Using Visual Media to Improve Student Vocabulary

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Illustration by Lecturer Media

English is an important language for everyone to learn as a second language, including in Indonesia. Besides, English also has language components such as pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. As one of the basic components of the four language skills, vocabulary must be mastered by students. Learning vocabulary is a fundamental step in learning a foreign language. So, students must have a lot of vocabulary in learning foreign languages.

Students still face several difficulties in understanding English texts and answering reading questions because their knowledge of vocabulary is low. So, they have difficulty memorizing and understanding vocabulary. Teaching English to students in Indonesia is not easy because English is a second language. So, teachers should use teaching and learning methods, especially for teaching vocabulary. They can also use visual media to facilitate students in receiving learning material, so they are not bored in learning English.

English teachers always need additional teaching material to help students in learning English. Besides, these teaching materials can help students to remember and stimulate students’ right brain. Thornbury said that visualization is the best way to teach new words to all subjects. Thus, they can use visual things as a medium namely: videos, songs, stick figures, pictures, flashcards, etc. However, researchers chose images as teaching media that can develop and motivate students to learn English easily including vocabulary. Therefore, researchers offer this type of image as a visual medium, namely Pop-up images.

Pop-up pictures are one of the alternative media in the teaching and learning process of English vocabulary to improve student achievement because it has many colors and interesting. According to Hornby (2009: 896), Pop-up Pictures are folded cut-out pictures rise up to form a three-dimensional scene or figure when the paper is turned. It means that Pop-up Pictures is a picture that contains folded cut-out papers that rise up in the form of figure when the picture is opened. By using Pop-up images, students can easily imagine the pictures because it provides a colorful three dimensions scene. Moreover, Pop-up images have never been used by English teachers before in teaching vocabulary. In fact, this media is not only practical to use in vocabulary teaching and learning but also has several features (3-dimensional images, Pop-up images, interesting, and colorful) which are expected to be useful teaching media for students.

In the results of study, there were two cycles to be applied, namely: Cycle 1 and Cycle 2. In Cycle 1 80.6% of 36 students scored> 80 on the English vocabulary test. The criterion for the success of this study is determined by at least 80% of students who scored> 80. It means that Cycle 1 action was successful. Meanwhile, they continued to learn the results of student participation and English vocabulary result in Cycle 2. The students result in English vocabulary tests in Cycle 2 show that 83.3% of 36 students or 30 students scored> 80. It means that there were some improvements from Cycle 1 to Cycle 2 of 2.7% of students who scored> 80. From the above results, it can be concluded that the use of Pop-up images in teaching and learning English vocabulary process, namely as the use of Pop-up images can improve the achievement of English vocabulary of VII-A grade students at SMPN 7 Jember. The results of English vocabulary was student score increases at least 80 from 80.6% in Cycle 1 to 83.3% in Cycle 2. Not only that, it also increases student participation in class VII-A in learning English vocabulary at SMPN 7 Jember. There was an increased score of student participation from 86% in Cycle 1 to 88.9% in Cycle 2.

Author: Dr. Ni Wayan Sartini

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