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My friends in English Education Program UHAMKA post graduate scho

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June 29, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SHOLAT REBO WEKASAN?

PENGERTIAN SHALAT REBO WEKASAN
Shalat Rebo Wekasan adalah shalat empat raka’at yang dikerjakan pada hari Rabu terakhir bulan safar, setelah shalat isyraq (terbit matahari) kira-kira jam 06.30.
Shalat ini dikalangan orang-orang yang melakukannya disebut shalat sunnah Lidaf’il bala (shalat tolak bala) Karena menurut mereka bahwa pada tiap hari rebo bulan safar, Allah menurunkan malapetaka sebanyak 360.000 dan menurunkan 20.000 bahaya.
CARA SHALAT REBO WEKASAN
Dilaksankan pada hari Rebo terakhir di bulan safar, kira-kira pukul 06.30 sebayak empat rakaat seperti shalat biasa. Surat yang dibaca setelah surat Al Fatihah adalah Al Kautsar sebanyak 17 kali. Surat Al Ikhlash sebanyak 5 kali. Surat Al Falaq 1 kali, dan surat an nas 1 kali. setelah selesai shalat membaca doa berikut ini sebanyak 3 kali :
“Astaghfirullahal ‘adziim alladzii laa ilaaha illa huwal hayyul qayyuum wa atubu ilaih taubatan abdin dzhalimin laa yamliku linafsihi dlarran walaa naf’an walaa hayatan walaa mautan walaa nusuuran”
Allahumma shalli ‘alaa syyidina muhammadin wadfa’anna minal balail mubram innaka ‘alaa kulli syai’in qadiir. Allahummaa inni audzubikalimati taammati kulliha minarrihil ahmari maniddaail akbari finafsi wadami wal lahmi wal ‘adhmi wal juludi wal ‘uruuqi. Subhanaka idza qadaita amran ayyaquula lahu kun fayakuu. Allahu Akbar birrahmatika yaa arhamar rahimiin”.
ASAL MULA ADANYA SHALAT REBO WEKASAN
Pada masa Rasulullah saw shalat ini tidak ada, demikian juga pada masa sahabat. oleh karena itu tidak ada secuilpun hadits yang menerangkan shalat tersebut.
Ajaran shalat ini disebutkan dalam kitab “KANZUNNAJAH’ karangan Abdul Hakim Kudus, yang katanya pernah mengajar di Masjidil Haram Makkah Al Mukaramah. Dalam kita tersebut diterangkan bahwa telah berkata se bagian ulama ‘arifin dari ahli mukasysyafah bahwa turun pada tiap tahun 360.000 mala petaka dan 20.000 bahaya, yang turunnya pada tiap hari rebo terakhir bulan safar. Bagi yang shalat pada hari tersebut sebanyak empat rakaat dengan cara tersebut di atas maka akan selamat dari semua bencana dan bahaya tersebut.
Melihat keterangan tersebut jelaslah bahwa ajaran tersebut berasal dari salah seorang ulama sufi yang diyakini sebagai ahli mukasy-syafah (tahu sebelum terjadi). Maka para ulama berpendapat bahwa shalat thalaq bala ini termasuk bid’ah dan sebagian lain mengatakan mubah yakni boleh dilakukan karena termasuk fadhoilul amal.
Adapun pendapat yang mengatakan bahwa shalat tersebut bid’ah adalah berdasrkan alasan sbb :
1. Bahwa setiap ajaran ibadah yang berhak menentukan dan mensyariatkan hanyalah Allah dan Rasul-Nya, sedangkan yang dibuat-buat adalah bid’ah
2. Bahwa Rasulullah saw tidak pernah mangajarkan, menganjurkan shalat thalak bala’, maka shalat ini termasuk perbuatan bid’ah.
3. Bahwa seseorang selain Nabi tidak boleh membuat ajaran ibadah.
Aisyah ra, berkata : “sesungguhnya Rasulullah saw bersabda : Barang siapa yang membuat ajaran baru yang tidak pernah saya ajarkan maka ajaran itu ditolak (H.R. Bukhori Muslim).
Kesimpulannya bahwa pelaksanaan shalat rebo wekasan atau shalat thalaq bala tidak pernah diajarkan oleh Rasulullah SAW, maka dengan demikian shalat ini termasuk kategori bid’ah, maka jauhilah perbuatan bid’ah ini
Wallahu ‘alam

March 5, 2010 Posted by | About Islam | Leave a comment

USING MUSIC IN ESL

The use of music in the classroom can make the entire learning process more enjoyable and can stimulate “right” brain learning. Six years ago researchers reported that people scored better on a standard IQ test after listening to Mozart. Other tests soon followed: Rats raised on Mozart run through mazes faster and more accurately. People with Alzheimer’s disease function more normally if they listen to Mozart and the music even reduces the severity of epileptic seizures.

Just think of all the times you have used music to help you study for tests, think clearly about something, relax from daily stress, etc. If you think about it, using music in the ESL EFL classroom is a pretty logical thing to do considering how helpful it can be to the learning process. Setting the scene Musically

Using music to introduce an exercise is a great way to activate vocabulary and get students thinking in the right direction. Take a piece of music or song which you associate with a certain activity or place (“New York, New York” sung by Frank Sinatra) and play the first 30 seconds of the piece. You will be surprised at how quickly associations come to students’ minds – many more than if you introduced the lesson by saying, “Today we are going to talk about New York City”.

A wonderful example of this can be found in any broadcast of “Morning Edition” by National Public Radio. Each story is ended with a selection of music which in some way relates to that story. This music is repeated after a commercial and before the next story. In this way, listeners are subtly encouraged to reflect on the story they have just heard.

“Headway Intermediate”, a popular EFL student’s book published by Oxford Press, gives another great example of setting the scene musically. Every extended listening is preceded and followed by a short snippet of related music – usually the beginning bars and the final tones of a given piece. These little touches do wonders to add atmosphere to an otherwise familiar classroom setting. Using Music Selectively To Enhance Concentration

The most important point to remember when using music to accompany learning is that it be an aid to learning and not a distraction. Let me give an example, if your class is doing a grammar exercise and you want to use some music in the background to help students concentrate, choose music which employs regular periods (repeated phrases and patterns) – something like Hayden or Mozart, maybe Bach. Choosing abrasive, disharmonic music will distract students while their brains try to make sense of the disharmony. Choosing something melodic which employs musical patterns will not distract. Not only will this type of music not distract, the regular patterns of the music also help to underline the repetetive nature of grammar.

Another example of using music selectively would be written descriptive exercises in which students need to use their imaginations. You can set the scene musically which will help stimulate their imagination. Let’s say students need to describe their life as young children. Ravel’s “Mother Goose Suite” playing softly in the background will help them return to those simpler times through its sweet harmonies and simple structures. Listening to Shostokovitch, on the other hand, would put them right off!

Here are some suggestions for appropriate music for different activities:

  • Grammar – Mozart, Haydn, Bach, Handel, Vivaldi
  • Imagination exercises (descriptive writing, speaking) – Ravel, Debussy, Satie
  • Current Situation, News in the World – Rap (for inner cities and their problems), Ethnic Music from the discussed countries (you would be surprised at how many people quickly associate the type of music with a part of the world)
  • Making Future Plans – Fun upbeat jazz (“Take Five” by Dave Brubeck)
  • Discussing “Serious” issues – the “serious” Germans: Beethoven, Brahms – even Mahler if you are adventurous!

Use your imagination and you will quickly find that your students will be using their imaginations to improve their English – usually without being aware of it.

More “Whole Brain” Techniques and Activities

The Brain: An overview
A visual explanation of the different parts of the brain, how they work and an example ESL EFL exercise employing the specific area.

Helpful Drawing Hints
“A picture paints a thousand words” – Easy techniques to make quick sketches that will help any artistically challenged teacher – like myself! – use drawings on the board to encourage and stimulate class discussions.

Using Colored Pens
The use of colored pens to help the right brain remember patterns. Each time you use the pen it reinforces the learning process.

Brain Gym
The brain is an organ and can be physically stimulated to improve learning. Use these simple exercises to help your students concentrate better and improve their learning abilities.

February 25, 2010 Posted by | ICT in English Learning | Leave a comment

Happy Family

February 25, 2010 Posted by | My Photo Galery | Leave a comment

THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING COMPUTERS IN READING SKILLS

As ICT Final Test of Post Graduate Program

English Education Department Of UHAMKA University.

Lecturer: HArtoyo, M.A., Ph.D.


INTRODUCTION

Though computers are being used increasingly in educational contexts, little research on using computers in reading instruction exists. As Nuttal (2005) states that “the aims of reading program are to enable students to enjoy (or at least feel comfortable with) reading in the foreign language, and to read without help unfamiliar texts, at appropriate speed, silently and with adequate understanding.” The students are able to enjoy reading some texts if they understood well, so it needs more comprehension, as the comprehension means the capability to give details about grammar and structure of a page of text, it also means the ability to sum up the thesis and argument of a whole book in a few sentences (Ann and Lee, 1997). According to the aims of reading, the teachers use many methods to teach as they do their effort to make the students enjoy reading the text and achieve the purposes; moreover they use the computers to assist language learning. This paper discusses what reasons do the teachers use computers to develop reading skills; is it possible to use computers? Is it sensible or appropriate to use computers for such purposes?

WHAT IS READING?

As we know, teachers have some methods to teach English as second language, to make the students are able to speak fluently and write well, and also comprehend the text. Those are named by “language skills” (listening, reading, speaking and writing).  Reading is a part of language skills. Brynes (1998, 2 ) states ”Reading is an interactive process that goes on between the reader and the text, resulting in comprehension. The text presents letters, sentences, and paragraphs that encode the meaning.”

According to Brynes’ definition, reading can be either language skill or process which determines the reader to use knowledge, skills and strategies. Reader knowledge, skills and strategies include:

  1. Linguistic competence as the ability to recognize the elements of the writing system; understanding of vocabulary: comprehension of how words are structured into sentences.
  2. Discourse competence it is the knowledge of discourse markers and how they fix parts of the text to one another.
  3. Sociolinguistic competence as knowledge about different type of texts and their usual structure and content.
  4. Strategic competence it is the ability to use top down strategies as well as knowledge of the language (Bryners 1998, 2).

Moreover, reading and the type of text have the purpose to determine the specific knowledge, skills and strategies that the reader need to apply to achieve reading comprehension. Because reading comprehension is more than decoding, it results when the reader knows which skill and strategies are suitable for the type of text, and understands how to relate them to complete the purpose (Bryners 1998,2).

USES OF COMPUTERS IN READING INSTRUCTION

Technological advances continue to expand possibilities for using computers to support reading instruction. An important application is in direct instruction of basic skills. Computers offer engaging, interactive activities for general and targeted practice. They give student immediate corrective feedback, and some programs provide incentives for progress to higher levels of difficulty. Teachers also use programs to track student progress.

Further, computers allow students to create and share work. Some software allows them to create graphics and multimedia projects, while word processing facilitates writing projects. The internet allows information sharing through such resources such online research, personal web pages, and e-mail. Moreover, electronic references allow students to conduct research more easily and in new and different ways from traditional research.

WHY DO TEACHERS USE COMPUTERS TO TEACH CRITICAL READING SKILLS?

One of the biggest concerns of teachers and instructors is that students are failing to learn critical reading skills that they need to progress satisfactory through the upper levels of their education. Commercial reading software developers have worked hard to create software that gives learners real opportunities to read critically and develop critical reading, and critical thinking, skills. As Levy (2008) states that there are three main reasons for teachers why they use the computers for teaching reading skills. They are:

  1. Computer software is interactive.

The most important benefits of commercial reading software is its ability to engage the students. Most current reading requires that a student do more than merely punch buttons. The interactive software provides students with the chance to produce their own questions and leads the students through guided practice situations. Newer software has even developed ways for students to interact with each other via the internet. Students work together in virtual groups to expand the learning experience.

2. Computer software uses scientifically-assisted educational research.

The reality is that educational software that purports to teach without the assistance of sound research and statistics often fails to hit the mark when it comes to really educating children. It is important to use software based on established teaching strategies as well as credible research studies.

3. Computers software creates a “real” learning development.

Until the advent of desktop computers, reading experiences were limited ti print materials. Early programs were only used as supplements to a general reading lesson, rather than acting as a stand-alone reading experience. These factors meant that early computer reading programs could not meet the needs of children learning to read critically.

THE ADVANTAGES OF USING COMPUTERS TO DEVELOP READING SKILLS

Research is just beginning to clarify the cognitive and effective consequences of using computers to teach literacy. Investigations have shown that computer tools can enhance instruction. The use of word processors can produce better writing. Multimedia presentations can facilitate comprehension. Computers benefits diverse Learner by allowing for individualized instruction. Computerized vocabulary tools enhance second language learners’ comprehension, and computer-assisted instruction teaches basic reading skills to students at risk. Moreover, studies have found effects on engagement and interest, particularly for students with learning difficulties. And the advantages are:

  1. Interaction

1.1.Man-machine interaction.

The interactive potential of CAL has been extolled for the last twenty-five years or more. For example, Rigney (1962, 156) writes: “It is … an interactive notion that a computer can be programmed to interact dynamically with one or more students.”

1.2.Interpersonal interaction

In Talking about ‘interaction’, Rigney and his contemporaries were thinking in terms of communication between man and machine, and it has been largely in these terms that CAL has developed. In language acquisition, however, most interaction is between people. Indeed, for Wells and the interactionists, the very purpose of first language acquisition is to make interaction possible (Wells 1981, 16). Interaction is the goal and language the means. The central role of interaction in language acquisition has been emphasized in recent research (e.g Ellis 1984), and in the whole tradition of communicative teaching.

The use of computers within interactive settings as an element in a group practice is well established.

1.3.Reader – text interaction

Another form of interaction which is particularly important in the context of reading is between reader and text (Widdowson 1979, 173). In this approach, the computer can be conceived of as an aid, supplementing the printed page or other teaching material, and not providing the total learning environment. This approach would see it as the teacher’s task to create the learning environment, using the computer as an element within it just as she might use integrated skills practice or an overhead projector.

Thus computers can play a variety of interactive roles. They can promote interaction of various sorts-between man and machine (which is generally absorbing and motivating), between people (which is likely to promote language acquisition), and between reader and text (where the computer often plays a supportive role).

2.  Power

The calculating power of computer is legendary, together with their capacity to search speedily through databases or print text up on the screen. In reality, however, the microcomputers generally used for CAL work are essentially toy instruments, sometimes even derided by computers scientists with their considerably more powerful mainframe computers.

There are some programs that allow the teacher to specify several possible ‘correct responses’, but it is often impossible for her to anticipate all the zany responses that may come up. Other words, computers can actually be constraining and limiting. It is not enough simply to blame the software, for the problem also derives from the limited power of the machine and the near impossibility of anticipating all possible responses.

Indeed, work with computers tends to make one realize how flexible and cognitively powerful human teachers are. Thus computers can be described as powerful but only within certain restricted domains. For the reader these include text manipulation exercises, lexical and technical databases, speed reading exercises and simulation.

3.Versitality

Despie any limitations of memory or processing power, computers are surprisingly adaptable and versatile devices. All the vocabulary recognition strategies described by Williams (1985) could be practiced with CAL programs. Some approaches use computers not so much to provide CAL exercises as to serve as facilitator (Sharples 1985), providing the learner with a toolkit to help learning process to place.

It is clear that computer, in the way they are at present used to EFL practice, are very useful in certain areas, but nevertheless essentially limited. To promote the computer as capable of providing the complete learning environment is therefore unrealistic. To recommend its use as an element in an overall learning environment, on the other hand, seems a more practicable approach.

THE DISADVANTAGES OF USING COMPUTERS TO DEVELOP READING SKILLS

  1. Effective Demands

The effective demands of working with computers vary with the user. Young learners, on the whole, experience little difficulty. It is generally older users, such as teachers, who may experience feeling inadequacy or even of hostility to the machines. These attitudes are probably fairly common, and may help to explain the slow spread of CAL.

2. Logistics

2.1.Access

At the practical level, the biggest difficulty associated with using CAL in reading training or for other language work is getting enough computers. In most institutions using CAL, one machine per classroom (or more) is the rule. Student access to the machine is generally limited in time and shared with other people. (In fact, students can work at computers in pairs without loss of effectiveness).

2.2.Materials

While a certain amount of software is available, particularly for the BBC and Apple computers, the high costs of programming and the small sales compared with books mean that only limited amount of software is published ( Rope 1985,67). Furthermore, programs written for BBC computer, say, will not work on an Apple or an IBM. Translation programs do exist, but they only work under certain conditions.

2.3.Computer Screens.

It has been argued that the computer screen can be used in versatile ways. However it doesn’t look like paper, and presumably reading training should be primarily directed towards reading texts on the paper. When one finishes a page in a book, for example, one turns over to the next page. The computer on the other hand, usually scrolls, so the text you have been reading moves up to the top of the screen and disappears, while the new section of text moves up into the view from the bottom. It is much easier to find something by thumbing back through a book than by scrolling back a computer screen.

3. Methodological Limitations.

Some of the methodological limitations of CAL have been discussed already, such as the problems of dealing with unanticipated responses. Another restriction is that the computer cannot understand speech, so that most CAL practice at the keyboard is confined to reading and writing.

More insidious has been the impact of the computer on CAL methodology. Right from the beginnings of CAL around 1960 to the present, most CAL exercises have been drills, and in majority of them meaning secondary. Although applied linguistics and Cognitive Psychology have doubted the wisdom of using meaningless drill as a primary way of learning languages, such drill is still common in CAL practice, legitimated by the technology.

CONCLUSION

To summarize the argument of this paper: computers are powerful and versatile devices, but they do have a number of disadvantages, carry no guarantee of success, and need to be used with care. Introducing CAL doesn’t make the task of EFL teachers easier, for successful integration of the computer into the learning program demands ingenuity and effort. Programs exist for the development of reading strategies, for example, and to develop inference skills in assigning meaning to unknown words. More tool software will become available, giving readers access to dictionaries, lexicons etc. Integrated reading and writing work round projects, using word-processors and attendant spelling checkers etc, looks a promising area for development.

Computers are known to be motivating for students. To get the best results with them, teachers will need both enthusiasm and discernment.

REFERENCES

Kim,S, Helen and Kamil, L, Michael. 2005. Successful uses of computer technology for reading instruction.http://www.temple.edu/lss/LivingDocuments/PDF/kimkamil_summary.pdf. (Accessed 18 Feb,2010).

Ingram ,Fiona.2010.Three reasons to use computers to teach critical reading skills.http://hubpages.com/hub/Three-Reasons-to-Use-Computers-to-Teach-Critical-Reading-Skills.

Aebersold, Jo Ann and Fied, Mary Lee. 1997. From reader to reading teaching: Issues and strategies for second language classroom.Ed, Richard, Jack  C. Melbourne. Cambridge University.

Nuttal, Christine. 2005. Teaching reading skills in a foreign language. Thailand. Mc. Millan Publisher.

Ellis, R. 1984. Classroom second language development. Oxford. Pergamon.

Rigney, J.R .1962. Potential uses of computers as teaching machines. In J.E. Coulson (Ed.) Programmed learning and computer-based instruction. London.

Rope, A. 1984. Spreadread. London, Wida Software.

Sharples, M. 1985. Cognition, computers and creative writing.

Wells, G. 1981. Learning through interaction – the study of language development. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press.

Widdowson, H.G. 1979. Explorations in applied linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Williams, R. 1985. Teaching vocabulary recognition strategies in ESP reading: The ESP journal, 4, 121-131.

February 23, 2010 Posted by | ICT Final Test, ICT in English Learning | 2 Comments

EVALUATION FOR FOUR CD’S IN ENGLISH PRACTISE.

As ICT Assignment Post Graduate Program of UHAMKA

English Education Department

Lecturer: Hartoyo. M.A.,Ph.D


1. ENGLISH WORD’S


a. The Strengths:

  1. The targets for age are achieved.
  2. The tests are presented as games with ray-traced graphics, multiple tracks and digital sound effects.
  3. It provides music, speech and animation.
  4. The certificate of performance can be printed.
  5. The main screen help is also provided.
  6. It prints detailed Reports of Results.
  7. It supports National Curriculum.
  8. It is easy to operate and encourage the students.
  9. It is built-in help at every stage.
  10. It has Extensive Educational Content.
  11. Teachers may choose the level they wish to test or teach.
  12. The games are initially easy and become increasingly challenging.
  13. It can print certificate of performance.

b. The weaknesses:

  1. Students need their own computer to use/operate it.
  2. Students should be explained how to use/operate it.
  3. Students can guess the right answer as it can be used many times.

2. VOCABULARY

a. The Strengths:

  1. It is easy to be operated by teachers and students.
  2. It has a nice and colorful pictured that makes the students and teachers interest to play.
  3. The sound is also good and makes the kids like it.
  4. Students can repeat the pronunciation.
  5. It also provides a certificate of competence.
  6. Teachers and students can get new vocabulary as it has some levels.

b.The weaknesses:

  1. The Indonesian students will find it difficult to understand, because it has some difficult vocabularies.
  2. The pictures are provided only in four choices.
  3. Teachers need more levels to teach.

3. LEARN ENGLISH “Beginner”


a. The Strengths:

1. The result of the test can be printed out.

2. It provides language help.

3. It also has some different topics.

3. Teachers can print the total score for the students.

4. The recording voices is also provided.

5. Teachers and students can go online.

6. It has phrases-practice, dialog-practice, phrases-recording, dialog-recording and quiz.

7. Teachers and students can learn the pronunciation.

b. The weaknesses:

1.    It only has short dialog.

2.    The speaking is too fast for children.

4. SPEAK ENGLISH IN INTERMEDIATE LEVEL


a. The Strengths:

  1. Either students or teachers can print out the result.
  2. Students can record their voices
  3. It also provides volume set.
  4. Students can enrich their vocabulary.
  5. The result of the students can be compared.

b. The weaknesses:

  1. This CD requires a display of resolution at least 1024×768. It will work best with the display set to true color (24or32 bit), 256-colour modes should not be used.
  2. It is difficult to install because some recent window systems don’t match to the format of CD.
  3. It is rather difficult to use/operate it.
  4. We need a recorder.

III. THE CONCLUSION

The entire English teacher should try and do their effort to find an effective and fun teaching method in their classes. Besides using a manual book and blank paper to teach, the teachers can also use the computer as a medium of language teaching (CALL) that can motivates students learning English toward an effective class. The good atmosphere can be created in the class by using these four CD-programs above.

February 19, 2010 Posted by | ICT Assignment, ICT in English Learning | Leave a comment

STRATEGIES FOR DEVELOPING READING SKILLS

As a final test for Academic Writing

Introduction

The acquisition of reading skill in a second or foreign language is a priority for millions of learners around the world, and there is a growing demand for both effective reading courses as well as high-quality second language reading materials. Those involved in teaching reading or in teacher education for language teachers will therefore welcome this comprehensive introduction to the teaching of the second language reading. In it the authors demonstrate that sound second language reading pedagogy draws on a variety of sources, including psycholinguistic theories of the nature of second language reading, information about the strategies employed by effective second language readers, and the accumulated knowledge and wisdom acquired from the study of effective teaching practices.

It goes without saying, reading skill has several strategies to achieve the purpose of reading.  As Nuttal (2005) states that “the aims of reading program are to enable students to enjoy (or at least feel comfortable with) reading in the foreign language, and to read without help unfamiliar texts, at appropriate speed, silently and with adequate understanding.” The students are able to enjoy reading some texts if they understood well, so it needs more comprehension, as the comprehension means the capability to give details about grammar and structure of a page of text, it also means the ability to sum up the thesis and argument of a whole book in a few sentences (Ann and Lee, 1997). However, of late researchers have come up with a great deal of information about strategies that are applicable to reading. This paper reviews two authors’ strategies, they are Luis (2007) and , Pinnel, Su and Foutas (1996). And also pints point which one of these strategies might be the most appropriate for teaching reading as one of language skills today.

WHAT IS READING?

As we know, teachers have some methods to teach English as second language, to make the students are able to speak fluently and write well, and also comprehend the text. Those are named by “language skills” (listening, reading, speaking and writing).  Reading is a part of language skills. Brynes (1998, 2) states: ”Reading is an interactive process that goes on between the reader and the text, resulting in comprehension. The text presents letters, sentences, and paragraphs that encode the meaning.”

According to Brynes’ (1998, 2) definition, reading can be either language skill or process which determines the reader to use knowledge, skills and strategies. Reader knowledge, skills and strategies include:

  1. Linguistic competence as the ability to recognize the elements of the writing system; understanding of vocabulary: comprehension of how words are structured into sentences.
  2. Discourse competence it is the knowledge of discourse markers and how they fix parts of the text to one another.
  3. Sociolinguistic competence as knowledge about different type of texts and their usual structure and content.
  4. Strategic competence it is the ability to use top down strategies as well as knowledge of the language (Bryners 1998, 2).

Moreover, reading and the type of text have the purpose to determine the specific knowledge, skills and strategies that the reader need to apply to achieve reading comprehension. Because reading comprehension is more than decoding, it results when the reader knows which skill and strategies are suitable for the type of text, and understands how to relate them to complete the reading purpose (Bryners 1998, 2).

A SKILL AND A STRATEGY

Skill and strategy both are sounded similar, but in fact, they have different usage and function especially for teachers and students. As Robb (1996, 7) states that “skill has described a set of helpful tools that students practiced in order to improve reading. (They include, but are not limited to: vocabulary in context, sequencing, making inferences, coping with unfamiliar words, and many more).”

Robb (1996, 7) also states that the understanding of skills and strategies are shades of the same thing, but representing different stages of development. A skill becomes a strategy when the learners can use it independently. When she can reflect on and understand how it works and then apply it to new reading materials when it occurs, the student has become a strategic reader.

Here are the other differences between skill and strategy which was taken from Sarasota (2001, 2).

SKILLS STRATEGIES
Instructor decides what learner

Needs

Learner’s need are anticipated by

instructor

Skills are often taught in predetermined sequence Self-direction/need is determined by learner
Skills are often practiced in

Isolation

Strategies are taught in a meaningful

context

The emphasis is often on practice

for practice’s sake only

Strategies are student-centered rather than teacher-directed
An automatic response is usually

Expected

Activities are purposeful, interactive, and independent
Applications to meaningful

Contexts may not occur

Continual observation is practiced for

Evaluation of what is needed

Table 3.1: Sarasota, Difference between strategy and skill (2001, 2)

Based on those authors’ opinion about difference between skill and strategy, it may be concluded, that teaching and learning reading in ESL need both skill and strategy, to assist reading process.

Before going on to the strategies, we should know why are the strategies used and when are they used? Both are the main question for teacher to teach reading in ESL classroom. Sarasota (2001, 1) states:

We use strategies for the following reasons:

  1. Reading makes more sense for struggling readers when strategies are used
  2. Good readers use strategies naturally
  3. The use of strategies aides struggling readers to become proficient
  4. Strategies make reading more fun

While people are wondering when are the strategies used? It is answered by Sarasota’s (2001, 1) statement:

Strategies are used to assist students in

  1. Predicting outcomes in a reading passage
  2. Summarizing material which has been read, both fictional and informational
  3. Questioning material being read
  4. Determining important ideas while reading
  5. Monitoring their reading
  6. Searching for clues
  7. Reading to confirm
  8. Reading a head or back for clues
  9. Self-correcting

READING STRATEGIES

Good reading strategies help the student to read in very efficient way. By using those strategies, the student aim to get the maximum benefit from the reading with the minimum effort. Many researches discuss about the reading strategy. This paper should review the strategies which are applied by Luis (2007) and , Pinnel, Su and Foutas (1996).

Luis states that there are six strategies that should be done for teaching reading in ESL classroom. They are:

  1. Knowing what you want to know.

You have to know why you are reading the text. What do you want to know after reading it? Are you reading with purpose or just pleasure?

If you know this, you can examine the text to see whether it is going to move you towards this goal.

A simple way of doing this is to look at the introduction and the chapter headings. The introduction should let you know at whom the book is targeted, and what is seeks to achieve. Chapter headings will give you an overall view of the structure of the subject.

Ask yourself whether the book meets your need. Ask yourself if it assumes too much or too little knowledge. If the book isn’t deal, would it be better to find a better one?

  1. Knowing how deeply to study the material

Where you only need the shallowest knowledge of the subject, you can skim material. Here you read only chapter headings, introductions and summaries.

If you need a moderate level of information on a subject, then you can scan the text. Here you read the introductions and summaries in detail. You may then speed read the contents of the chapters, picking out and understanding key words and concepts. At this level of looking at the document it is worth paying attention to diagrams and graphs.

Only when you need detailed knowledge of a subject is it worth studying the text. Here it is the best to skim the material first to get an overview of the subject. This gives you an understanding of its structure, into which you can fit the detail gained from a full, receptive reading of the material.

  1. Active Reading

Where you are reading a document in detail, it often helps it you highlight, underline and annotate it as you go on. This emphasizes in your mind, and helps you to review important points later. Doing this also helps to keep your mind focused on the material and stops it wandering.

This is obviously only something to do if you own the document. If you own the book and find that active reading helps, then it may be worth photocopying information in more expensive texts. You can read and mark the photocopies. If you are worried about destroying the material, ask yourself how much your investment of time is worth. If the benefit you get by active reading reasonably exceeds the value of the book, then the book is disposable.

  1. How to study different sorts of material

There are different places and different ways to hold the different sorts of information. They also have different depth and breadth of coverage. By understanding the layout of material you are reading, you can extract useful information much more efficiently.

Reading Magazines and Newspapers.

These tend to give a very fragmented coverage of an area. They will typically only concentrate on the most interesting and glamorous parts of a topic – this helps them to sell copies. They will often ignore less interesting information that may be essential to full understanding of a subject. Typically areas of useful information are padded out with large amounts of irrelevant waffle or with advertising.

The most effective way of getting information from magazines is to scan the content tables or indexes and turn directly to interesting articles. If you an article useful then cut it out and file it in a folder specifically covering that sort of information. In this way you will build up sets of related articles that may begin to explain the subject.

Newspapers tend to be arranged in sections. If you read a paper often, you can learn quickly which section is useful and which ones you can skip altogether.

Reading Individual Article.

Articles within newspapers and magazines tend to be in three main types:

4.1. News Articles:

Here the most important information is presented first, with information being less and less useful as the article progresses. News articles are designed to explain the key points first, and then flesh them out with detail.

4.2. Opinion Articles:

Opinion articles present a point of view. Here the most important information is contained in the introduction and the summary, with the middle of the article containing supporting arguments.

4.3. Features Articles

These are written to provide entertainment or background on a subject. Typically the most important information is in the body of the text.

If you know what you want from an article, and recognize it type, you can extract information from it quickly and efficiently.

  1. Reading ‘Whole Subject’ Document

When you are reading an important document, it is easy to accept the writer’s structure of thought. This can mean that you may not notice that important information has been omitted or that irrelevant detail has been included. A good way of recognizing this is to compile your own table of contents before you open the document. You can then use this table of contents to read the document in the order that you want. You will be able to spot omissions quickly.

  1. Using glossaries with technical documents

If you are reading large amounts of difficult technical material, it may be useful to photocopy or compile a glossary. Keep this beside you as you read. It will probably also be useful to note down the key concepts in your own words, and refer to them when necessary.

Those strategies may be useful for student to learn more about reading, besides, Pinnel, Su, and fountas (1996, 22-23) state that there are four strategies to achieve reading skill in ELT, they are: Reading aloud, Shared Reading, Guided Reading and Independent Reading.

Here are some information should be given in detail to make students understand more.

  1. 1. Reading Aloud.

Here, the teacher or tutor reads a text loud to students. This allows tutors to model reading, engage students in a text that may be too difficult for them to read on their own, and let students sit back and enjoy the story.

  1. 2. Shared Reading.

In Shared Reading, tutors and students read together, thus allowing student to actively participate and support one another in the process. Tutors point to text as they read to build word recognition. And tutors also read slowly to build a sense of story.

  1. 3. Guided Reading.

Guided reading prepares tutees with strategies that allow for more independent reading. In guided reading, tutors create purposeful lessons that extend beyond the story. These lessons challenge tutees in a number of areas: vocabulary building, character comparisons, story structure comparisons, relating text to personal experience, and so on. The goal is to provide tutees with strategies that they can repeat independently.

  1. 4. Independent reading.

Even those who support transactional definitions of literacy typically also engage students in independent reading since successful independent reading strategies will help them succeed in school. Students read by themselves or with partners, choose their own texts, and employ strategies that they have learned through other reading activities.

CONCLUSION

As one of the language skills, reading has a main role to achieve language competency. It has changed for many periods about its strategies, as many researchers study the best strategies to be used in reading activities. According to Luis (2007, 3), reading activities have different strategies and techniques that students can use to read more effectively. These are: 1). Knowing the needs to know, and reading appropriately, 2).Knowing how deeply to read the document; skimming, scanning or studying, 3). Using active reading techniques to pick out key points and keep your mind focused on the material, 4). Using the table of contents for reading magazines and newspaper, and clipping useful articles, 5). Understanding how to extract information from different article types, 6). Creating table of content for reviewing material, and 7). Using indexes of table contents, and using the glossaries to help the students to assimilate technical information. Those strategies can be adopted by students to achieve the purposes of reading comprehension if they study this subject themselves. While the teacher cannot use these strategies because they have some disadvantages. First, only strong student can apply those strategies while the weak one cannot use those strategies because of lack of vocabularies. It is suggested for the students who want to apply those strategies to enrich their vocabularies then they can apply those strategies in English learning. Second, there is no interactivity using those strategies, because they are applied individually as the teacher cannot do his function as an instructor for learning English. Besides the advantage of these strategies is the full achievement of students’ comprehension about their reading.

The other strategies that should be applied are written by Pinnel, Su and Fountas (1996,22-23), Those are:1). Reading aloud, 2). Shared reading, 3). Guided reading, and 4). Independent reading. Applying those strategies have some advantages and disadvantages.

The advantages of applying these strategies are building up the students’ desire to read more, and also these strategies make an interactive classroom, because the students can hear the teacher’s voice while he reads loud, then they can run to the good pronunciations. But these strategies also have disadvantages, it is a difficulty to achieve student’s reading comprehension because the students are focused to read the text well without knowing their needs and reading appropriately.

However, they still a lot of strategies to be applied to achieve the purpose of reading comprehension. The strategies as reviewed above are only a small part of the strategies which were found by many authors. Although they have some advantages and disadvantages, but they should be applied on students’ need and classroom condition.

REFERENCES

Aebersold,  Jo Ann and Fied, Mary Lee. 1997. From reader to reading: Issues and strategies for second language classrooms. Ed. Jack. C. Richard. Melbourne. Cambidge University.

Nuttall, Christine. 2005. Teaching reading skills as a foreign language. Thailand. Mc Milan Publisher.

Robb, Laura. 1996. Reading strategies that work: Teaching your students to become better readers. New York. Scholastic.

Luis, Mandi. J. 2005. Reading strategies: reading efficiently by reading intelligently. http://www.mindtool.com/rdstratg.html (accessed February 4, 2010).

__________. (2007). Teaching reading: Strategies for developing reading skills. http://www.nclrc.org/essentials/reading/stratread.htm (accessed February 4, 2010).

Sarasota. 2001. Difference between strategy and skill. http://www.sarasota.k12.fl.us/sarasota/strattactisc.html#Understandind%the%20Difference%20Between (accessed February, 3, 2010).

Pinnell.  Su, Gay. and Fountas, Irece C. 1996. Guided reading: Good first teaching for all children. New York. Heinemann Publishing.

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Academic Writing Assignment | Leave a comment

Advantages and Disadvantages Of Information and Communication Technologies in ELT

Midterm test for ICT

Lecturer: Hartoyo, M.A, Ph.D

Using the new technologies in information and communication is increasing in English Language Teaching (ELT), but it has changed in many aspects. But not all those aspects can be viewed as positive. The impact of the use of Information and Communication (ICT) in English Language Teaching (ELT) has brought not only advantages to it, but also, some disadvantages concerning to the availability of technologies to be used, some money to invest on and training for teachers.

The first advantage of using ICT is that teachers and students of English can have the access to get up to date sources and information rapidly and cheaply. This information can be found by using internet or any specialized software, such as the focused exercises that we can find on the net completely for free or we can bring any software via internet or in any store. However there is a concern about this advantage. Firstly, the access of those technologies is not cheap as we may think, so there are many devices needed to be accessed for the information and sources to learn English. For the example, we need a computer to be implemented, and it will be difficult because we have to get some tools. That means, if we need a certain number of computers in the classroom, it will cost a lot of money. Secondly, when the teacher tries to use ICT in learning English, it means a lot of time will be spent to look for useful material on the net to be focused on what it to be taught. And it becomes a hard task to find an already existing material on the topic the teacher of English in working on with his/her students than using a lesson plan.

The second advantage of using ICT is to help the students to develop their skills they need for their lives. There are many sources for teacher to teach in the classroom, she/he can select the ones that fit better to the student’s need based on their age, level, and abilities. There are many resources for ELT we may find on the internet such us discussion groups, games, talking books, interactive book reading, and chatting lines among others. However, this kind of instruction technologies can be use in a wide way, but it should be taken into account that not everything that is on the internet.

In regard of employment, some authors state that the use of ICT in English language teaching provides society with more jobs in areas such as computer programming, system analyzing, hardware and software developing and web designing given that all lessons planes are based on the use of technological devices. The classroom now needs any kind of technical support in case of breakdown, incapability to use specific software or anything that comes with the use of new technology. That means that the teacher would have to play the role of technician and be a master of technology being used given that he/she supposed to assist good teaching with it. That also means, however, that teachers with no training on this technology have no access to ELT using Information and communication technologies, given that he/she does not know how to manage classes.  Many training institutions are not completely aware of the need of the implementation of ICT in English language teaching and, definitely need to enhance subject teaching using ICT. Another disadvantage concerning to employment is that not every teacher is capable to update his/her knowledge on ICT when teaching English. That situation is in some way problematic, given than it is not possible for some teachers to update their knowledge of technologies that they are not capable to use. Moreover, the updating of knowledge becomes nearly impossible in cases in which there is no sponsor or money to pay for training courses on ICT.

As a conclusion, it can be said that, as well as the use of Information and Communication Technologies has advantages on the modern English language teaching, it also has disadvantages that not allow every learner and teacher to make use of it during classes. In that way, every time that Information and Communication Technologies provide advantages such as quick and cheap access to the latest information, the developing of language skills and the emergence of new job opportunities, there are also disadvantages such as the lack of devices to carry out a class, the unreliability of some web sources and the inability of some teachers to train themselves in this technology.

February 9, 2010 Posted by | ICT in English Learning, ICT Mid Test | 2 Comments

Agressive Drivers

The number of vehicles on freeways and streets is increasing at an alarming race. This influx of motor vehicles is increasing hazardous conditions. Moreover, drivers are in such in rush to get their destinations that many become angry or inpatient with other motorists who are too slow in their way. Aggressive drivers react foolishly toward others in several dangerous ways.

One way an angry driver may react is to cut off another motorist. They usually use the left side of traffic, but if it is crowded by other motorists, the angry driver will break this regulation, and, create a dangerous condition. It will happen when the vehicles are cut off by other vehicles from the opposite, and then it will cause the accident.

Another way is to tailgate the other car. The cars will be bumper to bumper when the traffic is very crowded. An angry driver usually doesn’t patient and doesn’t want to keep distance with other, because they want to go fast on each other. This condition may be one of accident’s reasons.

In addition to cutting off and to tailgating other cars, aggressive drivers often use rude language or gestures to show their anger. When they are in anger and inpatient, they will run fast and uncontrolled. It often happens in the street and also makes a bad condition for the driver him/her self.

Although law enforcement authorities warn motorist again aggressive driving, the numbers who act out their angry impulses has not declined. It caused by a lack of people’s understanding about the law especially about traffic regulation.

To conclude, aggressive drivers are endangering everyone because they create hazardous condition by acting and driving foolishly, it means that it is not dangerous only for the drivers but also for everyone. They should control their anger and change their bad habit in driving and learn to drive safety. One important thing is that they must obey the traffic regulation. After all, the lives they save could be their own.

January 15, 2010 Posted by | Academic Writing Assignment | Leave a comment

Booking a Doctor’s Appointment

Patient

  • I need to make an appointment.
  • I need to see the doctor.
  • When is the doctor free?
  • I need to renew my prescription.
  • Do you think the doctor could squeeze us in today?
  • I need to make an appointment for my husband.
  • My child needs to come in for a check-up.
  • The doctor wants to see me again in two week’s time.

Receptionist

  • What is your chart number?
  • What is the appointment regarding?
  • Which day/what time is good for you?
  • Is January the 3rd okay with you?
  • How does four o’clock sound?
  • We’ll see you then.
  • I’m sorry the doctor is not taking new patients.
  • We’ll call you if there are any cancellations.
  • We’re running an hour behind schedule.
  • Dr Jones is away. You’ll be seeing Dr Lindsay.

Sample Conversation

Receptionist: Doctor’s office. Jane speaking. How can I help you?
Caller: I need to make an appointment with Dr. Harris.
Receptionist: Do you know your chart number?
Caller: No, sorry. It’s at home and I’m at work right now.
Receptionist: No problem. What’s your name, please?
Caller: George Mason.
Receptionist: Okay Mr Mason. Hold one moment while I grab your chart, please.
Caller: Sure.
Receptionist: Thanks for waiting. Now, what do you need to see the doctor about?
Caller: Well, I’ve been fighting a cold for more than a week, and I think I might have a chest infection or something. My cough is getting worse each day.
Receptionist: Hmm. Doctor Harris is off tomorrow. Do you think it can wait until Wednesday?
Caller: Oh, I was really hoping to get in today or tomorrow in case I need some antibiotics. Maybe I’ll have to go to the walk-in-clinic instead.
Receptionist: Actually, we had a cancellation for 2:00pm today if you can get away from the office.
Caller: Gee, it’s almost 1:00pm already. I think I can make it if I leave right now.
Receptionist: We’re running a bit behind schedule, so you can probably count on seeing the doctor around 2:30.
Caller: That’s great. Thanks for fitting me in.
Receptionist: No problem, Mr. Mason. We’ll see you in an hour or so.

Patient

  • I need to make an appointment.
  • I need to see the doctor.
  • When is the doctor free?
  • I need to renew my prescription.
  • Do you think the doctor could squeeze us in today?
  • I need to make an appointment for my husband.
  • My child needs to come in for a check-up.
  • The doctor wants to see me again in two week’s time.

Receptionist

  • What is your chart number?
  • What is the appointment regarding?
  • Which day/what time is good for you?
  • Is January the 3rd okay with you?
  • How does four o’clock sound?
  • We’ll see you then.
  • I’m sorry the doctor is not taking new patients.
  • We’ll call you if there are any cancellations.
  • We’re running an hour behind schedule.
  • Dr Jones is away. You’ll be seeing Dr Lindsay.

Sample Conversation

Receptionist: Doctor’s office. Jane speaking. How can I help you?
Caller: I need to make an appointment with Dr. Harris.
Receptionist: Do you know your chart number?
Caller: No, sorry. It’s at home and I’m at work right now.
Receptionist: No problem. What’s your name, please?
Caller: George Mason.
Receptionist: Okay Mr Mason. Hold one moment while I grab your chart, please.
Caller: Sure.
Receptionist: Thanks for waiting. Now, what do you need to see the doctor about?
Caller: Well, I’ve been fighting a cold for more than a week, and I think I might have a chest infection or something. My cough is getting worse each day.
Receptionist: Hmm. Doctor Harris is off tomorrow. Do you think it can wait until Wednesday?
Caller: Oh, I was really hoping to get in today or tomorrow in case I need some antibiotics. Maybe I’ll have to go to the walk-in-clinic instead.
Receptionist: Actually, we had a cancellation for 2:00pm today if you can get away from the office.
Caller: Gee, it’s almost 1:00pm already. I think I can make it if I leave right now.
Receptionist: We’re running a bit behind schedule, so you can probably count on seeing the doctor around 2:30.
Caller: That’s great. Thanks for fitting me in.
Receptionist: No problem, Mr. Mason. We’ll see you in an hour or so.

January 15, 2010 Posted by | English for Nurse | Leave a comment