Teaching English at the Madrasah Tsanawiyah in Parungpanjang – introduction


In this chapter of the study, the writer explains about the introduction to the study which includes background of the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, significance of the study, research methodology, and thesis organization in it.

1.1 Background of the study

School curriculum is one of the reasons in learning a foreign language especially English. And to achieve the educational goal set by the Indonesian government, the curriculum should be strategically arranged and formulated. The arrangement and formulation of the school curriculum always improve and give new color of English Language Teaching in Indonesia. Menanti M. Tambunan (2005) said that the implementation of the newest curriculum in the 21 century can’t be separated from the evaluation and improvement of the latest curriculum and it has given new color for the education in Indonesia.

The existence and function of curriculum in school do not only play as the document showing the directions, aims, and philosophical foundation of the education, however, it must be used as the instrument for evaluating the school program. Consequently, it must always be developed to adapt the development of science and technology. Curriculum development should figure out several aspects on environmental issues such as child development, the development of science, the development of society’s needs and employment and so on.

In language teaching, especially, Roger Bowers and Christopher Brumfit (1992) stated that curriculum development includes:

a) The study of the purposes for which a learner needs a language (need analysis);

b) The setting of the objectives and the development of a syllabus, teaching methods and materials;

c) The evaluation of the effects of these teaching procedures on the learner language ability .

From the above discussion we can see that English curriculum in a school includes an explanation about:

Why do we learn English? (aims, objectives)

What do we learn and teach? (contents)

How do we learn English? (methods, learning activities)

With what resources do we learn and teach? (books, materials)

How well do we learn and teach? (assessment, evaluation)

The English school curriculum is proposed to meet the demand of a core foundation to prepare students to be able to learn a certain competence. It is a capability of sharing their experiences and that of others, expressing their ideas and feelings, and understand any meaningful proportion. The school curriculum approaches the language as a main tool of communication, not merely a group of rules governing utterances, as mentioned in Cerce-Murcia, Domyei and Thurrel . The implication is that the competence that the students should learn is to be able to communicate in order to be involved with the language speaker community. This is what is called Communicative competence . One of the great teacher roles is not only as a curriculum developer but also as the application agent of curriculum itself. And how well the teachers apply it to their students is highlighted in this study.

The publication of Government Regulation number 19, 2005 about the national standard of education has prioritized teachers’ quality in educational field. With their qualities, they dedicate their competences to develop and design their own curriculum and syllabus. But the school principal or the vise principals on curriculum development affairs should give them support and motivation in developing and designing the curriculum or syllabus. And in relevant with the development of method and the new curriculum change, of course it needs teacher readiness in applying it, because the implementation of curriculum in the class depends on the teachers’ role “as the man behind the gun” of that implementation .

Actual curriculum is an implementation of the official curriculum by the teacher in the class. Some experts say however good the curriculum is, the result depends on what the teacher and student have done in the class (actual). And the quality of the school graduates also rely on the implementation of the teaching learning process that influenced by the school curriculum, so the teacher has an important role in making and implementing the curriculum .

According to Suhendri (2007:2) as stated in Mawaddah Warahmah (2009:1), students’ failure in the national examination is able to be avoided as long as the teaching and learning process is conducted optimally (Tribune Jabar, 17 Juni 2007 in Suhendri, 2007:2). Suhendri’s statement conforms to that of Rivkin et al. (2000, in Hammond, 2006:19), i.e that students who were assigned to effective teachers had significantly greater gains in achievement than those assigned to several ineffective teachers.

As an important role in teaching learning process, a well prepared teachers need to know a lot about their job before they start to make a successful plan; there are six major areas of necessary knowledge:

a. Language for the level

b. The skill for the level

c. The aids available for the level

d. Stages and techniques in teaching

e. A repertoire of activity

f. Classroom management skill .

The discussion above stresses on the need of the good management in conducting the teaching learning process especially the teachers’ readiness in relevant with planning, presentation and evaluation.

Thinking about what is happening in the classroom and based on the competencies above, teachers should have knowledge, skill and attitude, because language teachers all around the world want to be effective teachers who provide the best learning opportunity for their students.

The researcher acknowledges that the Indonesian government through the Ministry of National Education (MONE) has developed subsequent curriculum, which has been implemented since 2013. Nevertheless the Kurikulum Tingkat Satuan Pendidikan (KTSP), which when translated means school based curriculum was being interpreted and implemented in Madrasah Tsanawiyah in Parungpanjang districts at the time of this study, it is referred to as the current curriculum in this thesis. Findings from this study could be used by the schools to guide the policy, programs and practice related to the implementation of the next new curriculum.

This study focused on how teachers in Madrasah Tsanawiyah in Parungpanjang district interpreted and implemented their English KTSP since it introduced in 2006 and became compulsory in 2009. Additionally, it aimed to explore factors influencing how teachers implemented their English KTSP. This study basically started from an interest in understanding the processes and outcomes of curriculum reform so that this knowledge could inform effective implementation of existing and future curricula in their school.

A number of studies about the implementation of the school-based KTSP have been conducted over the past six years. These studies identified several factors contributing to the effectiveness of implementation, and the need for further exploration of specific areas of the KTSP.

One of the studies was conducted by the Indonesian Curriculum Research Centre, which is a government agency under the Department of the National Education (Pusat Kurikulum, 2007). The purpose of the study was to monitor the implementation of the KTSP in primary, junior high and senior high schools at the national level. The study was conducted in the capital cities of 33 provinces across Indonesia. Data were collected from four different sources: the Department of Education both at the provincial and district level, school principals, teachers, and parents from school boards. Using questionnaires, interviews, observations and document analysis, this study revealed that most of the schools involved had not implemented the KTSP effectively. Several factors influencing this lack of success were identified and included:

1. Differentiated distribution of information about the KTSP. Information about the KTSP was not delivered efficiently and equally across the country.

2. Inconsistent information about the KTSP. Most schools and teachers in the study stated that they received inconsistent information which was different from one professional development to the other regarding the KTSP. As a result, they found it confusing to implement at the school and classroom level.

3. Lack of understanding about the KTSP. Most of the participants in the study appeared to understand the Curriculum Policies at the surface level, but did not understand the substance of the KTSP, nor did they know how to implement it in ways consistent with its core concepts.

4. Lack of learning resources and limited funding. Participants reported that there was insufficient funding to finance the implementation of the KTSP, such as providing training for teachers. This was seen as influencing the implementation of the KTSP.

5. Appropriateness of training. The study revealed that the teachers‟ expectations that the training would focus on the development of teaching materials to address the local context and teaching and learning strategies to implement the KTSP rather than focus on the development of syllabus and lesson plans were not met.

In addition to this research, several teacher researchers (Jayani, 2008;Rochminah, 2008; Setyaningrum, 2009)) have investigated the use of new teaching approaches, which reflect some of the underlying pedagogical concepts outlined in the KTSP, such as contextual teaching and learning, cooperative and collaborative work and discovery learning. These studies were undertaken in junior high schools and focused on particular subject areas, not only English but also mathematics and science. They found that where teachers had used the new teaching approaches, there was evidence of improved learning outcomes for their students. Thus, this research suggests there may be some areas and disciplines where implementation of the school-based KTSP has been relatively effective.

1.2 Statement of the problems

A good planning about curriculum is important but the evaluation of the curriculum implemented is also necessary, because the success of education policy is based on the measurement of how well the curriculum implemented. This study focused the problems on the teachers’ interpretation and implementation of their English school curriculum (English KTSP) on English teaching learning process especially in the class. To make the study clearer the writers identify the problems as follow:

1. How well is the implementation of KTSP in teaching English at the Madrasah Tsanawiyah in Parungpanjang district which is viewed from (a) the teaching learning activity, (b) the teaching materials and (c) the evaluation system used in the school?

2. What are the strengths and the weaknesses of the implementation in the school?

1.3 Purpose of the study

The aim of the research is to know how the teachers apply the English School Curriculum in their class; whether they use the steps of teaching suggested in their English school curriculum. The main purpose of the study was to explore teachers’ interpretation of the KTSP in relation to teaching English; to investigate how these teachers implemented their English KTSP when they teaching; and, to identify factors that influenced their interpretation and implementation of the KTSP. The teachers’ interpretation and implementation were assessed through the lens of six keys concept taken from the KTSP. These included student-centered learning, active learning, the role of the teacher as a facilitator, students’ interaction as a means of promoting learning, assessment for learning and a thematic approach to learning. The study aimed to explore factors influencing how teachers implemented their English KTSP. This study basically started from an interest in understanding the processes and outcomes of curriculum reform so that this knowledge could inform effective implementation of existing and future curricula in their school.

1.4 Significance of the study

Of course, the writer here realized that this research is important and useful to know the development of curriculum. The findings of this study will have the potential to help the schools implement curriculum change more effectively and also helps the teachers involved to reflect on their current understanding and practices of teaching English as suggested by the curriculum policies of the KTSP. The results are also expected to contribute to understand of how an approach to teaching and learning that emanates from one culture, in this case a Western culture, is interpreted and implemented in a different country with a different learning culture especially for the schools in Parungpanjang district. Further, although this study was conducted in a specific education level, its findings will give a contribution to the general understanding of curriculum-change implementation. As change theory indicates that the teacher is one of the key factors influencing whether curriculum reform is implemented successfully or not (Fullan, 2007). The teacher who actually implements the changes needed to bring about that reform.

1.5 Research methodology

In this study, the type of the research is descriptive qualitative method. It means that this research employs the called descriptive and qualitative method of analysis. It is a study that is aimed to draw meaning from observation taken in natural context (Van Maanen, 1983:334). Qualitative research is a study that primarily on the collection of qualitative data with the purpose to describe, to decode, and to draw meaning from naturally occurring phenomena happened. The data is collected from a library research and a field research. A library research, in this method the writer observes some theories and conducts the library research through reading books; finds more information from articles and papers. And for the field research, the writer collected data through three ways; interview, observation and check-list.

1.6 Thesis organization

This paper is systematically divided into five chapters. The following is a brief description about what each chapter contains.

Chapter one contains the introduction consists of background of study, Statement of problem, Objectives of study, Significance of study, method of study, and Organization of writing.

Chapter two contains Theoretical Review

Chapter three: Research Methodology

Chapter four : Research Findings and Discussion

Chapter five : Conclusion and Suggestion

Source: Essay UK - http://www.essay.uk.com/essays/education/teaching-english-at-the-madrasah-tsanawiyah-in-parungpanjang-introduction/

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