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ACTION RESEARCH TOPIC:

IMPROVING PUPILS SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION IN ENGLISH PAPER 2-SECTION A


QUESTIONS USING FORMULA S-D-V (SUBJECT-DESCRIBE-VERB).

INTRODUCTION
The British colonial education system introduced the teaching of English Language in
Malaysia in the 1960s and it is still entrenched in the current Malaysian educational system
(Asmah Haji Omar, 1992). English Language is taught as a second language in all
Malaysian schools which is also a compulsory subject in both primary and secondary
schools.
Nowadays, English is an important core subject in all national and national-type schools. To
pass, a student must master all the skills that are in the subjects such as reading, spelling,
writing and pronouncing words correctly. This also includes the process of building or
creating sentences. Mostly students have reading problems, understanding and building
sentences in English. These problems not only cause problems for teachers but also for
students themselves who do not understand what is being taught to lead teaching and
learning processes undertaken would be less effective.
To the pupils, English is a subject that is considered difficult and this perception has been
planted in the minds of students, particularly to those in the class who always fail. Feelings
of inferiority, shame and assume that self unappreciated also a factor pupils are not
interested to work as partners in the front of the class and excellence. Pupils will quickly get
bored and will not concentrate. Teachers have to explain in Malay and this is totally not
recommended as this will cause the student continues not to be able to understand the
English language itself.

REFLECTION OF PAST TEACHING AND LEARNING EXPERIENCE


Teaching in rural schools poses difficulties for teachers. Rural schools face challenges in
attracting and retaining teachers and administrators, limited financial resources and issues
with long-distance transportation. However, wherever you teach, entering into this profession
requires talent, dedication, perseverance and a desire to make a difference that transcends
localities. Teaching isnt always easy, but it requires passion, and if youre serious about
teaching, you have a passion for education that is able to stand up to these difficulties.
Everybody needs an education, and many teachers find the most satisfaction and
gratification in teaching the students who do not have such easy access to the benefits of
education.
In my past teaching and learning experience in rural school, writing skills is the main focus in
most of my lesson. Writing is one of the central issues in second language learning. The
importance of writing is it reinforces the grammatical structures, idioms and vocabulary we
have been teaching our students. When students write they also have the chance to be
adventurous with the language.
As a teacher who taught English in Year 6 classes since the beginning of this year, I was
frustrated because the achievement scores of pupils in English Paper 2 Section A question
which requires students to write five sentences on the situation in the picture is still less
satisfying. Nevertheless, I find that the achievement of students in the subject of English still
has a lot of opportunity for improvement.
Every time I check my students' test papers in Paper 2 of Part A which gives a weightage of
10 full marks to them, I was served with a variety of responses from the student version.
There were students who write English sentence by inserting the word in the Malay
language, some just write 4 sentences only when the questions require students to write five
sentences, and there is also a write sentences by ignoring punctuation like full stops and
capital letters. In addition, there are also students who used the word repeatedly to describe
situations when the pictures given. I had asked two students who responded to insert the
words in the Malay language. Their responses were "I do not know the word in English .. So
that's why I only write in Malay .." and "English is hard bahh sir .. My parents could not help
me if these subjects because they do not know English ..".

However, there are 5 of 20 pupils in the class who are able to meet the requirements of
questions by writing five sentences describing the situation in the picture, even when they
produce sentences that do not achieve excellent marks for this part of the question, namely
9 -10, while the students this is a potential to get good marks and excel in this section. This
is because they have the academic background is quite good and has a parent who is
concerned about their education.
So with this, many questions arose in my mind. What are the ways or tactics should I do to
help my students to improve achievement in Part A of this question? As Head of English
Panel and the only English optionist at this school, what programs do I need to do to help
students master the subject in the school English well? Is there a way I taught for less
efficient so students have great difficulty in constructing sentences for part B of this
question? Will I be able to carry out the activities I have planned for the pupils to overcome
the problems in this sentence alone?
When I discussed this with a friend who also taught English at this school and the teachers
who taught UPSR subjects, there is a teacher who said that the students in the era now
mostly lazy use materials such as dictionaries, story books they can find in this school. They
are just waiting to be fed. In addition, the positive spirit of competition in terms of academic
achievement among students in this school did not exist. Therefore, the methods and
actions we can do as teachers of English in schools to tackle this problem?
Honestly, I teach my Year 6 pupils exam-oriented as early as last April based on the needs
of the PPD, school administrators and with an assumption that drilling them to answer exam
questions in advance will help them to get familiar with the format and how to answer,
especially in Paper 2 of Part A of this. Nevertheless, I believed that although a lot of training
given to the students to build sentences based on the situation in a given image, yet it will
not promise good results if the teacher does not explain or describe the answering technique
of part A correctly. To neglect to explain the answering technique in this section will affect the
percentage of students' achievement in this subject. This situation if allowed will contribute to
the decline of the GNP of the school.