Teaching English Using Pictures

Learning English as a foreign language is difficult for most Indonesian learners because English is not commonly used in daily communication. Sometimes one word in English has several meanings so that it makes them confused as to how to use it appropriately in both written and spoken English. When studying English, they cannot avoid studying the English grammar, pronunciation and spelling, which seem more complicated than those of the Indonesia language. However, English teachers should teach grammar to their students so that they could integrate the four skills: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. It confirms with the latest curriculum for English teaching in the Indonesian high schools, which is so-called KTSP (Education-Unit-Based Curriculum), in which English teaching for Indonesian learners should not merely teach grammar but also teach reading, listening, speaking, and writing.
“Pelajaran bahasa inggris di sekolah lanjutan tingkat pertama mencakup ketrampilan mendengarkan, berbicara, menulis, dan membaca dalam bahasa inggris yang dapat di sajikan secara terpadu, namun demikian penekananya terutama pada ketrampilan berkomunikasi. Unsur- unsur bahasa seperti tata bahasa, kosakata, lafat, dan ejaan dapat diajarkan untuk menunjang pengembangan keempat ketrampilan berbahasa tersebut, bukan untuk kepentingan penguasaan unsur – unsur bahasa itu sendiri ((KTSP,2008:I)
(“The English lesson in junior high schools, should cover the skills of listening, speaking, writing, and reading in English which can be integrated by emphasizing on the communication skill.. Such language elements as grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and spelling can be taught merely to develop the four skills of the language, not for the sake of the mastery of those language elements themselves”)
Learning English grammar is certainly uneasy for Indonesian learners, especially junior high school students, who are generally beginners in studying English. They might understand when their teacher explains grammar in the classroom, but when they have to apply it in both written and spoken English, they are frequently still unable to use it appropriately. Such difficulty seems understandable since there are many aspects of English grammar such as, vocabulary, tenses, parts of speech, and meaning, which are very different from their mother tongue.
English comparative degree is one of them, which has created the same problem for the first year junior high school students. English comparison deals with comparing someone or something as being the same, higher, lower or superior. Students sometimes feel confused with those types because they can not recognize the distinctions between each type in using it both in written and spoken English.
English comparative degree also has regular and irregular forms which students should pay attention to. It is possible that such irregular forms are used in speaking activity, as can be seen in the example below:
a. Adi is taller than Arni, but Aldi is the tallest student in the class.
b. Alfin is more diligent than Andi, but Santi is the most diligent student in
the class.
c. Rino is better than Ronald, but Ridho is the best student in the course.
Sentence (a) and (b) use a regular form of comparison while sentence (c) uses an irregular from of comparison.
Realizing that learning English comparison is still confusing for many students, as can be seen from the sample sentences above, the writer tries to find out an effective way to teach English Comparative Degree. In this study the writer chooses the approach of using pictures for the teaching of English comparative degree to the first year junior high school students of MTs Darul Hikmah.
It is stated in the KTSP curriculum guidelines (2008:I):
“Tingkat literasi mencakup performative, functional, informational, dan epismetic. Pada tingkat performative, orang mampu membaca, menulis, mendengarkan, dan berbicara dengan symbol – symbol yang digunakan”.
(The level of literary includes performative, functional, informational, and epistemic. At the performative level, one is able to read, to write, to listen, and to speak with the symbols that they use.)

The writer believes that using picture can be effective in teaching grammar, especially in teaching English Comparative Degree. In the writer’s opinion, using pictures seem to be a good technique in teaching English Comparative Degree.

1.2. Formulation of the Problems
The problems that are discussed in this study are formulated as follows:
1. What are the advantages of using pictures in teaching English Comparative Degree?
2. What kind of pictures can be used to teach English Comparative degree effectively?

1.3. The Objectives of the study
The writer formulated the objectives of the study, as follows:
1. To describe the advantages of using pictures in teaching English Comparative Degree.
2. To find out the criteria of good pictures in teaching English Comparative Degree.

1.4. The Significance of the study
The result of the study will hopefully be useful for:
1. The Students
The students will be motivated to learn English and they will improve their English vocabulary through pictures.
2. The Teachers
The English teachers will find out the most appropriate technique of using pictures in their teaching activities, so that they will improve their quality in teaching English.
3. The Writer
The writer will get a broader knowledge about the correct method of using pictures for the effectiveness of English teaching in general, and the teaching of English comparative degree in special..
4. The Readers
The results of this study are expected to be useful for the readers who would know more about using pictures for the effectiveness in teaching English Comparative Degree, and the results of this study could also be useful for those who would like to conduct further study.

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