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Making use of Spotting Differences Strategy to Facilitate Students in Producing Spoken Description Text (Strategi Spotting Differences dalam Pembelajaran Teks Deskripsi Siklus Lisan)

Posted on: August 7, 2010

Inovasi Guru Bu Sri Wuryanti Jateng

Making use of Spotting Differences Strategy to

Facilitate Students in Producing Spoken Description Text

(Strategi Spotting Differences dalam Pembelajaran Teks Deskripsi Siklus Lisan)

By.  Sri Wuryanti, S.Pd

SMP Negeri 6 Salatiga

Tahun 2005

I. Introduction

A.   Background

English instruction in the new curriculum for SMP has significant differences from the previous one. The differences cover both the material and the strategy. Due to this new perspective of learning English, problems arouse of how to enable students to achieve the competence aimed by this curriculum. The new curriculum bases the achievement on the competency. The competency offered to the students to achieve is taken from the idea built by Celce-Murcia, Thurrell and Dornyei (1995). The model seems able to accommodate the need of any communicative competence.  Communicative competence is the ability to communicate using language in various contexts, both in spoken and written language. (Depdiknas 2005:50).

The theoretical and philosophy background of the new curriculum makes English teachers find difficulties in finding appropriate strategies to enhance with the target competence that should be achieved by the students. Appropriate strategy should be found to facilitate the students in learning in English class. So far most students find difficulties in achieving the communicative competence.

The important competence that should be mastered by the students to be survived in their future is the competence of using spoken English. It is known that the competence needed is still far from satisfaction. It happens to my students. Most of them are poor in using English in communication. This situation will be worse when the teacher doesn’t have a will to overcome their problem.

I teach at SMP 6 Salatiga. This school is located in the south of Salatiga.

Most of the students are poor students. Their economic background doesn’t support their success in their study. Thus they have difficulties in achieving the competence. The problem is caused by the lack of practice in enjoyable and relaxed ways. They need to have activities to build their potential talent in using English. Trying to facilitate the students in communicating using English, I try a strategy of learning English using Spotting Differences Strategy. I choose the strategy because it is in line with the cause that the students are poor in communication. They need language-learning strategy that can help them have targeted competence in the new curriculum. Learning strategies are specific actions taken by the learner to make learning easier, faster, more enjoyable, more self directed with learning materials and demands during language use, learners will engage in systematic mental steps to process the language in order to enhance production, comprehension, learning or retention. (Goh and Silver, 2004:187).  Thus, what the students need is to do easy speaking activities in long portion. It can be done when they are facilitated with interesting medium. At the same time, their dependency with the teacher should be reduced. Using Spotting Differences Strategy, the students will work together with their friends in describing the pictures. They do not depend upon their teacher in the activity, although before the activity the teacher has to facilitate them with the ways to say in the activity.

My 7a students, who undergo the lack practice in using English, have a target to be able to describe things, persons or places. This text is very important for students to master. In their daily life, they may face situation in which they have to describe things in order to make other people understand what they want. Spotting differences strategy will practice the students to be able to describe things, people or places.

B. Problem Formulation

From the background above I formulate the problem as follows:

Is Spotting Differences Strategy able to facilitate students in Producing Spoken Description Text?

C. The Innovation Goals

The learning innovation of Spotting Differences Strategy is aimed at:

  1. Helping students to describe things, places or people in English that will be seen through (a) the active use of English, (b) the correct pronunciation and intonation and (c) the ability to describe pictures that is proved by the ability to spot the differences between the pictures owned by different students.
  2. Making the English class active and responsive.

C.    The Concept of the Spotting Differences Strategy

The idea of Spotting Difference Strategy is as follows:

  1. Spotting, from the word spot as a verb means pick out, recognize, see (one person or thing out of many). (Hornby: 833). In this case, the word spotting, a gerund means identifying the differences in two almost the same pictures. (Appendix II, p.10)
  2. Spotting differences is a spoken activity to find out a number of differences in two almost the same pictures through describing the pictures to each other between pairs of students.
  3. Strategy in general means skill in managing any affair. (Hornby, 2000: 1284). In a specific meaning, strategy knowledge is knowledge about strategies that can facilitate learning in general, as well as those, which are likely to be effective in achieving specific learning and communication goals. (Goh dan Silver, 2004:189).
  4. Description is a genre that is learned by SMP students grade 7-9. It is a genre that functions to describe particular person, place or things.(Gerot and Wignell, 1995:208).

In learning genres in this curriculum, I used 2 cycles: spoken and written cycles. In spoken cycles, students are exposed with speaking and listening. In written cycle, students are exposed with reading and writing. The following is the four stages I use to enable the students to produce a spoken or written genre in a cycle.

Tahap Satu           –           Building the context of field of the topic or text-type

Tahap Dua                       –           Modeling the genre under focus

Tahap Tiga                       –           Joint Construction of the genre

Tahap Empat       –           Independent Construction of the genre

(Hammond, 1992:19).

I used the spotting differences strategy in the fourth stage, Independent Construction of the genre. In this stage, the students area hoped to produce their own spoken genre. They work independently. Before moving on this stage, the teacher needs to assess if the learners are ready to construct the text independently. Generally, independent construction occurs only after group pair construction has shown that learners have gained control of the field and the mode. (Hammond, 1992:22). The teacher, in this stage gives help when the students need it. To facilitate this stage, I use spotting differences strategy to enhance the students to produce spoken description genre.

II.        The Implementation of the Learning Innovation

A.        Setting

The study was done in the first semester of the academic year of 2004/2005 in 7A. This class consisted of 42 students; 23 boys and 19 girls. Although a lot of them have poor achievements in their study, most of them have good motivation to learn English. It was seen through the interviewed done with them about how they like English as subject at school.

I did the investigation in the first and second weeks of November 2005. It

consisted of 4 times meeting of 90 minutes each.

B.    Steps

In the first meeting, I used the time to teach them utterances that would be used in describing things, people or places. In the next three meetings I used them to implement the Spotting Differences Strategy. In the first implementation of the innovation, we used a picture of Getting on the Bus, then in the second meeting we used At the Airport and in the last meeting we used Children in the Classroom.

I made the students ready to describe things using guided activities in the first meeting and free activities the second, third and fourth activities. In the first meeting, I used modeling and drilling. Then in the implementation of Spotting Differences Strategy, I asked the students to work in pairs. To each pair of the students I gave them a set of pictures of almost the same but different. Their task was to find out a certain number of differences between the two pictures by describing the pictures to their partners. They were not supposed to show the pictures to their partners.

C.    Assessment

I used a rubric to assess the phenomenon.  Each student had a nametag to enable me to identify him or her. I assessed the students in three aspects as stated in the purpose of the investigation.

  1. The use of English in describing things
  2. The correct use of intonation and pronunciation
  3. The ability to find certain number of differences between the two pictures.

To know whether they class are active or responses, I observed the phenomena and made notes. .

III. Result of the Learning Innovation

The following is the phenomena happened during the learning innovation.

  1. In the first meeting of the innovation, we used the picture Getting on the Bus.

Almost all students were actively involved in the activities in using English. Only two pairs found difficulties in expressing ideas in English. Instead of using English, they used Javanese Language. They also made mistakes in pronunciation and intonation. In general, most students still made mistakes in pronunciation and intonation when they communicate to each other. In finding the differences, only two pairs were successfully found the differences

2.  In the second meeting of the implementation of Spotting Differences, there was a slight change. It seemed they began to be aware of what they had to do in the activity. The two pairs who used Javanese tried to use English after I trained them to do so. The number of students who made mistakes in pronunciation and intonation decreased. But I admit I found difficulties in changing their pronunciation and intonation. They were OK when I asked them to imitate my pronunciation but they made mistakes when they did the free practice. Then the number of pairs who were able to find the differences increased.

  1. In the last meeting we used the strategy; there was a significant changes. They admitted they liked the pictures. Yet the misused of pronunciation and intonation did not improve. The number of students who were able to find the differences increase

IV. Closing

  1. Conclusion

Using Spotting Differences in describing things, people and places was able to increase the students in actively using English and finding the differences between two almost the same pictures but it did not accommodate with the use of pronunciation and intonation.

  1. Suggestion

I should give my students more proportion in practicing the students’ pronunciation and intonation.


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.

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

Sidney: Gerd Stabler Antipodean Educational Enterprises (AEE).

Diknas. 2005. Materi Pelatihan Terintegrasi Bahasa Inggris buku 2. Jakarta:

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

Hammond Jenny 1992. English for Social Purposes. Sidney: National

Centre for English Language Teaching and Research Macquire University.

Goh, Christine & Silver R E. 2004. Language Acquisition and Development.

Singapore: Prentice Hall Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd.

Sumber : File Data LPMP Jawa Tengah

3 Responses to "Making use of Spotting Differences Strategy to Facilitate Students in Producing Spoken Description Text (Strategi Spotting Differences dalam Pembelajaran Teks Deskripsi Siklus Lisan)"

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