Monday, October 25, 2010




A. Background of the Study
Curriculum of MAN X as mentioned in Model KTSP Madrasah Aliyah (2007: 49) intends to obtain the achievement of Competence Standard in students' reading ability: (1) to understand the meaning in transactional and interpersonal conversation formally and sustainably; (2) to understand the meaning in the short functional and monologue text in the form of the narrative, spoof, and hortatory; (3) to express the meaning in the transactional and interpersonal conversation text formally and sustainably; (4) to express the meaning in the short functional and monologue text in the form of narrative, spoof, and hortatory accurately, fluently and acceptably; (5) to understand the written monologue text in the form of narrative accurately, fluently and acceptably in the daily life context and to access the science; and (6) to express the meaning in the written monologue text/essay in the form of narrative in the daily life context. The target of the achievement in English competence is hoped more than 65 as kriteria ketuntasan minimal (KKM).
However, there are some problems faced by the students of MAN X in reading competence as follows: (1) they get difficulties in finding main idea of the text; (2) they get difficulties to deduce the meaning; (3) they get difficulties to retell the text; (4) they have difficulties to state the generic structure of text; and (5) most students have difficulties to interpret the text.
In accordance with the result of pre-test, the researcher finds the score of the students' reading achievement.. There are 40 students in the class, 5 students get the score > 75, 6 students get 65 - 75, and 29 others get < 60 in daily test. So, the result of the students' English test is less than 30% achieving KKM.
In addition to the indicator to the reading competence, it can also be seen that the real situations in reading class are as follows: (1) the students show their reluctance; (2) they have low motivation; (3) they always chat to others; (4) they do not care about the reading activity; and (5) mostly they cannot finish their tasks completely.
From the real situation in reading class above, there are some indicators such as: (1) some students cannot find main idea in each paragraph; (2) some students have a difficulty to comprehend the text; (3) it is difficult for students to find the generic structure of the text; and (4) most of students get low value in reading test.
There are some causes why the problems emerge as follows: (1) teaching reading is not enjoyable; (2) the teacher uses a conventional method in teaching reading; (3) during the teaching learning process, the teacher transfers information (monotonous approach); (4) the teacher never lets students express their own opinion freely; and (5) the teacher is dominant in teaching reading process.
Weistein and Meyer (1986) cited in Arends (1997: 243) state that "good teaching includes teaching students how to learn, how to remember, and how to motivate themselves". The writer believes what they state will make students more creative and interested in reading the material. The better reading text given to the students must be motivating, interesting and meaningful for the students. It can stimulate them to enjoy and learn better.
In real situation, the researcher does not find the ideal reading teaching in MAN X because most English teachers still teach using grammar translation method in reading comprehension. Therefore, it is very important to provide an alternative technique to improve students' reading ability. To improve the students' reading comprehension, the researcher uses reciprocal technique in teaching reading as an implementation for improving the students' reading ability.
Reciprocal teaching is a very powerful strategy for improving reading comprehension. Teachers need to explicitly teach and model the four basic strategies: predicting, questioning, clarifying, and summarizing (Palinscar, 1984: 117). Predicting is something most children are familiar with and use regularly to activate background knowledge and to confirm their hypothesis. Questioning is the strategy in which students generate questions about what they are reading. Clarifying supports students in monitoring their own comprehension-it gets them to think about what is confusing to them as they read. Summarizing is recalling and arranging information and constructing overall understanding..
It is important that students understand that skilled readers employ the reciprocal teaching strategies every time they read something, and that this is a great habit to develop as a way to improve their comprehension skills. This can be accomplished with short pieces of fiction or nonfiction; the entire class can brainstorm examples of the various types of comprehension strategies. Small groups can then choose 3-4 questions from each category to answer and share with the entire class.
According to Alverman and Phelps (1998: 42) in their book, Content Reading and Literacy: Succeeding in Today's Diverse Classroom, reciprocal teaching has two major features: (1) instruction and practice of the four comprehension strategies—predicting, question generating, clarifying, and summarizing; and (2) a special kind of cognitive apprenticeship where students gradually learn to assume the role of teacher in helping their peers construct meaning from text.
According to Rosenshine and Meister (1994: 79), there are four important instructional practices embedded in reciprocal teaching: (1) Direct teaching of strategies, rather than reliance solely on teacher questioning; (2) Student practice of reading strategies with real reading, not with worksheets or contrived exercises; (3) Scaffolding of instruction; students as cognitive apprentices; and (4) Peer support for learning.
Reciprocal teaching involves a high degree of social interaction and collaboration, as students gradually learn to assume the role of teacher in helping their peers construct meaning from text.
The National Education Department has applied the CBC 2004 and KTSP 2004 revised in 2006, the purpose is developing the communicative competence; especially reading comprehension. The reciprocal teaching is expected to be able to help the students comprehend the text easier. Hence, the researcher will observe the use of reciprocal teaching to activate the second year students of MAN X to comprehend and understand such text.
In doing the research, it is important to establish the target that wanted to be reached. The target of this research is that the students can improve their understanding of the text. Based on the target above, the researcher finally wishes that:
1) 100% of the students can understand in comprehending the text in terms of: a) finding the main idea; b) getting the content of the text; and c) raising the reading score.
2) 80% of the students can study more active to interact in the classroom and have higher motivation to study.
To gain the target of the research, the researcher will train the students to comprehend the text and help them to find main idea, supporting idea, explicit information, and master vocabulary. When the students are able to comprehend the text, it is expected that they can reach the understanding of the text.

B. Statement of the Problem
From the background of the study, the researcher has the research questions that should be answered:
1. Does and to what extent reciprocal teaching improve students' reading ability?
2. How is the situation when reciprocal teaching is implemented in the reading class?

C. The Objective of the Study
This research aims to improve the students' reading ability with a reciprocal technique. In details, the research has the objectives as follows:
1. To identify whether and to what extent reciprocal teaching can improve students' reading ability.
2. To describe the situation when reciprocal teaching is implemented in reading class.

D. The Benefits of the Study
The result of the study can give the following benefits:
1. For the students:
The students can apply reciprocal teaching strategies in their study club to improve their reading ability. It helps them become better learner and help them to evaluate and have responsibility for their own learning.
2. For the teachers:
This study can give a contribution to other teachers to innovate learning strategy, especially utilizing reciprocal teaching, so that they can increase both teaching-learning quality and the students' learning achievement.
3. For the institution of education:
The institution can conduct this study for other subject material especially by reciprocal teaching. It means for developing and increasing the students' learning achievement and learning performance. At last, the improvement of learning achievement can give a good effect to increase a credibility of the institution.
4. For other researcher:
The result of the study can be used as a reference for starting point to conduct further study about teaching and learning English, especially by applying reciprocal teaching strategy in every classroom activity. For the reason, it can be seen from some researches that the application Reciprocal Teaching technique shows the improvement of students' achievement and motivation in learning English.

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