Improving Young Learners' Reading Ability Through Cooperative Learning

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  • Topic: Concept map, Sixth grade, Fifth grade
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  • Published : February 2, 2013
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IMPROVING YOUNG LEARNERS’ READING ABILITY THROUGH COOPERATIVE LEARNING Maria Florentine Palar LBPP-LIA PAKUAN BOGOR

ABSTRACT
Many students, especially young learners find reading activities tiresome, even frustrating at times. This condition have led the children to a halt in their language development. The preliminary study conducted in three Big EC classes through class observations and interviews with three EC teachers in LBPP-LIA PAKUAN BOGOR showed that teaching reading is not an easy task. The paper will discuss the investigation on how the Cooperative Learning method improves young learners’ reading ability. In the research, Cooperative Learning which creates an atmosphere in which each student will make an effort to reach success (Slavin, 2001:16) was implemented so that the children can work together to achieve their goal. The Content Map is used as an organizer to memorize the information from the reading (Novak, 1991). Classroom Observation Notes, the Reading Task Scoring Sheet , and a Questionnaire were used in the Grade Six EC class to determine the significance of the improvement. The results showed that Cooperative Learning encouraged the children to work together to achieve the goal and in turn built the children’s confidence and understanding towards the reading so that their reading ability was improved.

BACKGROUND 1. Background of The Study
As the importance of being able to use other languages than one’s mother tongue is encouraged in the globalized world, Indonesia had seen considerable growth in the number of young learners learning the English language. This leaves teachers with the challenge of implementing myriads of techniques in the classrooms to guarantee a success in learning especially for young learners. There are several characteristics of young learners that are distinctive and unique when compared with that of other learners. Young learners are very enthusiastic about learning although they have short attention and concentration span. They cannot decide for themselves what to learn so that they would rely on a good

teacher to decide on the things that they need to learn. Young learners know that the world is governed by rules. They may not understand the rules but they know that they are there to be obeyed and they can help to nurture a feeling of security (Scott and Ytreberg, 2004:2). And most importantly, they will learn best when they are enjoying themselves (Scott and Ytreberg, 2004:4). Therefore, it is essential that teachers provide interesting language learning activities that can encourage happy feelings in the hearts of the young learners. Cooperative Learning is an enjoyable method in learning the reading skill. Furthermore, it creates an atmosphere in which each student will make an effort to reach success (Slavin, 2001:16). Cooperative Learning focuses on the achievement of the whole group. Therefore, the Cooperative Learning is goal oriented, encouraging every member in a learning group to contribute to the group’s success. And Concept Maps are inarguably the most effective organizer to help the children memorize the information they got from the reading passage. This way, the children had a tool that will enable them to organize the information better.

2.

Reason for Choosing The Topic
When teaching reading to young learners, teachers are having difficult time providing fun activities to achieve the ultimate goal of being able to present the children with enjoyable experiences. Consequently, it is advisable that teachers aware of the fact that the whole language of the child is important when they are learning to read. When children experience difficulties the emphasis has shifted from giving remedial help to the child to producing materials which support, motivate, and extend the reader in this way reinforcing the approaches used with beginning readers (Smith, 1994:8).

3. The Aim of The Research
The aim of the research is to investigate how the...
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