Di tempat ini aku menyimpan berbagai karya tulis dan hasil penelitian yang pernah aku hasilkan, baik ketika masih kuliah maupun saat aku menjalankan profesi sebagai guru dan dosen. Anda boleh membaca, mengkopi karya-karya tersebut dengan etika akademik, yaitu dengan menuliskan sumber dari tulisan ini. Mudah-mudahan bermanfaat untuk semua orang. Kritik dan saran anda saya tunggu sebagai bahan koreksi dan introspeksi diri (EVADIR), agak bisa lebih baik pada masa-masa yang akan datang. Baca selengkapnya disini….\


INTERACTIVE READ-ALOUD:

READING DESIGN TO SUPPORT UNDERSTANDING

By: Jasmansyah)*

Reading activity plays an important role in self development and enhances students’ English ability. Langan, (2002, p. 524) states that reading is the key to success in English. The knowledge of almost every subject flows from reading since it is considered as the heart of education (Trelease, 2001, p. 11). Through reading activity, people can get a variety of hidden information and knowledge in books and other printed media. Reading can be considered as an opened-key to the store room of science and also as a tool to access such information to the worldwide web. Reading can still be needed as a means of learning a variety of science, particularly for students. Success in reading is very important to students, both for academic and vocational advancement and for students psychological well being (Carnine, Silbert, and Kameenui, 1990, p. 33). Moreover, the ability to read and understand of text in English is also very useful for people’s career, for study purpose or simply for pleasure (Harmer, 1998, p. 68).

Some strategies could be applied in teaching reading in the classroom. Researches continually demonstrate that reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for success in reading. Well planned and well thought-out interaction during read-aloud time helps students make meaning of text. In an interactive read-aloud the teacher engages in a series of activities, including: pre-viewing the book; asking students to make predictions and connections to prior knowledge; stopping at purposeful moments to emphasize story elements, ask guiding questions or focus questions; and using oral or written responses to bring closure to the selection

As one of the four skills, reading is very important skill that must be mastered by learners in learning certain language. McLaughlin in Celce-Murcia M (2002) states that “….from all skills that the child must acquire at school, reading is the most complex and difficult. The child who accurately and efficiently translates a string of printed letters into meaningful communication may appear to be accomplishing that task with little mental effort. In fact, however, the child is engaging in complex interactive processes that are dependent on multiple sub skills and an enormous amount of coded information (p. 75)“. However, since teachers insofar do not equip themselves with varying strategies of teaching reading, the reading classroom activities seem to be so monotonous. This results in demotivation of students to eagerly and actively engage in reading arena. Thus, teachers everywhere are faced with enormous challenges in their classrooms. In one hand, they are expected to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse students’ demand. There is more content to teach each year, as well. Teachers are now expected to integrate technology and teach to myriad standards and are judged by standardized test scores achieved by their students, with no excuses tolerated and little understanding of the challenges they face daily in the classroom. On the other hand, teachers have to create classroom activities in such a way presenting fun and lively atmosphere to support learning. Richard, Jack C and Willy A. Renandya (2002, p. 22) put forward that teacher encourages students to read and think aloud from the very beginning, although the familiarity with the process will take time. Reading and thinking aloud presents a very high cognitive load for L2 readers, yet not an impossible one.

Current research generally views reading as an interactive, sociocognitive process involving a text, a reader, and a social context with in which the activity of reading takes place. In reading, “an individual constructs meaning through a transaction with written text that has been created by symbols that represent language. The transaction involves the reader’s acting on or interpreting the text, and the interpretation is influenced by the reader’s past experiences, language background, and cultural framework, as well as the reader’s purpose for reading” (Hudelson 1994, p. 130). In addition, schema theory suggests that the knowledge we carry around in our head is organized into interrelated patterns. These are constructed from our previous experience of the experiential world and guide us as we make sense of new experiences. They also enable us to make predictions about what we might expect to experience in a given context.

When we read, the complex process is involved. Within the complex process of reading, six general component skills and knowledge areas have been identified (Grabe 1991, p. 379):

1. Automatic recognition skills: a virtually unconscious ability, ideally requiring little mental processing to recognize text, especially for word identification

2. Vocabulary and structural knowledge: a sound understanding of language
structure and a large recognition vocabulary

3. Formal discourse structure knowledge: an understanding of how texts are
organized and how information is put together into various genres of texts (e.g., a
report, a letter, a narrative)

4. Content/world background knowledge: prior knowledge of text-related information and a shared understanding of the cultural information involved in text

5. Synthesis and evaluation skills/strategies: the ability to read and compare
information from multiple sources, to think critically about what one reads, and to decide what information is relevant or useful for one’s purpose.

6. Metacognitive knowledge and skills monitoring: an awareness of one’s mental
processes and the ability to reflect on what one is doing and the strategies one is
employing while reading.

When fluent readers read, they bring together all of these components into a complex process. Fluent readers recognize and get meaning from words they see in print, and use their knowledge of the structure of the language to begin forming a mental notion of the topic (Celce-Murcia, 2002, p.78). To unravel teacher’s problems mentioned before, I put forward a strategy of teaching reading namely interactive read-aloud. Hopefully this strategy can support teachers in meeting some of the more daunting challenges of teaching reading.

Interactive read-aloud (Barrentine in Herrel and Michael, 2004, pp. 44-45) is the reading of books out loud with the use of expression, different voices for different characters, gestures, and the active participation of the listeners through predicting, discussion, and checking for understanding. It also involves the exploration of the structure of text and think-aloud strategies that demonstrate how the reader gains meaning from text. This form of read-aloud is a powerful teaching tool for use with English language learners because it produces a strong English model and it reduces anxiety in the students since they can listen and comprehend due to the use of voices, illustrations and gestures. It allows students to see their teachers as role models and in interactive read-aloud the teachers demonstrate what good readers do.

Furthermore, interactive read-loud is motivational. When students observe a teacher reading fluently and enthusiasm they often choose to read the same book, or another book by the same author for leisure reading. The discussion of characters, setting, and description that is involved in interactive read-aloud provides shared understanding and vocabulary that helps English language learners stretch their linguistic abilities. It is likely that students who frequently hear books read aloud have a more extensive “vocabulary than those who do not.

We read aloud many times and for many purposes. If we are predictable about this, our students can anticipate not only that we will read aloud but also the roles we hope they will take on during each of these read-aloud times as suggested by Calkins (2001, p. 51):

1. Reading aloud to start the day

In many classrooms, the morning read-aloud convenes the community and acts as almost a blessing on the day. There may be a song or a choral reading of a familiar poem that serves as an incantation. In any case, we are soon reading aloud a poem or a picture book. We often choose a text that can act like a lantern, lighting our way. For our opening read-aloud we select poems and picture books that make us all laugh and fall in love with words.

2. Reading Aloud within Reading and Writing Mini lessons

In the mini lesson before our writing workshop, we will often return to texts we have introduced during the morning read-aloud (or during a later read-aloud of a chapter), this time to study passages we love, to talk about what the author has done, and to consider the effect the author was hoping to create. We will probably not reread the book in its entirety for this discussion.

3. Reading Aloud in Support of the Social Studies and Science Curriculum.

It’s terribly important for students to listen to nonfiction texts read aloud. If our students are going to comprehend and write news articles, essays, directions, arguments, and proclamations, they need to develop an ear for the rhythms and structures used in these genres. We can give our students the words that will take them to new worlds, launch new investigations, and introduce new concepts.

Reading Aloud Can Help Students Talk and Think about Texts

Oddly enough, many students will listen to a text and have nothing to say. But when these same students talk about television shows or movies, they do not need conversational starters or webs. Something is drastically wrong, then, when our students are silenced by text. We suspect that this often the result of problematic instruction. For too long, students have read literature and then faced a barrage of questions, each with one right answer. Recently I heard a teacher hold up a story book, Tarzan and Jane, and say to a group of students “Tarzan and Jane are friends who are what, class? I know the book well but I did not have a clue about what the teacher expected the class to say. One boy pipe in, “friendly? Tarzan and Jane are friends who are friendly?” The student’s intonation alone showed that he was asking, “Is this the answer you want?”

But no, the teacher was looking for another word to fill in the blank in her sentence. She repeated her question. Tarzan and Jane is about friends who are what, class?”

“Adventurous?” a girl suggested, and although I cheered her ingenuity and knowledge of the story, the teacher continued to scan the room looking for raised hands and the right answer. Now she produced a clue. “It starts with a ‘d.”

I wracked my mind. “Tarzan and Jane are, what?”, Damp?”

No one ventured another guess, so the teacher completed her own sentence. “Are Tarzan and Jane different, class?” she asked and proceeded to deliver her predetermined lesson on multiculturalism. Tarzan lives in jungle and Jane lives in city, but they are, after all, still friends.

Seeing from that teaching, most of the questions asked by the teacher were strictly factual and required little or no ability to sustain sequential thinking. Even such question was more discouraging on students’ participation in lessons. The teacher was mainly offering single word replies, and the questions students asked were reassurance rather than expressions of lively curiosity.

To help our students think, talk, and eventually write well about texts, we must make a dramatic break from the habit of grilling them with known-answer questions. I do not know why it is ingrained in us as teachers to pepper students with oral, workbooklike, fill-in-the-blank questions. We want to say, “Let’s talk about the reasons Bawang Merah hates Bawang Putih,” but because we are accustomed to the conversational pattern that dominates classrooms, we say,” does Bawang Merah in this book hate Bawang Putih? Does Bawang Merah always treat Bawang Putih badly? A student answers. If this is not the answer we were looking for, we restate the question. Another student answers. Again, this is not the right answer we wanted. Now there is silence. We try giving part of the answer we want. Why is it so inconceivable that we simply say to our students,” Could we talk about the reactions the Bawang Merah in this book has to Bawang Putih?” and then back out the conversation, leaving space for them to comment and elaborate on each other’s comments without acting as Masters of Ceremonies. The easiest way is to use “say-something,” to students. We tend to read aloud and to pause at “talk-worthy” spots.

At first, we simply encourage students to talk to anyone who is sitting nearby. After a few weeks, we assign children to sit beside the same read-aloud partner each day. Long-term read-aloud partners allow students to say things like,” You know how yesterday you said such and such? Well, it’s happening still,” or, “It’s the same as before! Students practice getting in and out of talk positions quickly, so that before long, we can pause at a key section of the text and look out at our students, who note our signal and get knee-to-knee with their partner. The room erupts in conversation. After a few minutes, we simply resume reading (beginning with a paragraph of overlap as the voices subside).

How important is interactive read-aloud? Critically important. Don’t you ever want students to just lie back and let the words flow over them…to just listen?” people sometimes ask about the read-aloud. But I have to admit that I don’t really see the read-aloud in this dreamy, sleepy sort of way. Too often children consider the read-aloud as a time to doze, dream, fiddle and snack. I see the interactive read-aloud as the heart of our reading instruction time, and I want students’ full attention to be on what we do together.

In conclusion, interactive read-aloud, while traditionally associated with primary classrooms, has been found to be effective in supporting comprehension and vocabulary development in older students. Even high school students benefit from hearing fluent, expressive reading of English text. By hearing literature read with the use of different voices, inflection, gestures, and body language, English language learners are supported in refining their reading and speaking skills.

This form of read-aloud is a powerful teaching tool for use with English language learners because it produces a strong English model and it reduces anxiety in the students. Interactive read-loud is motivational. When students observe a teacher reading fluently and enthusiasm they often choose to read the same book, or another book by the same author for leisure reading. The discussion of characters, setting, and description that is involved in interactive read-aloud provides shared understanding and vocabulary that helps English language learners stretch their linguistic abilities.


References

Bernhardt, E. 1991. Reading Development in a Second Language: Theoretical, empirical, and Classroom Perspectives. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Calkins, Lucy McCormick.2001. The Art of Teaching Reading. United States: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc.

Carnine, D., Silbert, J., & Kameenui, E. J. 1990. Direct Instruction Reading. Ohio: Merrill Publishing.

Celce-Murcia M. 2002. Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language. Third Edition. Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

Grabe, W. 1991. Current Development in Second Language Reading Research. TESOL Quaterly.

Hudelson, S. 1994. Literacy Development of Second Language Children. In Educating Second Language Children. Edited by F. Genesee. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Herrel, Adrienne and Michael Jordan. 2004. Fifty Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners. United States of America: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Harmer, J. 1998. How to Teach English: An Introduction to the Practice of English Language Teaching. Longman

Langan, Jhon. 2002. Reading and Study Skills. United States: The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Richards, Jack C. and Willy A. Renandya. 2002. Methodology in Language Teaching: An Anthology of Current Practice. United States of America: Cambridge University Press.

)* Guru SMAN 1 Sagaranten, Staf pengajar STAI Sukabumi dan AMIK CBI Sukabumi, serta pengurus MGMP Bahasa Inggris Kab. Sukabumi

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