1.1 Background of Study
Vocabulary became central of language teaching and learning English. Vocabulary is the important thing to comprehend the language skills. The learners can perform and practice their skill, if they learn many vocabularies, the students will able to produce many sentences. If the students have limited vocabularies, they will find any difficulties in mastering their language skills.
Now days, English has been introducing from elementary school, junior high school, senior high school until university. Especially in junior high school, there are many schools which have involved English subject as one of local content. Teaching students in junior high school is very different from teaching adult in university. Student in junior high school have certain characteristic and need a particular treatment in teaching learning English. Some students think that English is very difficult to learn, so they feel bored and loss motivation in learning English and do not pay attention to the materials.
The cause of the problem is the teachers still use the conventional method in teaching the material of English. The teachers just explain the media only text books and blackboard. This method makes the students sometimes feel bored and sleepy especially when it is taught in the last session. The other cause is that the students never practice the language whether when they are in the classroom or at home. They are afraid of making mistakes when they speak English. They prefer to speak Indonesian or Javanese language to their teacher or friends. For the slow learners it is difficult for them to memorize the materials and need more time in understanding and accepting the materials. Besides, they need explanation in understanding the instruction when doing the test. Lack of vocabulary mastery, lack of facilities in teaching media and lack of student’s motivation to master English are the other causes that possibly make the problem occur.
Considering that, the writer wants to give a solution especially in increasing the student’s vocabulary mastery, so that later the students will be able to speak in English well. The solution is by teaching vocabulary using crossword pa’71e. Because the crossword puzzle offers a challenge that will motivate the students to try to fulfill the puzzle. It gives much opportunity for the students to practice and repeat the sentence pattern and vocabulary. Besides, the crossword puzzle is a kind of games that will makes the teaching-learning process more attractive than before. The students will feel fun, relaxed and enjoyable, and they will memorize the vocabulary in different way, that is by rewriting them.
Based on the background above, the writer would conduct a study to improve the vocabulary mastery of students using crossword puzzles. The writer decides to conduct a study entitle “Improving Students’ English Vocabularies through Crossword Puzzles: an Experimental Study at First Year Students of SMP N 4 Mataram”
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