1.1 Background of the Study
English is a language spoken by people in English speaking countries or in  international events among countries around the world. Ramelan (1992:2-3) stated that “English as an international language is used to communicate, to strengthen and to fasten relationship among all countries in  the world in all fields, for example: in tourism, business, science and technology, etc. Considering the importance of English, people from various non-English speaking countries including Indonesia learn English.” Having proficiency in English, people will be able to face this over-changing world easily. So, it is not surprising if the number of people who are interested in learning English is getting increased from time to time.
In Indonesia, English has been taught  as a foreign language. Ramelan   (1992; 1) stated that “English has been taught in our country as the first foreign language since the proclamation in Indonesia on the 17th of August 1945.” It is taught as a compulsory subject in junior high school and senior high school and in universities or institutes for several terms. Even, it has been tried to be taught to the students of some elementary schools.
Many educational experts and the society do many efforts to make the teaching of English better and better. They also consider the urgent role of English in the world’s communication. To keep up with the world’s communication, Indonesian government has made a significant step in the English teaching by renewing the 1994 curriculum into 2004 Competency-Based Curriculum. This new curriculum enables students to have a better way and materials in studying English.
In the 2004 Competency-Based Curriculum, English teaching in junior high school covers four competences; they are listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Those basic competences are integratedly  taught because the main goal of teaching English is that students are able to develop their communicative skills in both written and spoken English. In addition, the language components – structure, vocabulary, spelling and pronunciation – are not separately taught.  They are to support the development of those basic competences.
The students are expected to be able to communicate in English using   correct structure. Structure or grammar is one of the basic components of language which must be learnt by students. It is very useful and  important as Raja T. Nasr (1988:52) writes that grammar is a part of any language. Just as there is no language without sounds (at least no  live or oral language) so, there is no language without grammar. Having knowledge of grammar will help people to comprehend what other people say or write. On the other hand, it is difficult for Indonesian students to use correct structure in English. This is mostly because the students are influenced by their mother tongue on the acquisition of  the new structures. Smith and Kellerman (1986:1) called that as a cross linguistic influence because  “it is about??????????????????????????


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