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THE CORRELATION BETWEEN STUDENTS’ INTEREST AND THEIR ACHIEVEMENT IN READING SHORT PASSAGES


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION

1.1      Background of the study
In Indonesia, English is considered to be the first foreign language. It is taught as a compulsory subject from junior high school (SMP) up to senior high school (SMA). The 1994 English curriculum emphasizes the learning process on the development of language skills, but it does not mean that the teaching of language components is left. Reading skill gets  the main development because of some reasons such as the students’ needs for future study and English which is regarded as foreign language so the reading skills are regarded as important skills to develop.
Although the reading skill has been taught for a long time, the result of teaching is still considered to be unsatisfactory. Having this unsatisfactory fact, I \am aware of the fact that reading is complex and many factors affect it. Here I took reading short passages as the media. Therefore, a classroom teacher should be able to detect and overcome all the problems that could lead to their reading weakness. To some extent, the reading weakness is caused by internal factors of the learner, such as attitude, aptitude, motivation and interest. Those factors can not be ignored in teaching reading for example through reading short passages.
Many psychologists state that students who possess favorable internal factors will usually be more successful in learning reading than those who possess less favorable internal factors. This is because they are able to learn things without a lot of help and guidance from other people. Interest is one of the learner’s internal factors. It may have a significant influence on the student’s reading ability. Kartini Kartono (1985:5) says that if a student has a strong interest in learning a subject, she or he will pay close attention to that subject.  On the other hand, if she or he is reluctant to pay attention to the subject being learnt so she or he does not have a strong interest as well. 
More explanation about this is that if students never look at, say or hear another word of English after they leave  school, learning to read in English will nevertheless equip them with reading skills which they can transfer in their own language. Furthermore, students who learn to enjoy reading in English may become more motivated to learn English  in general and this is a good boost for \any teachers. And at its turn, reading is acquired well. This can contribute to the students’ enjoyment. Moreover, Bernstein as Quoted by Henry an Emerald (1961:274) states that high interest in a subject is?????????????

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