the students in the questionnaire and interview?

Regarding teachers’ characteristics that students preferred, students raised teachers’ being friendly, supportive and giving respect as the highest in frequency. Responses students raised in the questionnaire are as described in the following:

  1. 1.      Being friendly

The most outstanding teachers’ characteristic raised by the majority of the students (89 %) – which also means what students concern the most about their teacher – is “friendliness”. Although it is described in a variety of words; including, being friendly, always smiles, always shows friendly face, the body language shows friendliness, and the like, students point out that this characteristic has a great impact on their feelings towards the classroom environment. This can make them feel at ease and comfortable and also reduce their nervousness so that they can enjoy the lesson and find it easier to express their opinions.

  1. 2.      Being supportive

Similar to the first characteristic, this second one was also written by 77% students as one of the teacher’s ideal characteristics. They have more courage if the teacher always provides support for his/her students, particularly when they make mistakes or do not know what to say. Thus, expressions such as “That’s good, so what about …“ in order to remind them of what they have to focus on, or “Right, but how do you pronounce …” when trying to correct their pronunciation can make them keep going.

Another expression that students use in the response is that they like to have a teacher who always gives motivation so that they feel the need to learn more and more. This can be conducted when giving them assignment or at the end of the lesson, for instance, depending on the classroom situation. Saying “Practice again and again so that in the next meeting you can speak much better than this time…” can give a significantly positive impact on the students.

  1. 3.      Giving respects

Although it is not mentioned as often as the above two characteristics, more than half of the respondents (57%) mention that they need to be given respects by their teacher. A teacher who respects students, listens to what they say, provides the same opportunities for all students to speak or ask questions, and does not criticize nor give bad judgment in front of others is sincerely appreciated. A teacher should also be able to accept students’ weaknesses wisely.

  1. 4.      Being  eager in correcting students’ mistakes

Both eagerness and willingness of a teacher to address students’ mistakes in a positive way is another concern (51%) since students believe that they still make lots of mistakes when speaking. A teacher, accordingly, is expected to show and correct these mistakes, as by doing so, students will be aware of their mistakes in the hope that they can avoid making the same mistakes at other times.

  1. 5.      Being kind-hearted

In addition, many students (46%) would like to have a teacher who has genuine understanding upon his/her students’ level of English proficiency, including understanding their difficulties and anxiety while learning English. In their words, they like a teacher who “can understand students’ situations” and do not become furious easily. A teacher has to have a great patience in her/himself.”


  1. 6.      Being creative and innovative

To a smaller extent (11%), students stated that a creative and innovative teacher can create good environment in the classroom since he/she can make classroom alive with the materials and activities provided for the students.

  1. 7.      Other characteristics

There are, still, other teachers’ characteristics preferred by students  though only in a very small number (7%). These include being able to explain clearly and become a role model, having sense of humor, being professional, and  close to the students. Moreover, teachers should also be serious in a friendly manner.

From the findings, it revealed that only a very few number of the participants point out teacher’s intelligence, knowledge, and smartness as profound aspects in creating friendly speaking environment. These cognitive characteristics were not as highly favoured as affective characteristics as discussed above. It is definite, therefore, that to provide friendly speaking environment, teachers’ personalities have to be given more attention. This is a great input for language teachers to introspect and check whether the above points are built in themselves.

The above-mentioned findings are, in fact, in line with previous studies (eg., Purjayanti, 2008). Similar hints to teach speaking class are also stated by Kelly (2010) who points out that both “teacher’s behaviors” and “teacher’s characteristics”, particularly “teacher’s personalities” have a great impact on how a learning environment is created. Whether or not a teacher is even-tempered, sarcastic, serious, patient, or optimist, is viewed to be the most important factor in creating a stimulating classroom environment as it appears that every student mentions this in their response.

What needs to be done then? Personalities, indeed, have to come first. Giving genuine smile and showing a happy face can be the first thing a teacher has to perform. Language teachers do not only assist students but also learn from others; sharing both knowledge and experience with students at the same time may help language teachers maintain the positive environment.

Included in the personalities that a language teacher needs to posses is the choices of words he/she uses in the classroom. Words of appreciation, inspiration as well as keenness are always good to use. A list of word choices and expressions used by language teachers in the classroom is proposed by Andrew (2009:1); he mentions that saying “raise a hand if in need of assistance” creates a more positive environment than saying “do not call out answers”.

Regarding teacher’s attempt to correct students’ mistakes which is very common to occur in a speaking class, again, words play a great role. Suess (2010); therefore, suggests that a teacher should conduct this activity wisely:

Always start with positive statement; praise them for trying. Praise is a powerful positive motivation tool” (Mc-Daniels in Suess, 2010:2)

Above all, a more crucial tip for teacher’s personalities is provided by Suess who states that the heart of creating stimulating classroom environment is teachers’ “enthusiasm” as well as “excitement” towards the lesson being taught. Teachers should always try to be enthusiastic and eager with the valuable job being conducted. It is this excitement   that will finally spread throughout the whole classroom and spark students’ enthusiasm to learn.

It is, definitely, a big fortune if all the characteristics and behaviors that students preferred become the parts of language teachers’ daily life in order to make students feel the comfort, respect, and even love from teachers. The most important questions that need to be addressed now is probably, “Are language teachers able to keep up the same performance from time to time?”, or “Can they always control their emotion in all kinds of situations?” Whatever the answer it takes, it is always good to take Kelly’s affirmation into account:

your behavior is the one factor that you can completely control” (Kelly, 2010:1)



The second vital component that can stimulate learning environment, as the participants respond on the questionnaire includes are both teaching materials and classmates. These are discussed with teaching materials discussed first and followed with classmates.

It was found that the stimulating materials include real-life topics, interesting topics, simple (trivial-matter) topic), and others. Real life topic includes topics about daily life, current issues and situations, any other current issues appear in the society. Students perceived such topics to be un-threatening topics to discuss since they are mostly have the knowledge on them; thus, it is relatively challenging. Interesting topics include the ones providing new or more knowledge or information are also found interesting. On the other hand, the ones that students are not familiar with are more difficult to express. Third, simple topics are the ones related to the real-life topics. Topics on politics or laws, for instance, are fairly hard to discuss. Finally, other topics include  the ones which are challenging, of their own choice, and fun.



Placed in the same rank as teaching materials, classmates were pointed out by 10% of the participants to be one of the factors influencing the learning environment. What kinds of classmates are they exactly expecting to make them encouraged to speak? The following characteristics of classmates are expected.

Being great motivators

85 % students affirmed that they are encouraged to speak when their classmates are the ones who can give them motivation. This kind of classmates are those willing to help and do not expect too much in return. These classmates also appreciate whatever their other friends performed and gave necessary suggestions.

Being active and responsive

58% students; furthermore, pointed out that these classmates are relatively active when conducting conversations with them, active asking questions and giving opinions during class presentation. Such classmates can radiate energy to them so that they finally become active.

Willing to give correction

Similar to the hope addressed to teachers, some students (27%) feel happy to be corrected by their friends. They found that most of the time, they forget grammar or certain pronunciation due to nervousness or concentration breakdown. Having correction from their friends will make them fresh again and able to carry out their speaking.

Possessing better skills

This finding was found relatively surprising. 16% of the participants stated that they can apparently have more courage when facing classmates with better ability. They revealed that these kinds of friends will indirectly radiate their great spirit to the others who realize that they have to learn more and more.


What includes under this category are, among others, having sincere classmates – the ones who give their complete attention when others are carrying out their tasks – , can also provide the spirit for them to speak. They also like classmates who never laugh at their friends’ mistakes

It is worth noting that classmates can, indeed, have a relatively big influence in the learning environment, particularly in a speaking class. It is necessary, therefore, for all language teachers to give their attention to this matter. Mc-Daniels words, quoted by Suess (2010:2) can be used as a great reminder:

Make sure students respect one another by teaching them help rather than laugh at each other .They should be reminded how they would like to be treated, and should treat others that way.”


Learning/Classroom Situation

Although this is not discerned as a really influential factor in creating the learning environment, few students stated some preferences on the classroom situations. Apparently, they like the following (in order of preference):

  1. to have a life classroom where everyone can express their opinions without fear
  2. to be in a fun and relax but serious situation (as opposed to an intense classroom)
  3. to be in a warm, conducive, and communicative classroom
  4. to be given an opportunity to speak or ask questions
  5. to be placed in pairs or groups
  6. to be placed in a small class  ( not too many students in it)

It was found that students, indeed, like to take part by expressing ideas in their speaking classroom, whether they are as a presenter or audience. This is believed to be able to provide as pleasant classroom environment so as not to make students feel discouraged and disrespected.

It was also worth noting that – as mentioned by a number of students – placing students in pairs or small groups is one way to make students feel comfortable and relax (as opposed to be individual). The first reason might be because they know each other, and secondly they have more turn and opportunity to express their ideas. Having this, therefore, it is expected that students can have better involvement, and hopefully better learning results.


Learning Activities

Students revealed that activities they like to perform in a speaking class are:

  1. the ones involving asking and answering questions
  2. presentation
  3. group discussion
  4. graded level of difficulty (to start from the easiest then move to the next grades)

The above findings, in fact, confirmed students’ high desire to get more time to perform speaking in the classroom. Thus, the enthusiasm is there with the students. The question arisen will be “are students given a opportunity to carry out the real speaking? Or, instead, is their high spirit “killed” simply because  the language teachers  do not provide an environment that can keep students’ high desire?



Generating a stimulating learning environment means creating safe, comfortable, secure, and friendly situations where students feel welcome, accepted and respected. Nervousness, anxiety or even stress due to the fear to produce utterances may be reduced or even hampered by such a friendly environment. In this kind of environment, learners are put in the centre of the classroom activities where they can explore and share knowledge, information, and experience in their own way. It is expected that in this way, learners can build their confidence and grow their willingness to express their ideas in their speaking class so as to make them speak better.

Now, as previously discussed, it is the duty of the teacher as the “most influential” person – whom the students rely on – to make every effort in order to provide the above findings for students to learn more eagerly. As McDanniels (2012:1) stated:

All students, even those who have learning difficulties and extraordinary personal challenges can do well when they are physically comfortable, mentally motivated and emotionally supported”.



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