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IMPROVING STUDENTS’ ENGLISH INTERACTION THROUGH JAZZ CHANTS MODEL

Posted on: August 2, 2010


IMPROVING STUDENTS’ ENGLISH INTERACTION

THROUGH JAZZ CHANTS MODEL

By Wasimin, S Pd., M Pd.

(Teacher of SMP 34 Semarang, Central Java)

Paper

Presented in the 53rd TEFLIN (Teachers of English as A Foreign Language in Indonesia) International Conference 2005

Yogyakarta, December 6-8th 2005

Departemen Pendidikan Nasional

Direktorat Jenderal Pendidikan Dasar dan Menengah

Direktorat Pendidikan Lanjutan Pertama

IMPROVING STUDENTS’ ENGLISH INTERACTION

THROUGH JAZZ CHANTS MODEL

By Wasimin, S Pd., M Pd.

(Teacher of SMP 34 Semarang, Central Java)

Abstract

The ability in making interaction in English of class IIIA students of SMP 34 Semarang is low. This is because they do not know how to give responses to someone’s statements. They do not have appropriate act ional competence. This is due to their lack knowledge of the use of finite in natural conversation. This problem must be solved because when in their future they will need to communicate in English fluently and accurately in its social context. Students are also hoped to be able to express their meaning (interpersonal, ideational, and textual) in various spoken text that have communicative purposes, in certain text and linguistics.

To solve the problem, I used Jazz Chants technique for 20 minutes in every meeting. Jazz Chants is a drill using interpersonal dialogue in relaxed rhythm and beat like simple jazz music. Chants mean short songs that are easy to imitate.

The purpose of the research is to improve the students’ ability to interact in English. The focus of the research, which is put in the indicators of the success of the research, is the improvements of (1) the use of finite (2) pronunciation and intonation and (3) the fluency in giving responses.

The Action Research was done in 3 cycles beginning from August 2004 and ended in the end of November 2004. Gradually, the students who had difficulties in giving responses to others in English decreased. This was seen through the data taken from three aspects (1) the use of finite (2) pronunciation and intonation (3) fluency in giving responses that increased in every meeting. In the end of cycle 1, the ability of the students in using finite in simple present tense increased from 4 to 33, pronunciation and intonation increased from 2 to 33 students; the fluency in giving responses increased from 2 to 29 students. In the second cycle, which I focused on the use of simple past tense, the ability to use finite in simple past tense increased from 31 to 33 students, pronunciation and intonation increased from 29 to 33 students. Fluency in giving responses increased from 28 to 32 students. In the third cycle, which I focused on the use of simple future tense indicated the improvements in the three aspects I investigated. The ability in the use of finite in simple future tense increased from 20 to 38 students, pronunciation and intonation increased from 25 to 38 students, and fluency in giving responses increased from 21 to 35 students. In the end of cycle 3 or in the fourth meeting, I contrasted the use of the three primary tenses and the result showed that 29,6% of the students were able to use the three aspects properly.

Using the Jazz Chants model, my students felt happy and relaxed, so they were able to improve their competency in making interaction in English. However, this research underwent obstacles. At the beginning of the research, my students found difficulties in imitating the utterances from the tape because they found some unfamiliar vocabulary. Besides that, I did not cover all kinds of finite, so the ability to give responses was still limited. Then I asked my students to find their own material in order that they would not find difficulties in unfamiliar vocabulary.

I.   INTRODUCTION

A. Background

The Indonesian government has done many efforts to build good quality human resource. However, the target of students’ competence has not been satisfying. One-important students’ competence for them to survive in the future is the ability to communicate in English. There are 40 state Junior High Schools and tens of private ones that undergo the same problem.

The implementation of the English 2004 curriculum is hoped that students will have the competency in using both spoken and written English in the appropriate social context. In spoken English, students are hoped to be able to convey meanings (interpersonal, ideational and textual) in various spoken texts that have certain communicative purpose, text structure and linguistics. Again, the condition is still far from the teaching and learning objectives.

I teach at SMP 34 Semarang. The school is located in east Semarang that has poorer condition compared with other school located in the city center. As I was teaching, there were some problems arouse. Most students had difficulties in interacting using English. The difficulty was caused by the lack ability of the students to use the appropriate finite in the mood in the utterances. Finite is an important thing that enables the students to give responses when someone speaks to them. Together with the subject, finite forms mood, as the main part in building interpersonal meaning in English utterance. The following example gives a clear illustration of how my students could not interact in simple English. When someone said: You are a student here. The response they gave was just yes or even they had nothing to say, or just smiled. The response we need from the utterance is: I am. The word am is the finite from the utterance I am. Then the communication simply broke down, as they did not know the way to give responses as they did not have adequate competence in using the finite.

Realizing the important problem to solve, I tried a way to find the solution. I tried to use a strategy in teaching that made students interested and at the same time helped them to be able to give responses when someone gave statements to them.

B. Problem Formulation

From the explanation above, I formulate the problem as follows:

Does the ability to interact in English of class IIIA SMP 34 Semarang in odd semester in the academic year of 2004/2005 improve through the use of Jazz Chants model?

C. Research Objectives

  1. The students’ ability in interacting using English improves, that is seen through (1) the use of proper finite (2) the improvement of pronunciation and intonation, (3) the more fluency to give responses to other people who gave statements in English.
  2. To build active and responsive English class.

D. Significance of the study

  1. Students were able to eliminate their difficulties in making interaction, as it was an important competency in using English.
  2. The teacher would improve his performance in improving the teaching strategy.
  3. The study gave input to the headmaster to make policy to fulfill the students’ needs.

II. Theoritical Review

A.   Interaction

What I mean by interaction in my study is the ability of the students to make sustained conversation in English. It means that the students are not only able to respond in one-sided dialogue, but then he/she is able to give a prompt for his/her partner to give responses and vice versa.  Diknas (2004:34) states that natural conversation is not like an interrogation. An authentic discourse does not last ‘cleanly’ and ‘neatly’ like we can find in educative dialogue texts. The texts often cover a dialogue between A and B, where A asks, B answers. When students are able to interact, meaning that they are able to give responses as well as to give a prompt to others, it means that they are able to interact in English.

B. Jazz Chants Model

To overcome the problem faced by my students, I used Jazz Chants model. Graham (1978) stated that Jazz Chants is a rhythmic expression of Standard American English as it occurs in situational contexts. The rhythmic expressions were recorded as a model that was imitated by the students in jazz tempo and beat. Echols (1996:327) states that chant means simple and short songs. So Jazz Chants technique is the technique to practice the English utterances in short jazz beats that is easy to be followed by the students. As we know that the teaching and learning process is a complex phenomenon that involves many components and competencies, including words, mind, and our action. Through attractive learning, learning process can be effective. The jazz chants model is a way to build an effective learning. The implementation of jazz chants is suitable with the principle of quantum teaching in classrooms that drives students in a happy atmosphere while learning.

III. RESEARCH PROCEDURE

A.  Setting

The research was done at SMP 34 Semarang class IIIA in the odd

semester in the academic year of 2004/2005. The number of the students is 41

people, consisting of 20 male students and 21 female students.

B.   Research Implementation

The research was done from July 2004 to November 2004. The following

is the  phenomena occurred from July 2004 to November 2004.

  1. Planning

In this phase, I did the observation to find how my students gave responses to English utterances in July 2004. I noted the phenomenon down during my first days in my teaching. Then I tried to find the reason of the problem faced by my students. I found that the reason was that they were lack of the ability to express their ideas because they do not have competency of the use of finite in English. Then I had an idea of using Jazz Chants model.  I prepared myself with the recording of Jazz Chants and the player. I also arranged the research in three cycles. In the first cycles, I focus on the use one of primary tenses: simple present tense, that lasted for a month, August 2004. Then I continued with the second primary tense: simple past tense in September 2004 and in the mid of October 2004. In the third cycle, I trained my students the use of the third primary tense: simple future tense in the mid of October until November 2004.

  1. Action

Cycle 1

  1. I taught in class IIIA as usual without changing the schedule. In the first 20 minutes, I trained my students with Jazz Chants model.
  2. First, I gave the students the context of situation where the dialogue we learned was going to be about. Then, I gave example of how to pronounce the utterances done in restaurants. After that, I played the recorder that was imitated by the students. The following is the example of the utterances learned by the students from the tape.

Major Decisions

How do you like your coffee?

Black! Black!

How do you like your tea?

With lemon, please.

How do you like your steak?

Medium rare.

How do you like your eggs?

I don’t care!

Poached on toast?

I don’t care!

It doesn’t mean different to me.

It doesn’t matter.

It’s all the same to me.

(Graham, 1978:39).

In the last stage, I asked my students to work in pairs while I was making observation. The students gave prompts and responses individually.

Cycle 2

In cycle 2, which lasted from September to mid of October 2004, my focus

was practicing students to interact in simple past tense. This is the example of

the utterances learned by the students.

Sh! Sh! Baby’s Sleeping!

I said, Sh! Sh! Baby’s sleeping!

I said, Sh! Baby’s sleeping!

What did you say?

What did you say?

I said, Hush! Hush! Baby’s sleeping!

I said, Hush! Baby’s sleeping!

What did you say?

What did you say?

I said, Please be quiet, Baby’s sleeping!

I said, Please be quiet, Baby’s sleeping!

What did you say? What did you say?

I said, Shut up! Shut up! Baby’s sleeping!

I said, Shut up! Shut up! Baby’s sleeping!

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

Not anymore.

(Graham: 1978:3)

Cycle 3

In cycle 3, which lasted from the mid of October to the end of November 2004, the focus was to train the students to interact in simple future tense. The example of the utterance is as follows:

Love Song

Does she love him?

Yes, she does.

Is she happy?

Yes, she is.

Does he know it?

Yes, she does, yes, he knows it.

Will she hug him?

Yes, she will.

Will she leave him?

Yes, she will, if she has to. ….

In the implementation of the three cycles, I did the observation on the phenomena occurred in each meeting. To do the observation, a colleague of  mine, an English teacher helped me. Besides that, I also interviewed some students about the activity during the research. I collected the data to make my reflections about what I had done to my class.

IV. Research Result

The data I collected during the research can be explained as follows:

In the first cycle, the students admitted that it was strange for them to do the activity. They got enthusiastic doing the activity. Then they got most excited when I played the tape giving example of jazz chants model. It was still strange for them to listen to native speaker’s voice. They also found it strange with the beat of Jazz Chants they listened from the tape, but they got very happy and interested in it. In the next meeting, they got more familiar and began to enjoy imitating the rhythm from the tape.

In the end of the first cycle, I gave them feedback in the form of prompts they had to give responses. Some of them gave responses faster than before and they also had better self-confidence with better spontaneity. They admitted that they had better self-confidence and felt proud with their ability to respond in English.

In the second cycle, which was begun from September until mid October 2004, the students got ready more in doing the activity. Most of them did the activity well in simple past tense. But when I contrasted the finite of did and was/were, they were confused. It happened in the first and second meeting of cycle 2.  This cycle yielded better understanding of how to make conversation in English. They began to be able to give reaction using appropriate finite. An example of dialogue produced by a pair of students is as follows:

A       :           You’re lazy!

B       :           No, I’m not.

A       :           Yes, you are!

B       :           No, I am not!  And so on.

Other dialogue:

A       :           You did not do your homework.

B       :           I did!

A       :           No, you did not!

B       :           I did! Look at this.

A       :           You did not do it! Your sister did!

B       :           I did it myself!

In the third cycle, which lasted from the mid of October to the end of November 2004, the focus was interaction using simple future tense. Compared with the second cycle, it was faster and the students reached the ability to interact better than before. They admitted that the tense was much simpler than present tense and simple past tense.

In the reflection stage, I gathered the data as follows:

Cycle 1, lasted for 7 meetings can be seen in the following figure.

Figure 1

The number of students who used finite appropriately in cycle 1

From the figure above we learn that the number of students who used finite correctly gradually increased from meeting to meeting. In the contrary, the number of students who made mistakes in using finite gradually decreased.

Figure 2

The improvement of the number of students to make

appropriate pronunciation and intonation in cycle 1

From the figure above we learn that the number of students who used the appropriate pronunciation and intonation gradually increased and the number of students who used pronunciation and intonation inappropriately decreased gradually.

Figure 3

The improvement of the number of students in fluency

Fluent

Fluent enough

Not fluent

From the figure above we learn that the number of students who interacted in English fluently gradually increased.

Cycle 2

To anticipate the student’s difficulty in giving responses in the simple past tense, I gave them modeling in how to give responses in simple past tense. The phenomena happened in this cycle that lasted for ten meetings were as follows:

In meeting 1 and 2, most students (about 75%) gave responses to their friends in relaxed way. Yet, they still made mistakes in the use of was, were and did.  Some students, about 60% failed in giving responses when the tenses were varied among the use of was, were and did. While in meetings 5 and 6 a half students (50%) still had difficulties in the use of finite. In meeting 7 and 8, the number of students who made mistakes gradually decreased, that is from 50% of the students decreased to 30% of the students. When I interviewed them, they were able to give responses correctly. This is what they said in front of me:

T        :           You enjoyed the English class better than before.

S        :           I did, sir. Thank you.

In meeting 9 and 10, I combined the two different tenses. In meeting 9, they needed to think before they gave responses, but in the last meeting, they found it relaxed and happy to combine the two kinds of tenses, simple present tense and the simple past tense.

Cycle 3

To anticipate the students’ difficulties in giving responses in the future tense, I gave them the modeling. The phenomena occurred in this cycle was that they found it easier to cope with future tense. Because students did not have serious problem, I just had 4 meetings in cycle 3. The data I collected in the last cycle can be seen in the following table.

Table 1

The improvement of the students’ interaction in English in Cycle 3

Meeting Finite Pronunciation And Intonation Fluency Average
1 20 25 21 22
2 37 37 35 36.3
3 38 38 35 37
4 39 39 36 38

V.        CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

A.        Conclusion

From the data analysis above, the following conclusion can be drawn as follows:

The students’ competency to interact in English improved after they practiced Jazz Chants for twenty minutes in every meeting, which lasted for 2 cycles (from August to mid October 2004) in limited tenses focus.

  1. This research was able to improve the students’ interaction in English that can be seen through the improvement in the use of finite, pronunciation and intonation as well as the fluency in giving responses to statements given to them.
  2. The students who had difficulties in giving responses because of their lack competency in the use of finite gradually decreased in every meeting.
  3. Although positive phenomena occurred during the research, there were some obstacles. Some students were not familiar with the vocabulary used in the recording. Besides that, the noisy class disturbed other classes near IIIA where the research was conducted.

B.    Recommendation

1.  This activity should be modified using the material suggested by the students. They should be given homework to observe dialogues around them to be put in English. This could be done to overcome the obstacles in comprehending the unfamiliar vocabulary used in the recording.  When they made their own material, it is hoped they will not have difficulties in comprehending the vocabulary.

2.  To overcome the noisy class, the school should think of providing a classroom for English class. If it can be fulfilled, similar activities can be done freely without disturbing other classes.

References

Diknas. 2004. Landasan Filosofis Teoretis Pendidikan Bahasa Inggris. Jakarta:

Direktorat Jenderal Pendidikan Dasar dan Menengah, Direktorat Pendidikan Lanjutan Pertama.

Diknas. 2003. Standar Kompetensi Mata Pelajaran Bahasa Inggris Sekolah

Menengah Pertama dan Madrasah Tsanawiyah. Jakarta: Departemen Pendidikan Nasional.

Diknas. 2003. Pedoman Teknis Pelaksanaan Classroom Action Research. (CAR).

Jakarta: Direktorat Jenderal Pendidikan Dasar dan Menengah, Direktorat Pendidikan Lanjutan Pertama.

De Porter, Bobbi at all, 1999. Quantum Teaching. Terjemahan Anry Nilandari.

Bandung: Kaifa.

Gerot, Linda dan Wignel, Peter. 1995. Making Sense of Funtional Grammar.

Sidney: Gerd Stabler Antipodean Educational Enterprises (AEE).

Graham, Carolyn, 1978. Jazz Chants, Rhythm of American English for Students

of English as a Second Language. New York: Oxford University Press.

Pelangi, Buletin. 2001. Pedoman Teknis Pelaksanaan Classroom Action Research

(CAR). Jakarta: Proyek Perluasan dan Peningkatan Mutu SLTP, Direktorat Sekolah Lanjutan Tingkat Pertama, Direktorat Jenderal Pendidikan Dasar dan Menengah Departemen Pendidikan Nasional.

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