TEACHER TRAINING AND EDUCATION FACULTY
“THE EFFECTS OF TEXT COMPLEXITY AND STRUCTURE PROFICIENCY ON READING COMPREHENSION OF RECOUNT TEXT OF THE ELEVENTH GRADE STUDENTS OF MADRASAH ALIYAH ISLAMIAH PONTIANAK IN ACADEMIC YEAR 2008/2009”
English is a language of wider communication. It is used as an international language. It is important for many aspects. In Indonesia, as a foreign language, English is one of their major subjects that should be mastered by the students. Based on English curriculum, the aim of teaching and learning English according to Depdikbud (1994), “English language is the first important foreign language in Indonesia that aims to absorb and to develop the knowledge, technology and art and to build the relationship with the foreign countries“.
The students have to master four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Besides those four skills, it is also important for the students to learn language components, namely, grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. The language skills and the language components are closely interrelated. Those two things complete each other.
Reading is one of the main language skills. Huebner (1965) stated that reading is an interaction process in which readers interact with the text in order to make meaning or in general sense, reading is what happens when people look at a text and assign to written symbol in that text. One of the processes in reading is reading comprehension. According to Cooper (1986: 11), comprehension is a process by which the reader constructs meaning by interacting with the text.
Comprehending a text is not easy. Many factors cause readers difficult in comprehending text. The factors can arise from the text itself and the reader itself. Those factors are related to readability. Sutaria in Ngabut (2006: 109) quoted by Anggriani (2007) stated “readability can be defined as the sum of many factors in the background of the reader and in the printed materials”. In this study, the factors that influence reading comprehension are text complexity and the structure proficiency. Where text complexity is related to the difficulty that comes from the text itself and structure proficiency is related to the background of the reader.
Payani (2003:46) quoted by Anggriani (2007) stated “the complexity of the concepts expressed in a text also brings difficulties . . .”. in this study, text complexity is complexity in a text which is caused by un-unified structure of text. Un-unified structure of the text means that a text has implicitly stated thesis and implicitly stated main idea. Those two things make a text is complex. The more complex a text is more difficult to comprehend.
Structure proficiency also influences reading comprehension. Without having knowledge in structure, it is difficult to comprehend a text. It is because more complex a text is more complex its structure. So, the structure proficiency of the reader can influence reading comprehension.
Reading comprehension is also influenced by the text pattern which is read. The text pattern can be divided based on physical structure and genre. Based on physical structure, there are nine patterns of text; they are narration, description of place, description of person, definition, illustration example, explanation of process and procedures, comparison and contrast, and cause and effect. Based on the genre, especially in senior high school, there are five texts pattern that are taught. They are recount, narrative, descriptive, procedure, and report text. In this study, the writer focuses on recount text. It is because recount text is more interesting for the students. The part of this text is easy to recognize and the students are also able to make it by themselves.
The writer chooses MAS Islamiah Pontianak for conducting his research because the students of this school, especially the eleven grade students of second semester of, have been taught recount text.
Based on the explanation above, the writer predicts that the text complexity and the structure proficiency influence reading comprehension. Therefore, it is important to find out the effects of them on reading comprehension.
III. Problem of the study
Based on the background of this study, the problems of the study are as follows:
1. What is the effect of text complexity on reading comprehension of recount text of the eleven grade students of second semester of second semester of Madrasah Aliyah Islamiah Pontianak.
2. What is the effect of structure proficiency on reading comprehension of recount text of the eleven grade students of second semester of second semester of Madrasah Aliyah Islamiah Pontianak.
3. What is the interaction effect of text complexity and structure proficiency on reading comprehension of recount text of the eleven grade students of second semester of Madrasah Aliyah Islamiah Pontianak.
IV. Objective of the study
The objectives of this study are as follow:
1. Finding out the effect of text complexity on reading comprehension of recount text of the eleven grade students of second semester of Madrasah Aliyah Islamiah Pontianak.
2. Finding out the effect of structure proficiency on reading comprehension of the recount text of the eleven grade students of second semester of Madrasah Aliyah Islamiah Pontianak.
3. Finding out the interaction effect of text complexity and structure proficiency on reading comprehension of recount text of the eleven grade students of second semester of Madrasah Aliyah Islamiah Pontianak.
Based on the objectives of this study, the writer has some hypothesis as follows:
1. There is no significant effect of text complexity on reading comprehension of recount text of the eleven grade students of second semester of Madrasah Aliyah Islamiah Pontianak.
2. There is no significant effect of structure proficiency on reading comprehension of recount text of the eleven grade students of second semester of Madrasah Aliyah Islamiah Pontianak.
3. There is no significant interaction effect of text complexity and structure proficiency on reading comprehension of recount text of the eleven grade students of second semester of Madrasah Aliyah Islamiah Pontianak.
VI. Data collection and data processing procedures
1) The data needed
The data needed for this study are the students’ scores of reading test. The writer gain the data from the eleven grade students of MA Islamiah Pontianak second semester in academic year 2008/2009.
2) The criteria for admissibility of the data
The criteria for the admissible data which is used in this study are taken from the result of test on reading comprehension of recount text of the eleven grade students of MA Islamiah Pontianak second semester in academic year 2008/2009.
3) Data collection and data processing procedures
In collecting the data, the writer use reading comprehension test as the instrument.
Before collecting the data, the write do some preparation as follows:
- Determining the school to conduct the study
- Determining the school to conduct the try out.
- Asking permission letter to:
The faculty of Teacher Training and Education, Tanjungpura University Pontianak.
- Asking permission from the school before collecting the data.
- Finding out the data of the eleven grade students of MA Islamiah Pontianak second semester in academic year 2008/2009.
- Asking permission from the English teacher of the eleven grade students of MA Islamiah Pontianak second semester in academic year 2008/2009.
In collecting the data, there are some procedures:
1. Giving structure proficiency test to classify the students’ structure proficiency based on the criteria of scoring structure proficiency test.
2. Conducting random assignment to determine groups of structure proficiency that would receive treatment by shaking the bottle which consist of rolled-papers where there are names of the students on it. The treatment is in form of complex text and simple text.
3. Giving the some question to the groups related to the text given.
4. Collecting the answer sheet.
5. Checking the answer sheet.
8. Tabulating the data after finishing the process of scoring the data.
There are four instruments to use in this study:
1. Text complexity (simple and complex texts)
In this study, text complexity is in the form of complex and simple text. Complex text is a text which is characterized by un-unified structure of the text, where the text has implicitly stated thesis and implicitly stated main idea. And the simple text is a text which is characterized by unified structure of text, where the text has explicitly stated thesis and explicitly stated main idea. In this study, the writer simplifies the complex text into simple text. The writer use recount text. the simplifying bases on the theory of Krizan and Logan about a unified structure of a message. In this case, the writer applies unified structure.
To simplify the recount text, the writer uses some procedures as follows:
1. Prepare the original recount texts that is still complex. In this case the text that has implicit thesis and main idea.
2. Simplify the complex recount text into simple recount text. In this study the writer simplifies the complex recount text by using criteria:
- Explicitly stated thesis statement
- Explicitly stated main idea
2. Structure proficiency test
The writer gives structure proficiency test to the samples. This test item takes from TOEFL. After giving the test, the writer classifies the students in to structure proficiency levels base on the criteria of scores:
a. 1 – 10 : Very poor structure proficiency
b. 11 – 20 : Poor structure proficiency
c. 21 – 30 : Fair structure proficiency
d. 31 – 40 : Good structure proficiency
e. 41 – 50 : Very good structure proficiency
3. Reading comprehension test
In this study, reading comprehension test is in the form of multiple-choice items. The indicators of the instrumentation development for reading comprehension in this study is developed based on the combination of the reading skills recommended by Bowen, Madsen, and Hilferty (1985: 243). Bowen, Madsen, and Hilferty (1985: 243) cited from Angriaini (2007: 24) recommended that reading critically presupposes basic skills in understanding and interpreting meaning that consisted of: (1) Understanding literal meaning, (2) paraphrasing the content, (3)getting the main thought and details, (4) distinguishing among fact, inference, and opinion, (5) seeing relationship, (6) predicting outcomes, (7) drawing conclusion, (8) making generalization, (9) understanding figurative language, (10) recognizing propaganda. And according to Burton in Bouchard and Spaventa (1984: 148) cited from aAnggriani (2007 : 24), reading comprehension may be divided in to the following basic categories: (1) interpreting an opinion, (2) stylistic feature, (3)structure, (4) direct reference, (5)indirect reference, (6) direct inference, (7) indirect inference.
In this study, this instrument is made based on the combination of those recommendations. Therefore, the indicators of the instrumentation development for reading comprehension test can be seen on the table below:
Content Specification of Reading Comprehension Test for Complex text
NO Type of
Reading Quaestion Reading Skills
Thesis Main Idea Details
1 Direct Reference - - 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 14, 17, 19, 22
2 Indirect Reference - - 21
3 Direct Inference - 2,3,9,15,16,20 4,10
4 Indirect Inference 1,7,13,18 - -
Total Items Number 4 6 12
Content Specification of Reading Comprehension Test for Simple text
NO Type of
Reading Quaestion Reading Skills
Thesis Main Idea Details
1 Direct Reference 7 9 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 14, 17, 19, 22
2 Indirect Reference 1,13,18 2, 3, 15, 16, 20 21
3 Direct Inference - 4,10
4 Indirect Inference - -
Total Items Number 4 6 12
The writer uses questionnaire in this study in order to get information about the students and the teacher.
Content Specification of Questionnaire for students
No Indicators Number of test items Item Number
1 Student’s attitude toward English 6 8, 9, 12, 18, 23, 24.
2 Student’s attitude toward English Teacher 3 5, 6, 14
3 Student’s problems in reading recount text 1 2
4 Teacher’s performance based on the student’s view 3 10, 16, 17
5 Student’s knowledge on reading comprehension of recount text 9 1, 3, 4, 7, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25
6 The Material of English and the condition of the class. 3 11, 13, 15
Content Specification of Questionnaire for Teacher
No Indicators Number of Test Items Items Number
1 Teacher’s identity 3 1, 2, 3
2 Teacher’s qualification 3 4, 6, 7
3 Teacher’s qualification 2 5, 9
4 Teacher’s upgrading 1 8
5 Teacher’s opinion about students 2 10, 11
VIII. Population and sample
Donald Ary et al defined population as “the whole members of a group of people, events, or objects that has been formulated clearly and the sample is the part of the population”.
The population of this research is the eleven grade students of MA Islamiah Pontianak in academic year 2008/2009.
And the sample of this study is the second semester students of eight grades in MA Islamiah Pontianak in academic year 2008/2009.
IX. Research Methodology
The writer use pre experimental method in this study. This study use factorial experimental design. It is because this study has two independent variables. Those two independent variables are called factors. According to Toendan (2007b:229), there are two primary purposes for using factorial designs. One is to see if the effects of a treatment are consistent across different characteristics, such as age, gender, or aptitude. The second is to examine interactions, which are relationships that can only be investigated with factorial design.
X. Variable of the study
Variable is the characteristic of an object which is measurable and the value and the result are assumed inconstant. The variable is divided in to two that is independent and dependent variable. Independent variable is the operational variable that is able to affect the other variable. Dependent variable is the variable that is caused by the independent variable. Sudjana et al.(1992: 9).
In this study, the independent variable are:
1. Text Complexity
2. Structure proficiency
Dependent Variable: Reading Comprehension
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