Anik Zahra

Aku bukan siapa-siapa, hanya ingin bermanfaat untuk sesama. Semoga Allah ridho. An English teacher in MTsN 5 Jombang. A mother from three wonderful kids...


The Use of Pictures to Improve the First Year Students Writing Skill at MTsN 5 Jombang


English Teacher in MTsN 5 Jombang


1.1. Background of the Study

Realizing the importance of English mastery, Indonesian government has decided that English is one of compulsory subjects from Elementary school up to the University level. Based on School Based Curriculum 2013, the objective of teaching English in SMP/MTs is that the students must be able to develop their communicative competence both written and orally to achieve functional literacy level (Depdiknas, 2013: 278). Consequently, the teaching and learning activities in Junior High School are oriented to the mastery of four skills. In this case, the teacher should apply a method, strategy and technique that can encourage the students to be more active in the teaching and learning process (Harmer, 1998).

Writing as one of the four basic language skills which plays an important role in the context of English teaching as foreign language in Indonesia. Ken (2003:9) viewed that writing is a way of sharing personal meanings and it emphasizes the power of the personality to construct someone’s view based on a certain topic. Writing comprises communicating a particular message in the written form (Spratt, 2005: 26). However, writing is regarded as the most difficult skill for foreign language learners to master because it involves several components which need to be considered while the learners are writing, such as contents, organization, vocabularies, language use and punctuations (Brown, 2004:244–245; Hartfiel,, 1985:102.) Writing linked with several component of language such as choice of word, grammar, syntax, mechanism, and generating of ideas (Gebhard, 1996: 211). Furthermore, he said that the writer should pay attention both on the goal of writing itself and the readers.

Comparing to speaking, writing is even more difficult because the typical characteristics of written language are more complex than those of spoken language (Nunan, 1991: 85). The complexities lie on the use of standard language and the degree of formality. Moreover, in writing, we have to pay attention to higher level skills of planning and organizing as well as lower levels skills of spelling, punctuation and word choice (Richard, 2002: 303). In writing, the writer should also think about the essential element such as the audience, the tone and the goal of writing itself (Oshima, 1981: 2).

The most important reason for teaching writing is that it is a basic language skill, just as important as listening, speaking and reading. In the teaching of writing, the teacher usually encourages the students to transfer what they think into text types. Generally, the most common problem that confronts teachers of a writing class does not lie so much on what to ask students to write about, the difficulty is more on how to motivate the students to write interesting and effective materials.

In fact, generally, the students’ ability in writing at High School is very low. It is revealed by some research concerning the students’ writing ability. Sundari (2002:24) did a study which intended to improve the students’ writing skill through pictures. Her preliminary study revealed that the students face difficulty in writing English especially in expressing their idea. Moreover, Aquaningsih (2008) conducted a research which aimed at promoting the students’ productivity in writing EFL compositions. She found that the students have problem in generating ideas for writing. From the finding described above, it can be concluded that there are some problems found in the teaching of writing.

As a teacher, the researcher observed the teaching and learning progress in her classroom at MTsN 5 Jombang and found some problem faced by the students. They are:

  1. The students have low motivation in doing task especially on writing.
  2. The mean score for each skill is not quite satisfied.


Mid-test score

Final Test score













3. The techniques that the teacher’s apply for teaching are not various and there is no effort from the teacher to find and use effective and efficient media for teaching.

Many students are sometimes afraid to make mistakes and feel shy in speaking.

Some students sometimes cannot identify some words from cassettes when they are listening.

Most of the students are not able to write good paragraphs or they produced unattractive text.

The students do not have confidence to read the text loudly.

Some students have poor mastery of grammar.

Referring to the previous problem above, the most crucial problem is that her students cannot write well when she gives a task to write a composition. They do not have idea what to write first. As a result, the students were unmotivated to complete the task. They do not have sufficient vocabulary in developing their writing and they find difficulties to determine the content in their text. Then, their writing achievement is still under the Minimum Passing Standard (Standard Ketuntasan Minimal). On the average, the students’ skill is less good and needs to be improved. The inadequate result might happen due to several factors such as the techniques that the teacher used to teach writing was not interesting. The teacher only assigns them to write paragraph without giving a model of a good paragraph organization. The teacher also monotonously lets them write the paragraph by themselves without giving any feasible example of paragraph writing technique. Hence, the strategies applied by the English teacher seem less effective since they do not give much contribution in developing the students’ skill in paragraph writing. Still, a writing task should be actively engaged students in the process of learning to write (Tribble, 1996: 68). There should be an effort to make writing class become more interesting in order that the students can produce attractive text. The next factor is the media for presenting material is not various. As a result, the students’ ability in constructing and composing their paragraphs is still low.

Based on the explanation above, the researcher tries to find out the best technique to help the students improve their writing skills and motivate them to participate actively in the writing class. The teacher must be creative in selecting and preparing instructional media. Instructional media can enhance learning and support the teacher’s instruction in the teaching and learning process in the classroom. However, the teacher should follow some consideration in applying instructional media in order not to face many difficulties in their activities. The instructional media should be easy to prepare and easy to organize. They should be interesting and give enlargement to an adequate amount of language (Wright, 1992).

The English teacher can employ pictures as their instructional aids in the teaching of writing. Pictures can translate abstract idea into more realistic form and they are inexpensive (Kasbolah, 1999: 21). The pictures are appropriate for young learner because they are easy to prepare, easy to organize and interesting to the students. The use of picture in the teaching and learning progress is aimed to make the process of teaching and learning more effective. Wright (1992) explained that pictures could play a role in motivating the students. Pictures can also provide a stimulating focus for students’ attention, a variety of task, and a shared experience (Raimes, 1983: 27). From those statements, it is obvious that pictures could be used as media to teach writing especially in helping the students to express the ideas in the written form.

Previous research on the teaching writing by using pictures showed that the students gained good progress in writing. Sundari (2002: 23) found that the use of pictures could facilitate the students to communicate their ideas in the written form correctly in terms of forms and content. Another researcher discovered that the students could minimize the number of errors and mistakes in descriptive paragraph and their writing could be understood easily by applying many models of pictures (Azhari, 2004). Moreover, Mochtar (2004) conducted the development of picture series for the teaching of writing in Junior High School. She concluded that the students are more active and motivated since there is a brainstorming activity in pre writing by using picture.

Based on Curriculum 13, Junior High School students have to master a number of texts: narrative, descriptive, recount, procedure and report (Depdiknas, 2013: 278). In addition, the first year students have to master descriptive text. It stated further on the Competency Standard that the first semester of first year students of Junior High School must be able to write simple functional texts and short essays in the form of descriptive. Therefore, short essay or composition writing is one of writing activity that can be used by the teachers to teach writing (Gebhard, 1996:226). In this activity, the teachers teach students how to write short description of people, places or object. Likewise, the teaching of writing in Junior High School must be viewed as an ongoing process. It means that teaching writing involves pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing (Hill, 1998: 68).

For those reasons above, the researcher would apply pictures to improve students’ skill in writing descriptive text. This text has functional objective to describe a particular thing/object, place, or person (Depdiknas, 2006). Moreover, Stanley (1998: 148) stated that descriptive text presents the appearance of things that occupy space, whether they are objects, people, building or cities. It has purpose to say to the readers something looks like. It attempts to paint a picture with words. In this case, “Pictures” strategy which is adapted from Linstromberg (2004: 132) is developed as prewriting activity. Prewriting, which is typically characterized as planning, activities are very fundamental in determining the students’ success in drafting the entire text. This stage consists of three stages called generating ideas, focusing, and structuring (White and Arndt, 1991 cited by Widiati & Cahyono, 2006:141) which enable the students to identify any materials related to the topic they are going to write. Hopefully, this strategy will help the students to solve the problems.

1.2. Statement of the Problem

The research problem of this research is “How can the use of pictures improve students’ writing skill?”

1.3. Objective of the Research

Based on the above research problem, this research is intended to apply pictures to improve writing skills of the first year students of MTsN 5 Jombang.

1.4. Significance of the Research

Theoretically, the result of this study is expected to provide relevant knowledge about the teaching of English, especially on the writing skill, at SLTP level by implementing particular strategy.

Practically, the finding of this research is expected to help the teachers, as well as the students, in implementing pictures as an alternative solution for the problems they face in the teaching of writing. This research is also wished to be a reference for other researchers who wish to conduct similar research.

1.5. Scope and Limitation of the Research

This study is focused on the teaching and learning process by using pictures through “Picture” strategy adapted from Linstromberg (2004: 132) in order to improve the students’ writing skill. The technique is implemented to the first semester of first year students of MTsN 5 Jombang in academic year 2018/2019. The students’ writing skill is evaluated based on their individual writing of descriptive text. The improvement being evaluated is emphasized on the aspects of writing components (i.e. content, organization, vocabulary, grammar and mechanics) based on the analytical scoring rubric proposed by Cohen (1994: 328-329).

1.6. Definition of the Key Terms

1) Writing skill: the ability of communicating a message (something to say), sharing information or ideas in written form (Spratt, 2005: 26).

2) Descriptive paragraph: The paragraph that presents the appearance of things that occupy space, whether they are objects, people, building or cities (Stanley, 1998: 148)

3) Pictures: as one of stimulus material that engages the students to use the language in developing idea on the certain topic Ken (2003: 90). In addition, it also can be as media to stimulate schemata and encourage the students’ creativity in writing. The pictures used in the research are kind of places from students’ drawing.



This research is intended to improve the students’ writing ability in recount text using pictures. This chapter presents the review of the literature related to the study. The review includes the teaching of English in Indonesian context, the teaching of English in SMP/MTs level, the teaching of writing in EFL context, the teaching of writing in SMP/MTs level, the process of writing, pictures and related previous studies.

2.1. The Teaching of English as a foreign language in Indonesian context

In this globalization era, the competition among the nations in the world becomes very strict. The nation which has high quality of manpower can only succeed in international competition. Hence, human resources development becomes a central issue in developing countries such as Indonesia. One of aspects toward the improvement of human resources quality is the mastery of foreign languages in order to compete at international level. The ability to communicate internationally today is clearly ability to communicate in English (Huda, 1999: 156). As an international language, English has developed and has been used by most countries in the world as first, second, or foreign language. It is not only used for communication but also for development of science and technology (Huda, 2004: 45)

In Indonesia, English has been decided to be the first foreign language whish is taught in secondary school both lower and upper secondary school level and starting at 1994 Curriculum, English should be include in elementary school as well. The teaching of English in secondary school is clearly a compulsory subject as a national content while English in Elementary school is not a required subject, but a local content of the curriculum (Huda, 1999:134). As a foreign language, English has not been used in social as well as official communication but only as a subject instruction in school (Widiati & Cahyono, 2006: 142). Gebhard (2000:3) also points out that the objective of English teaching just lies more on making the students pass English entrance exam whether entering high-quality school or university than preparing them to communicate in English. Furthermore, in EFL setting the students lack of exposure since they rarely have a chance to apply what they have studied in the classroom to be used in their real life situation.

Basically, Saukah (2000) highlights that the objective of teaching English in Indonesia is enabling the students to use English for communication. Huda (2004:47) also states that English has several functions in Indonesia. English is a means of communication among the nations in all aspect of life, English is also a mean of developing science and technology to help the development of the nation, and English becomes an indicator of special quality of human resources. The teaching of English in Indonesia seems to meet the need of English mastery in order to participate in international forum, so, it is not only directed to pass certain English examination but also to use English for communication. In fact, a number of factors including the teachers’ competence, the number of students in a class, time allotment for English teaching, and the learning facilities cause the failure of English teaching and the result of its teaching is not satisfactory yet.

Realizing the fact above, it is obvious that English is badly needed in this era and it is our duty as a teacher to meet the learners’ need and to reach the goal of ELT in Indonesia.

2.2. The Teaching of English at Secondary School (SMP/MTs) in Indonesia

English is one of the compulsory subjects to be taught in the secondary school particularly in MTs/SMP level. Based on the 2013 Curriculum, the objective of teaching English in Indonesia especially in SMP / MTs are (1) to develop the students’ communicative competence in the form of oral and written text to achieve functional literacy level, (2) to develop the students’ awareness of the importance of English as a mean of communication in this globalization era, and (3) to enlarge the students’ understanding of the relationship between language and culture (Depdiknas, 2006). Whereas, the teaching of English in this level covers three scopes, including literacy competence (the ability to communicate using English through an oral or written text which is actualized in the four language skills, namely listening, speaking, reading, and writing), communicative competence (the ability to understand and create short functional text, monologue, and essays in the form of procedure, descriptive, recount, narrative, and report), and supporting competence (linguistic competence, socio cultural competence, strategic competence, and discourse competence).

As the objective above, it is apparent that the teaching of English in MTs is directed to make students have communicative competence that they are able to communicate in oral and written form in expressing information, thought, feeling, and to develop science and technology. Communicative Competence is the ability to comprehend and to create oral and written texts that involves four language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing. Thus, the mastery of the four language skills is very important in helping students to use English for communication.

Generally, the time allotment for the teaching of English at the junior high schools is 40 minutes for 1 meeting or 2 x 80 minutes for a week. This time allotment is used for teaching all of language skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening, and its language components including vocabulary, grammar, and spelling / pronunciation.

Based on the fact above, it is the teachers’ responsibility to use the time provided in teaching and learning process so that the instructional objectives of English teaching that is the mastery of the four language skills can be achieved.

2.3. The Teaching of Writing in EFL Context

Writing as one of the four language skills plays a very important role in the teaching of English in Indonesia. Writing is communicating a message between the writer and the reader (Spratt, M. 2005). In this case, writing is used to communicate with other people using written form through indirect communication. As a mean of communication, writing would be best and more meaningful when it is taught integrated to the other skills because the teacher can track students’ progress in multiple skills at the same time.

Writing is considered to be the learning activity which is helpful for language learners (Widiati & Cahyono, 2006: 140), because in writing, the students are provided a chance to write as well as to learn at the same time. Miller (1998) as cited by Widiati & Cahyono, (2006 : 140) states that writing is an important skill to support other learning activities since it can be a means of personal discovery, of creativity, and of self- expression.

According to Raimes (1983: 3) writing is a means of communication and writing can really help the students learn second language for some beneficial reasons. First, writing reinforces the grammatical structures, and vocabulary that we have been teaching to our students. Second, writing provides students a chance to be adventurous with the language, to go beyond what they have just learned to say. Furthermore, in writing students becomes very involved with the new language especially in the effort to express ideas and the constant involvement of eyes, hand, and brain

In fact, most EFL students are not interesting in writing (Mukminatin, 1991:129). Writing is considered the most difficult skill compared to the other three skills, listening, reading and speaking, since it involves several components for example, contents, vocabularies, organization, grammatical structures and mechanics such as punctuation and capitalization (Hartfield, et al., 1985, as cited by Cahyono 2001). That is why, Gebhard (1996: 223) points out that in the beginning level of EFL, the students should learn the basic principle of writing at first. This includes being able to identify and write down letters, words, and simple sentences, as well as learning spelling and punctuation conventions. He also recommends that there are many different types of activities teachers can use to teach writing conventions.

To sum up, the teacher should be able to find a better technique used and select the material wisely that the teaching of writing to EFL learner should be taught from simple one to complex one. It is considered to avoid the difficulties faced by the students and make the students easier to write and to learn since writing is an important skill in supporting learning activities.

2.4. The Teaching of Writing at Secondary School (SMP/MTs)

Writing as an integral part of the teaching English cannot be isolated with the other three skills: reading, speaking, and listening. Based on the 2013 Curriculum, the objective of the teaching of writing for SMP/MTs level is to make the students able to express ideas in various kinds of short functional texts, monologues, and essays in the form of procedure, descriptive, narrative, recount and report (Depdiknas, 2013).

The basic competence that should be achieved is different based on the level of the students, so each level will have different kinds of text. In the first year, the students are expected to be able to create short simple functional texts and essay in the form of descriptive and procedure. In the second year, the students are supposed to be capable in producing short descriptive, recount, and narrative text. Then in the third year, it is expected that the students will be able to express ideas in short functional texts and essays in the form of procedure, report, and narrative (Depdiknas, 2013).

Descriptive is a paragraph that functions to describe a particular person, place, or thing (CBC, 2004). It is a kind of paragraph in which the writer draws their ideas and thought vividly based on their senses on the objects they see. According to Tompkins (1994) descriptive is like painting a picture with words. It has two parts, they are identification (identifies phenomenon to be described) and description (describes parts, qualities, and characteristics).

Procedure is a text that functions to give instruction on how to do something through series of actions or steps (CBC, 2004). It tells the reader or listener how to do something. Its purpose is to provide instruction for making something, doing something or getting somewhere (Anderson, and Anderson, 1998). Procedure has three parts: goal, material (Optional) and the series of steps.

Recount is a text that functions to retell events for the purpose of informing and entertaining (CBC, 2004). It is a kind of genre that retells past events in the order in which they happened (Anderson, and Anderson, 1998). Recount consists of three parts: Orientation that tells who was involved, where and when it happened, event(s) that tell the readers the chronological events, and reorientation that summarizes the events.

Narrative is a text that functions to entertain or to amuse the reader (dealing with actual experience, fiction, or a complicated event turning into a crisis, which finally has a solution) (CBC, 2004). It is a piece of text that tells a story to entertain the audience. The purposes are not only for entertainment but also making the audience think about an issue, teach them a lesson, or excite their emotions (Anderson, and Anderson, 1998). Narrative has four main parts: orientation, evaluation, complication, and resolution.

Report is a text that functions to describe (CBC, 2004).presents information about a subject. The purpose is to classify or describe a subject using fact about the subject’s part, behaviour and qualities. The subject is general rather than particular (Anderson, and Anderson, 1998). Report has two parts; General classification and descriptions.

However, the teaching of writing skill in Junior High School has not been successful yet. Commonly, there are some problems dealing with the teaching of writing skill in Junior High School. First, writing has a negligible section since it is expelled in the national examination which has so far been a pointer of the success of English teaching and learning. Second, teaching writing and scoring the students’ writing consumes much time, while the allowed time for the teaching of English is limited, so the students lack practice and as a result, many students find difficulties in writing. It is in line what Mukminatin (1991: 130) stated that very few teachers are interested in teaching writing because it is time consuming in terms of teaching preparation and evaluation.

As a conclusion, there are many text types which should be mastered by the students in junior high school and this study will emphasize recount paragraph as one of the text types that should be mastered by the second year students of Junior High School.

2.5. The process of Writing

All writing involves a process, whether the teachers focus on it or not because actually writing is not a single activity but it is recursive activity (Widiati & Cahyono, 2006: 141). It means that writing has several steps to be followed from the beginning to the final product. This process of course will make the students enable to produce kind of text since there is clear stage should be achieved before going on to the next steps and they have opportunity to rewrite or revise their work before finally submit their final writing. This Process approach is not merely gives attention to the product but more emphasize on how a piece of writing is constructed (Raimes, 2002).

However, there are several different conceptions of the process writing approach based on the writer. According to Gebhard (2000: 226-230), there are four stages involved in the process of text making. They are prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing. Seow, (2002) says that process writing as a classroom activity incorporate the four basic writing stages: planning, drafting, revising, and editing. Another is proposed by Smalley, et al., (2001: 3) that all writers go through the process of writing which consists of several stages namely prewriting, drafting and revising. Spratt, et al., (2005) points out that writing often involves going through a number of stages: brainstorming, writing a draft, editing, and proof reading.

Based on the several conceptions above, the writer can summarized that generally, the process of writing consists of four stages: prewriting (planning), drafting, revising, and editing. The detailed explanation will be presented as follows:

2.5.1. Pre Writing

According to Seow (2002:316), pre writing is any activity in the classroom that encourages students to write because it stimulates students for getting started. It can change the students from having blank mind toward generating ideas and gathering information for writing. Gebhard, (2000: 226) and Smalley, et al., (1986: 3) have similar ideas that this stage is dealing with the way for getting started such as finding topics and generating ideas. There are several techniques that can be used in pre writing such as brainstorming, clustering, rapid free writing, and wh-questions. In general, prewriting stage is used to enable the writer in generating ideas before coming to real draft for his/her writing.

2.5.2. Drafting

After finishing the process of generating ideas, the second stages will be drafting. Gebhard (2000: 228) states that drafting is a process of writing down the ideas that they have got in the pre writing. In this stage, the students are focused on the fluency of writing and are not too concerned with grammatical accuracy (Seow, 2002:317). What the students should keep in mind is that a central idea that that they want to communicate to the audience of their writing. Smalley, et al., (2001: 8) says that in writing the first draft, the writer may not overly concerned with the grammatical correctness; rather the writer should focus more to get the ideas down on the paper.

2.5.3. Revising

The third stage is revising. In this stage, the writer reexamines what was written to check how effectively they have communicated their ideas especially dealing with the content and the organization of ideas (Seow , 2002: 317). The revision made is on the basis of feedback given by someone else, it can be from the teacher, their peers, and they themselves. Gebhard (2000: 226) states that revising stages is closely related to the changing of the content and organization of the ideas. It can be deleting, adding, reorganizing, or modifying. Similar idea also proposes by Smalley, et al., (2001: 8) that revising is really rethinking or reseeing what they have written. You may add sentences to connect the ideas, to change the order of the sentences or paragraphs, to substitute another way of saying something or even to throw away the ideas that are not relevant to the topic.

2.5.4. Editing

This is the last stage of the process of writing. After concerning with the content and organization on the ideas, this is the time for the writer to turn his/her attention to the form of writing. Editing deals with the problem in grammar, syntax, word choice, and mechanics. In this case, the writer edit the sentences that are not clear then check to make sure they are grammatically and mechanically correct (Smalley, et al., 2001: 9, and Gebhard, 2000:230). Seow, (2002:318) says that this stage requires the students to be engaged in tidying up their text as they prepare the final draft in terms of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and diction.

Indeed, when we write we do not write all at once but we need to read and revise again and again until we consider that it is good enough. So, the process of writing is really helpful for the writers to get the best of their writing.

2.5. Pictures

There are many kinds of the instructional media that can be used to attract students’ attention and to deliver the information, but visuals seem to be appropriate one for the learners. One of Visual media that commonly used in the teaching and learning activities is pictures. Pictures are photographic representations of people, places, and things (Suyanto, 1999: 21). In this case pictures can be used by both teachers and students whatever the emphasis of the lesson. Wright (1992: 3) suggests that there are some considerations in selecting whatever the media is, including picture in the classroom activities. They should be easy to prepare, they should be easy to organize, they should be interesting, and they should rise to a sufficient amount of language.

2.5.1. Kinds of Pictures

According to Finocchiaro, (1975: 265) there are at least three kinds of picture that should be an integral part of every classroom. First, pictures of persons and single objects. Second, situational pictures that are pictures of people engaged in activities presenting the relationship between individuals and objects. Third, a series of pictures mounted on one chart. Wright (1992:193) proposes that there are many types of pictures that can be used in the teaching and learning process. There are twenty one types of pictures such as, picture of single object, picture of one person, pictures of places, pictures of people in action, pictures from history, pictures of fantasies, pair of pictures, etc. The teachers can use valuable resource in pictures, such as drawings, photographs, posters, slides, cartoons, magazine advertisements, diagrams, graphs, tables, charts and maps for teaching writing (Raimes, 1983:27).

In conclusion, there are many kinds of pictures can be used in language learning. In this case, the teacher can select whatever the pictures are, based on the students’ interest and also the activities which are going to apply.

2.5.2. The Advantages of Using Pictures

Everybody likes to look at pictures and pictures can be a valuable resource as pictures provide a shared experience in the classroom, a stimulating focus for students’ interest, a variety of task, and. Picture also brings the outside world into the classroom in a vividly concrete way (Raimes, 1983 : 27). This idea is in line with what Suyanto, (1999 : 21-22) stated that pictures can translate abstract ideas into more realistic forms or concrete items, they are easy to use because they do not require any equipment and they are inexpensive,

According to Wright (1992:17), there are some roles of pictures in teaching speaking and writing. Picture can (1) motivate the students and make them want to pay attention and take part, (2) contribute to the context in which the language is being used, (3) be described in an objective way or interpreted or responded to subjectivity, (4) cue responses to questions or cue substitution through controlled practice, and (5) stimulate and provide information to be referred to in conversation or story telling. Furthermore, pictures can be suitable for any kind of students from beginners to advanced and need little time for preparation.

From those statements above, it can be summarized that pictures can be one of the valuable instructional visual media in teaching learning process as pictures can offer many advantages besides, it is suitable for any level of the learners and whatever the emphasis of the lesson.

2.5.3. The Use of Picture in Teaching Writing

The teacher of English can employ picture as their instructional visual aids in the teaching of writing in order to achieve the teaching and learning process. There are many activities can be done from the existence of pictures. According to Wright, (1989), teaching writing covers many activities, such as spelling, repetition, reproduction, manipulation, and composition and picture can be applied as the visual aids in these activities. Moreover, Wright, (1992) states that the teacher can use pictures since pictures provide many challenges: challenge to describe, challenge to identify, challenge to match, challenge to group, challenge to sequence, challenge to order, and challenge to memorize. Pictures can also be the basis for many activities, ranging from quite mechanical controlled composition, sentence combining exercises, or sequencing of sentences to the writing of new dialogues, letters, report or essays (Raimes, 1983:27). The teachers can use pictures to motivate the students to use language in the level of reproduction and manipulation. This means that by using pictures, students are given situation and context about things, activities, and events so they will find themselves easier to convey the message in written form (Yunus,1981, as cited by Sundari, 2002).

In conclusion, the teachers can apply the existence of picture in the teaching of writing since pictures provide various activities can be used as a trigger that stimulate students motivation in writing and to guide students to write their composition.

2.6. Some Related Studies

The use of pictures is believed to be useful and effective to improve the quality of the teaching of writing and to develop the students’ writing skill. A number of research studies have been conducted related to the use of pictures in improving the students’ writing ability.

Sundari (2002) conducted a study on the use of pictures to improve writing ability of the second year students of SLTP 3 Jember. She had done two cycle of action research and the result showed that there is improvement in the students writing ability in terms of forms and contents before and after the action. She suggested then by using picture, students’ writing skill can be improved.

Azhari (2004) also conducted a study to the third year students of SLTPN 18 Malang in teaching descriptive writing by using pictures. The result of this study found that by applying pictures, students could minimize errors and mistakes in descriptive paragraph and their writing could be understood easily. Moreover, the use of pictures can stimulate students to be more active in the teaching and learning activities.

Another research conducted by Mochtar (2004) found that the use of pictures can really improve students’ writing ability. This study uses picture series and the results have shown that there are some strengths of picture series: first, pictures can improve students’ writing ability, second, pictures can help the students state their ideas and arrange their sentence in a good organization. The last, students are more active and motivated in learning since there is brainstorming activity in pre writing.

Based on the previous studies above, it is obvious that the use of pictures can be valuable both as a strategy and instructional media which is used in teaching and learning process since pictures can be used to encourage students’ motivation and improve the students’ ability especially in writing.

Overall, this chapter have discussed about review of the literature related to the study. The review includes the teaching of English in Indonesian context, the teaching of English in SMP/MTs level, the teaching of writing in EFL context, the teaching of writing in SMP/MTs level, the process of writing, pictures and related previous studies.



3.1. Research Setting and Subjects

The setting of the research is MTsN 5 Jombang. It is located at Jl. Pendidikan 44 Keboan Ngusikan Jombang, East Java. This school has 24 classes; every grade has 8 class. Each of the class consists of 28 to 35 students on average. The subjects of the research are 28 students of class VII-E at MTsN 5 Jombang. The seventh grade students are selected since they have learned English at the first year and they are not occupied with loads of UN preparations like the ninth grade students.

3.2. Research Procedure

This research is implemented by using collaborative classroom action research design. The design of this action research follows the cyclical process proposed by Kemmis and Taggert (1988:14), which consists of four steps: planning, acting/implementing, observing, and reflecting.

Before conducting the study, the researcher tries to observe the learning situation in the classroom in which most learners are not able to write a good descriptive text. Based on the preliminary study on the learning situation (reconnaissance), it is found that the problems faced by the grade–VII students of MTsN 5 Jombang in writing a descriptive text are as follows:

· They are confused to start their writing. The do not have idea what to write first.

· They don’t have sufficient vocabulary in developing their writing.

· They have difficulties to determine the content in their text

· They can not organize their text well.

· They have poor grammar in their writing.

The result of preliminary study was used to set up a plan of action at the first cycle

3.2.1 Planning

In this part, the researcher will accomplished the following activities (a) Preparing the strategy, in this case, Pictures (b) Designing the lesson plan (c) Preparing instruments i.e. observation checklist, questionnaires, interview and (d) Preparing the criteria of success, i.e.:

· The students are able to express their idea quickly for planning the draft based on the picture.

· The students can write a good descriptive text in terms of the content, organization and grammar.

· The students get pleasure from implementing the strategy.

3.2.2 Implementing

The researcher will take the role as practitioner who teaches writing descriptive text based on the lesson plan by implementing “Picture” strategy, while the collaborator will act as the observer.

3.2.3 Observing

Observing is the process of recording and gathering data about any aspects or events which is occurring during implementation. The data are collected through the techniques of test (asking the students to write a descriptive text ), observation (on the teaching and learning process in the classroom, the situation during the teaching and learning process, and the possibility of modifying the technique), and interview and questionnaire (on the students’ response).

3.2.4 Reflection

In doing reflection, the researcher analyzing the collected data, and reviewing whether the action is success or not by matching the result of the observing stage with the criteria of success. When necessary, another cycle is probably provided.

Appendix 7:

Analytic Scoring Rubric for Writing Product










Very Poor



Main ideas stated clearly and accurately, change of opinion very clear.

Main ideas stated fairly clearly and accurately, change of opinion relatively clear.

Main ideas somewhat unclear or inaccurate, change of opinion statement somewhat weak.

Main ideas not clear or accurate, change of opinion statement somewhat very weak.

Main ideas not at all clear or accurate, change of opinion statement somewhat very weak.


Well organized and perfectly coherent

Fairly well organized and generally coherent

Loosely organized but main ideas clear, logical but incomplete sequencing

Ideas disconnected, lacks logical sequencing

No organization, incoherent


Very effective choice of words and use of idioms and words forms

Effective choice of words and use of idioms and words forms

Adequate choice of words but some misuse of vocabulary, idioms and words forms

Limited range, confused use of words, idioms, and word forms

Very limited range, very poor knowledge of words, idioms, and word forms


No errors, full control of complex structure

Almost no errors, good control of structure

Some errors, fair control of structure

Many errors, poor control of structure

Dominated by errors, no control of structure


Mastery of spelling and punctuation

Few errors in spelling and punctuation

Fair numbers of spelling and punctuation errors

Frequent errors in spelling and punctuation

No control over spelling and punctuation

Adopted from Cohen, 1994: 328-329

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Miss Zahra, I was just curious with the result of your research. Did it come to a better progress on your students scores? Would you please share it?

19 Dec

Off course yes, I will share the result of my research later. It needs a sort of space to write hehee..

19 Dec

Off course yes, I will share the result of my research later. It needs a sort of space to write hehee..

19 Dec

Thanks. Looking forward to it.

19 Dec


19 Dec

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