The usage of comic strips in teaching possessive pronouns. Analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of using comic strips in teaching grammar.
CHAPTER 1INTRODUCTION1.0 Introduction Language is considered as the bridge that unifies the human population and is often used as a tool of communication, interpretation and evaluation of ideas. Language is also widely used as a medium to express both of our thoughts and feelings. According to Buhler, Goodwin, & Eschbach (2011), although such uses don't convey any information, they do serve an important function in everyday life, since how we feel sometimes matters as much asor more thanwhat we hold to be true.In our country, the English language is given emphasis by the government and considered as the second language which is being taught since kindergarten. With the introduction of Language Arts component in the curriculum, there is now space for interactive actives such as drama, role-play, debates, language games and songs to make the lessons more meaningful and facilitate the learning of the language. ("From KBSR to KSSR Why the need for change? | Peekabook Blog," n.d.). This shows that mastery of English language should be given emphasis by all of the parties. The teaching of English language should not fall completely on the teachers shoulders alone. 62
Teaching of grammar was later added during the level two from year four to year 6. Teaching grammar was not an easy task because it is considered as both confusing and hard to be mastered. Identifying the word class and constructing simple sentences using the correct rules are some of the issues faced by the pupils during the learning of grammar. Teaching grammar can be improved by using visual aids to trigger the pupils attention and their interest towards the lesson. Using the comic strips could be the answer to improve pupils understanding in grammar lesson. 1.1 Reflection on Past Teaching ExperienceDuring the researchers practicum periods, his teaching experience starts at SK Batu Bertangkup, Perlis for four week, SJK Tamil Kangar for eight weeks and SK Taman Uda, Kedah for 12 weeks. Both SJK Tamil Kangar and SK Taman Uda are in the urban area while SK Batu Bertangkup is in the rural area. Teaching experience in both rural and urban schools provides the researcher with an insight about pupils ability in mastering grammar and the issues related to grammar. Although SJK Tamil Kangar is situated in urban area, the level of pupils proficiency is almost the same as SK Batu Bertangkup. Meanwhile, the pupils at SK Taman Uda acquire the language skills very well. Their level of understanding is slightly higher than the pupils from the two previous schools. Even though their level of understanding is higher, they are also facing the same problem in mastering grammar. Only the pupils with high level of understanding were able to identify the grammatical aspects in a simple sentence. The same problem occurs when the pupils were asked to construct simple sentences using the correct grammatical rules. They struggled in remembering which tenses to be used and whether to use singular or plural verbs. The main reason for this problem is the lack exposure to the language itself. Urban pupils were exposed to the English language through their environment where some of them use English in their home. They use English in daily conversation and through technology. In contrast, almost all of rural pupils and most of urban pupils rarely use English in their daily life. English is only used during the English lesson at school. During the 12 weeks of practicum in SK Taman Uda, the researcher at first tried to teach grammar overtly where the teacher or the researcher presented the rule or pattern and then provided the exercise about the application of the rules. Unfortunately, the technique was not effective for the pupils with average and lower proficiency. The pupils were confused and unable to construct simple sentences correctly without the guidance of the teacher. Therefore, the researcher decided to design a different method in teaching grammar. Several ideas were suggested by fellow colleague and lastly the usage of comic strips was chosen.
1.2 Reflection on Educational ValuesThe importance of this research were to explore the possible ways in improving teaching practice and explore the possible ways to assist pupils in constructing simple sentences using the correct grammatical rules. Realising the importance of grammar in constructing a sentence, the researcher tried to come out with the best available option in assisting pupils understanding of the grammar teachings. By carrying out the intervention, it can indirectly boost up pupils confidence in learning grammar in different and more enjoyable way. This research also intended to improve and provide basic assistance to the pupils in identifying grammatical rules in a sentence. In consideration of the pupils grammatical skills, this research was important to assist them towards a better foundation in mastering grammar. By building a strong foundation, pupils will be able to improve themselves in the future. Additionally, the findings derived from this research might be useful for both teachers and other educational practitioners to consider using comic strips not only in teaching grammar but other language skills as well.Last but not least, this research will provide an insight on the current grammatical issue emerged in the primary school and the possible ways to intervene the problems. Therefore, this research will be a part of the solution in assisting pupils in mastering grammar and provide a better learning experience.
1.3 SummaryTeaching of grammar is considered as challenging even for the fully qualified teachers. Pupils have the initial expectation that the topic is going to be confusing and therefore they are unwilling to give full commitment during the lesson. Some of the senior teachers tend to teach in a conventional way where it mainly involves chalk and talk. They refused to upgrade their methodology of teaching which suits the pupils interest. As a result, pupils become uninterested and demotivated to learn. The main problem faced by pupils is the sentence construction using correct grammatical rules. They tend to make simple mistakes which are unacceptable. The pupils struggle a lot even with the help of the teacher. So, as a teacher, it is our obligation to teach the pupils in an interesting and engaging way that the pupils will be more eager to learn something new. Realising this, the researcher come out with an idea to use comic strips to teach grammar because of the visual aids and the nature of the comics itself which are funny and humorous. The researcher believes that this research has the potential to be used by other teachers in changing their methodology of teaching to become more enjoyable and fun. All of this effort is done for the sake of our pupils education which is the future of our country. CHAPTER 2FOCUS OF INVESTIGATION2.0 IntroductionThe main focal point of this study was using comic strips to help pupils in writing simple sentences using the correct possessive pronouns. The possessive pronouns are used to show ownership. The researcher chose the possessive pronouns as a basic starting point to strengthen pupils grammatical foundation. Referring to Year 4 DSKP (Dokumen Standard Kurikulum dan Pentaksiran) possessive pronoun is one of the earliest topics being taught to year 4 pupils. Thus, the construction was a basic and simple and act as a good starting level to improve pupils grammatical skills. The researcher tried to introduce fun and interesting activities to keep them occupied therefore develop their grammatical skills. The pupils need a lesson that involves hands-on activity and visually appealing materials such as comic strips and colourful materials. Harwood (2010), mentioned that enjoyable teaching materials have become crucially important for English language learners and teachers not merely because they provide enjoyment and relaxation, but likewise as they encourage pupils to utilize their words in a creative and communicative way. Comic strips were colourful and humorous as well as easy to be understood by the pupils. Therefore, using comic strips in teaching possessive pronouns were appealing and assisting pupils to gain a deeper understanding on the topics. There are many aspects that influence pupils to be interested in studying English. The aspects are materials, facilities, and the technique of teaching. To make pupils make pupils like English subject, there are also some media that can be used in teaching, such as TV, video, tape recorder, photograph, comic, picture, and some others. As the teacher, he or she must be very committed and dedicated in preparing the media in order to attract pupils attention during teaching and learning session. It can also indirectly help inculcate pupils interest to the subject. 2.1 Issue/Problem StatementBased on the researchers observation during the first month of practicum at Sk Taman Uda, researcher found out that pupils sometimes reads and write very well but lacking in the grammatical aspect. This is due to lack of practice and their initial expectation that grammar is somehow scary and difficult to be learned. They faced some difficulties in constructing a sentence which is grammatically correct. The pupils were having hard time in identifying the correct possessive pronouns to be used in a sentence. This is because they were not able to grasp the concept of possessive pronouns and rarely using it in their sentences. Some of the pupils understood the concept of possessive pronouns but were unable to apply it in sentence construction.The researcher also found out that the most important issue was the pupils interest and eagerness in learning the subject. In order to attract pupils attention during the lesson, there are many types of media that can be used. Among them which looked very simple and fun was the usage of comics. They are many types of comics which are cartoon, comic str