English is an international language. In facing the free market era its role will be more seriously felt. The era is known as a mega-competition, in which competitors have to possess the pre-requirement of being able to use English as communication means. It is the striving for understanding all aspects of global existence through information exchange. We cannot keep the science development and global technology development in balance, without the mastery of English. There are some books, some recent researchers, some new articles, some written mass medias, and some other information in website, that are commonly presented in English. Thus, the English mastery is more helpful to the process of knowledge acquisition, especially in the field of education to promote its quality.
English has been adopted as a major from junior high school stage to the university stage. It is expected that the students obtain the English communication skills. English communication skills are required to aid the knowledge and technology development, culture and art development, and the escalation of international relationship (Depdikbud, 1994). These skills are reading skill, listening skill, speaking skill, and writing skills that are treated in integrated teaching learning model. The other grammatical units such as structure, vocabularies, pronunciation, and spelling serve to support the four skills. All of them are well kept together for reaching the effectiveness and efficiency of English language teaching at all education levels.
English language teaching should be targeted at developing students' ability to understand and express meanings. Students are expected of being able to use English in real communication. Communication acts, of course, use the forms of linguistic units.
An important thing is due to the fact that vocabulary is one of the components of language and that no language exists without words. Words are signs or symbols for ideas. They are means by which people exchange their thoughts. The more words we learn, the more ideas we should have. So we can communicate the ideas more effectively.
Allan (1977) states that vocabulary is the words continually be learning as they learn structure and as they practice the sound system. Vocabulary is one of the most important aspects in mastering English because the ability of the students to read or comprehend the subject is relatively determined by their vocabulary. In this case, we must emphasize that vocabulary plays a key role not only in reading but also in speaking, writing, and listening. It is cleat that vocabulary as a fundamental requirement does influence students’ achievement in studying English.
Vocabulary as one of language elements which functions not only to support the use of the other elements of language (pronunciation, spelling, and grammar) but also to facilitate the use of the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). Rivers in Nunan (1991) has argued that the acquisition of an adequate vocabulary is essential for successful second language learners because without an extensive vocabulary, they will unable to use the structures and functions they may have learned for comprehensible communication. Harmer (1991) also states that an ability to manipulate grammatical structure does not have any potential for expressing meaning unless words are used.
Learning vocabulary is one important matter in learning language but it is not a simple work to do. The bad score on vocabulary found in the students’ achievement does not mean that there are no efforts to solve the problem. Both teachers and students have tried to apply various methods and techniques in teaching and learning vocabulary. However, there are many factors assumed to give influence in teaching and learning process such as students’ characteristics, materials, teachers’ character, etc.
There are no specific rules to learn vocabulary efficiently, however, teachers may use various methods in teaching vocabulary. Among other teaching methods is Quantum Teaching Method.
Quantum Teaching Method is an accelerated learning program offered by Learning Forum, an international education company based in Oceanside, California, which is emphasized on individual skill development. It is a professional development program for educators providing a proven research-based approach to the design and delivery of curriculum and the teaching of learning and life skills. This program takes the best teaching practices and synthesizes them into a model of effective education (Deporter 1999).
Quantum Teaching Method is a creative effort by Bobbi Deporter in developing instructional system which is used in planning, presenting, and facilitating super camp. This method was adopted from some other theories such as Accelerated Learning (Lazanov), Multiple Intelligence (Gardner), Neuro-Linguistic Programming (Ginder dan Bandler), Experiential Learning (Hahn), Socratic Inquiry, Cooperative Learning (Johnson and Johnson), Elements of Effective Instructions (Hunter).
The quantum teaching frame ensures that the lesson is taught on several different levels. Enrolling the students first piques their curiosity, creates excitement and raises expectations (all positive emotions). Allowing them to experience the lesson through a game or activity engages the student, making the lesson more concrete and more fun. At the end of the activity, students may have more questions then they began with this is the teacher's cue to "label" the information, explaining, and debriefing what was just learned. A demonstration helps students connect their experience with the new learning, and a quick review cements it in their memories. Finally, the class celebrates their success with high-fives, saying words of acknowledgement, playing upbeat music, or giving a class cheer (Deporter, et. al., 1999).
Since the Quantum Teaching Method promotes cheerful learning for students, it is possible to use Quantum Teaching Method in teaching and learning vocabulary. This possibility had motivated the writer to carry out a research under the title “Improving the Vocabulary Mastery of the Students of SMAN Liliriaja Using Quantum Teaching Method.”
B. Problem Statement
Based on the background above, the writer formulated problem statement as follows:
1. Does the use of Quantum Teaching Method in teaching and learning vocabulary improve vocabulary mastery of the second year students of SMAN 1 Liliriaja Kabupaten Soppeng?
2. Are the second year students of SMAN 1 Liliriaja Kabupaten Soppeng interested in learning vocabulary through Quantum Teaching Method?
C. Objectives of the Study
This research aimed at finding out whether or not Quantum Teaching Method improves vocabulary mastery of the second year students of SMAN 1 Liliriaja Kabupaten Soppeng and describing their interest toward the use of Quantum Teaching Method in learning vocabulary.
D. Significance of the Study
It was expected that the result of the research will be a very useful information for teachers, lecturers, and students in making decision and development related to English teaching in general, and vocabulary in particular.
E. Scope of the Research
This research was focused on the use of Quantum Teaching Method in improving the students’ English vocabulary mastery of the second year students of SMAN 1 Liliriaja Kabupaten Soppeng in academic year 2006/2007. It was restricted to the meaning of words. The words mean here were nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. It was also restricted to the students’ interest toward the use of Quantum Teaching Method in learning vocabulary.
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