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THE USE OF ENGLISH COMICS TO IMPROVE STUDENTS’ ABILITY IN STORY RETELLING


THE USE OF ENGLISH COMICS TO IMPROVE STUDENTS’ ABILITY
IN STORY RETELLING

A. Background
English is an important means of communication, which is used by many countries in this world. It plays an important role as an international language. This is why the Indonesian government chooses English as the first foreign language to be taught in schools (Ramelan, 1992:3). English is introduced as a compulsory subject to be taught from the seventh year of Junior High School up to the twelfth year of students and as a local content subject in Elementary school.
The writer wants to discuss one of the many problems connected with English learning. English learning problems can take place both at home and at school. The teacher and the students are different, and therefore, we might find different motivations for learning as well. At school, the problems may appear when the class consists of a big number of students. The noisy class does not only disturb the students who really want to study, but also influence the students’ concentration to the subject given in class. The condition like this can make the students feel bored and do not like to study. At home, the problems may appear
when they recall the subjects from school and they still do not understand the lesson and none of the people at home can help them. If this condition continues they will feel very bored and not interested in studying English. In this case the teacher’s role is very important, that is to encourage them to study harder and better.
In addition, students’ problems are not only from the classroom environment but also from the students themselves. The reality we often see is that, in fact, many students master the theory better than practice. For example, in speaking, they may have the knowledge of how to speak, but in practice they find difficulties. They lack self confidence. To build their confidence, students need more practice so that teachers are suggested to create and use interesting method. One of such the methods is story retelling. Generally, story retelling is liked by the students because they like stories. It is also an appropriate method for the
students at their age.
In order to make story retelling more interesting, good media are needed. The term ‘media’ is defined by Brown: J. W, Richard B. L, Fred F: H (1969: 2-3) as tools or the physical things used by a teacher to facilitate the instruction. According to Gerlach and Elly (1980: 245), to select the appropriate media, the teacher must consider the characteristics of the students, which directly related to the learning process such as verbal abilities, visual and audio perception skills. Other factors which also ought to be considered in media selection come from our instructional system model, that is, the organization of groups, the time available and the space in which the media will be used (Gerlach and Elly: 255).
Comic is one of the many media to teach story retelling. Comics are an art form using a series of static images in fixed sequence. Using English comics as a means for teaching story retelling can be very pleasing and interesting for the students. By using English comics students will be more interested and more active in learning. They will feel something new and different from what they usually get in their class. The writer hopes that with the use of English comics they will be active as participants and they have more a chance to express their minds, emotions, feelings and attitudes. 
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