READING ANALYSIS MATERIAL
“ THE MEDIA” IN NEW OPPORTUNITIES : EDUCATION FOR LIFE
INTERMEDIATE STUDENTS’ BOOK
PASCA SARJANA LINGUISTIK – PENGAJARAN BAHASA
Reading is one of the language skills that students see in their life when learning language. There are many texts that provided in the course book used by teachers. Based on the texts book the curiosity is emerged when looking at the materials in the books. This article will discuss kinds of reading material that provided in a text book used by Junior High School for learning reading.
Key words: language skills, reading materials, course book
READING ANALYSIS MATERIAL “ THE MEDIA” IN NEW OPPRORTUNITIES : EDUCATION FOR LIFE
INTERMEDIATE STUDENTS’ BOOK
English is an important means of communication which is used in many countries in the world. It plays in important role in the process of modernization as an international language to be taught in schools. The purpose of teaching English is to develop four language skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing. These four language skills enable students to take part in information exchange, to establish interpersonal relationship, and to obtain knowledge as well as to enjoy the language esthetic of English. The teacher must develop four language skills that their students own, so that they can use language to communication and to express their mind, their feeling and their idea.
There are four skills in English, they are listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Those skills are important to be mastered without ignoring each other. For many students, reading is the important of the four skills in second language. As a skill, reading is clearly one of important language skill that students have to read English material for their subject. The student often thought to be easier to obtain information from written text by reading.
Reading skill in one language is not necessarily transferred to another language. The result of teaching reading, however, is still considered to be unsatisfactory despite how long it has been taught in school and various techniques of teaching reading used. Most of students face difficulties in reading English text due to the different English language features from their first language. Basically, teaching reading is conveying or guiding the students to gain some important message and get meaning from written text. Most of students are interested in reading the English written material such as; book, novel, newspaper, article, text, etc. In the English lesson of Junior High School the development of reading skills, especially in analyses kinds of text.
Wikipedia (accessed on May 9th, 2013) stated that Reading is a complex cognitive process of decoding in order to construct or derive meaning (Reading comprehension). It is a means language acquisition, of communication, and of sharing and ideas. Like all language, it is a complex interaction between the text and the reader which is shaped by the reader’s prior knowledge, experiences, attitude, and language community which is culturally and socially situated. The reading process requires continuous practice, development, and refinement.
In order to construct meaning, learners must be able to interpret something that they read. Based on those explanations, the writer try to analyze one of reading materials found in New Opportunities Education for Life Intermediate Students’ Book published by Pearson, Longman.
Reason for Choosing Topic
The reasons that motivated the writer to choose the topic are as follows:
- English is a foreign language; it is understandable that most students face difficulties in understanding a piece of reading text.
- Reading is very important understanding a written text means extracting the required information from a written text as efficiently as possible.
- Text is very important in our life because it means transferring message to the readers or listeners.
- The topic is interesting for students because has relation with their social life and communication.
Definition of English Textbook
A medium is a means to help the teachers when the teaching and learning activities progress. A teacher usually uses some media to make him or her easier in explaining the teaching materials. One media which is ordinarily used is a textbook. The textbook is easy to buy, to carry, and to study. Even though there are so many kinds of media rivaling the printed materials of communication, the textbook remains the major source in school.
Textbook is a book giving instruction in a subject, used especially in schools, etc. According to Thomson, “the textbook is a stimulus or instrument for teaching and learning”. In another definition, textbook is a manual of instruction or a standard book in any branch of study which is produced according to the demands of educational institutions.
Based on the definitions above, it is important for teachers to use a textbook when they teach a particular subject in order to help them when they conduct teaching and learning activities as well as to reach educational purposes.
Types of Reading
Hedge (2000: 189) stated that there is distinction to be made when readers read something. The reader may be interested in constructing a personal interpretation of a text or trying to get at the author’s original intentions. There ae six types of knowledge that help the readers make sense of the text: syntactic knowledge, morphology knowledge, general knowledge, socio-cultural knowledge, topic knowledge, and genre knowledge. Based on that, we can understand the process of second language reading that Hedge said Schematic knowledge. Cook (1989) defined that schematic knowledge ….mental representations of typical situations…used in discourse processing to predict the contents of the particular situation which discourse describes. (Cook 1989: 69)
Beside the intentions of knowledge, Pugh (1978) and Lunzer and Gardner (1979) described various styles of reading and their terminology for these has been taken into ELT methodology:
- Receptive reading, when a reader wants to enjoy a short story, follow a line of argument in a newspaper editorial, or understand the main stages in a textbook description of a manufacturing process
- Reflective reading involves episodes of reading the text and then pausing to reflect and backtrack.
- Skim reading is used to get a global impression of the context of a text.
- Scanning involves searching rapidly through a text to find a specific point of information.
- Intensive reading involves looking carefully at a text, as a student of literature would look a poem to appreciate the choice of words, or as a solicitor would study the precise wording of legal document.
The point of making these distinctions is that different purposes for reading determine different strategies in approaching texts and also different rates of reading.
Topic and Analysing “The Media” in the Text Book
In New Opportunities, there are some topics that provided for the students. They are Adventure, Stories, Travel, The Media, Advertising, People, Learning, Carriers, Culture Shock, and Civilization. The topics are quite interesting for the students because those are the current perspectives of many fields in the world.
The analysis is focused on the fourth topic The Media because it is there are some interesting ways for learning or teaching reading. The module is divided into five parts that have each focus. The first focuses on reading comprehension. There are three short texts titled “A. Cadburry faces mobile menace, B. Brad and Jen Party Together, and C. Cool Idea for Town Centre ice rink”.
In the textbook, the steps of learning divided into three parts, they are Pre – reading activities, while – reading, and Post – reading activities. The activities are provided systematically so the teacher also is easy to give the instruction in the class room.
For Pre – reading activity the book gives instruction to make a list of a popular, quality and local newspapers and magazines in students’ country. They can choose what media they like and give reason of the lists. This instruction can be integrated with writing or speaking before they give their opinion, the students can write and then tell their opinions for the whole class. It can guide the students to have a schema as Cook (1989) said the students predict the particular discourse will they discuss as the main lesson.
After discussing the lesson, students are guided to the reading main activity. In the main activities there are three texts and some questions that provided to choose by the students. They have to choose the most related statement to the texts. For example: Which headlines…a) are in informal language, b) are a full sentence, c) play with words. They have to match the suitable statement to the text beside. In order to answer the question the students apply scanning reading because they have to answer them quickly. They find the information as soon as possible to get in right answer of the questions because of the limitation of time in the classroom. After that, they can discuss it with whole class so that they can get the right information about the texts.
The next step, there is an activity that asks students to find examples of some sentences for examples “an area of a city”, “a famous person”, “a drink”, etc. They use scanning too to find information. The unique strategy that used in the text book is the Reading Strategies: Dealing with cultural references that guide students to find the examples so the students are easy to use their schema to fulfill the requirements (see the appendix).
The post – reading activity is the last session of reading for the part. The students are asked to answer true or false for the statements give in the textbook. This is the ordinary exercise that used in many textbook for reading activity because the students also can be focused on their schema about information that there are in the texts. This can help the students to find the purpose of their reading that day.
From the activities in the texbook we can see that the book has given sistematically steps in learning reading in the classroom. The course book generally use the same strategy for every topic. The strategy can help students and teacher to understand texts and purpose of reading the texts.
To get students to read enthusiastically in class, teacher needs to work to create interest in the topic and tasks. Roles that teacher needs to adopt when asking students to read are:
- Organiser : teacher needs to tell students what their reading purpose, give them clear instruction what objectives and the way to do the learning process.
- Observer : students are aked to read their own and teacher observe the process they read the texts
- feedback organiser: when they finish he task, the teacher gives feedback to them. It is important to be supportive when organising feedback after reading if we are to counter any negative feelings the students might have about the process and sustain their motivation.
- Prompter: when students have read a text, we can prompt them to notice language features within it. Teacher also as controller direct them to certain features of texts construction, claryfying ambiguities, and making them aware of issues of text structure which they had not come across previously.
Harmer, Jeremy. 2007. The Practice of English Language Teaching: Fourth Edition. England: Pearson Longman
Harris, Michael, David Mower, Anna Sikorzynska. 2006. New Opprtunities: Education for Life, Intermediate Students’ Book. England: Person Longman
Hedge, Tricia. 2000. Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom. New York: Oxford University Press
Heinle, Thomson. 2000. Designing Language Courses: A Guide for Teachers. Canada: Kathleen Graves
Reading in en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading_(process) (Accessed May 05 2013)
 Thomson Heinle, Designing Language Courses: A Guide for Teachers, (Canada: Kathleen Graves, 2000), p. 175.
 Cook (1989) in Hedge (2000: 190) : Schematic knowledge